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Below is a job position submitted to CAPO. Have a job position to promote and want to reach 1,200+ Psychosocial Oncology professionals across Canada? Contact [email protected] for more information. Posting is $150 and includes web listing and two email notifications.
Position title: Post Doctoral Fellow
Institution/Company: Jewish General Hospital
Complete address: 4333 Cote Ste Catherine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3T1E4
Position description: We are seeking an individual interested in developing research skills in the area of reproductive health, and in particular in the area of male fertility. The successful candidate will be involved in a CIHR-funded program of research that is developing a mobile health intervention to promote reproductive health in men facing fertility concerns either as part of a couple, or as a result of a cancer diagnosis and/or side effects of cancer treatment. Opportunities exist to participate in ongoing projects, but also to develop innovative ideas in this area of research, including the use of mobile technology for health promotion. The fellow will be part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers (psychologists, physicians, nurses, bioethicists, technology partners) and will also work closely with research assistants, graduate and undergraduate students. The fellow will have opportunities to develop supervisory and knowledge translation skills through active engagement with students and community partners.
How to apply: please send a cover letter describing your research interests and professional goals, a curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for three references to: Stephanie Robins ([email protected]), research coordinator for Dr. Zelkowitz.
BC Cancer is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. BC Cancer provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia in partnership with regional health authorities to deliver a range of cancer services, which include prevention, screening and early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. It operates six regional cancer centres in Surrey, Kelowna, Vancouver, Victoria, Abbotsford, and Prince George.
BC Cancer is an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) which plans, manages and evaluates specialty and province-wide health care services across BC. PHSA embodies values that reflect a commitment to excellence. These include: Respect people • Be compassionate • Dare to innovate • Cultivate partnerships • Serve with purpose.
Provincial Lead, Professional Practice and Patient Experience, Psychosocial Oncology
Regular Full Time
Reporting to the Provincial Director, Professional Practice Allied Health, the Provincial Lead is responsible for implementing BC Cancer’s strategies for excellence in operational issues related to Patient/Family Counseling and practice issues related to counseling which encompass practice, education, community engagement and research. The role provides strategic and operational leadership in relation to collaboration within the inter-professional team and has a key role in shaping policies to develop and support a strong inter-professional care model. The role fosters and supports the critical elements of a knowledge translation organization.
Provides strategic and operational leadership for the professional practice, psychosocial program.
Develops networks to enhance knowledge sharing, monitors operational/professional practice trends, identifies opportunities that promote innovation and partnerships for improvement, and ensures consistent quality and excellence in the delivery of services.
Develops, plans, implements and evaluates professional clinical standards and competencies, policies and procedures for professional practice in psychosocial oncology that align with program goals, and in collaboration with the Provincial Director, Professional Practice and other PHSA agencies.
Provides leadership and expert advice on staffing and care delivery approaches through inter-professional collaborative practice. Supervises staff operationally and/or clinically, determines performance expectations in collaboration with appropriate stakeholders, provides performance coaching and evaluation of relevant staff. Investigates work and staff issues and where necessary initiates disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Develops, recommends and manages budgets. Monitors expenditures, and is responsible for variance analysis reporting and financial variance reviews.
Collaborates with various schools and professional groups on broad practice issues related to education and curriculum design to promote recognition of psychosocial oncology.
Facilitates the development of both independent and collaborative investigator-driven research and actively supports clinician researcher participation in translational research activities within the Agency and university-affiliated institutions.
Education, Training and Experience
A level of education, training, and experience equivalent to a Master’s Degree in Social Work, Clinical or counselling Psychology, with five (5) years’ experience in leadership positions involving the development, implementation and evaluation of complex service delivery systems.
Skills and Abilities
Knowledge and experience in complex systems design, development and management.
Strong negotiation, mediation and facilitation skills.
Comprehensive understanding of workforce planning, education and workforce development issues regards to allied health professionals.
Excellent communication, problem solving, analytic and planning skills.
We invite you to apply by clicking on the link below, then on the “Apply Now” button where you can register for the first time or enter your Username and Password in order to re-access your profile on our system.
Applications will be accepted until this position has been filled.
