The @YourSide Colleague® cancer course has shown in just a few months that it is meeting a need among health-care providers working in rural and remote First Nations communities.
In early evaluations of the course – a Partnership collaboration with Saint Elizabeth Health Care – participants said the course has had a positive impact on their work, helps them better assess and care for patients and strengthens their cancer control knowledge.
I learned a lot about the importance of screening and early detection. I shared this information with my community and, as a result, several people were tested and had their cancer detected early and are going through treatments and are doing well.
The course material on the importance of screening may well have saved many lives.”— Patty Wilson, Community Health Representative
More than 200 First Nations communities and organizations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are using the cancer control course. Delivered virtually, it supports communities facing barriers to training such as distance, severe weather and staff shortages.
Before the program launched, a survey of @YourSide Colleague participants found that 85 per cent had no prior training in cancer prevention, education or care.The course touches on more than treatment; it includes information on prevention, detection and diagnosis, psychological impacts, hope, grief and bereavement. Offering an array of online resources, the course also connects providers with each other and with clinical specialists in oncology and palliative care.
“It was evident that there were limited professional development opportunities in cancer control,” says Tracy Scott, Knowledge Liaison, Saint Elizabeth Health Care. “The need for this program is clear.”
The Partnership funded and supported development and implementation of the @YourSide Colleague cancer course.
“This course builds on an already-successful program. Our collaboration with Saint Elizabeth Health Care has allowed the program to expand to include cancer and we are exploring options to expand the reach nationally,” says the Partnership’s Director of Strategy, Leslie Greenberg.