Important step in improving cancer care for province's Aboriginal
TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) today announced
an important step in improving cancer care among Ontario's First
Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) communities with the appointment of
Aboriginal Patient Navigators and Regional Aboriginal Cancer Leads in
four key regions of the province that are home to significant FNIM
The Navigators and Leads are dedicated healthcare workers offering
individualized assistance to help residents overcome healthcare system
barriers and facilitate timely access to care for FNIM patients and
families in the Champlain, North West, North East and Erie St. Clair
"Aboriginal Patient Navigators and Regional Cancer Leads were identified
in CCO's three-year Aboriginal Cancer Strategy II as vital components in delivering on our priorities of improving
support and access within the cancer system for FNIM people and
enhancing their knowledge, awareness, and experience throughout their
cancer journey," said Dr. Linda Rabeneck, Vice President, Prevention
and Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario.
The appointments are part of a focused CCO effort to help FNIM peoples
overcome their higher cancer incidence and mortality rates and better
navigate the complexities of the cancer system by building more
cultural competency into the system and bridging the divide between
healthcare providers and their Aboriginal patients.
"The health outcomes of Aboriginal people are disproportionately lower
than those of non-Aboriginal Ontarians," said Alethea Kewayosh,
Director, Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit, Cancer Care Ontario. "The
Aboriginal Patient Navigators and Regional Cancer Leads will help FNIM
peoples better understand cancer and the need to follow their treatment
plans, provide improved support to help them more effectively cope
emotionally, psychologically and physically with their cancer and
potentially improve treatment results."
"Aboriginal Cancer Navigators and Leads will help strengthen our efforts
to increase access, equity and quality within the cancer system," said
Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "These new
positions will provide Aboriginal cancer patients and their families
with the knowledge and supports they need to make decisions about their
course of care."
Both the Aboriginal Patient Navigators and the Regional Aboriginal
Cancer Leads will be based in the Regional Cancer Programs and will
work with existing Aboriginal health networks in these areas to engage
their FNIM patients and actively implement the Aboriginal Cancer
The Aboriginal Patient Navigators will facilitate and coordinate access
to cancer services, ensuring care is culturally appropriate, work to
address the cultural and spiritual needs of patients and their families
and network with FNIM and non-Aboriginal partners.
The Regional Aboriginal Cancer Leads will focus on successful engagement
and collaboration across varying primary care settings and advocate for
and address the primary care needs of FNIM people in their regions.
The second Aboriginal Cancer Strategy is a renewal of CCO's commitment
to prevent cancer by promoting healthy living, to catch it early
through screening and detection services and to make sure those who do
get cancer live longer and healthier lives, receiving better care every
step of the way.
Backgrounder - http://www.cancercare.on.ca/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=253361
Cancer Care Ontario - an Ontario government agency - drives quality and continuous
improvement in disease prevention and screening, the delivery of care
and the patient experience, for cancer, chronic kidney disease and
access to care for key health services. Known for its innovation and
results-driven approaches, Cancer Care Ontario leads multi-year system
planning, contracts for services with hospitals and providers, develops
and deploys information systems, establishes guidelines and standards
and tracks performance targets to ensure system-wide improvements in
cancer, chronic kidney disease and access to care.
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SOURCE: Cancer Care Ontario
For further information:
Cancer Care Ontario