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Well-known Niagara doctor to lead next phase in evolution of cancer care in Niagara

Posted May 20th, 2010

“Dr. Giesbrecht is an enthusiastic leader who cares deeply about every aspect of the patient experience. Her exemplary medical qualifications, daily direct work in cancer care and long-standing relationships with a wide range of partners will serve her well in this new role.”
Dr. Joanna Hope, NHS Interim Chief of Staff

“We are very excited to have a medical oncologist of Dr. Giesbrecht’s calibre on board as we continue our important work to enhance cancer services in Niagara. We are looking forward to working with Dr. Giesbrecht on regional cancer planning and implementation activities in keeping with CCO’s provincial cancer plan.” 
Dr. Bill Evans, Regional Vice-President, Cancer Care Ontario, and President, Juravinski Cancer Centre

“The evolution and growth of oncology services is an important success story for Niagara. I would like to thank Dr. Brian Findlay, founder of oncology services in Niagara in 1985, for his ongoing leadership and commitment to patient care over the course of the last 25 years.”
Linda Boich, NHS Vice President of Patient Services


Niagara, ON: A well-known doctor who has cared for thousands of cancer patients in Niagara will lead the next phase in the evolution of cancer care in the region, including the development of the Walker Family Cancer Centre, in the new position of Medical Director of Oncology.

Dr. Janice Giesbrecht joined Niagara’s oncology program in 1989. She received her medical education at McMaster University in Hamilton. Among her leadership achievements was spearheading the 1992 opening of the first Ontario Breast Screening Program clinic in Niagara; she served as Regional Medical Coordinator for the first 10 years of the program. She sits on the NHS Surgical Oncology Steering Committee, which oversees cancer surgeries in Niagara.

“As a medical oncologist practicing in Niagara for 20 years, I understand the complex demands of cancer care in our region,” says Dr. Giesbrecht. “While this remains fundamentally about patient care and the relationship between the patient and the team of caregivers, it must also address the needs of families and the community, the ability to train and attract healthcare professionals to Niagara, and our relationships with our partners in cancer care.”

To ensure comprehensive, integrated cancer services are available for the people of Niagara, Dr. Giesbrecht will work closely with the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) and academic research partners.

When the Walker Family Cancer Centre opens in 2013 at the new healthcare complex in St. Catharines, it will provide the full spectrum of cancer services, including radiation therapy, serving the more than 2,500 Niagara residents diagnosed with cancer each year.

“The development of the Walker Family Cancer Centre marks the beginning of an exciting new era in providing comprehensive cancer care in Niagara,” says Dr. Giesbrecht. “Medical oncology will continue to grow and radiation treatment will be provided, clinical trials and research opportunities will grow, and we will participate in the training of physicians on site through our involvement with McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Effective leadership of this transition requires a strong sense of both the future and the accomplishments of the past.”

In her new role, Dr. Giesbrecht will provide clinical leadership for all aspects of the oncology program at the NHS, including the establishment of a formal Department of Oncology, as well as academic leadership within the Department of Oncology at McMaster. Within the LHIN, she will serve as Deputy Regional Vice-President for cancer services under the overall leadership of Dr. Bill Evans, Regional Vice-President, Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), and President of Juravinski Cancer Centre.

For more information, contact:

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Public Affairs Consultant
905-378-4647, ext. 43113


Niagara Health System