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2020 Award Recipients – Quality & Innovation Awards

Learn about the work of the teams who received 2020 Quality and Innovation Awards. The teams were recognized for their significant contributions to quality and innovation in the delivery of cancer care in Ontario.


Princess Margaret Cancer Centre: Immune and Molecular Therapy Bolstering and Supporting Patient Adverse Event (IMBRASE) Program

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is improving quality of care for people with cancer by proactively monitoring melanoma patients.

IMBRASE is a symptom assessment protocol and management algorithm for people with advanced or metastatic melanoma who are receiving immunotherapy drug treatment. The program follows the patients proactively and manages their care in a tailored manner, determined by patient characteristics and risk level.

Before the IMBRASE program, the strategy for monitoring melanoma patients was reactive, where patients would speak with different nurses throughout their care, and receive multiple assessments and advice on managing their symptoms and side effects.

The program has led to fewer emergency department visits for high-risk patients. It has improved patient safety, responsiveness, access to care and timely intervention.

Team Members: Dr. Marcus Butler, Dr. Sam Saibil, Nancy Gregorio, Michelle Mackay, Lesley Moody, Dr. Luisa Bonilla, Dr. Anna Spreafico, Dr. David Hogg, Simonne Simon, Alyssa Macadeo, Diana Grey, Dr. Keith Stewart.



Members of the 2020 Quality Award winning team from Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network.

Video to showcase Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s initiative


The Ottawa Hospital: Palliative Care Nurse Specialist in the Emergency Department

The Ottawa Hospital is improving the quality of care for people with cancer and palliative care needs by integrating palliative care resources into the emergency department to involve palliative care earlier in the patient’s care.

A palliative care nurse specialist is available for consultation Monday to Friday at the emergency department. The nurse specialist supports discharges to appropriate community settings, increases coordination between the emergency department staff and community resources, and provides mentorship and education.

The project has led to improvements to patient care as patients are transferred to hospice or palliative care directly from either the emergency department or home with a few days. It has also enhanced the relationship between the emergency department and palliative care teams, optimized community resources and aligned care with patient preferences.

Team Members: Katie Nichol, Sara Olivier, Lisa Galitzine, Dr. Lisa Fischer, Dennis Garvin.

Members of the 2020 Quality Award winning team from The Ottawa Hospital

Video to showcase The Ottawa Hospital’s initiative

Honourable Mention

St. Michael’s Hospital: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Implement Personalized Multifaceted Care Plans as Standard Breast Cancer Care in Oncology Clinics

A multidisciplinary approach to personalize care at St. Michael’s Hospital is improving the quality of care for people with breast cancer. The oncology team creates personalized multifaceted care plans by entering non-repetitive clinical data into a standalone application (Care Plan App). The application then generates a paper-based personalized treatment plan and a care plan.

The treatment and care plans have resulted in better care coordination and communication, and more efficient care transition between the care team. Family physicians have overwhelmingly agreed that the personalized multifaceted care plan allowed them to ‘stay in the loop’ in their patient’s care. Patients have found that the personalized plan has helped them actively participate in their care and communicate better with their oncology team.

Team Members: Dr. Rashida Haq, Pauline Gulasingam, Amy Kong, Marta Bisiker, Charmaine Mothersill, Anna Kacikanis, Dr. Ronita Lee, Norma McVeigh.

Members of the 2020 Quality Honourable Mention team from St. Michael’s Hospital

Video to showcase St. Michael’s Hospital’s initiative


Kingston Health Sciences Centre: Outpatient High Dose Methotrexate

The Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario at Kingston Health Sciences Centre is improving care for adults on a high dose methotrexate treatment regimen by using an outpatient model of care.

This complex systemic treatment regimen is typically an inpatient procedure, administered monthly for several cycles. Because of its complexity, the treatment has historically been feasible only in an inpatient care setting, even though patients are otherwise quite well and independent. Using the outpatient model of care for appropriate patients both improves care, and meets the needs of patients and families in the Southeast region.

This model of care depends on active patient engagement and self-management. It has resulted in providing care closer to home, improving the patient experience, reducing the bed burden in the inpatient oncology care unit and saving health system resources.

Team Members: Dr. Tara Baetz, Rachel Sheldon, Rya Ibit, Leslie Young, Sarah Chambers, Tricia Carasco, Kardi Kennedy, Renee Hartzell.

Members of the 2020 Innovation Award from Kingston Health Sciences Centre

Video to showcase Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s initiative

Honourable Mention

St. Michael’s Hospital and University of Toronto: Humanism Education in Surgery – A Patient as Teacher Program

The Patient as Teacher initiative in surgery addresses gaps in current surgical education. The program counters the de-humanizing effects of the hidden curriculum of surgery, and instead fosters humanism and patient-centred care.

At the centre of the program are the patient teachers who receive formal training and volunteer to share their stories with students. During the facilitated sessions, patient teachers discuss how their cancer journey has impacted their lives and reflect on their experiences with the healthcare system.

The goal of the Patient as Teacher program is to emphasize the humanity of the patient, the psychosocial impact of a surgical diagnosis of cancer on patients and their families, and the social and humanistic roles for surgeons in providing patient-centred care.

Team Members: Dr. Jory Simpson, Najma Ahmed, Ori Rotstein, Darlene Fenech, Stella Ng, Emilia Kangasjavri, Stephanie Mooney, Shanna Rich, Arno Kumagai, Sav Brar, Tulin Cil, Abdollah Behzadi, Gur Grewal, Sarah Miller, Demetra Turnbull, Jennifer Schultz, Jeremey Hall, Dima Saab, Joyce Fenuta, Sonya Canzian.

Members of the 2020 Innovation - Honourable Mention team from St. Michael’s Hospital

Video to showcase St. Michael’s Hospital’s initiative