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Two research teams win prestigious provincial “2011 Quality and Innovation Awards

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Thunder Bay, ON   ----  Dec. 9, 2011 – Two research teams from the Northwest were recognized at the 2011 Quality and Innovation Awards presented by Cancer Quality Council of Ontario (CQCO), Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), and the Ontario Division of the Canadian Cancer Society.

The Quality and Innovation Awards are given each year. This year two of the four awards were given to the teams from the Northwest. The annual awards honour organizations that have made significant contributions to quality and innovation in cancer care across Ontario including efforts in areas of cancer prevention.

 “The awards recognize the development of new processes, products, or programs which are bold and experimental and which enhance cancer care in Ontario,” says Pat Lang, Board Member of Cancer Care Ontario and representative from the Northwest. “This year’s recipients have demonstrated measurable evidence of their impact on quality improvement across the cancer care system.”

The 2011 CQCO Quality and Innovation Award Recipients from Northwestern Ontario include:

Winner, Innovation Award:
Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe, Scientist at Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI) and Associate Professor at Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe,Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), and her team of researchers, physician-researchers, university partners and First Nation community partners have won the Innovation Award for their study called “Aboriginal Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Screening Trial”. Dr Ingeborg Zehbe’s core team include, Dr. Marion Maar, Dr. Alberto Severini, Dr. Julian Little, Dr. Gina Ogilvie, Dr. Ann Burchell, Dr. Nicholas Escott and Dr. Helle Moeller.

Honourable Mention, Quality Award:
An Honourable Mention for the Quality Award was given to Dr. Patricia M. Smith, PhD, Associate Professor, NOSM and Dr. Scott M. Sellick, PhD, Director of Palliative & Survivorship Care, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (Regional Cancer Care Northwest) for their project called “Implementing Tobacco Cessation Clinical Practice Guidelines into Northwestern Ontario Hospitals, Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre”. 

“These researchers are advancing new and innovative programs aimed at reducing the risk of cancer as well as improving care for cancer patients,” says Dr. Roger Strasser, Dean of  NOSM. “These awards recognize best practices for improving the quality and value of healthcare programs across Ontario. We are happy that leaders in our region are being recognized for their valuable work.”

Michael Power is Regional Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario, Executive Vice President of Chronic Disease and Prevention Management at TBRHSC, and CEO of TBRRI. He offers his sincere congratulations: “We at Regional Cancer Care Northwest are very proud the success of these two research teams. Along with Cancer Care Ontario, we applaud you for your commitment to ongoing quality improvements, and your efforts and willingness to share your innovative work with the rest of the province.”

"Research, academics and partnerships are the pillars of our Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre's Strategic Plan 2015,” says Andrée Robichaud, President and CEO of TBRHSC, who also offers her congratulations, “These projects are an example of collaborating across disciplines and organizations to improve our community's health."

“The work of these teams demonstrates the innovative research that is going on in Northwestern Ontario to improve the care experience of cancer patients,” says Laura Kokocinski, CEO of the North West Local Health Integration Network. “We congratulate Thunder Bay Regional Sciences Centre and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine on their awards.”

Through the Health Sciences Discovery Fund and the Northern Cancer Fund, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation provided financial support to the research teams. Foundation President & CEO Glenn Craig says these awards clearly demonstrate the significant return on investment to the generous people who donate. “We are proud to support meaningful and robust research that has a real impact on patients here in Northwestern Ontario and beyond.” 

-Two other awards given:
1) The Tobacco Addiction Treatment Initiative at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton received an Innovation Honourable Mention
2) The Erie St. Clair Community Care Access Centre received the Quality Award

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