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Monday, September 23, 2013

Better Together

Shelly Jamieson is the CEO of The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

I found great value in your retrospective report Better health, better care, better value for all. It is a thoughtful and rich summary of what happened, what worked and what could have been done differently now that we look back at the Accord.

I find the report’s position that the broader and balanced transformation of the health care system needs to be guided by explicit and overarching vision interesting. This is especially true for cancer; a complex disease that cannot be tackled by one organization alone.

Two key enablers of meaningful change outlined in the report – the spread of innovation on a large scale, and measurement and reporting – are built into the model that the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer operates in.

Strategic considerations
In many ways, we play a unique role in Canada. Working with partners, at national and provincial levels, including with the patient community, we identify gaps that are common to several jurisdictions, and address them by leveraging innovation, experience and knowledge from across the country. We identify where progress is being made and try to accelerate it and its reach. To ensure we are having an impact, we set specific targets that align with our goals and measure against them.

The partners that we work with commit to this approach, to staying engaged and contributing to the pan-Canadian process while implementing multi-year plans locally. Our strategic plan is developed with them; we act where there is strong alignment and/or significant gaps that need to be filled.

Observing the cancer system

We take this one step further with our System Performance work. We work with national, provincial and territorial partners to develop cross-Canada indicators to demonstrate how the cancer system is performing. Those providing the data for our system performance reports and those actively involved in determining what will be reported have great ownership of the results. They contribute the evidence, and then are charged with using it to motivate improvement in their jurisdictions.

I have watched over the past decade how new ways to improve health care have emerged as a result of a pan-Canadian dialogue. Our work is one example of this and I truly believe that, together, side by side with our partners, we are making progress towards reducing the burden of cancer on all Canadians.

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