At last week's event at Grand River Regional Cancer Centre (GRRCC): (L to R) Clinical Manager, Chemotherapy, Colleen Graham, GRRCC; Calvin, D'souza, Planning Associate Transformation & Strategic Partnerships, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PM); Dr. Gregory Knight, Chief of Oncology, GRRCC; Dr. Keith Stewart, VP Cancer, UHN and Medical Director, PM; Jane Martin, VP of Regional Programs & Clinical Support Services and Regional VP, Waterloo Wellington Regional Cancer Program; Donna VanAllen, Director, Cancer Program and Regional Director, Waterloo Wellington Regional Cancer Program and CCO - Outpatient Clinics; Dr. Andrea Bezjak, Medical Director, Princess Margaret Care Network. (Photo: Grand River Hospital & Foundation)

Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network welcomes new partner

The Grand River Regional Cancer Program (Grand River) is the second cancer program in the province to join the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network, to share world-class expertise and bring enhanced access to cancer services, clinical trials, and research to the residents of Waterloo Wellington.

"This partnership will strengthen ties between our two centres and provide streamlined access to clinical trials, advanced molecular testing, and other innovations for patients being seen at the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre," says Dr. Keith Stewart, VP Cancer, UHN, and Director of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Under an agreement, PM and Grand River will work together to leverage both centres' respective strengths, resources and expertise; and continue to improve cancer care and access for Ontarians.

"We're thrilled to join the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network and continue the great work happening locally," says Dr. Gregory Knight, Grand River Regional Cancer Centre Chief of Oncology. "This partnership will enable care teams across participating organizations to collaborate, share information and resources and create new opportunities for care and research for the patients we serve."

"The aim of the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network is to facilitate access to knowledge, expertise, and innovations available in our centre, while supporting collaborative care and existing relationships and initiatives," says Dr. Andrea Bezjak, Medical Director of the PM Cancer Care Network.

As regional cancer centres, Grand River and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PM) are part of a provincial network working in tandem with Ontario Health. This new partnership will not replace existing provincial networks, and will continue to support advancement of the Ontario Cancer Plan.

The PM Cancer Care Network offers unique benefits to healthcare providers by enhancing access to educational materials, resources, customized courses and workshops, as well as second opinions and e-consults; access to tumour boards for complex cases; jointly hosted virtual care consults, and access to Adolescent and Young Adult Resources through connecting with patient support and advocacy groups.

"This partnership demonstrates our strategic commitment to relentlessly pursue strong partnerships and innovative solutions to deliver exceptional health care experiences for patients," says Jane Martin, VP, Clinical and Diagnostic Services at Grand River Hospital and RVP Waterloo Wellington Regional Cancer Program.

Stronach Regional Cancer Centre (SRCC) at Southlake Regional Health Centre was the first member to join the PM Cancer Care Network in June 2022. Learn more about the Network.

Diana Do, Michener's People and Culture Coordinator, participated in the People of Michener series this month. Diana sees the series as an important outlet for staff and students. (Photo: UHN)

People of Michener series helps community stay connected, share personal stories

The Michener Institute of Education at UHN has launched a series called People of Michener where staff and students tell their personal stories about the moments in their lives that led them to Michener and health care education.

The goal of the series, which was launched by Michener's Communications team last year, was to bring the institute's community closer together and learn more about their peers and colleagues – especially when work and classes were still virtual.

The series has resonated with Michener's audience, and staff and students are reaching out to the Communications team to tell their personal stories. Today, the series continues as a regular feature on Michener's blog, with new stories appearing every two weeks.

"I'm so grateful to be part of this series," says Diana Do, Michener's People and Culture Coordinator. "It's a way for me to connect with my colleagues on a deeper level.

"I feel like they can get to know me outside of my work role and learn my personal story through this series."

The People of Michener stories are from the heart, and staff and students share both beautiful and difficult moments about their lives and family history. These stories celebrate diversity, community, family and a shared passion for helping others.

Alicia Alvares is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Lung Transplant Program at UHN and a liver transplant recipient. She wears green to honour all donors and to celebrate the second chance at life she was given through the gift of organ donation. (Photo: UHN)

Green Shirt Day honours memory of Humboldt Broncos bus crash victims

UHN celebrated its fifth annual Green Shirt Day on April 7, inviting staff to wear green in support of organ and tissue donation.

The annual day of remembrance started five years ago, after the Humboldt Broncos hockey team was in a devastating bus crash in Saskatchewan, leaving 16 dead and another 13 injured.

One of those who died in the crash was Logan Boulet, who told his parents prior to his death that he wanted to be an organ donor. When he died, his organ donation saved six lives and resulted in almost 150,000 new Canadians registering to become organ donors.

Since 2019, April 7th has been known as "Green Shirt Day," a day to honour Logan and the victims' memory and inspire Canadians to talk to their families about registering for organ donation. The first Green Shirt Day resulted in another 100,000 across Canada registering as organ donors.

On average, every one person who registers their intent to donate speaks with another four about registering. In Ontario, nearly 1,400 people are on the list waiting for a lifesaving organ donation, and every three days, someone will die waiting for an organ transplant.

At UHN, the Ajmera Transplant Centre – one of the largest programs in North America – performs more than 600 transplants per year and provides world-class follow-up care to more than 7,000 transplant recipients across Canada.

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