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Volunteer patient and family advisors needed for provincial Cancer Patient Family Advisory Council

Halifax, NS – Cancer care leaders are recruiting volunteer patient, family, and community members to join the provincial Cancer Patient and Family Advisory Council.

The Cancer Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) was created to ensure patients, families, and communities are meaningful partners in cancer system improvements and that patient and family perspectives are identified and reflected in decision-making.

“The insights of patient family advisors are essential to us making our cancer care programs and services the very best they can be,” said Dr. Helmut Hollenhorst, Senior Medical Director, Cancer Care Program. “These individuals have first-hand or very close to first-hand experience with the services we provide. They know, better than anyone, what works and what needs work. Our provincial leadership council is looking forward to their insights as we continue our work to transform cancer care in Nova Scotia.”

PFAC members provide advice and insight to senior leaders, staff and physicians on policies, practices, planning, and delivery of patient- and family-centred care in the cancer system, with a focus on patient-reported outcomes and experiences. At meetings, members reflect on their own experiences, or those of their family members, to provide meaningful input to cancer care teams. The time commitment is about two hours per month to participate in council meetings. Most meetings will be held virtually. In-person meetings will be held once or twice a year. Expenses will be covered for these meetings.

“I have been volunteering with cancer care for seven years now, and the experience has been very rewarding,” said Joel Baltzer, Patient Family Advisor. “My ideas and suggestions are welcomed and respected and I feel I’m making things better for my fellow Nova Scotians who many need cancer care services in the future.”  

Candidates should have the following qualifications:

  • Personal or family/caregiver experience with Nova Scotia Health cancer care services.
  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Be able to look at issues from more than one point of view.
  • Be able to share their viewpoint in an honest, respectful way.
  • Be reflective of diverse populations and perspectives in our community.
  • Be interested in making a positive contribution to cancer care.

Additional requirements:

  • Be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • Have or be willing to get a criminal background check.
  • Declare any potential conflicts of interest.
  • Be available to attend daytime and/or evening meetings.
  • Be able to commit to attend regular meetings. (Note: Start date to be determined once application, interview and orientation process is completed.) 

These are volunteer positions. Current Nova Scotia Health employees, community health board members and elected officials are not eligible to apply.

People interested in becoming a member of the Cancer Patient Family Advisory Council should complete an online application form:

They may also contact Leslie Hill, Engagement, Diversity and Vulnerable Populations Lead, by e-mail for more information.

Applications will be accepted until April 9, 2024.

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