Manitoba Continues to Expand Cancer Care Hubs, adds Staff, Brings Access to Care Closer to Home for more Manitobans

September 30, 2013

Next Step in $40-million Strategy to Reduce Cancer Wait Times: Oswald

Access to cancer diagnosis, treatment and information continues to improve across Manitoba as cancer hubs open in the Interlake-Eastern region, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.

“We are reinventing the way we deliver health care with a patient-focused, patient-driven approach that will improve care and help to reduce stress for patients and their families,” said Oswald.  “We are listening to patients and we are better connecting them with the care and support they need to accelerate an early diagnosis and early detection, by supporting treatment closer to home.”

The Regional Cancer Program Hub now open in Selkirk will serve the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (RHA) through ties to the Gimli and Pinawa Community Cancer Program Hubs and the Eriksdale Community Resource Centre.  These sites will offer patients access to support and nurse navigators to help people deal with the stress and anxiety a cancer diagnosis may bring.  They will also have a lead clinician, who will be the region’s primary contact for cancer expertise and will connect local care providers in facilities across the region to expert help at centres like CancerCare Manitoba through video conferencing options such as Telehealth.

This has proven very successful at Boundary Trails Health Centre, where the province’s first Regional Cancer Program Hub was launched in 2011, the minister said.  Both patients and care providers report better communication and support, less stress and overall better care for those facing cancer.

“Co-ordinated actions now mean expedited cancer diagnosis, treatment and support care is more accessible than ever in the Interlake-Eastern RHA,” said Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, president and chief executive officer  of CancerCare Manitoba.  “Now patients, their local caregivers and our experts are better connected, reducing delays and offering comprehensive services to help patients at all stages of the cancer journey.”

The team being introduced in the Interlake-Eastern RHA includes two nurse navigators, a social worker specializing in counselling cancer patients and their families, as well as a community liaison with a focus on the delivery of culturally sensitive care and expertise in co-ordinating supports and services.  Through improved co-ordination of resources, patients will save time and money by reducing the need to travel to Winnipeg for multiple appointments.

“Facing a cancer diagnosis can be shocking, confusing and frightening,” said John Stinson, chief executive officer, Interlake-Eastern RHA.  “The Eriksdale program has proven the effectiveness of the Cancer Navigation Services team approach in helping people better understand their diagnoses and the options for care and treatment available to them.  That understanding and support goes a very long way towards helping people take on the challenges that cancer often presents.”

Cancer Navigation Servicesare part of the $40-million Cancer Patient Journey Initiative(commonly known as In Sixty) announced by the Manitoba government in 2011.  It is a partnership including the Province of Manitoba, CancerCare Manitoba, Diagnostic Services of Manitoba, regional health authorities of Manitoba, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers and other health-care providers.  The goal of the initiative is to reduce the time from clinical suspicion of cancer to first treatment to 60 days or less.

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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of CancerCare Manitoba, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority and the Government of Manitoba.


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