Annual Report 2017-2018


Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network is a provincial program funded to provide peer-led support to families who experience the loss of a pregnancy or infant and education to healthcare providers who care for them.

Established in 1992 by a small group of bereaved parents, PAIL Network became the recognized leader in Ontario for compassionate pregnancy and infant loss support to families and valued training to healthcare providers.

In 2015, PAIL Network was instrumental in the passage of Bill 141, the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, Research and Care Act. As a result of Bill 141 and PAIL Network’s reputation and hard work, PAIL Network was given a mandate to expand services across Ontario as well as funding to undertake a number of foundational projects including:

  • Conducting a provincial needs assessment of existing services and service gaps
  • Establishing an Advisory Committee with membership that included families with lived experience of pregnancy and infant loss
  • Developing a strategic plan to guide PAIL Network’s expansion over the next three years

Our strategic plan focuses our work in four areas

Family Support, Organizational Capacity, Awareness and Advocacy, Health Care Provider Education
Organizational Capacity

Jo Watson
– Operations Director


► Michelle LaFontaine – Program Manager

► Megan Fockler – Education Coordinator
PAIL Educators

►  Amy Muhr – Volunteer Resource & Support Coordinator

80 PAIL Network Volunteers

►  Lynn Davis – Referrals Coordinator

►  Suzie O’Regan – Special Projects Coordinator

►  Stacey Radford – Administrative Assistant


Awareness and advocacy

We will continue to provide leadership, including in partnership with others, to increase awareness about perinatal loss and bereavement, to address stigma, and to advocate for better services and support.


    • Butterfly Release and Family Picnic in Toronto area: over 500 people in attendance
    • Butterfly Release and Family Picnic in Southwestern Ontario: over 200 people
    • More than 2,000 Pinwheels for PAIL distributed across Ontario
    • October 15th: supported the Wave of Light in various communities
    • Walk to Remember
    • Candlelight Memorial
    • PAIL Network has presented at the following conferences:
      • Ontario Hospital Association
      • Nurses Practitioners Association of Ontario
      • Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses
Healthcare provider education

We have increased our focus on education, training, and support to professionals who provide care, services, or support to families experiencing a pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or infant death. We removed the cost of the Compassionate Care Workshop to ensure access to all care providers who may be interested in hosting this one-day learning session in their community. We also awarded quality improvement funds for education in Ontario, resulting in over 16 workshops being delivered in cities across the province.

Next steps in education
  • 30% increase in Compassionate Care Workshops delivered
  • 30% increase in PAIL Educators Web based resources to provide healthcare providers the information and tools they need to provide skilled and empathic bereavement care
  • Delivered interprofessional education curriculum about perinatal loss for students in health professions at the University of Toronto
Family Support

We will continue to have a primary focus on providing information and educational resources and direct peer support to families who experience perinatal loss and bereavement, and will expand support programs and resources for families who experience pregnancy and infant loss as part of an integrated continuity of care. Providing support in a variety of modalities, including online support, will allow families to more easily access support and in the ways that best meet their needs.

Locations of compassionate care workshops, circles of support, planned groups and volunteer recruitment and community information in Ontario

What’s next?

  • New support modalities offered to families, with a focus on including fathers and male partners
  • PAIL Network will continue to recruit for volunteers in communities all over Ontario to work towards equitable access to support families
  • Continue to work as a partner with Health Quality Ontario to develop a Quality Standard for Early Pregnancy Complications and Loss
  • Embed evaluation measures into all facets of our work with observable outcomes and key indicators
  • Build relationships with leaders in mental health to further develop a theme of resiliency throughout our organization for family support and education
  • Develop an awareness campaign targeted to healthcare professionals, underscoring the need for skilled, compassionate care
  • Build a regional structure for PAIL Network to foster equitable access to support
Did you know?
  • PAIL Network provided 16 Compassionate Care workshops in 2017/18 with 535 healthcare professionals were in attendance
  • PAIL Network has 20 active Circles of Support all over Ontario
  • We have 80 volunteers providing peer support in groups, on the phone, and helping make our memorial events for families a time of remembrance and hope