For more information please contact Linda Hand, Lead Talent Acquisition at (604) 875-7216 or email [email protected]
For more information about BC Cancer, please visit the website at: www.bccancer.bc.ca
The PHSA is committed to employment equity and hires on the basis of merit. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals, including Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.
Under the direction of the CAPO Clinical Advisory Committee a working group of CAPO members has developing a position paper on MAID. This position statement is intended to clarify the role of psychosocial oncology services and psychosocial oncology clinicians in responding to patient inquiries about MAID. This paper can be accessed at:
CAPO MAID Position Statement PDF
We thank Drs Doris Howell, Keith Wilson, Madeline Li, Harvey Chochinov, Eric Wasylenko, Jennifer Bell, Jacynthe Rivest and Chad Hammond for their work on this position statement.
A CAPO webinar is being planned on this topic for 12pm EST, November 22, 2017. Details will be circulated at a later date.
CAPO is looking for in-kind support to translate this position statement into French. If members are aware of local resources available for in-kind translation services, please contact [email protected]
This annual award honours a CAPO/ACOP member who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the association, has made exceptional and enduring career contributions to Psychosocial Oncology.
Dr. Joan L. Bottorff is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Director of the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is a UBC Distinguished University Scholar, an Affiliate Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Her research program focuses on health promotion and health behaviour change particularly in the context of cancer prevention. Current projects center on developing more inclusive understandings of health behaviours and the development of gender-sensitive and gender-specific interventions to strengthen tobacco reduction among women and men, and to enhance cancer prevention initiatives targeting other health behaviours. This program of research, supported by the collaborative work of multidisciplinary teams and the involvement of knowledge users, has resulted in the development of innovative approaches to cancer prevention and new opportunities to reduce the burden of cancer.
This award recognizes individuals who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the Association, have made significant contributions to Psychosocial Oncology in the areas of clinical work.
Dr. Simpson obtained a BSc (Hons) in biochemistry from St. Andrews University, Scotland, in 1976. He completed his PhD in Immunochemistry in 1980 at the University of Wales Medical School in Cardiff, Wales. In 1980, he moved to Canada to study Endocrinology with Dr. Henry Friesen in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He moved to Virginia in 1983 and carried out similar studies with Dr. Maria Dufau of the National Institute for Child Health and Development at Bethesda, Maryland. While in Virginia he was also employed as a research scientist by Hazleton Biotechnology Company.
In 1986, Steve returned to Canada to study Medicine at the University of Calgary. He graduated in 1989 and completed a year of Internal Medicine at University of Calgary. In 1990 he began his residency training in psychiatry and completed his fellowship in the summer of 1994. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Oncology at the University of Calgary.
He has clinical appointments in the division of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Calgary Health Region, and the Psychosocial Resources department at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary since 1994. He is also a consulting Psychiatrist in the department of Patient and Family Counselling at the Fraser Valley Cancer Centre in Surrey, BC since 2012. He alternates his practice between these two settings.
His research interests are in psycho-oncology. He is currently working on projects looking at fatigue in cancer patients and is part of a team involved in addressing Cancer-Related Cognitive Impairment.
This award is made to recognize individuals who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the association, have made a significant contribution to education and training in psychosocial oncology in Canada.
Joan Hamilton is a clinical nurse specialist in cancer care in the Queen Elizabeth Health Science Centre of the Nova Scotia Health Authority in Halifax.
Joan did her undergrad nursing at Dalhousie and her Master’s of Science in Nursing at McGill in palliative care nursing.
Joan started her career in Vancouver in hematology and bone marrow transplant. She has worked in St. John’s Newfoundland, Halifax, Hamilton and Montreal in oncology and palliative care.
The focus of Joan’s work as a CNS is helping advance nursing practice through nursing education, mentoring, program development, research utilization, the integration of CPG, and small project group work with front line nurses. Joan’s areas of interest/expertise include cancer-related fatigue, sexual health changes, vaginal dilation teaching post pelvic radiation, helping parents explaining serious illness and death to children, advancing nurses communication skills, managing patient distress, infertility risk reduction and mouthcare.
