Jessica Simon

Jessica Simon




Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Oncology

Contact information


Educational Background

Bach of Med and Surgery Medicine, University of Edinburgh, 1995

Bach of Med Sci Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh, 1992


Dr. Jessica Simon is Associate professor and Division head for Palliative Medicine at the University of Calgary. She co-leads programs of research, primarily in Palliative Care and in Advance Care Planning. She is Physician Consultant for Advance Care Planning and Goals of Care, in the Calgary Zone of Alberta Health Services. Clinically, she works as a palliative care consultant physician in Calgary's hospitals.


Areas of Research

Area of Focus
  • Advance Care Planning
  • Palliative Care
Summary of Research

Palliative care is defined by the World Health Organization as, “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual." Dr. Simon co-leads the Palliative Care Early and Systematic (PaCES) Project, which aims to improve the quality of life for Albertans with advanced cancer. Funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Alberta Health, this knowledge translation project is adapting, implementing and evaluating evidence-based practices for delivering early and systematic palliative care. We aim to by increasing the number of patients receiving earlier palliative care to improve patient outcomes and decrease health system inefficiencies.

Advance care planning (ACP) is a process that supports adults at any age or stage of health in understanding and sharing their personal values, goals, and preferences regarding their medical care and is key in achieving patient and family centered care. Dr. Simon co-led the ACP CRIO program, an Alberta Innovates-funded team of researchers and knowledge end-users who worked together on "Advance Care Planning and Goals of Care Alberta: a population based Knowledge Translation (KT) intervention study." Over six years (April 2013 to Oct 2019) we studied the Alberta Health Services-led implementation of a provincial policy on ACP and Goals of Care Designations in Alberta and explored how to optimally implement widespread uptake of a formalized ACP framework, across a large population and throughout a complex, multi-sector healthcare system. Our impact report can be found at


  • award, 2016
  • Distinction, 2016
  • prize, 2016
  • award, 2014