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The BC Cancer Agency is committed to quality patient care and safety through continuous improvement efforts.

In July 2013, the BC Cancer Agency was awarded Accreditation with Exemplary Standing by Accreditation Canada after an on-site survey of its care and research centres across the province. Accreditation is an effective, internationally recognized and respected evaluation process used by many countries worldwide to assess the qualities of health services.

This award level is achieved by approximately 30 per cent of health care organizations surveyed across the country.

Using national standards for quality, safety and best practices in oncologic care, surveyors from Accreditation Canada assessed five of the agency’s six centres during their visit from June 9 to 13, 2013:

  • Abbotsford Centre
  • Fraser Valley Centre
  • Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior
  • Vancouver Centre
  • Vancouver Island Centre
  • NOTE: The new Centre for the North was excluded from the formal component of the accreditation survey since it had been open less than one year.

The 2013 accreditation decision for the BC Cancer Agency is based on the Agency’s performance against standards that fall into three main categories: system-wide, population specific and service excellence.

The BC Cancer Agency joins other Provincial Health Services Authority agencies – BC Children’s, BC Women’s,  and BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) in 2012; along with the BC Centre for Disease Control and BCMHSUS’ Forensic Psychiatric Services in 2011 – in receiving the highest quality standing in Canada.

Strategic plan

Despite two decades of continuing improvement in age-standardized mortality rates (ASMR) – the impact of interventions on death from cancer – the population burden of cancer continues to rise as a result of the aging of a growing population. Thus, not only must the gains be consolidated, we must also learn more, apply more, and do it more quickly if we are to make a sustained impact on cancer control. 

Currently the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) is a population-based cancer control organization with a well-developed, stable platform for its service, education and research mandate. This strategic plan will sustain the provincial cancer control platform whilst transforming the BCCA into a translational research organization directed to enhancing cancer control outcomes.


The translational research organizational model links the pathway from discovery research to improved health outcomes, and vice-versa, by establishing a collective interdisciplinary resource across the domains of discovery research (basic), clinical research and population application. The model is critically dependent on establishing and nurturing the knowledge transfer environments linking these separate domains – the transfer of “innovation” and the transfer of “adoption”. To bring added focus to the translational research agenda, the organization’s direction and resources can be conceived in three broad areas – the discovery agenda of predictive and personalized cancer medicine, the “clinical” or validation agenda of interventional cancer management, and the population application agenda directed to population health and cancer. 

The strategic plan has four key directions: 

  1. To sustain and advance the BC Cancer Agency’s system of cancer control.
  2. To establish the knowledge generation and application paradigm within the provincial cancer control platform.
  3. To support regional centres, regions and communities with the implementation of provincial cancer control programs and the integration of knowledge across the discovery -> clinical practice -> population application continuum.
  4. To ensure the provision and deployment of resources to achieve maximal organizational effectiveness.

A critical factor for this plan will be the willingness, opportunity and success in establishing novel partnerships and relationships to enhance funding, resource allocation, infrastructure development and competitive advantage. 

Since receiving approval of its strategic plan in 2005, the BCCA has completed yearly environmental scans and in doing so, has not identified any potential risks i.e. apart from the challenge of securing ongoing operating resources for the Cancer Research Centre. Efforts are presently underway to ensure there is a clear understanding of the costs of operating the facility, possible cost recovery and revenue streams, and identifying sustainable sources of operating support. Notwithstanding this challenge, the BCCA remains wholly committed to the translational research agenda and our provincial cancer control mandate as outlined in the plan.

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SOURCE: Accountability ( )
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