Ottawa, ON – Jackie Manthorne, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN), has spent over twenty years giving a voice to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. This fall, that dedication was recognised by the Canadian Cancer Action Network (CCAN), which awarded Manthorne the 2017 Jack Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award at their Annual General Meeting on September 14th.
CCAN is a not-for-profit that connects cancer care organizations across Canada, seeking to foster dialogue and improve cancer care throughout the country. Its annual Jack Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award recognises individuals who have contributed to the empowerment of patients and caregivers and demonstrated a deep passion for advancing work in cancer care. It is the highest honour conveyed by the CCAN, and Manthorne expressed gratitude.
“It is a real honour to have received an award named after Jack – he worked so hard to make sure that patients have a role to play in cancer care, and both CCAN and CCSN are very involved in increasing that role,” said Manthorne.
After a celebrated career in the non-profit and charitable field, including 12 years as the CEO of an Ottawa-based national healthcare charity working in breast cancer, Manthorne founded CCSN with several others who had been personally affected by cancer. Like anything worth doing, this venture would take hard work. She volunteered a year of time establishing the organization, and over five years later, she hasn’t slowed down.
Under her direction, CCSN works with cancer survivors, patients and caregivers, making information on treatment and the development of advocacy skills available to all. But more importantly, it gives them an opportunity to communicate. CCSN opens communication between people in all areas of cancer care, and turns local conversations into national ones.
CCSN accomplishes all of this from an office in Ottawa. Instead of setting up regional locations, Manthorne opted for a more efficient route: social media, digital conferencing, and internet engagement. In 2016, over twelve thousand people participated in CCSN’s bi-weekly webinars, each of which give experts an opportunity to educate, and give patients and caregivers and opportunity to ask questions.
“The purpose of CCSN has always been to educate, empower and connect patients, caregivers, survivors, cancer care groups and healthcare providers so we can work together to improve our healthcare and cancer care systems,” she said.
Manthorne has gathered a team of like-minded individuals, most of them volunteers, who work together to make the CCSN’s programming a success. Working with organizations across the country, the CCSN team runs programs like A Seat at the Table, which focuses on identifying opportunities for patients and survivors to participate on boards and committees and educating patients in the science of cancer to prepare them to sit on research peer review panels and clinical trial design committees. This program’s name is a reflection of Manthorne’s drive toward an inclusive, open national approach to cancer care.