The University of B.C. on Monday named a chairperson for its new effort to help Indigenous people who have cancer.
Dr. Nadine Caron will focus on the needs of Indigenous cancer survivors and their families, as well as on how Indigenous people face cancer, the university said in a release.
Caron, who served as the country’s first female First Nations general surgeon, will serve as chair for five years. The position is jointly funded by a $3-million commitment from the health authority and UBC.
“We are seeing poorer outcomes for Indigenous peoples with some cancers,” said First Nations Health Authority acting CEO Richard Jock.
Not only are First Nations people less likely to survive cancer, the release said, they are more likely to get certain types, such as colorectal and cervical cancers.
Dr. Dermot Kelleher, dean of the faculty of medicine and vice president of health, said Caron’s role will be to integrate First Nations knowledge into modern-day health care.
“The centuries-old knowledge of the importance of wellness, integral to Indigenous traditional learnings, is now a critical principle informing 21st century health care,” Kelleher said.
Caron currently works out of Prince George as an oncologist for people living in rural areas.