Anna Lee, Esther Fung, Yvonne Ta, Vivian Choy, Karen Chuk, winners  of this year’s 2013 Quality Award
Congratulations (from left to right) Anna Lee, Esther Fung, Yvonne Ta, Vivian Choy, Karen Chuk, winners
of this year’s 2013 Quality Award. (Photo: UHN Photographics)

A program relieving cancer patients of the complex system of reimbursing cancer drugs not publicly funded has landed the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre the 2013 Quality Award from the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario.

Congratulations to the leaders of this award-winning quality program:

- Vivian Choy, Manager, Outpatient Pharmacy, Princess Margaret, UHN
- Karen Chuk, Manager, Outpatient Pharmacy, Toronto General, UHN
- Esther Fung, Pharmacy Director of Corporate Business and Outpatient Operations
- Anna Lee, Drug Strategy Specialist, Outpatient Pharmacy Services, UHN
- Yvonne Ta, Medication Reimbursement Specialist, Princess Margaret, UHN

The pharmacy project team developed a three year oncology-focused Medication Reimbursement Specialist (MRS) pilot program to support and guide clinicians and patients through drug coverage and medication procurement processes.  Services were available to all patients, irrespective of drug coverage status, household income or clinical diagnosis.

"Cancer patients cope with many unfamiliar challenges during treatment and every effort of the inter-professional health care team to ease the way is vital," said Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director, Princess Margaret, UHN. "At Princess Margaret, we are extremely proud of the Pharmacy team that developed and implemented this innovative approach to help patients navigate a particularly challenging aspect of the cancer journey."

Measuring patient impact of MRS

From June 2010 to July 2012, the MRS conducted 538 patient consultations across 14 clinical oncology specialties. Coverage for the drug of choice was successfully granted for 98 per cent of all patients. The average turnaround time for drug access was 10 days versus the three-week to three-month turnaround time prior to the MRS role. The MRS position is now a permanent program at Princess Margaret.

Dr. Anthony Fyles and Dr. Tom Purdie
Congratulations to Dr. Anthony Fyles (left), Dr. Tom Purdie (right) and Grace Lee for receiving
this year’s Innovation Honourable Mention. (Photo: Donna Santos Photography)

An 'Honourable Mention'

Congratulations to the Princess Margaret Radiation Medicine Program Breast Site Group for receiving the Innovation Honourable Mention for developing and implementing the QuickStart Program, offering same-day radiotherapy planning and treatment for early stage breast cancer:

- Dr. Anthony Fyles, Radiation Oncology Site Leader
- Dr. Tom Purdie, Clinical Physicist
- Grace Lee, Clinical Specialist Radiation Therapist

The Quality and Innovation Awards is an annual event recognizing organizations or programs that have made significant improvements in the delivery of quality cancer care across the province. The Awards are sponsored by the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario (CQCO), Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) and the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division.

Learn more about the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario

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