Highlighting our Team: Chemotherapy

Denise Wojciechowski has been part of the SLMHC team for 13 years, the last seven years as a chemotherapy nurse.

At Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC), providing quality health care that is accessible is a top priority, helping to keep our patients close to home.

Our goal is to coordinate excellent cancer care that is both collaborative and meaningful for our patients. SLMHC operates a level three satellite, providing an outpatient program in conjunction with the Northwest Regional Cancer Centre based out of Thunder Bay.

As a satellite site, SLMHC delivers standardized, quality-based services that includes systemic and oral cancer therapies, cancer treatment procedures, information and education services, and palliative care and advanced care planning.

Denise Wojciechowski has been part of the SLMHC team for 13 years, the last seven years as a chemotherapy nurse.

“As an outpatient program, clients usually go to Thunder Bay to meet face to face with their medical oncologists to discuss their treatment and plan of care,” Denise says. “They usually have first treatments in Thunder Bay and are then transferred back to Sioux Lookout for the remainder of their treatments.”

Denise says she has seen a large increase in patient volume at the program since she started in 2014.

“When I first started there were maybe seven or eight patients, now we are seeing almost 80 people for various treatments.”

As part of enhancing and expanding care for patients in the program, the cancer care team is growing with the addition of a nurse practitioner along with two doctors.

“We’ve added a nurse practitioner to our cancer team and are going to be adding two part-time doctors to help with management and assessments of our patients. This will really help to enhance and expand the care we offer. Our client’s cancer diagnoses are more complicated now due to underlying health conditions and increased side effects. Instead of patients having to go to the ER for physician care, we can offer them complete service in the chemotherapy suite,” Denise explains.

Another recent change, due to COVID-19, that helps make care easier for patients is the shift to virtual telephone calls for meetings with their medical oncologists.

“This change has eliminated the need for patients to come to our facility for Telemedicine appointments. They can now complete those meetings from the comfort of their own homes. Our patients have stated that they really like this and hope it will continue,” Denise concludes.

For more information on cancer care here at SLMHC, visit slmhc.on.ca/cancercare. To find out more about Regional Cancer Care Northwest: Care Close to Home, click here.