Joan is a member of the cancer care psychosocial team and is an adjunct professor at Dalhousie. As well as being a member of CAPO, she is also a member of the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology as well as several of professional associations.
Joan has been in Halifax over the last 25 years where she and her husband have raised their children.
This award, formerly called the CAPO Award for Research Excellence was rebranded this year through generous support from The CIHR – Institute for Cancer Research. The Institute has signed a three-year agreement to fund this prestigious award.
The award is made to recognize an individual who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the association, has made a significant research contribution to Psychosocial Oncology.
Gary Rodin is the University of Toronto/University Health Network Harold and Shirley Lederman Chair in Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care and Head of the Department of Supportive Care at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Rodin is also the Director of the Global Institute of Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care (GIPPEC) and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He leads a clinical and research program on the psychosocial dimensions of advanced and terminal disease and on the development and evaluation of novel interventions to improve the quality of life and the quality of dying and death in this population. These integrated psychosocial and palliative interventions include Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM), a supportive-expressive psychotherapeutic treatment for patients with metastatic cancer and their caregivers, and an integrated emotion and symptom-focused intervention for individuals diagnosed with life-threatening hematological malignancies. Through GIPPEC, a University of Toronto Interdisciplinary Institute based at Princess Margaret, Dr. Rodin has established international partnerships in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East to contribute to global access to palliative and supportive care for patients and families facing advanced disease and the end of life. He has published widely in these areas and is recognized internationally for his efforts to improve the rigor of research and the effectiveness and availability of psychosocial and palliative interventions.
This award, formerly called the CAPO Early Career Award, was rebranded this year through generous support from The CIHR – Institute for Cancer Research. The Institute has signed a three-year agreement to fund this award.
The award honours a new investigator for outstanding contributions to research in the field of psychosocial oncology.
Dr. Shane Sinclair is an Associate Professor and Cancer Care Research Professor with the University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing. His research focuses on psychosocial and spiritual issues within oncology and palliative care, including his nationally funded program of research on compassion. Dr. Sinclair is a former Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Manitoba), current President of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology, a recipient of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care Award of Excellence in Research, a top 40 under 40 awardee and a recipient of the International Psychosocial Oncology Society New Investigator Award. Dr. Sinclair’s research on spiritual care has been instrumental in enhancing research capacity within the discipline of spiritual care, establishing an evidence based approach to spiritual care practice, and has contributed to policy development on a global level. His CIHR funded program of research on compassion developed the first patient informed empirical model of compassion; delineated between patients’ perspectives of sympathy, empathy and compassion; led to the reconceptualization of compassion fatigue and self compassion, and is currently focused on the development and validation of a patient reported compassion measure.
This annual award is given to honour a CAPO student member (or recent student) who has demonstrated excellence in his or her submission of an original paper. It is open to clinicians and researchers. The focus of the manuscript can be research, clinical, and/or education.
Nicole Racine has been awarded the Student Travel Award for her paper titled: Predicting Health-Related Quality of Life in Pediatric Cancer Survivors: Contributions to Parental Psychological Distress and Family Psychosocial Risk.
by Dr. Robin McGee, CKN Editor
An ongoing research project which tackles care delivery is the “Therapeutic Practices for Distress Management (TPDM) Project.” The inspiration of Dr. Deborah McLeod and a number of other researchers, this study examines the impact of psychosocial training on the practice of front-line oncology nurses and their work systems. (Full disclosure: I am a big fan of Dr. McLeod. As described in The Cancer Olympics, she co-led a support group of which I was a grateful participant. Also, I serve as one of the patient representatives on the project.)
What are the “four horsemen” of the cancer experience? Every patient knows them: pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Using her expertise as a nurse and Ph.D.-level training in counselling, Dr. McLeod developed online training modules for each topic. Nearly 70 oncology nurses in 5 major cancer centres across Canada spent 56 online hours aimed at developing their skill in truly listening and responding to cancer patients. Compared to a pre-training baseline, participating nurses had greater knowledge and confidence in their skills; as well, they showed observable increases in appropriate responsiveness during clinical roleplays.
