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CancerAndWork.ca: A new resource for health practitioners, patients, employers

Research demonstrates that 62 per cent of working-age individuals return to work within the first year of receiving a cancer diagnosis. Yet navigating the return to work process can be challenging for cancer survivors, employers, and heath care practitioners, who all play a vital role facilitating a patient’s smooth transition back to work, to new employment, or to modified work.

CancerAndWork.ca is an innovative new website with easy-to-navigate tools and resources that has been launched to assist cancer survivors in their return to work. Its newly developed tools explore such topics as: steps for returning to work, the assessment of work abilities, the impacts of cancer on health and functioning, workplace accommodations, and financial supports for cancer survivors. The site equips employers with important information pertaining to such topics as the duty to accommodate, employee retention, and successful return to work practices.

For medical practitioners who play a key role in a patient’s rehabilitation and the assessment of accommodation needs, the site provides medical research related to work and cancer.

The site was developed by HSA member Maureen Parkinson, a vocational rehabilitation counsellor at the BC Cancer Agency, alongside Christine Maheu of McGill University and a core team of health research experts, in partnership with the de Souza Institute. The project received financial support from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and Health Canada.

The CancerAndWork.ca project team has expertise in an array of disciplines, including neuropsychology, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, social policy, and education.

Thank you to all HSA members that made this resource a reality:

Maureen Parkinson, Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor at the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Centre Provincial Health Authority
Tammy Lee, Clinical Practice Leader, Vocational Rehabilitation Department, GF Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health
Dr. Douglas Ozier Research/Clinician Psychology, B.C. Cancer Agency, Provincial Health Authority
Melanie McDonald, Practice Leader, Patient and Family Counselling, BC Cancer, Vancouver Centre Provincial Health Authority
Dr. Amanda K. Lamarre, Neuropsychologist, Royal Columbian Hospital, Fraser Health Region
Amy Rappaport, Social Worker, and other members of the Patient and Family Counselling Department, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Centre, Provincial Health Authority

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