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New measures put in place to make access to cancer care easier


Compiled by Shari Narine







An Aboriginal Patient Navigator and a Regional Aboriginal Cancer Lead offered by the Regional Cancer Care Northwest and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre will help improve cancer care among First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities in Northwestern Ontario. The two services are identified in Cancer Care Ontario’s three-year Aboriginal Cancer Strategy II as vital components for helping Indigenous people access and make their way through the cancer system and to enhance their knowledge, awareness, and experience throughout their cancer journey. “The health outcomes of Aboriginal people are disproportionately lower than those of non-Aboriginal Ontarians,” said Alethea Kewayosh, director, Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit, Cancer Care Ontario. It is believed that these new resources will work together to change that. The Aboriginal Patient Navigator will facilitate and coordinate access to culturally appropriate cancer services, work to address the cultural and spiritual needs of patients and their families, and network with FNIM and non-Aboriginal partners, while the Regional Aboriginal Cancer Lead will focus on successful engagement and collaboration across varying primary care settings and advocate for and address the primary care needs of people in their regions.