A dedication to the best quality of care available in the north is the main goal for LaDonna Fehr, who is the newly hired Director of Clinical Operations — Systemic Therapy for the BC Cancer Agency’s Centre of the North.
Hers is the first leadership position hired by the BC Cancer Agency, who are currently constructing a new cancer centre in Prince George, bringing with it radiation therapy, something not available North of Kelowna previously.
“We’ve been trying to strengthen the whole system in the north,” Dr. Ronald Chapman said, who’s the Regional Director for the Northern Cancer Control Strategy. “The cancer centre is the really important part of this continuum of care. It will bring therapy services we haven’t previously had in the north.”
The new 54,000 square foot building will include two linear accelerators, devices used in the delivery of radiation therapy, a computerized-tomography simulator, a chemotherapy unit, as well as a pharmacy, outpatient clinics and staff offices.
Construction started on July 29, 2010 and is expected to be completed in September of 2012.
“What’s also important about the cancer centre is that it will provide a support service to the nine outlying cancer clinics,” Chapman said.
The Bulkley Valley District Hospital houses one of these clinics that provides chemotherapy services to patients here.
Fehr will not only be overseeing systemic care (chemotherapy) in Prince George but also overseeing the delivery of cancer treatment in the cancer clinics throughout Northern Health.
She’s in an important position, BC Cancer Agency Chief Operating Officer and VP of Management and Operations Karim Karmali said, because she will begin crafting the culture and overall orientation of the centre.
“Those of us who have worked with LaDonna for a number of years will know how committed she is to not only high quality personalized cancer care, but is also very vested in the concept of a population based and regional service delivery model,” Karmali said.
Fehr, who has worked in Northern B.C. since 1988, really understands the unique attributes of the region and unique needs of our population, Karmali said. She’s already informed the provincial hub what we need up here, he said.
As she was previously employed by Northern Health, she also ensures continuity and secures a firm partnership, Karmali said.
Fehr said she was delighted to join with the BC Cancer Agency and was especially excited to see the services that the Center for the North will bring to northern B.C. Having worked alongside with the strategy to implement the community cancer clinics, the Center for the North will go a long way in helping them do what they do best: help those with cancer.
“With the new Center for the North in Prince George we will be able to really walk alongside and support them so they can deliver the quality of care they want to,” Fehr said.