New space helps patients and families learn, cope with cancer

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 3:18pm

Patients of Capital Health’s Cancer Care Program and their families now have a private, attractive and inviting space in which to find and read information that will help them become informed about their cancer and help them cope with their cancer experience. On Sept. 9, the Cancer Care Program officially opened the space - the result of collaboration among many members of the Capital Health team and patients.

The Patient and Family Information Area is located in the Cancer Centre on the main floor of the Dickson Centre at the VG, and is a resource for all patients and families of the Cancer Program. The initiative was proposed by the Supportive Care Cancer Site Team at Cancer Care Nova Scotia.

“Our common focus has been to improve person-centred care for patients and their families by providing access to helpful information and resources,” said Drew Bethune, clinical head of the Cancer Care Program.

Prior to the design of the new space, the patient and family information area lacked privacy, and many of the resources were outdated. Nova Scotia College of Art and Design student (now graduate) Jennifer MacEwan designed the new space in consultation with patients and families. The area now houses many new resources to support patients who are living with cancer and their families.

Funding for the project came from Capital Health and the QEII Foundation, as well as a special donation from the family of the late Bob Taylor, who died from cancer in 2009. Bob, an optimistic and caring person who benefited from his own research into his illness, wanted a donation in his memory to support something beneficial for patients and families. A plaque in Bob’s memory has a prominent place in the Patient and Family Information Area, with the inscription, “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.”

Thanks to the many members of the Capital Health team who brought this vision to life for the sake of improving the experience of patients and families.