New Regional Cancer Plan Unveiled


THUNDER BAY – The new Regional Cancer Plan highlights nine key strategies that will have a significant impact on the care cancer patients will receive by 2015. “Our vision is to deliver Exceptional Cancer Care. Patients and families in our region will see a significant difference in the next four years,” says Michael Power, Regional Vice President, Cancer Care Ontario, Vice President, Regional Cancer and Diagnostic Services at TBRHSC. “In 2015, we will see new, one-stop cancer screening services, new state-of-the-art equipment in radiation therapy, more personalized medicine and treatment options, new electronic tools for patients, and offer patients access to their own health records, to name some of our plans.”

This Regional Cancer Plan is a direct response to both the Cancer Care Ontario plan launched in April 2011, and TBRHSC’s strategic plan launched earlier this month. “This plan is aligned with the Cancer Care Ontario’s vision to work together to create the best cancer system in the world. It is a strategic approach with goals that are aligned with the provincial action plans,” says Pat Lang, member of the board, Cancer Care Ontario.

Right now, Regional Cancer Care Northwest has some of the lowest wait times in the province for chemotherapy, surgery and radiation treatment. By 2015, the new plan commits to decreasing wait times even more substantially.

“This plan will ensure we are able to continue to ease the anxiety for cancer patients in our region,” says Andrée Robichaud, President and CEO, TBRHSC. “For example, this plan commits to building a new Palliative Care Program, improving access to counseling services, and increasing the percentage of surgical patients treated within optimal wait time to 90% (up from the current 87%),” she adds.

This plan is the result of nine months of consultation with patients, families, First Nations, healthcare providers, and staff throughout Northwestern Ontario. Dawn Powell is a cancer survivor and Patient Family Advisor at TBRHSC, she says: “I am very proud to have been part of this process, identifying real patient needs. My voice has been heard and this is a very achievable plan.”

“Today our excellent team of healthcare providers, nurses, oncologists and staff have put forth this roadmap to improve cancer services. We are all very committed to this plan,” says Dr. Dimitrios Vergidis, Chief of Oncology.

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