HCP Grant Recipients

Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is dedicated to supporting Canadian Health Care Professionals (HCPs) who work in the area of neuro-oncology or neuroscience to help people affected by a brain tumour.

The Health Care Professional (HCP) - Professional Development Grants provide funding to health care professionals who would like to attend a medical, scientific or professional development conference / workshop.  

The HCP - Professional Development Grants were launched in 2016. The second HCP - Professtional Development Grants have just been awarded. In their words, here’s what this opportunity means to them.

2017 HCP - Professional Development Grant Recipients

Jonathan Russell, Physiotherapist, IRDP, GF Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver, BC

Jonathan Russell, HCP Grant AwardeeI would like to thank Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada for the HCP Professional Development Grant, which will support my continuing education to improve my care for patients with brain tumours. I am working as a physiotherapist on an Intensive Rehab Day Program at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre primarily with clients who have acquired brain injuries. I plan to use the HCP grant to attend a Basic Bobath course to improve my treatment of individuals with neurological conditions including individuals with brain tumours. The Basic Bobath course includes theoretical foundations and practical sessions to develop handling and clinical reasoning skills. Bobath therapy uses a problem solving approach that helps the client to work towards personal goals considering their clinical presentation. Often clients with brain tumours that attend the Intensive Rehab Day Program have physical impairments that limit their ability to complete daily activities of living and to take part in recreational or vocational activities. Bobath trained clinicians assist clients to improve their postural control, perform selective coordinated movement, and integrate sensory input into their motor control so that the client can better participate in activities with family, friends, and on their own. 

Kelly Boileau RN, BN, IWK, Halifax, NS

Kelly Boileau, HCP Grant Awardee 2017I have worked as a registered nurse in the field of oncology for over 20 years. I have recently taken on the role of the Brain Tumour Nurse Coordinator at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I had worked with brain tumours in the past so I thought I knew the population, but boy was I wrong. I realize I had only touched on the tip of the iceberg. I am so excited to work with this population and broaden my knowledge regarding current treatments and outcomes .The impact of a brain tumour diagnosis on the patient and their family is devastating. It is the lifelong challenging post-treatment side-effects that I have been most surprised about. Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s Professional Development Grant will assist me in attending the second Join the Movement to End Brain Tumours National Conference in Toronto. I see this as an invaluable opportunity for me to navigate within this patient population. I am excited to network with people who share the same goal – to improve the lives of those diagnosed with a brain tumour. I want to thank Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada for this opportunity. 

Update: I would like to thank Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada for the Health Care Professional (HCP) Development Grant that I received. I used this grant to attend the 2nd annual Join the Movement to End Brain Tumours National Conference in Toronto. This was my first opportunity to witness in person what an amazing Foundation this is.  The conference was full of many wonderful speakers and presentations. I am excited to continue my professional relationship with this passionate group. The members are devoted to caring for those whose lives are affected by brain tumours. This group reminds me of a huge extended family. Since working in this field, I had always been confident in referring patients to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s website but now I cannot sing their praises enough. The level of professionalism and knowledge is amazing. What an amazing resource for anyone across Canada to have available to them. 

2016 HCP - Professional Development Grant Recipients

Caitlin Gillan MRT(T) BSc MEd FCAMRT

Caitlin GillanI am currently a radiation therapist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, working primarily with adults and children with brain tumours as the Central Nervous System (CNS) Radiation Therapy site leader. This grant will support me in attending a unique conference in September in the United Kingdom that is focused on novel advanced practice roles, and how radiation therapists can best prepare and position themselves for specialized clinical roles. Knowledge gained through engagement in such a conference, and networking with people from around the world exploring such roles, would allow me to inform the evolution of a potential CNS Advanced Practice role, better aligning expertise and service delivery to optimize care for this patient population. Ontario has been exploring advanced practice for radiation therapists for the past 10 years, and a process for national certification is in development – so the framework and precedent exist - but there is currently no one in an advanced CNS radiation therapy position. While I am at this conference, I will also be giving a presentation about Canada’s approach to certification for advanced practice roles, based on my engagement in the national certification initiative.  

Update: In September 2016, thanks to a professional development grant from Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, I travelled to Sheffield, United Kingdom, to participate in the Leading the Way: International Radiographer Advanced Practice Conference. I am a radiation therapist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, where I collaborate with an incredible interprofessional team in providing radiation therapy to adults and children with brain tumours.  I am also involved in a national initiative with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists, investigating the value and feasibility of advanced practice roles for radiation therapists, given the pressures currently facing the healthcare system. Radiation therapists are ideally positioned to take on additional knowledge, skills, and judgement to optimize patient-centred care in an increasingly complex cancer care model. 

At the conference in the UK, I gave a podium presentation highlighting the innovative approach to certifying advanced practitioners in Canada through intensive virtual oral examinations. I was able to attend valuable sessions that addressed role development, the value of research in advancing evidence-based practice, and various successes and barriers experienced around the world in exploring advanced practice. There were ample opportunities to network with peers from the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, many of whom I remain in contact with through Twitter. It is my hope that the knowledge gained through this experience will put me in good stead as I work to inform further development of advanced practice opportunities, especially in the context of helping those with brain tumours navigate their care journeys. 

Thanks to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada for this invaluable experience!

Laura Daly

Laura DalyBrain Tumour Foundation of Canada's professional development grant will assist me in attending the 21st Annual Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) Annual Scientific Meeting and Education Day. The information and skills gained by attending this event will undoubtedly enrich my clinical work with patients, as well as my research in the area of pain and symptom management. I truly appreciate the opportunity provided by this development grant to expand my expertise and knowledge to better serve those affected by brain cancer. I look forward to sharing what I learn at the SNO meeting with the rest of my department team at BC Cancer Agency, contributing to the agency's ability to better assist patient and support members affected by brain cancer.

Update: I was so pleased to be able to attend the Society for NeuroOncology Annual Conference in Scottsdale Arizona in November. The event drew people from around the world, including over 100 Canadians. The event had many wonderful speakers presenting exciting new research and inspiring stories that aided my growth and learning with regard to neurooncology. Highlights included Dr. David Cachia’s presentation on “Interventions for fatigue and cognitive dysfunction in people with gliomas”, as well as the many presentations that aimed to translate research into improved quality of care for patients. The conference was abundant with interesting research related to ethics, palliative care, and quality of life that created wonderful intersections between cutting-edge science and the human experience. I will carry the knowledge and inspiration gained from the many wonderful minds collected at the meeting forward with me, as it will surely assist me in my future work with patients. I want to thank Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada for supporting me in participating in this invaluable experience.

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