Project management students raise proceeds for cancer care research

June 27, 2016

Students in the UNBC Continuing Studies’ Masters Certificate in Project Management course have raised more than $12,000 in support of research within BC Cancer Agency’s Prospective Outcomes and Support Initiative (POSI).

Through POSI, patients provide feedback on how they are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally, which helps doctors, nurses, and other health care providers in Northern B.C. to improve the care they give patients. 

As part of their Project Management certification, students were required to manage a project from start to finish that would raise funds for a charitable cause. The class held an Ultimate Father’s Day Getaway raffle to raise the funds for POSI and generate overall awareness of men’s health. The $5,000 prize package included flights, accommodation and spending money for two to see the Toronto Blue Jays play in Toronto, and other prizes.

“The funds will enable us to test collecting patients’ reports of their symptoms through an online questionnaire,” said Dr. Robert Olson, radiation oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North in Prince George, provincial director of POSI, and an assistant professor in the Northern Medical Program. “Individuals will be able to report on their recovery experience while at home without having to travel out of town for further appointments. We will also test if nurses and counsellors can provide more timely response to patients concerns, saving patients from booking costly trips to see an oncologist in person.

“We anticipate this will provide quicker access to post-treatment supports, delivered through local health care providers, especially for those in the north who have just received radiation therapy or chemotherapy and are dealing with side effects.”

The students said they chose the POSI program as a recipient because of its importance to providing effective patient care throughout Northern B.C.

“The application of course concepts to a live project helps cement learning but more importantly gives students the confidence to apply these concepts to their work projects during and following the Masters Certificate program,” said course instructor Dr. Dale Christenson. “The students also lived the real issue that projects require coordination, leadership and commitment to take them from concept to cash. By using proven best practices in project management, students saw the value of these practices while conducting a very successful project outcome.”

“The BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North is very appreciative of the support from the UNBC project management class,” added Kerensa Medhurst, research facilitator at the centre. “Projects like this serve to raise awareness about the work we are doing at the BC Cancer Agency and provide resources to support great initiatives.”

The class donated the proceeds through the BC Cancer Foundation, the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency.