Yukon discontinuing cancer care navigator

The cancer care navigator position at Whitehorse General Hospital has been discontinued.

The cancer care navigator position at Whitehorse General Hospital has been discontinued.

Suzette Delmage, a former resident of Whitehorse and a breast cancer survivor wrote the News to express her “overwhelming disappointment and dismay” with the decision to discontinue the program.

“I cannot begin to express my appreciation and thanks to the woman who filled the navigator position,” she said.

“I am profoundly saddened that the health support that was most important to me during my diagnosis, the supportive and informational role of the cancer care navigator, has now been cut from the system.”

The navigator helped guide cancer patients and their families through the physical, emotional and financial challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis.

She provided resources, educational material, information and support.

She also worked with family doctors, the cancer team and other caregivers to help patients get the best care possible.

The position was a year-long pilot project, funded through the Territorial Health Access Fund, which was time-limited federal funding.

“The project was extended three months beyond the March 31, 2010 deadline to allow the hospital time to find alternative funding for this project,” said Health and Social Services spokesperson Pat Living.

“Although our Territorial Health Access Funding has been extended for an additional two years, the department is under great pressure to fund a number of other initiatives that also met with great success and are also considered valuable by health-care providers and residents.”

The former navigator, Mya Kondor, will still be helping cancer patients in the Yukon.

She will be joining the territory’s Canadian Cancer Society as its new director, starting next week.

Contact Chris Oke at

chriso@yukon-news.com

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