LHSC oncology nurses recognized as cancer care leaders by de Souza Institute


For Immediate Release

April 2, 2013

LONDON, Ontario – London Health Sciences Centre oncology nurses were honoured to be recognized for excellence in cancer care on Oncology Nursing Day by de Souza Institute, an innovative centre of cancer care learning.

“Ontario cancer patients are receiving the best care in the world by nurses who are applying their specialized knowledge and skills they developed though the De Souza Institute. I want to thank these nurses for their commitment to Ontario cancer patients and their support for excellence in oncology nursing,” said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

London Health Sciences Centre has been a leader in Ontario with nearly 150 nurses participating in de Souza’s cancer care courses, including 125 nurses who have taken the standardized chemotherapy and biotherapy course.

Established in 2008 by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to support nurses who care for patients with cancer and their families, de Souza Institute has provided ongoing educational support and career counseling to 5,000 nurses that care for cancer patients and families.

“This is a testament to the dedication of our nurses who continue to evolve and enhance their skills to better treat cancer patients,” says Dr. Vanessa Burkoski, Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive, Quality, Patient Safety and Professional Scholarly Practice. “Patients directly benefit from the knowledge our nurses take from the classroom and bring to the bedside.”

“We are proud to present London Health Sciences Centre with this prestigious plaque.” said Dr. Mary Jane Esplen, Director of de Souza Institute. “The nurses at London Health Sciences Centre are leaders in cancer care. The community is lucky to have these expert nurses who are committed to cancer care excellence.”

Fiona Barham, registered nurse, London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP), was individually presented a plaque for achieving her de Souza Nurse Designation. The Designation showcases her expertise in cancer care. After completing a program of intensive oncology courses and a clinical fellowship, Fiona became the first nurse to achieve the de Souza Nurse Designation at LHSC and third in the province to hold this designation.

The demand for nurses with specialized skills in cancer care is continuing to grow. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, in Ontario, every hour of every day, an average of 8 people will be diagnosed with some type of cancer, and 3 people will die from the disease.

Cancer Centres like LHSC’s London Regional Cancer Program and organizations like the de Souza Institute are focused on bettering the cancer care experience for patients and families by ensuring they have access to the best cancer care nurses and information.

To learn more about de Souza Institute visit www.desouzanurse.ca.


About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 138 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca

About de Souza Institute

Established in 2008, de Souza Institute in partnership University Health Network, Cancer Care Ontario and funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, provides ongoing educational support, professional development and career counseling to nurses caring for cancer patients and families.

de Souza Institute is providing cancer care excellence by: delivering innovative continuing education and mentorship programs; helping nurses to achieve national certification; funding graduate scholarships to develop tomorrow’s leaders, and supporting in self-care and career development.

Contact Information:
Shanna Brisebois

Marek Kubow
Communications Consultant
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500 ext. 75155


After-hours assistance:

Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call


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