The project also addressed the reality that nurses work within differing structures. Whereas some settings pair nurses with oncologists, some settings have nurses and doctors working apart. Settings vary tremendously in their hierarchies, operational flow, and on the importance they place on psychosocial issues. So for each centre, an Implementation Committee was formed comprised of key stakeholders (including patients) that examined the unique systemic factors at play. Not surprisingly, working cultures are significant determinants of the degree of psychosocial help patients get from front-line oncology nurses.
But what about the patient voice? “As an educator, I have been involved in seeking out and using patient narratives for learning forever,” says Dr. McLeod. To foster empathy and engagement, stories and dramatizations of patient struggles were used to reach the learners. One such story was “Simon’s romantic evening” in which a prostate cancer patient recounts his anguish in needing to use injections to address erectile dysfunction. “I had a nurse who had worked with prostate patients for 10 years,” Dr. McLeod recalls, “who responded to that narrative with ‘I had no idea what these men were going through!’” Opening the eyes of oncology nurses to the totality of the cancer experience helped hook them into learning, and into responsive care.
What are the key issues that CAPO ought to advocate for? Dr. McLeod, a longstanding member, hopes that CAPO will continue to develop and maintain their standards and guidelines of care. Along with advocating patient support by specialists like psychologists, she hopes they will continue to advocate for psychosocial support by generalists. “One of the biggest things,” she recommends, “CAPO ought to advocate for patient engagement and psychosocial care at every level of the health care team.”
Dr. Robin McGee (The Cancer Olympics, Twitter @TCOrobin), is a Registered Clinical Psychologist, mother, wife, educator and friend. Living in Nova Scotia, she has worked in health and education settings for over 25 years. Since entering remission, she has been very active in advocacy, mentorship, and fundraising on behalf of cancer patients. In particular, she has been involved in provincial, national, and international initiatives aimed at improving standards of cancer care. In 2015, she was awarded the Canadian Cancer Society’s highest honour, the National Medal of Courage. Robin was recently named the 2016 recipient of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada. Her book The Cancer Olympics has won five literary awards, and was recently listedamong the best 55 self-published books of 2015 by Kirkus reviews. Proceeds of sales go to cancer support programs. The Cancer Olympics is McGee’s first – and hopefully her last – memoir about her cancer experiences.
This annual award honours a CAPO/ACOP member who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the association, has made exceptional and enduring career contributions to psychosocial oncology. Prior to 2010 this award was called the CAPO Award of Excellence.
Gina MacKenzie has been a Social Worker for the past 40 years – almost 35 years in oncology at the BC Cancer Agency. She has been in a Clinical Coordinator/Practice Leader role since 1988 and in 2011 accepted the Provincial Director and Practice Leader position for Psychosocial Oncology. She led the development of the Patient and Family Counselling program at the Fraser Valley Centre and was involved in the planning and design of the new cancer centres in Abbotsford and Prince George, including Patient and Family Counselling at those locations.
She has been passionate about improving access to counselling services and care. This led to the development of the first interpreter program for people with cancer at the Agency, which is now available province wide. She has also led the development of web based programs for people with cancer, their families and health care professionals including the coping with cancer section on the Agency website, the Cancerinmyfamily.ca website for children when a family member is diagnosed with cancer and more recently Facts4Teens. She provided administrative support for CancerChatCanada when it was hosted and operated by the Agency and currently is involved with colleagues to develop courses online for new staff and community Social Workers. This passion also led to participating in the development of CAPO’s “Start the Talk”.
In the late 1990s, she became interested in distress screening and led the first pilot of a psychosocial screening program at the BC Cancer Agency. This pilot led to the development of a screening instrument which is part of the new patient consultation process provincially and currently is working with a team to use an electronic format.
Gina values ongoing learning and has been involved with CAPO conferences in Vancouver numerous times, either as a member of the planning committee or Chair. She was a member of the CAPO Education committee and a Board Member. She led the program in developing a Psychosocial Oncology Graduate level course which clinicians in the program co-taught at the UBC School of Social Work prior to the availability of IPODE courses.
