Fred Nelson MSW, RSW

Virtual Hospice Clinical Team

In 2008, the Canadian Virtual Hospice expanded its clinical team to include Fred Nelson. With close to thirty years of experience in the palliative care community as a clinician, consultant, and teacher, Fred has comprehensive knowledge of the issues and challenges facing both individuals and families living with terminal illness. As a member of the health care team, Fred oversees psychosocial material posted on and provides consultation for questions submitted to Ask a Professional.

Fred currently holds the position of Psychosocial Program Specialist with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Palliative Care Program. Created in 2004, this position includes providing counseling services to individuals and families coping with terminal illness and grief; providing consultation and support to members of the palliative care team; and continuing development of a model for the delivery of integrated psychosocial services throughout the region.


  • Master of Social Work, University of Manitoba (1978)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology major), University of Manitoba (1973)

Selected Publications

  • Chalmers K, Kristjanson L, Woodgate R, Taylor-Brown J, Nelson F, Ramserran S, Dudgeon D, (2000). Journal of Advanced Nursing, 31(6), 1430-1438.
  • Kristjanson L, Dudgeon D, Nelson F, Henteleff P, Balneaves L (1997). Evaluation of an Interdisciplinary Team Training Program in Palliative Care: Addressing the Needs of Rural and Northern Communities. Journal of Palliative Care, 13:3, 5-12.
  • Kristjanson L, Nelson F, Henteleff P. (1987) Palliative Care for Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Journal of Palliative Care, 2:2, 28-34.


  • Keynote presentations to professional and public audiences across Canada
  • Presentations and workshops to university classes in medicine, nursing, social work, rehabilitation services and family studies
  • Rounds for a variety of health settings and community training programs
  • Field Instructor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba (1980-2002)
  • Coordinator of Student Training at St. Boniface Hospital Social Work Department (1988-2002)

Board and Committee Affiliations

  • Hospice Palliative and End-of-Life Care Advisory Committee (2003-2007); a joint project of the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation and Health Canada Secretariat on Palliative and End-of-Life Care. This committee developed a national set of standards for palliative care programs throughout the country.
  • Working Group on Best Practices and Quality Care (2002-2007); one of five working groups established by the Health Canada Secretariat to establish a palliative care strategy for the country.
  • National Social Work Competency Based Education Development (2004-present); developed social work competencies for both educational and clinical settings and recently received funding to proceed with the second phase of the project.
  • Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, board member (1995-2001); currently member of the program planning committee for the national conference.
  • Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba, board member (1994-2001); president (1996-1999).
  • A.L.S. Society of Manitoba: president and Support Group leader (1982-1993).


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