The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation is a non-profit community organization dedicated to helping people living with cancer by providing survivorship care, and funding innovative cancer research and clinical programs that improve access to better treatment options for patients.
In 2011, the Cancer Foundation’s President and CEO, Linda Eagen, spearheaded the opening of Canada’s first cancer survivorship centre. She and her team have also raised close to $60 million for cancer care and research in Eastern Ontario.
Following a cancer survivor’s needs assessment in 2008, the Cancer Foundation engaged a team of patients and health professionals to develop a new health and social care service that addressed a need for access to services assisting with the informational, physical, emotional, mental and practical needs of patients, as well as issues with health care system navigation and patient-provider interaction. Under Linda’s leadership, the team created the concept of Cancer Coaching, a personalized, person-centered service model that provides those whose lives have been touched by cancer with access to an accredited health professional who provides valuable information, support, and guidance through every stage of their cancer experience.
Since 2011, over 2,000 families have been helped through Cancer Coaching. This innovative health and social care model was developed “by the community for the community” and complements the work of medical professionals. At the core, Cancer Coaching helps people take an active part in their physical/mental health and wellness. As this new community-based model continues to garner national and international recognition, the Cancer Foundation is currently developing a certification program and launching a community of practice to spread the availability of this important service. The Cancer Foundation is also embarking on a multi-sectoral research project to demonstrate impact through the Cancer Coaching model, with the hope that the knowledge generated through this research will help other communities establish similar services.