In the past two years, she has increased the number of Psychiatrists and recruited the BC Cancer Agency’s first Provincial Professional Practice Leader for Psychiatry. She feels most fortunate to work with clinicians and practice leaders who are highly motivated to provide excellent care and open to possibilities for innovative practice.
This award is made to recognize individuals who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the association, have made significant contributions to clinical excellence in the field of psychosocial oncology in Canada.
Sarah Sample has worked as a clinical oncology social worker for over 23 years, and has been Professional Practice Leader for Patient and Family Counseling at the Vancouver site of the BC Cancer Agency since 2011. She chairs the BCCA Lymphoid Cancer Education Planning Committee and her work has been recognized by a Lymphoma Foundation of Canada Appreciation of Clinical Contribution to Lymphoma Patients and Families Award. She is also the treasurer of the BC Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction Society and developed the BCCA Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction course over 15 years ago.
Sarah is passionate about helping patients and is known to put aside her impressive titles to cover on-call duties or even the reception desk if that’s what’s needed to best serve BCCA patients on a particular day. She is also able to think outside-the-box to champion the needs of underserved patient groups. For example, she created the first Lesbian Cancer Support Group at a Canadian cancer centre.
Fortunately, some of Sarah’s skills have been passed on to many as she has been a clinical supervisor for the UBC School of Social Work and Family Studies for over 15 years and also supervises and teaches junior counselors. She has presented at CAPO and other conferences on topics including death anxiety, therapeutic touch, lesbian families affected by cancer, mindfulness, and young adults with cancer, and currently chairs the local organizing committee for CAPO 2017.
Sarah Sample is an outstanding model of innovative clinical leadership who is creating a growing legacy of clinical excellence in Psychosocial Oncology at the BCCA.
The CAPO Innovation Award honours the development of quality improvement and innovative clinical, educational, or organizational initiatives aimed at enhancing the performance of psychosocial cancer care or cancer prevention. Award submissions will be rated based on originality and scope, impact of initiative on processes, impact of initiative on stakeholders, meaningfulness, value for money and sustainability.
Dr. Carole Mayer is the Director of Research and Regional Psychosocial Oncology Lead of the Supportive Care Program at the Northeast Cancer Centre (NECC), Health Sciences North (HSN) in Sudbury, Ontario. She is also the Regional Lead for the Ontario Cancer Symptom Management Collaborative.
A social worker by discipline, she brings 30 years of health care experience with 27 years specializing in oncology.
Some of her achievements are leading: the implementation of Screening for Distress, 6th Vital Sign, for symptom management in 14 community chemotherapy clinics; new Models of Care for Breast and Colorectal Survivorship; the development of the Aboriginal Navigators’ roles in the cancer centre and hospital; Bridges to Better Breast Health, a breast health promotion campaign reaching over one million residents through multi-media. Establishing the need and developing one of the first Breast Diagnostic Clinics in Ontario. A founding member and advisor to the Circle of Strength, Sudbury Beast Cancer Support Group. Working collaboratively to develop and evaluate the use of the Ontario Telemedicine Network. Fostering and sustaining psychosocial/supportive care oncology programming.
Dr. Mayer says: “It has been more than a career; it is a commitment and passion for developing unique programming that best meets the needs of people affected by cancer living in urban, rural and remote communities across North- East Ontario. Of course I could not do this work without the wonderful team I work with”.
The CAPO Early Career Investigator Award honours a new investigator for outstanding contributions to research in the field of psychosocial oncology. Candidates must be within seven years of completing their postgraduate, fellowship or equivalent specialist training (defined as a PhD or MD or equivalent). Recipients are distinguished by the level and quality of research output at this early career stage.
Jennifer Brunet (PhD) is an Assistant Professor at the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa, a Research Member at the Institut de recherche de l’Hôpital Montfort, and an Affiliate Researcher at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Recognizing that physical activity is a key component for successful cancer prevention and treatment, her research goal is to reduce the growing burden of cancer in Canada through physical activity by producing findings of high scientific and applied merit.
