The National Survivorship Working Group is now in place under the leadership of co-chairs Elisabeth Ross of Toronto and David Muise of Sydney, Nova Scotia.
The group includes cancer survivors and representatives from cancer support agencies, family practice, pediatrics, cancer agencies, social work and psychosocial care.
Developing and implementing care plans and models of care is the working group’s focus for 2009. This priority emerged at the cancer survivorship workshop Creating an Agenda for Cancer Survivorship, in 2008.
My goal is for health-care providers to accept that cancer survivorship is a stage that does not end with treatment or cure. Cancer survivors need care and services, and for many of us that is a lifelong journey.”— David Muise, Working Group Co-Chair
What are care plans?
Care plans are specific to each individual. They may include treatment history, recommendations for screening, tips on healthy living, coping strategies, and information and support resources for those who have experienced cancer. The survivorship group, part of the work of the Cancer Journey Advisory Group, is currently reviewing survivorship care plans in use mostly in Australia, the United States and Canada. The group is investigating setting up survivorship care plan pilots at several locations in Canada.
In addition to the working group’s initiatives, the Partnership has projects underway in several survivorship-related areas, including working with the Cancer Transitions program developed by The Wellness Community and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The Partnership is also piloting and evaluating online support groups.