News Release – from Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) Oncology Symptom Management Clinic, in partnership with Hospice Simcoe, was awarded the 2021 Cancer Quality of Ontario Council Award which is sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society in partnership with Ontario Health, Cancer Care Ontario.
The award was received for the clinic’s work to ensure more patients are connected to quality palliative care across the region in their home communities and creating a meaningful impact on patients and their families.
“This initiative is so incredibly important to bridge the gap in palliative referral services and guarantees patients requiring end of life care can be connected with a care provider in their own community,” says Nancy Savage, executive vice president, Patient & Family Experience & chief nursing executive, regional vice president, Ontario Health (CCO). “Palliative care is an emotional and complex issue and through this program, we are able to ensure cancer patients, and their families, have access to the care and supports they need.”
The program includes a full-time palliative care nurse to assist patients and their families on their care path. One of the most significant aspects of this initiative is that patients who do not have a family physician can access a care provider, usually within 24 hours, for pain and symptom management as well as end-of-life planning. The program is supported by ten community-based practitioners and a clerical navigator to assist in booking same-day consultations and tracking external referrals.
“We are pleased to partner with RVH to ensure individuals are connected to the services and care they need. This initiative is collaborative and responsive to needs of our community members,” says Kelly Hubbard, executive director Hospice Simcoe.
Photo: Natalie Baks, Patient Services Clerk; Dr. Kelly Emerson, Palliative Care Physician; Martha Cope, Operations Director, Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program and Mental Health & Addictions Program; Nancy Savage, Executive Vice President Patient & Family Experience & CNE Regional Vice President, Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario); Dr. Christiaan Stevens, Medical Director and Head, Radiation Treatment Program Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program; Kelly Hubbard – Hospice Simcoe, Executive Director; Dr. Jacky Lai- Palliative Care Physician, Palliative Care Clinical Co-Lead; Michelle Taylor, Hospice Simcoe, Palliative Care Nurse Navigator. (submitted RVH)