Cancer Chat at de Souza Institute's facilitators are experienced psychosocial oncology counsellors from all over Canada.
Heather Rennie works at the BC Cancer. She is the Clinical Coordinator of the Provincial Psychosocial Oncology Program. She has a Master's in Applied Social Psychology, and a Master's in Couple and Family Therapy. She has been facilitating online support groups for close to a decade. She has trained and mentored many others in facilitating groups on the Cancer Chat Canada platform. She loves working online, and especially loves to see the support and care that happens in online groups. She is looking forward to meeting you online!
Diane Manii has worked at the Ottawa Hospital for over 20 years, primarily as Clinical Social Worker in Oncology and Program Leader in Psychosocial Oncology. She is now in private practice and continues to work with people with chronic and acute illnesses. She has a Master's in Social Work and is a trained family mediator. She has facilitated face to face groups throughout the cancer experience and trained and mentored others to facilitate groups. She is looking forward to speaking to people across Canada online, and is delighted to be working with Cancer Chat Canada which provides a unique opportunity for connection and support that people can access from home.
Sara has been an art therapist since 2007. As a student, her first practicum was in an oncology unit in a hospital. She was nervous at first but ended up loving working there, and even wrote her thesis on using art therapy in cancer care. Sara has been an art therapist at the BC Cancer since 2010. Most of her time here includes leading art therapy groups for families and young adults. She is also interested in using technology to make art therapy more accessible, which is why she began leading groups on CancerChat at De Souza Institute! Sara spends her time outside of work with her family, in her garden, and making crafts.
I have been working as a Clinic Counsellor at the BC Cancer in Victoria since 2005. My clinical work includes providing counselling for patients and their families as they find their way with a cancer diagnosis. I love living in Victoria. I enjoy walking with my partner and our dog in the funky neighborhoods and ocean-side walks.
Traci Franklin has a Master's of Social Work and has worked in psychosocial oncology for over ten years in northern Ontario. She has provided individual, family and group counselling for patients and families coping with a cancer diagnoses as well as clinical supervision for other oncology health care providers.
Deborah McLeod is a clinician scientist with a psychosocial oncology team at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax NS. She has worked with people affected with cancer for 15 years and been involved with Cancer Chat Canada since it began. She has facilitated many groups, including general cancer groups for patients and caregivers, groups for people dealing with sexual concerns, and groups that address sleep concerns.
Cathie works at the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA) as an Art Therapist in the Provincial Psychosocial Oncology Program. While working at the BCCA, Cathie has facilitated art therapy groups for patients with a brain tumour, Chinese-speaking patients, young adults with cancer, and children who have a family member with cancer. Cathie also facilitates the Expressive Arts Studio at BCCA which includes hands-on sessions with guest artists from a variety of disciplines (poetry, sculpture, photography, songwriting, storytelling and painting). Cathie is a co-facilitator of the CancerChat Expressive Arts Group.
Grant Rathwell is a Clinical Oncology Social Worker with the Allan Blair Cancer Centre in Regina. As a member of the supportive care team, he provides psychosocial support services to cancer patients, their families and significant others. Grant has an undergraduate Degree in Psychology and French, a Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work and a Diploma in Health Services Management. He is actively involved in numerous volunteer activities locally, provincially and nationally. He and his wife enjoy family time with their adult children and their grandchildren.
Dr. Sellick is an experienced clinician for 35 years and is a psychosocial oncologist who works with patients and their families.
Nancy has worked as a social worker in diverse program areas - and in three different provinces - during her 30+ year career!
She has particularly enjoyed the past nine years, as Team Leader for Patient and Family Counselling Services at Vancouver Island Centre, BC Cancer. Nancy notes that working with cancer patients and their families has taught her to focus on the present and on what is truly important in life - particularly our connections with loved ones. As an on-line facilitator for Cancer Chat Canada, Nancy has been touched by the sharing and open conversations that occur.
Elizabeth has worked in Psychosocial Oncology for 12 years, and is currently the Community Support Coordinator for the Community Oncology Program at CancerCare Manitoba. She thrives on her individual and group work with clients, as well as the opportunity to support and nurture other psychosocial oncology clinicians.
Cheryl Dizon-Reynante is a Canadian Certified Counsellor working as a Psychosocial Clinician at CancerCare Manitoba, where she provides individual, couple and group counselling services to patients and family members.
Cheryl has facilitated in-person support groups for women diagnosed with primary and metastatic breast cancer, as well as for caregivers. She has been a Cancer Chat online facilitator since 2017 and is happy to facilitate from this platform where people can access support from afar.
Become an Online Support Facilitator
If you are a professional psychosocial oncology counsellor and would like to become one of our facilitators, please apply by filling out the Facilitator Registration Form. Facilitators must have face to face group experience and be currently employed at a Canadian Cancer Centre.
Counselors, Clinicians, and Researchers
Please contact us if you would like more information on how to refer your patients to our program.
For clinicians who are interested in helping their clients or patients deal with a palliative diagnosis, the best resource can be found on the professional resource pages of the Canadian Virtual Hospice (CVH). This site also offers an "Ask a Professional" resource where you can submit your questions about palliative care in an online forum.
Professional Development for Health Professionals
de Souza Institute is a well-established leader in providing professional development resources to health care professionals who support patients along the cancer care continuum. Explore how our courses can enrich your practice in oncology and palliative care.