She has conducted a series of projects to identify correlates and antecedents of physical activity behavior among people with cancer, as well as identify the mechanisms and processes by which these correlates and antecedents affect physical activity behavior (e.g., mediation and moderation effects) in order to enhance understanding and advanced knowledge of how to increase physical activity behavior. Consequently, she has used this knowledge to inform and design interventions aimed at changing physical activity behavior to enhance the quality of life of people with cancer and lessen the likelihood of them dying from cancer. She has also been involved in a number of projects aimed at testing the effectiveness of physical activity for people with cancer and developing evidence-based materials and guidelines to share knowledge that supports people in making healthy choices that will help them recover from cancer. For example, as a member of a working group facilitated by Cancer Care Ontario’s Program in Evidence-Based Care, she recently helped develop exercise guidelines for people with cancer to help bridge the gap between research and practice. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Charles Polanyi Prize in Medicine for her collective work in physical activity and cancer.
Jennifer is also dedicated to building capacity and expertise in the area of physical activity and cancer. Thus, she co-founded and co-directs the Psychosocial Oncology Group with Dr. Sophie Lebel at the University of Ottawa. The goal of the group is to create an active, knowledge-sharing, dynamic, and collaborative environment that inspires novel and practical research. Further, it is a place where researchers, health care providers, and trainees can engage in research-related activities and discussions focused on psychosocial oncology.
Dr. Sylvie Lambert is Assistant Professor at the Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University since August 2013. Dr. Lambert is also a Research Associate, St. Mary’s Research Centre. Her research focuses on 1) better understanding the substantial impact of a cancer diagnosis on patients’ and their caregivers’ well-being and functioning, 2) developing and evaluating illness self-management interventions that are sustainable to enhance translation in practice, 3) addressing the challenges of using patient reported outcomes in intervention programs, and the use of advanced psychometric approaches for improving the precision and efficiency of outcome evaluations.
Prior to entering the Psychosocial Oncology field in 2002, Dr. Lambert worked at the ICU. Even then, she was interested in how individuals cope and wanted to learn more in that area. Later, she joined McGill University as a graduate student under Dr. Carmen Loiselle’s supervision and completed her doctorate (2002 -2008). She completed her Postdoctoral training at the University of Newcastle under the supervision of Prof. Afaf Girgis (2009 – 2011). During this time she managed Australia’s first longitudinal study on the wellbeing of partners and caregivers, which documented the impact of caring for or living with a cancer survivor over the first five years following the initial diagnosis. After her postdoctoral studies, she joined the Translational Cancer Research Unit, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, University of New South Wales as National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Research Fellow (2011 – 2013) and became particularly interested in developing interventions for cancer caregivers. Her team developed and tested Coping-Together – a self-directed coping skills training intervention for patients with cancer and their spouse caregivers. She considers the development of Coping-Together as one of her greatest achievement.
Since Dr Lambert has returned to Canada she has continued to focus on developing and testing sustainable coping skills and self-management interventions for patients with cancer and their caregivers. She recently received funding from Prostate Cancer Canada to develop a web-based home-based exercise program and psychosocial self-management intervention for men with prostate cancer and their caregivers. She also plans to expand her research around patients and caregivers with low literacy and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Dr. Lambert acknowledges the support of Dr. Afaf Girgis, as she laid the foundation for her research career, helped her refine her research interests, mentored her in areas on how to initiate and manage a research study and more importantly how to become an independent researcher. She also recognizes Dr. Carmen Loiselle, as she accepted her as a graduate student and helped her enter the field. She stated “without them I wouldn’t be where I am today”.
When asked what she enjoys the most about her job, she said “I love what I do”. She admits that she feels that she is able to make a make a difference for patients and their families. Teaching and mentoring is another aspect of her work that she loves and is currently supervising nine graduate students (seven masters and 2 PhD) and teaching a course “Learning and Health Education”.
She stated “Psychosocial Oncology field is growing and in the right direction. More and more people are entering the field, and the Psychosocial issues are being valued by all – clinicians, researchers, patients and caregivers. We need to be innovative and find ways to address the issues, needs and understand what people really want”.
Dr. Lambert is a CAPO member because it is an arena where she can meet other researchers and clinicians in the field. The conference is a great opportunity to liaise with colleagues, and learn about their research. She particularly appreciates some of the new services, including the newsletter, Sosido, and profiling of the members. She wants to be more involved with the organization.
