MNO and Cancer Care Ontario officials following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on February 21. Left to right: Dr. Calvin Law, Regional Vice President, Cancer Services, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Dr. Michael Sherar, President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario, MNO President Gary Lipinski and MNO Chair France Picotte.
On February 21, 2015, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the basis for future cooperation on areas of common interest. President Gary Lipinski and Chair France Picotte signed the MOU on behalf of the MNO and Dr. Michael Sherar, CCO President and CEO signed on behalf of Cancer Care Ontario. The signing ceremony took place in Toronto at the same time as a meeting of the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) and so the entire Council was present for the event.
CCO is the Ontario government’s advisor on the cancer and renal systems, as well as on access to care for key health services. CCO drives continuous improvement in disease prevention and screening, the delivery of care and the patient experience for chronic diseases. CCO directs and oversees approximately $1.5 billion in funding for hospitals and other cancer and chronic kidney disease care providers, enabling them to deliver high quality, timely services and improved access to care. CCO has worked closely with the MNO’s Chronic Disease Surveillance Program and the MOU further strengthens their already very positive working relationship.
In his remarks, President Lipinski spoke about how cancer is a terrible disease that impacts Métis communities across the province and how the partnership with CCO can play a role in reducing that hardship. President Sherar spoke about CCO’s mission to ensure the best cancer care in Ontario and that meeting the needs of all Ontario communities is a critical part of that objective. He stated that as the Métis represent an important community in Ontario CCO is very pleased to enter into the MOU with the MNO.
Alethea Kewayosh, Director, Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit, also spoke at the signing and she thanked President Lipinski for his original commitment four years ago to work with CCO. She felt his personal attention to the issue of cancer prevention and treatment was crucial in bringing about the MOU.
Other CCO officials in attendance at the signing who have not been previously mentioned were: Dr. Calvin Law, Regional Vice President, Cancer Services, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Dr. Janet Smylie, Director, Well Living House; Susan Blacker, Interim Regional Director, Toronto Regional Cancer Program; Usman Aslam, Senior Project Manager, Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit, Cancer Care Ontario; Richard Steiner, Partnership Liaison Officer, Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit, Cancer Care Ontario; Laura Senese, Research Project Manager, Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit, Cancer Care Ontario; and Steven Lewis, Legal Counsel, Cancer Care Ontario.