June 20 to 22, 2023

DoubleTree by Hilton, Montreal, Quebec

This conference brings together key stakeholders including multidisciplinary professionals from nursing, psychology, psychiatry, social work, spiritual care, nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation medicine, occupational health and radiation therapy for both adult and pediatric populations. Together, we seek to explore, share, learn and discuss psychosocial and physical aspects of cancer. Participants include clinicians, researchers, educators in cancer care, and community-based organizations and patient representatives. Patients, caregivers and family members are strongly encouraged to submit abstracts that speak to their role in managing cancer experiences and care.

Pre-Conference Workshops: 

All workshops will be held in person on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Here is a look at our pre-conference workshop line-up. Register early to secure your spot.

Blending lived experiences and psychosocial theorizing: Toward co-design of patient decision aids in genetic cancer risk assessment
Featuring: Kelly Kohut, Lesley Turner, Dr Mary Jane Espen 

Nutritional oncology in action: Understanding patients’ dietary and eating-related issues through interactive discussions and live cooking
Featuring: Amy Symington

Experience Mapping 101: Connecting human-centered design to value-based cancer care solutions
Featuring: Eva Villalba, Olivia Tischler

Cultural realities in cancer care: Understanding the current state and exploring hopes for the future
Featuring: Tiffany T. Hill, Param Gill, Cheryl Heykoop


$150 each per person (no tax) – open to members and non-members.



Catherine Wilhelmy

Thinking big: Toward cancer care systems where patient-provider/researcher co-design is front and center

Patient partnership can be expressed on many levels in health care, from the individual level of being a valued member of the care team, to optimizing care with a medical establishment’s quality improvement department, all the way to policy-making involvement, medical training and research. At all these levels, co-designing with people with lived experience makes all the difference between patient centricity and true patient partnership. This talk will describe some concrete examples of successful co-designing initiatives between patients, health care professionals and researchers. The psychosocial impact on patient partners of codesign solutions in oncology will also be addressed. 


Robin Urquhart

Improving cancer care through co-design: an opportunity not to be wasted! 

This talk will discuss the process and value of engaging multiple stakeholders, including patients and families, in co-design of cancer system programs, services, and resources. Examples of co-design projects in psychosocial oncology will be provided to highlight key considerations, benefits, outcomes of bringing together different stakeholders to improve care and supports for people diagnosed with cancer. 

Dr. Robin Urquhart is an Associate Professor and the Canadian Cancer Society (Nova Scotia Division) Endowed Chair in Population Cancer Research in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, with cross-appointments in the Department of Surgery and Division of Medical Education, at Dalhousie University. She is a Senior Scientist with the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute and an Affiliate Scientist at Nova Scotia Health.


Franck Louesdon

Introduction to a co-design journey

The objective of the talk is to introduce concepts of co-design and co-creation. How to define it and what are the particularities compared to other existing approaches. Then, we will discuss the key steps of a co-design process and its visible or collateral impacts. Finally, we will analyze how to start this type of process and the link with existing approaches in the world of health. Examples from various environments will be taken to inspire the audience.



CAPO and CANO aligning priorities: The power of conversation, collaboration and co-creation

Presenters: Carmen Loiselle, Joy Tarasuk, Doris Howell

As two key Canadian organizations committed to enhancing experiences and outcomes for people affected by cancer – the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) and the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO) have undertaken collaborative processes to optimize our strategic plans. 

In this symposium we discuss how CAPO and CANO independently and together push our organizations’ agendas forward. Through 3 presentations, we 1) introduce our respective vision, mission, and priorities, 2) identify promising trends including value-based health care that can benefit from fuller integration within and across organizations, and 3) present a concrete example, the I-CAN Manage Program that underscores how innovation co-design and integration can readily be achieved. The symposium concludes with a discussion on next steps to further collaboration, creativity, and innovation as essential components of co-creation.

Patient Engagement in Research

This symposium is envisioned as an opportunity to explore current issues in patient engagement in research through the sharing of experiences of two researcher-patient dyads who have been jointly involved in research. The format will include a brief introduction of each dyad and their main activities and a moderated Q&A. Topics of conversation will include how the dyads built their partnerships, the nature of the patient and researcher contributions, any challenges, benefits and lessons learned.

Moderator: Vicky Forster

A cancer biologist by training, Forster recently became the Patient and Community Engagement Lead at Women's College Hospital in Toronto. Her research experience involves various pediatric cancer research and survivorship projects. She is also a freelance science writer, contributing to publications such as The Times and Forbes Health, and a prolific public speaker, giving talks on survivorship and patient engagement in research to organizations such as TEDGlobal, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and the Society of Neuro-oncology. As a childhood cancer survivor herself, Forster combines all of these skills to design and build bridges between researchers and patient advocacy communities.

Dyad 1: Researcher: Dr. Nawal Amhis

Dr. Nawal Amhis is a General Surgery Resident at Université de Sherbrooke. She is also pursuing a master's degree in immunology in the Department of Immunology and Cell Biology, where her research will aim to better understand the mechanisms by which oncolytic virotherapy by VSVd51 influences innate immune cells such as myeloid regulatory cells and modulates the tumor microenvironment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Patient Partner: Julie Carignan

Julie Carignan is a surgical sales representative whose career spans more than 20 years. Since she was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular cancer in 2022, Julie has volunteered her time to support multiple initiatives focused on advancing cancer research, particularly for hard-to-treat cancers.

Dyad 2: Researcher: Dr. Jacqueline Galica

Dr. Jacqueline Galica is Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. Her research interests are guided by her clinical nursing experience, primarily exploring the psychosocial needs of post-treatment cancer survivors and seeking to identify methods useful to help survivors meet these needs. In her research, Jacqueline prioritizes partnerships with individuals diagnosed with cancer and survivors to identify researchable topics that are meaningful to them.

Patient Partner: Amy Wickenden

Amy Wickenden is a Certified Financial Planner with Sun Life. Prior to this career shift, she ran her own business as a hairstylist. Since Amy was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2016, she has spoken at educational events about the patient perspective through treatment and recovery.





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Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO)

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