History

The New Brunswick Breast and Women’s Cancer Partnership Inc. (NBBWCP) was formed in 2010. It evolved from the New Brunswick Breast Cancer Information Partnership Inc. (NBBCIP), which was formed in 1998 and incorporated in 2002.

Since we began, NBBWCP has successfully enhanced education, awareness, and support for citizens with breast and women’s cancers; built capacity in providing information and support needs in New Brunswick; and provided a link between the breast and women’s cancer communities in New Brunswick and those across Canada.

The Partnership’s initial desire to include women’s cancers was a response to grassroots requests for information about reproductive cancers, and a response to the profile of women’s cancer presented at the Atlantic Think Tank on Women’s Cancers in 2008. The mandate includes the development and implementation of enhanced bilingual services in education, awareness, and support for breast and gynecological cancers (ovarian, cervical and uterine cancer). The new image, organizational model and resources of the new Partnership were launched in October 2010, and the newly developed Gynecological Cancer Information Guide was launched in September 2011. NBBWCP distributes this free guide, as well as the Purple Violet Breast Cancer Information Kit to health care providers throughout New Brunswick, who give them to women when they are diagnosed.

A Community Contact Program was created in response to a grassroots need for help accessing national, regional and local breast and gynecological cancer resources and support. Volunteers are trained as Community Contacts (peer navigators) to support women at risk or who have been diagnosed with breast, ovarian, cervical or uterine cancer, and link them to provincial, health zone and community support services. Often, Community Contacts are cancer survivors themselves. Each Community Contact can receive guidance from health care system workers involved in NBBWCP as Regional Representatives. 

The New Brunswick Breast and Women's Cancer Partnership is run primarily by volunteers. In 2012, it hired its first full-time employee, a Community Program Coordinator, to organize the delivery of the Community Contact Program throughout New Brunswick. To date, the Partnership has trained over 40 volunteers from all regions in the province. The Partnership has received funding or grants from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Atlantic, Ovarian Cancer Canada, and the Women’s Issues Branch/Executive Council Office of the New Brunswick government. In addition to its funders, partners of NBBWCP also include the Canadian Cancer Society, the Multicultural Council of New Brunswick, many employees of New Brunswick’s Horizon and Vitalité Health Networks, private organizations and cancer survivors.

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