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Foundation grants improve cancer care

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April 7, 2011 - THUNDER BAY, ON - Today, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation TBRHSCcelebrates Cancer Awareness Month with the announcement of the 2011 Northern Cancer Fund grants. A total of $890,057 has been designated to cancer care here at the Health Sciences Centre and throughout the region.

Northern Cancer Fund grants are made possible by generous donors and their continued support of the Health Sciences Foundation. “We are so blessed to have so much support from our community,” says Glenn Craig. “It is because of the generosity of the people of Northwestern Ontario that these grants were approved for funding.”

“Through the Northern Cancer Fund, the tradition of advancing world-class cancer care and research in Northwestern Ontario continues,” says Andrée Robichaud, Health Sciences Centre President & CEO. “The programs and equipment funded by these Northern Cancer Fund grants help to further our standing as an academic health sciences centre with a focus on patient and family centred care, as well as improve our overall standing as a premier cancer care facility.”

A $500,000 grant will support cancer-focused research at the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI). In the near future people with cancer will experience safer, more effective removal of tumours - without surgery. The science and techniques are being perfected right here, right now. And the people of Northwestern Ontario will be the first to benefit. Dr. Laura Curiel and Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe are brilliant, distinguished scientists who work at TBRRI. Along with principle investigators Dr. Neety Panu and Dr. Siren, they focus on High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), which uses ultrasound waves to ‘cook’ tumours with heat from outside the body and without the need for surgery.

“HIFU research is highly meaningful: its impact will be felt by cancer care professionals, patients and families across the globe,” says Glenn Craig, President & CEO of the Health Sciences Foundation.

Additional Northern Cancer Fund grants support the purchase of new equipment and programs for the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of cancer for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s Regional Cancer Care Northwest. One Northern Cancer Fund grant for $185,443 supported the development of a Breast MRI Program Development in conjunction with the Linda Buchan Centre.

“It is an exciting time at the Health Sciences Centre as clinical breast MRI services are now being offered to patients,” says Dr. Neety Panu, Lead Radiologist at the Regional Health Sciences Centre. “With a dedicated breast MRI and expert radiologists here, we can offer not only convenience, but faster, more comprehensive investigations in order to make the best recommendations for our patients.”

Other grants funded by the Northern Cancer Fund include:
• Thunder Bay and District Breast Cancer Support Group - $5,500
• Chemotherapy Fridge, Telemedicine Equipment, Triple Channel Pump (Fort Frances – Riverside Healthcare Facilities) - $24,989
• MR Guided Prostate Coil and Biopsy System - $111,450
• Chemotherapy Equipment – Biological Safety Cabinets (Sioux Lookout – Meno Ya Win Health Centre - $18,675
• Prostate & Colorectal Awareness Campaigns and Northern Cancer Question and Answer Series - $44,000

“Grants dedicated to cancer care help us to stay ahead of the curve, which makes a big difference in our ability to deliver world-class patient care,” explains Joanne Lacourciere, Director of Diagnostic Programs. “With the support of the Foundation, we continue to bring new scientific knowledge into clinical practice.”

 

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