CancerCare Manitoba
News Item

April 2, 2013

National Oncology Nurses Day April 2, 2013

CancerCare Manitoba nurses' innovation in care highlights this year's celebration

An increased number of treatments providing faster access to chemotherapy highlights the 10th annual National Oncology Nursing Day at CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB), as nursing staff work towards providing an additional 500 chemotherapy treatments per year. The nursing team at CCMB's St.Boniface hospital site is set to begin implementing a number of innovative strategies to increase access, such as holding chemotherapy treatment clinics on statutory holidays. This will result in up to 12 additional clinical days per year, or approximately 500 additional chemotherapy treatments, a significant benefit to patients.

"Oncology nurses are doing their part to make sure Manitobans continue to receive the expert care they need, when they need it," said Hon. Minister of Health, Theresa Oswald. "Providing more chemotherapy treatments at CancerCare Manitoba will help us provide even faster cancer care for patients."

Providing chemotherapy and other related treatments on statutory holidays at the CCMB St Boniface site will help to reduce strain on the cancer service system at both CCMB Winnipeg sites (St. Boniface Hospital and the 675 McDermot Street site.

"On behalf of CCMB's Oncology Nurses and the network of CCMB trained oncology nurses across Manitoba, I am especially proud of our dedicated nurses, and their ability to provide expert and holistic care to our patients," says Valerie Wiebe, Chief Nursing Officer of CCMB. "Our nurses are fully committed to providing the best cancer care there is."

Oncology nurses receive highly specialized training in the care and treatment of cancer patients. As a result, approximately 120 Winnipeg based oncology nurses, and 50 rural oncology nurses at 16 communities in the CCMB Community Oncology Program network, bring cancer care and treatment for Manitobans closer to home, reducing patient travel and stress.

To share their expertise, nurses from CCMB have partnered with regional health authorities across the province to disseminate best practice oncology nursing knowledge, and have also been collaborating with the University of Manitoba and Red River Community College to provide mentorship and training to senior nursing students and nurse practitioners.

Weekly, province wide meetings with participants in attendance from across Manitoba, either in person or by TeleHealth, are also being used to augment oncology nursing knowledge across the province.

Thanks to their expertise and innovation, CCMB's oncology nurses have an important role in improving the cancer system in Manitoba, as part of the Cancer Patient Journey Initiative. Unique in Canada, the $40M initiative is meant to reduce wait times for cancer treatment, through cross jurisdictional, system wide improvements.

"Thanks to the ongoing dedication of oncology nurses, and innovative ideas looking at extended clinical hours on stat holidays and enhancing specialty training, we will reduce the wait for cancer treatment and services in Manitoba," says Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, President and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba. "Through collaboration and hard work we will improve the cancer journey for all Manitobans."

Funding required for innovative strategies to expand chemotherapy clinics or to provide therapy on statutory holidays will come out of existing CCMB budgets.

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