Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre
The OICC is a not for profit regional centre of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Their centre of innovation and excellence has provided integrative, whole person, healthcare services and education to people in the Ottawa Region since November 2011. The OICC has served nearly 2000 people living with or wishing to prevent cancer and sees an average of 50 patients come in for care every day. Since opening the OICC has become recognized as a respected and reliable organization in the community helping people in the face of adversity through dynamic, evidence-informed whole person care. They fulfill their mission through the provision of outstanding clinical care, education and research as it applies to cancer, from prevention right through survivorship. In many instances, they provide supportive palliative and end of life care. In addition to individualized care, their group programming is an essential part of their innovation and helps the OICC’s dedicated team to effectively support more people.
The Babes4Breasts Head Start Program is a 5 week program designed specifically to serve women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Head Start has run for 18 months and served over 75 participants to date. Feedback from the participants has been phenomenal.
“The OICC Head Start program was a lifeline for me during the early days of my breast cancer diagnosis and continues to provide me with much needed support as I struggle with both the physical and emotional challenges that remain after conventional treatment ends”. – Christine
“With the help of the Head Start program, I eliminated processed foods and added healthy choices focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables. I now incorporate exercise into my daily routine, and have learned how to calm my mind and body. I could not have done all this without the support of the program. ”
To create this unique program, the OICC forged a partnership with the Babes4Breasts, a closely aligned community organization. Through their generous funding, the OICC program is changing lives for the better, at no cost to the participants. By empowering and educating participants in the early stages of diagnosis, they can help them better manage their cancer journey right from the start. The program consists of workshops, seminars and hands on support, enabling women to navigate their cancer diagnosis, their cancer treatments and their overall health outcomes more effectively. Integral components of the program include nutritional and exercise guidance, mind body stress reduction techniques, integrative therapies and a core support network to access. Research outcomes indicate that the participants are faring better, with significant reductions in anxiety and improved wellbeing. The women remain resilient members of our community.