Tuesday, August 12, 2014

More resources for cancer patients in the North

Alan McLauchlan, Mayor of The Pas, Health Minister Erin Selby, Helga Bryant, chief executive officer of the Northern Regional Health Authority, Doug Lauvstad, board chair, Northern Regional Health Authority and Dr. Sri Navaratnam, chief executive officer and president of CancerCare Manitoba announce new cancer hubs will soon be operating in The Pas and Thompson

August 11, 2014


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New Hubs to Open Later this Year in The Pas, Thompson

THE PAS—Cancer patients and their families in northern Manitoba will have enhanced cancer treatment and care when new cancer hubs open in The Pas and Thompson later this year, Health Minister Erin Selby announced here today.

“When someone is faced with a cancer diagnosis, it’s important they have quick access to treatment and information,” said Minister Selby.  “The new cancer hubs will be made up of care providers working together to help people across the north get the care they need, when they need it and closer to home.”

The Northern Regional Health Authority Regional Cancer Program hubs will be located in Thompson and The Pas.  Community cancer program hub services will continue to be offered in Flin Flon and will link to the regional hub services in The Pas and Thompson.

The expanded services will include two full-time nurse navigators, who will work out of The Pas and Thompson.  Additional services will be provided by a psychosocial oncology clinician, family physicians with a specialty in oncology, as well as a clerk and a community liaison.  It will cost up to approximately $770,000 annually for the front-line staff to support cancer patients in the region, the minister noted.

“Efforts to make this difficult journey for patients and families experiencing a cancer diagnosis smoother and barrier-free are greatly enhanced with the nursing and social worker supports the hubs provide,” said Helga Bryant, chief executive officer, Northern Regional Health Authority.  “We will welcome these new resources and the support they will provide once they are established in Thompson, The Pas/Flin Flon and outlying communities throughout the region.”

All front-line staff will receive training from CancerCare Manitoba and will support patients at critical points throughout their treatment, Minister Selby said.  The experts who staff cancer hubs will work with local health-care providers and patient navigators to co-ordinate quick diagnosis, treatment and followup for patients, she added.

The hubs will better co-ordinate care and offer some services close to home, reducing costs for patients who might have otherwise had to travel to Winnipeg to receive diagnosis or treatment, the minister said, adding that CancerCare Manitoba expertise will be more accessible to patients and health-care providers across the region.

“Through the IN SIXTY project, CancerCare Manitoba and Manitoba Heath, Healthy Living and Seniors have increased resources to provide meaningful support to the First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit communities to improve access and understanding of cancer services across the cancer spectrum, from prevention, screening, early diagnosis to care, palliative services or survivorship,” said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and CEO, CancerCare Manitoba.  “Working with local primary care providers and the Northern Regional Health Authority, we will improve the cancer journey for those who sometimes face geographic and cultural obstacles to care.”

The minister noted the hubs are part of the $40-million IN SIXTY initiative, which aims to improve the cancer patient journey by moving patients from suspicion of cancer to treatment in 60 days or less, while ensuring quality compassionate care for patients and family.

IN SIXTY is a partnership including the Manitoba government, CancerCare Manitoba, Diagnostic Services of Manitoba, Manitoba e-Health, regional health authorities, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers and other health-care providers.

The new hubs will build on work done to open hubs in western and southern Manitoba to improve access to cancer care services including hubs in Brandon, Dauphin, Selkirk, Steinbach and at Boundary Trails Health Centre.

For more information on the IN SIXTY initiative, visit

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