When asked what would be her advice to someone who is thinking about entering the profession, she said ‘The first step would be to find the mentor that matches your career interests and to find the research lab that meets your interests”.
Thanks to CAPO member and volunteer Dr. Violet D’Souza, University of Montreal, for writing this profile.
If you’re a current CAPO member and interested in being profiled, please contact the CAPO office with your name and email address.
Josée Charlebois is a social worker, currently working as an Intake Coordinator at the Ottawa Hospital Psychosocial Oncology Program (PSOP). She is part of the supportive cancer care team and is responsible for providing services to cancer patients and their family members.
Josée works with interdisciplinary healthcare professionals and is the point person for her colleagues in PSOP, as well as for other healthcare professionals within the clinic. Her day-to-day work involves crisis counselling for patients who receive cancer diagnoses. She meets with physicians and nurses, goes to the clinics, stops by if they need help, and helps in the best possible ways. She prioritizes the referrals received and makes referrals to appropriate resources that are available.
During her teen years, Josée lost her grandmother to cancer. She notes, “I saw her suffer and we suffered as a family. We could not help her, we did not know how to. There weren’t as many services or resources available as there are today, especially in the psychosocial side. There was no family support, no information concerning how to support the family member with cancer.” This personal cancer experience initiated Josée’s desire to change and improve the services for people with cancers. She wanted to make a difference to those who are affected by cancer.
Josée loves what she does at PSOP. When asked what she enjoyed most about her job, she said “No two days are the same and that is what I like about my work. I never know what to expect and that is the kind of environment I thrive in. The best part of my work is variety; I do different things every day. Although it can be challenging, it is also very rewarding.” She admits that another most rewarding and enjoyable attributes of her job is that she is able to make a positive impact on patients and their families. She stated “Although I cannot cure their cancer, I can make a difference in the lives of patients and their families. Knowing that I am contributing to the betterment in the lives of my patients makes me feel that my work is worthwhile.” Teaching is another thing that Josée really loves and she is able to pursue this at her current position. She is also involved in providing and developing patient education materials at The Ottawa Hospital and Cancer Care Ontario. Patient Navigation is another area that she is interested in and is looking to explore it further.
Josée considers developing and maintaining her Intake Position at PSOP to be one of her greatest accomplishments. She wants to continue to make a positive difference to the field in whatever possible way. Josée sees Diane Manii, the PSOP manager as a great mentor, good friend and the biggest influence in her career path. Diane encouraged her to develop knowledge and skills, helped her see the potential in her work and contributions to cancer care, and encouraged her to work hard while remembering to take care of herself. Josée stated “Diane gave me opportunities and believed in me and it has made me a stronger person. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for her.”
She admits that the Psychosocial Oncology field is getting more attention; however, there is still much room for development and improvement. Josée recognizes that in the recent years numerous efforts are being directed to the field of Psychosocial Oncology to address the challenges that cancer families face in this fast-changing world. Her key learnings are “There is always something that we can make a difference in and getting involved is the first step. As a Psychosocial Oncology professional, we have to be involved in moulding the profession to cater to help those who are affected by cancer directly and indirectly.”
Josée emphasizes that “the Psychosocial Oncology is a field where you can make great friends and it really is a fulfilling line of work!” She acknowledges meeting amazing people in this field. Josée is a CAPO member and loves being part of it. She is interested in networking with likeminded people, and also in learning from those in her field. She sees CAPO as a resource arena with lots of opportunities for both personal and professional growth in the field of Psychosocial Oncology. Joining CAPO is another outlet in which Josée believes she can make a difference.
When asked what would be her advice to someone who is thinking about entering the profession, she argues that “Psychosocial Oncology is a hard line of work and is not a type of work for everyone. My suggestion is to always try it out before committing to this career. Try getting involved, doing some volunteer work, and talking to someone in the field prior to starting. People need to be invested and involved to fully contribute to the development of this field. They need to know themselves and know their limits.”
The Canadian Association of
Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO)
189 Queen Street East, Suite 1
Toronto, ON M5A 1S2
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