​Program Vision

Caregivers are central members of the cancer care team. They have many critical roles including emotional support, patient advocates, and care providers among others. Their critical role has never been more clear and their responsibilities are only increasing as more treatments are delivered in the outpatient setting.

Being a caregiver is often deeply rewarding; however, it can also be stressful. Caregiver distress and burnout is a serious concern and requires dedicated resources and supports.

At Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, we are making caregivers a priority. The Princess Margaret Caregiver Program is the first program in a cancer centre to comprehensively focus on caregivers through education, support and resources. This program is also an innovation hub for dedicated research to advance the science of the cancer caregiver experience.

The Caregiver Support and Skills Course

Central to the Princess Margaret Caregivers Program is the Caregiver Support and Skills Course. The Caregiver Support and Skills Course will be delivered online through Princess Margaret's learning management system, Cancer Classes Online. The course can be tailored to an individual caregiver's needs and journey. It aims to provide caregivers with information and tools to accomplish their caregiving role and promote their wellbeing.

The Caregiver Support and Skills Course includes topics such as:

  • Knowledge about cancer and treatment
  • Strategies for organizing daily dynamics
  • Decision-making skills
  • Strategies for self-care
  • Clinical care skills

The Caregiver Support and Skills Course will launch in Fall 2021.


If you would like further information about the program, please contact Janet.Papadakos@uhnresearch.ca


caregiver ecosystem web graphic, outlining different aspects of caregiver needs  

Advisory Committee

The Advisory represents the diverse specialties and expertise across the cancer program and includes current and former caregivers and patients.


  • Meredith Giuliani, Medical Director, Cancer Education; Radiation Oncologist
  • Janet Papadakos, Co-Director, Cancer Health Literacy Research Centre, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
    Provincial Head, Patient Education, Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario)


  • Kelly Anne Branco, Patient
  • Jennifer Croke, Radiation Oncologist
  • Jessica Danquah, Physician Assistant
  • Celina Dara, Clinical Site Leader, Pharmacy
  • Jennifer Deering, Nurse Practitioner, Head and Neck Cancer Site Group
  • Patrice de Peiza, Occupational Therapist
  • Melissa Gomes, ​Patient and Caregiver
  • Abha Gupta, Medical Director, Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program
  • Sarah Hales, Psychologist, Caregiver Clinic Co-Lead
  • Breffni Hannon, Lead, Palliative Care, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
  • Mary Hooey, Business Manager, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Caregiver

  • Jennifer Jones, Director, Cancer Rehab and Survivorship
  • Mike Lovas, Design Director, Healthcare Human Factors
  • Andrew Matthew, Senior Staff Psychologist
  • Susie Monginot, Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Anne Newman, Caregiver
  • Rinat Nissim, Psychologist, Caregiver Clinic Co-Lead
  • Tina Papadakos, Co-Director, Cancer Self-Management Research Centre, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
  • Andrea Pozo, Instructional Designer
  • Anca Prica, Hematologist and Site Lead, Lymphoma and Myeloma Program
  • Gary Rodin, Head, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care
  • Santhosh Thyagu, Medical Director, Acute Oncology Program

Studies Related to Caregiver Program

Ongoing Studies

Assessing the Comprehensive Training Needs of Informational Caregivers of Cancer Patients: A Qualitative Study
Investigating the Informational and Supportive Care Needs of Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers
The Experiences of Cancer Caregivers who are Newcomers with Limited Language Proficiency: A Scoping Review
What Are We Doing to Support Informal Caregivers? A Scoping Review of Caregiver Education Programs in Cancer Care


Published Studies


For caregivers of Princess Margaret patients, visit the Caregiver Clinic website for support and resources.

Want to know more about cancer? Visit Cancer Answers to search for information, and Cancer Classes Online to learn about cancer when you are ready.​​

Last reviewed: 10/24/2021
Last modified: 10/25/2021 7:42 AM