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Together as one: BC Cancer CASCADE Team combines innovation and collaboration to enhance patient care

The BC Cancer CASCADE Team was recently recognized with a BC Cancer Excellence Award in the category of Teamwork & Collaboration for their collaborative approach to enhancing patient care.
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Top left to right: Sarah Dhamrait, Alex Kozhikhov, Mary Nagy, Hugo Britto, Joanne Calinisian.
Bottom left to right: Rachel Berns, Alison Kong, Dmitriy Bykov, Kathleen Creamer, Ester Chan.

The BC Cancer Excellence Awards highlight the incredible individuals and teams who work to ensure that British Columbians receive world-class, patient-centred cancer screening, treatment and support, or benefit from new discoveries that are helping change the face of cancer. 

The BC Cancer CASCADE Team was recently recognized with a 2020 BC Cancer Excellence Award in the category of Teamwork and Collaboration. This award recognizes a team at BC Cancer for participating in collaborative problem-solving to build relationships and effect change. This team is a model for others on how to work together to make a difference. 

Team members include Dmitriy Bykov, senior business analyst, cancer informatics and analytics; Sarah Dhamrait, business analyst & project support; Ester Chan, screening registry coordinator; Mary Nagy, client services manager, screening programs; Alex Kozhikhov, business intelligence specialist; Joanne Calinisan, cervix screening program coordinator; Hugo Britto, data coordinator, screening programs; Kathleen Creamer, client services coordinator, screening programs; Rachel Berns, screening registry leader; and Alison Kong, business lead, screening solutions.

These BC Cancer CASCADE team members worked across the cervix, breast, and colon screening programs to design and implement a new IT system. This new IT system replaced multiple aging systems with one system supported by common workflows and one common electronic client record. The single solution will also be used for any new additional BC Cancer screening programs.

"The team is made up of very like-minded individuals who are passionate, hardworking, and committed. All working toward the same goal of creating a great system that will be a one-stop shop to support multiple screening programs for years and years to come," says Mary Nagy, client services manager, screening programs.
One of the most significant innovations developed is a protocol that guides a patient along a standard screening pathway keeping the patient and their provider informed. This has broken down silos and created a consistent approach across existing and future cancer screening programs.

We had an opportunity to catch up with the team on their award.

1. Can you tell us about what the CASCADE Team does at BC Cancer?

As a team, we work collaboratively to design and build a functional and practical browser-based system that will enable program staff to efficiently and effectively service those who participate in screening programs. Our team is comprised of individuals from various screening teams that have come together to create, develop and implement a unified screening application. This new client relationship management application replaces our legacy systems. 

2. What has been your team's proudest moment at BC Cancer? 

The first go-live of Cervix Screening CASCADE has by far been the proudest moment for us. This go-live demonstrated the benefits for patients and the health system by enabling the Cervix Screening Program, for the first time ever, to mail screening reminder letters to patients (instead of reminding their health care provider) and empowering them to take a proactive approach to their health. In addition, CASCADE will allow the program to fast-track those receiving abnormal Pap test results to much needed colposcopy follow-up. This will get patients into follow-up and treatment quicker, and improve the uptake of follow-up procedures.

3. What is the secret to effective teamwork and collaboration?

The CASCADE team is no stranger when it comes to effective teamwork and collaboration. They shared with us their secret to success below: 

  • "Being open to ideas, feedback, and opinions. Listening, observing, understanding big picture, realizing potential limitations and restrictions will exist and can be worked around. Asking questions in a thoughtful manner to initiate positive conversations. Being supportive, helpful, and kind."
  • "Communication and a willingness to listen to other ideas."
  • "Keep communication open!"
  • "Our team's secret to success is watching each other's back and being ready to help each other any time with any task."

Congratulations to the CASCADE team on this well-deserved award! 

The BC Cancer Excellence Awards celebrate the passion and remarkable contributions of BC Cancer staff, and highlight some outstanding examples of how our people are making a difference for British Columbians facing cancer. For more information on our awards, visit
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