Dr. Leonie Herx
Senior Fellow, Health
Dr. Leonie Herx (MD PhD CHE CCFP (PC) FCFP) is a specialist palliative care physician in Kingston, Ontario, Associate Professor and Division Head of Palliative Medicine at Queen's University, and the Medical Director for Palliative Care at Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Providence Care Hospital.
She completed a combined MD/PhD program at the University of Calgary in 2003, followed by residency programs in Family Medicine and Palliative Medicine. Until 2018, she worked in Calgary full-time as palliative consultant with the Alberta Health Services Palliative and End of Life Care – Calgary Zone program, serving in various leadership roles including Medical Director of the Intensive Palliative Care Unit and Program Director of the University of Calgary Residency Program in Palliative Medicine. In 2018 she moved to Kingston, Ontario.
Leonie’s work in palliative care focuses on increasing capacity for access to high quality palliative care through program development, models of care, education standards, improving awareness regarding the benefits of early palliative care, and normalizing dying and death as a natural part of life.
Over the past 15 years, Leonie has been actively involved in growing and building the discipline of palliative medicine at a national level. She co-founded the new Royal College Subspecialty in Palliative Medicine and is now the Chair of the Royal College Specialty Committee for Palliative Medicine. She has contributed to the development of both federal and provincial policy and legislation related to palliative care, including consultations with the federal government on Bill C277 and Health Canada to establish the National Framework for Palliative Care in Canada and its Action Plan.
Leonie is Past-President of the national specialty society for palliative physicians, the Canadian Society for Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) where she served as a peer-elected member of the Board of directors for over 9 years, with 6 years on the Executive Board of Directors and 4 years in the President track. She was CSPCP President from 2018-2020. She has been invited as an expert witness to various parliamentary committees regarding the impacts of legalization, implementation and expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada, including Bill C7 and the federal government’s 2022 Statutory Review of Medical Assistance in Dying.
She is passionate about advocating for the integrity of holistic palliative care and maintaining its distinction from euthanasia, ensuring Canadians have a right to ‘medical assistance in living’. She has written multiple academic articles & book chapters, editorials and general media pieces about palliative care, and has been an invited speaker to various international parliaments and government committees, medical associations, and international academic meetings, including Australia, New Zealand, France, and the UK.
Leonie is mother to 5 wonderful children, loves adventure and the outdoors, especially hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking.