Dr. Ed Kucharski is a Family Physician at the Sherbourne Health Centre and a Regional Primary Care Lead for the Toronto Regional Cancer Program.
He is celebrated for his proactive approach to patient engagement and dedication to reducing barriers that make access to medical services difficult for marginalized populations in our communities.
Dr. Kucharski takes a “patient engagement in action” approach to his medical practice, believing that “making health care accessible sometimes means going to the patient at the time and place that is most convenient for them.” Dr. Kucharski has brought cancer screening and cancer screening awareness to some of the GTA’s hardest to reach populations, including those with primary or underlying mental health problems. His contributions to patient-centred change include:
- Heading a mobile coach cervical screening initiative with his Sherbourne Health Centre team that offered cervical cancer and STI screening services to sex trade workers – 294 women were reached during the first 12 weeks of this pilot project;
- Organizing cervical screening clinics for newcomer women in St. James Town by bringing screening to their apartment buildings during Cervical Cancer Awareness Week in 2013 and 2014 – during which over 60 women were screened for cervical cancer;
- Working with the Canadian Cancer Society on their Screening Saves Lives projects in order to develop resources and educate the public and health care providers about the importance of screening the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) populations; and
- Teaching across the province for Rainbow Health Ontario in their Trans Health Connection project.
Thanks to Dr. Kucharski, many individuals who would have otherwise gone unscreened have now been screened and/or given access to health care services. His work is a true testament of how simply re-thinking the way we deliver health care in our province means we can reach more people right where they are.