THUNDER BAY – There are few families in Northwestern Ontario who have not been touched by cancer. The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has announced “Big changes are expected for those living with cancer in the Northwest in 2015. A focus on personalized medicine, more targeted treatment, e-health and integrated cancer screening are only a few of the changes we can expect to hear more about in the northwest over the next 5 years, according to the new Ontario Cancer Plan (OCP)”.
Today the province’s new cancer plan was presented to physicians and staff in the northwest region via live videoconference from Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and hosted by Terrence Sullivan, President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario.
The new provincial plan ensures our cancer system serves the changing and growing needs of all Ontarians, by outlining priorities to transform cancer services from the patient perspective. It is driven by a commitment to quality across the cancer journey – from prevention to survivorship or palliative care – as the most effective way to manage cancer.
“For the past six years we have expanded capacity and improved access to high quality cancer services to meet the growing needs of Ontarians,” said Terrence Sullivan, president and CEO, Cancer Care Ontario. “With this strong foundation, we are now focusing more on meeting the needs of patients and increasing access to new developments in personalized medicine.”
In a special portion of the presentation today, Michael Power, Regional Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario and Glenn Craig, President and CEO of Health Sciences Foundation, together presented Terrence Sullivan with the new Amethyst Award, in honour of outstanding contributions to Regional Cancer Care Northwest.
“Dr. Terry Sullivan inspired the new Amethyst Award for his commitment to quality and improvement in the cancer system. During his tenure, Ontario’s first Aboriginal Cancer Strategy was founded; he led the introduction of colorectal cancer screening; significant reductions in radiation and surgical wait times were achieved across Canada, to name only a few of his outstanding contributions,” says Michael Power, Regional Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario and Vice President of Cancer and Diagnostic Services at TBHRSC. “Others in the region and the province will be recognized in months and years to come, and Dr. Sullivan will be the first to be honoured on the Amethyst Wall of Recognition,” Power adds.
The Amethyst Wall of Recognition will be designed and created within the cancer center at TBRHSC, and will be located near reception, in the same corridor where Lance Armstrong’s jersey is mounted.
Along with the award, Terrence Sullivan was presented with a traditional birch bark basket in honour of his leadership in founding the province’s first Aboriginal Cancer Care Strategy.
In November, Cancer Care Ontario announced that Terrence Sullivan will step down as President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario, effective January 17, 2011. Michael Sherar, Vice President, Planning and Regional Programs, Cancer Care Ontario, has been named the new President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario.