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New Chair Improves Comfort for Patients of Community Cancer Clinic

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The Community Cancer Clinic provides chemotherapy treatments to local patients diagnosed with cancer. The Clinic serves approximately 100 patients annually and receives 70 to 80 new patients a year.

“We’re an outreach chemotherapy unit so we offer chemotherapy treatment and one of our goals is to offer these services closer to home, which is especially brilliant given the distance we are from the specialists in Edmonton,” says Janice Petruk, a Registered Nurse and Cancer Patient Navigator at the Health Centre.

As a Cancer Patient Navigator, Petruk assists people through their cancer journey following diagnosis.

“I’m basically a go-to person. I’m there to help address anything – any needs that they have, explain services and offer assistance,” she says.

Patients often have several appointments and through this they form close bonds with the staff. Both Petruk and Nadine King, a Chemotherapy Nurse at the Health Centre, agreed that this is one of the most rewarding parts of their jobs.

“You have a lot of personal contact in this role, because people come back week after week and you want to make sure they have the best experience. Even though this is a difficult journey for them right now, it’s really about making the best of that,” says King. 

She goes on to share that a key component of the patient’s experience is ensuring they’re comfortable.

“Our patients can be sitting up to five to six hours receiving treatment,” she says. “They have a long day sitting here, so we want to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible during these long appointments.”

Patients frequently face difficulties in regulating their body temperature and struggle to stay warm while receiving treatment. Patients are given blankets, but often the blankets alone don’t provide the warmth they need.

Through a generous gift of $8,000 from Total E&P Canada, the Northern Lights Health Foundation recently funded two new chairs that provide heat and massage to patients receiving treatment at the Clinic.

Comfortable chairs play a significant role in ensuring a positive patient experience. The new heated massage chairs help patients relax in their surroundings.

“We want to do whatever we can to make our patients as comfortable as possible, so the heat and massage options with the chairs are nice to have. Also, many patients with cancer experience fatigue and these chairs promote rest, which is always a positive,” says Petruk. 

Photo: Staff in the Community Cancer Clinic celebrate the addition of new heated massage chairs for patients  New heated massage chairs are helping to provide much-needed comfort for patients receiving chemotherapy treatments at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.

About the Northern Lights Health Foundation
Established in 1985, the Northern Lights Health Foundation engages people, inspires philanthropy and secures funds to improve health and promote wellness in Wood Buffalo. The Health Foundation connects people with opportunities to have a direct and positive impact on health care in our region.

For information on how you can support community health care, contact us:

Northern Lights 
Health Foundation
7 Hospital Street,
Fort McMurray, AB T9H 1P2 

Phone: (780) 791-6041
Fax: (780) 791-6241


Twitter: @NorLightsHealth
Facebook: NLHealthFoundation

Charitable Registration Number: BN 107395030 RR0001


Amelia Schofield is a marketing and communications professional based in Fort McMurray, AB. She’s currently the Marketing and Communications Officer with the Northern Lights Health Foundation and a regular contributor to YMM Magazine.  Amelia is also the Owner + Creator of Amelia Emily Design, a local business specializing in knitted goods.

Follow Amelia on Twitter at @AmeliaSchfld