New Kamloops breast health clinic officially opens

By on June 26, 2017
Patron Rae Fawcett speaks during the official opening of the Rae Fawcett Breast Health Clinic in the Clinical Services building at Royal Inland Hospital on Thursday, June 22. Dave Eagles/KTW

By: Kamloops This Week

The official opening of the Rae Fawcett Breast Health Clinic at Royal Inland Hospital was held on Thursday afternoon.

The clinic gives patients in the Kamloops region access to centralized outpatient services and will help reduce the wait time for a breast cancer diagnosis.

“Interior Health is pleased to launch this model of care at Royal Inland Hospital — a specialized and integrated clinic that will help decrease delays for cancer diagnosis, speed referrals to surgical service when necessary and provide efficient, safe, quality, and timely care for breast health patients,” said John O’Fee, chair of the Interior Health board. “I want to thank Rae Fawcett, her family and the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation for the generous donation that made this breast health clinic become a reality.”

The road to a cancer diagnosis, or news that a suspected diagnosis is not cancerous, can involve multiple appointments and follow-up consultations for patients with a family physician, mammography technologist, radiologist and surgeon.

The new clinic has been designed as a one-stop shop for breast health care that helps reduce the time patients wait for referrals and consultations. Patients have the opportunity to access a single-visit triple assessment, when appropriate, of clinical examination, diagnostic imaging and tissue sampling or biopsy. The co-ordinated care pathway helps speed up the time for tests, results and, if necessary, a surgical referral.

The consult room at the Rae Fawcett Breast Health Clinic in the Clinical Services Building at Royal Inland Hospital.
(Dave Eagles/KTW)


“I got involved with the establishment of this clinic after my own breast cancer diagnosis. As a patient, I recognized how difficult it could be to navigate the breast cancer diagnostic system,” said Dr. Liz Ewart, a family physician who was instrumental in the creation of the clinic. “I’m so pleased that we have been able to open this clinic, which will make the breast cancer diagnostic system in our community more efficient, easier to navigate, more supportive, and less scary for those who have to go through it. I can’t thank Rae Fawcett, the Fawcett family and the community enough for supporting the opening of this clinic.”

Rae Fawcett and husband Ron are longtime Kamloops business leaders and philanthropists who have contributed to many Kamloops institutions and programs, including the RIH Foundation, Thompson Rivers University, the Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra and the B.C. Wildlife Park.

The official opening of the Rae Fawcett Breast Health Clinic in the Clinical Services Building at Royal Inland Hospital took place on Thursday, June 22.
(Dave Eagles/KTW)


Improving access to health care is one of the Fawcetts’ passions, particularly access to women’s health programming, given a history of breast cancer in their family. As a result, they donated $1 million to the RIH Foundation to help create both the Rae Fawcett Breast Health Clinic and Rae Fawcett Simulation Centre at the hospital.

“The breast health clinic has already exceeded my expectations in the very short time it has been open,” Rae Fawcett said. “I have heard great feedback thus far, and am honoured to be a part of the process to ease patient wait times for diagnosis.”

Added RIH Foundation CEO Heidi Coleman: “We are so grateful to Rae, who truly understood the need for this clinic in our community.”

The clinic opened on May 30. It will run three days per week, initially accepting referrals from BC Cancer’s screening mammography program, before expanding to acceptance of family physician referrals from the Kamloops region.

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