Covenant Health, the Covenant Health Palliative Institute and many of Canada’s leading national health organizations have joined together to lead this initiative.

Covenant Health is Canada’s largest Catholic health care organization, providing compassionate, quality care to people of all faiths and traditions as a key partner in Alberta’s integrated health system.  As a major provider of end-of-life care in the province, Covenant Health established the Palliative Institute, which is committed to relieving suffering for patients and their families.

Carleen Brenneis | Dr. Konrad Fassbender


Carleen Brenneis, Director, Palliative Institute, Covenant Health

A registered nurse with a background in oncology and palliative care, Carleen Brenneis is the director for the Covenant Health Palliative Institute.  She provides leadership and direction for the Institute’s focus on palliative and end-of-life research, education, public outreach, administrative and clinical support across Covenant Health and Alberta. Carleen has a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Alberta.

Carleen has been involved in palliative, end-of-life and transitional care for over 20 years in areas of administration, education and research.  Her strong interest in community-based care led to collaboration on grants and publications in health services research related to community-based care.  Carleen was an original editor for the popular “99 Common Questions and Answers About Palliative Care – A Nurses Handbook,” and “A Caregiver's Guide – A Handbook about End-of-Life Care.”  She continues to focus on knowledge translation and evidence-based practice in palliative and end-of-life care. 

Dr. Konrad Fassbender, Scientific Director, Palliative Institute, Covenant Health

Dr. Fassbender is an assistant professor in the Division of Palliative Care Medicine.  He holds cross-appointments as adjunct assistant professor in the School of Public Health, fellow of the Institute of Public Economics at the University of Alberta, inaugural scientist for the Integrated Centre for Care Advancement through Research (iCARE, a joint venture of the University of Alberta and Capital Health, now Alberta Health Services) and research associate with the Sociobehavioural Research Centre (BC Cancer Agency). He supervises medical trainees, graduate students and teaches health economics, health finance and econometrics. Dr. Fassbender works with clinicians, administrators and policy makers to measure cost and performance associated with the financing and delivery of health care and social services. His research concentrates on the effects of health reform and technological change on health and economic outcomes of dying patients and their families.

Project Management

Covenant Health Palliative Institute