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Provinces Join Forces to Improve Cancer Care for Patients

first_imgNova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador will work together to better understand the impact of cancer and improve care for patients. The three provinces have been awarded $1 million, over three years, from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC), through Health Canada, for the project. “Atlantic Canada has many similarities, including delivery of health services, populations that are a mix of rural, remote and urban, as well as having a greater percentage of adults over the age of 65 than other provinces,” said Dr. Janice Howes, project lead and psychosocial oncology clinical lead for Cancer Care Nova Scotia. “Over the next three years, we will engage clinical leaders, administrators, health care providers and patients in our respective provinces to identify, measure and treat patient distress.” Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will build on the Screening for Distress Program. It includes a patient questionnaire about psychosocial, practical and physical concerns, and a conversation with health professionals. The patient will be asked about their health in four areas: anxiety; depression; fatigue; and pain. After identifying potential problem areas, the team will develop education sessions to help patients address concerns. The Screening for Distress Program in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will expand to re-screen patients after their cancer treatment. This time has long been recognized as a period of transition and uncertainty. Newfoundland and Labrador will develop a Screening for Distress Program, which will include tracking whether patients receive the recommended treatment for distress. Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will help develop and implement the program. “Our goal is to work with health system partners, patients and families to find ways to improve the experience of patients in the cancer control system in Canada,” said Dr. Heather Bryant, vice-president of cancer control at Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. “We believe Cancer Care Nova Scotia and cancer programs in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador will play a crucial role in improving patient lives by engaging patients and families and aligning the needs and experiences of patients with how and where their health care is provided.” The project will focus on the Cape Breton Cancer Centre in Sydney, the Capital Health Cancer Care Program in Halifax, the Prince Edward Island Cancer Treatment Centre and satellite clinic, and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Cancer Care Program Eastern Health. Cancer Care Nova Scotia, a program of the Department of Health and Wellness, was created in 1998 to facilitate quality cancer prevention and care for all Nova Scotians. It supports health professionals in providing patients with high quality care. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, a federally-funded agency, works in partnership with Canada’s cancer community to reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians.last_img read more