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Pathologist recognized for excellence in improving cancer care


THUNDER BAY - December 4, 2009 – Dr. Joseph Wasielewski, Chief of
Dr. Joseph WasielewskiPathology and Medical Director of the Lab at Thunder Bay Regional Health
Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) received a prestigious award from the Cancer
Quality Council of Ontario at the fourth annual Quality and Innovation Awards on
Dec. 2.

“All of this year’s winners have demonstrated outstanding contributions towards
improving patient care by driving system innovations or improving the quality of
cancer services in Ontario,” said Bob Bell, Chair, Cancer Quality Council of
Ontario, in a release issued by Cancer Care Ontario. The awards are sponsored
by the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario in partnership with Cancer Care Ontario
and the Canadian Cancer Society – Ontario Division.

Dr. Wasielewski was recognized for his work in transforming laboratory testing
for cancer patients at TBRHSC. His leadership allowed for better, safer, more
timely access to laboratory testing for cancer patients through satellite blood
collection, improved processes and standardized, evidence based synoptic
pathology reporting for cancer patients. This transition led to a decrease in
cancer diagnosis wait times from 22 to 7 days while improving the quality of
pathology diagnostic reporting that is used to guide subsequent clinical care.
Since implementing synoptic reporting, pathologists at TBRHSC use special
software to quickly and easily enter lab results into electronic checklists. The
“synoptic” or standard checklists enhance patient safety by minimizing the risk for
incomplete reports or confusion regarding results. The simple and efficient
process also helps reduce diagnostic wait times. As a result, oncologists have
quick access to thorough, consistent reports in creating the best possible
treatment plan for patients.

“I am honoured to receive this award on behalf of the pathology team at
TBRHSC,” said Dr. Wasielewski. “Synoptic reporting has been a valuable tool for
our pathology practice. It allows us to report on cancer parameters in the most up
to date and standardized way, which in turn helps facilitate appropriate patient
management and foster a team-based approach to cancer care.”

“Our team deserves great credit for implementing these new reporting standards
with enthusiasm and excitement, a demonstration of their dedication to our
cancer patients in Northwestern Ontario. We are proud to be Canadian leaders in
this regard. Ultimately this is about strengthening our program to provide the best
possible cancer care for residents of Northwestern Ontario,” said Michael Power,
Vice President of Regional Cancer Services and Diagnostics, TBRHSC
The Northern Cancer Fund of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences
Foundation provided a $270,000 grant to support the synoptic reporting initiative.

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