Inaugural Chair in Psychosocial Oncology

Spring 2011

Carmen Loiselle

An expert in the psychosocial aspects of cancer, Carmen Loiselle has just added a new title to her academic repertoire – inaugural holder of the Christine and Herschel Victor/Hope & Cope Chair in Psychosocial Oncology. Established in 2008 through a generous donation by long-time McGill supporters Christine and Herschel Victor and the Hope and Cope Foundation, the chair will allow Loiselle to extend her work on treatment protocols that consider the entire continuum of cancer care.

“We are now aware of the tremendous role that physical, psychological, social, spiritual and financial aspects play in the lives of cancer patients, their families and friends,” says Loiselle, who is also director of the McGill University Oncology Nursing Program and associate professor at the School of Nursing. “One important aspect is living with the aftermath of cancer treatment, where longer-term effects are often underestimated.”

Many aspects of the cancer experience have yet to be fully explored, such as the existence of patterns of coping mechanisms; identifying what support services are most utilized and cost-effective; the relationship between stressors and cancer progression; how families of survivors adapt; and assessing the health outcomes of alternative therapies, such as meditation and acupuncture.

The new chair will also be closely aligned with McGill’s already successful Psychosocial Oncology Research Training Program, serving as a vital tool to attract and mentor promising clinicians, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other investigators.

“McGill is a recognized leader in research related to the psychosocial aspects of cancer care,” says Loiselle. “Thanks to the creation of this chair, we can continue to have a profound effect on this rapidly growing field and give those who survive cancer a better quality of life and sense of hope for the future.”

[Annette Mahon]

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