Barry Ashpole is an educator and communications consultant living in Ontario, Canada. Now semi-retired, he has been involved in hospice and palliative care since 1985. He is perhaps best known for Media Watch (2008-2022), his weekly annotated list of current articles, reports, etc., on end-of-life care culled from news media and specialist publications in the fields of health care, social services, and related fields. International in scope and distribution, the report was intended as an advocacy, research, and teaching tool. For two decades, he contributed a monthly selection of Media Watch articles to the IAHPC Newsletter.
As an educator, Mr. Ashpole developed and taught in-class and online courses for frontline care providers on aspects of end-of-life care at Niagara College of Applied Arts & Technology (2004-2010), Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning (2005-2008), and Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology (2012-2016). Course subjects included: communication, consent and informed decision-making; ethical and legal aspects of end-of-life care; psychosocial aspects of end-of-life care; and death, grief, and bereavement. Mr. Ashpole has also facilitated workshops, primarily for frontline care providers, on care planning, the family caregiver, and advocacy. He lectured in Singapore on end-of-life care at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics (within the National University of Singapore) and the Lien Centre for Palliative Care.
As a communications consultant, he has undertaken a broad range of initiatives, one of which resulted in the Canadian government's Compassionate Care Benefit for family caregivers. In 2005, he completed two environmental scans—on advance care planning and information needs of family caregivers—for the then Health Canada’s Secretariat for Palliative Care. In 2015, he contributed to a needs assessment of bereaved children living in one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse regions of Canada.
Mr. Ashpole was editor of the Pain Management Newsletter (1988-2002), a single-sponsored publication focused primarily on clinical issues in pain and symptom management of the terminally ill. He has edited or produced educational publications for health care professionals and the lay public, such as, The Palliative Patient: Principles of Treatment (2000) and Journeys: A Series of Booklets on Dying at Home (2001). He contributed a section to the fifth edition of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine (2015) on “Communication with the Public, Policy Makers and the Media.” He also served on key committees as an active member of the then Ontario Palliative Care Association (1996-2007).
He is an IAHPC lifetime member, and joined the IAHPC Board in January 2023.
Mr. Ashpole is an enthusiastic record collector focused on Italian opera, particularly the works of Giuseppe Verdi. From 1993-2015, he was editor of the peer-reviewed journal of the Association of Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), a US-based organization with an international membership, for which he received a distinguished service award. He has authored and presented widely on operatic topics, and developed a community college course on Italian opera. He published Gigli: The Master Tenor, authored by the late Colin Bain, that received an ARSC award for Best Historical Research in Recorded Classical Music in 2022.