Sports & Health

Advancing cancer care

The Cancer Centre at Oak Valley Health’s Markham Stouffville Hospital has joined the Princess Margaret (PM) Cancer Care Network.

This partnership marks a significant milestone, positioning Oak Valley Health as the fourth cancer centre in Canada to become part of the PM Cancer Care Network.

Together, they aim to bring expertise and access to a comprehensive range of cancer services, clinical trials, and ground-breaking research to the vibrant Markham, Stouffville, and surrounding communities.

The partnership will also break down barriers to provide seamless access to cutting-edge clinical trials, advanced molecular testing and profiling, and the invaluable opportunity for second opinions at Oak Valley Health.

Dr. Keith Stewart, Vice President of Cancer at UHN and Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, said: “This partnership represents a transformative bond between our institutions, revolutionizing our approach to patient care. We are thrilled to establish collaboration for clinical trials, molecular testing, and knowledge exchange that will benefit the patients of Oak Valley Health.”

The Cancer Centre at Oak Valley Health is a growing program with 14 systemic therapy chairs, supported by five medical oncologists, two malignant haematologists and three nurse practitioners, as well as a strong inter-professional team. The clinic has seen an 11-14 per cent annual increase in patient volumes, with growth across most care bundles. Oak Valley Health prides itself on its partnerships with regional and tertiary centres, which supports ongoing academic excellence, quality, and safety for patients and families. Oak Valley Health supports timely access to care for all of our patients close to home and with a family and patient-centred approach.

“This partnership gives Oak Valley Health the opportunity to collaborate and share the expertise and resources of a renowned cancer centre, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, while allowing our patients to receive care close to home,” says Terri Stuart-McEwan, Vice President, Clinical Programs and Chief Nurse Executive at Oak Valley Health. “This partnership is about an integrated approach to improving cancer care, patient outcomes, and experiences.”

Dr. Andrea Bezjak, a radiation oncologist and Medical Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network, encapsulated the partnership’s vision, stating, “Our aim is to address currently unmet needs of patients through facilitating collaborative care and research. This partnership is not a substitute nor replacement to existing initiatives and relationships but moves forward the Ontario Health mandate at a local level.”

“With the additional supports that will come from this partnership , we will have more resources for multidisciplinary care, improved ease to participate in and refer for clinical trials, and have the opportunity to work closely with some of the brightest cancer experts in the world,” says Dr. Mateya Trinkaus, a medical oncologist and oncology lead at Oak Valley Health. “This is an excellent opportunity for our cancer centre, hospital, and communities.”

Both the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Oak Valley Health are cancer centres aligned with the provincial priorities outlined by Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario). This partnership heralds a future dedicated to innovation and excellence in cancer care for Markham and surrounding communities.

The existing members of the Network, including Southlake Regional Health Centre, Grand River Hospital, and Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services, stand as a testament to the value of the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network.

 

Photo: Dr. Andrea Bezjak, medical director, Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network, Elena Pacheco, vice president and chief operating officer, and Dr. Keith Stewart, vice president of cancer at UHN and director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

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