The Dryden Regional Health Centre Oncology Unit was opened in April, 1998. It is a satellite program of the Northwestern Ontario Regional Cancer Care Centre in Thunder Bay. The unit initially opened with 2 chairs in an old patient room on the acute care ward, it was operated on an “as needed” basis. It has since developed into a newly renovated 5-chair outpatient unit with regular full-time hours of operation.
The unit is staffed with physicians, registered nurses, a pharmacist and a supportive care worker. Cancer patients in the Dryden area are able to receive comprehensive care without having to travel long distances. Cancer care provided includes: chemotherapy treatments, assessments, teaching, follow-up, community education and supportive care. Patients are carefully followed through telehealth or a visiting Oncologist.
The Canadian Cancer Society also provides a varied range of services to the unit including: volunteer and peer support, patient information, transportation and financial assistance.
Still Me is a new program initiative developed through the Oncology Unit in November, 2006. The program is sponsored by the local Kinsmen club, through the funds raised in the Dragon Boat Races. It is a free 2 hour workshop run by volunteers. Still Me was created from the concept that if a person living with cancer can be helped to look good, their improved self image will help them to approach cancer and it’s treatment with greater confidence.