Education Grants

The Rossy Cancer Network Educational Grants support health care professionals who express interest in developing knowledge in the field of cancer care quality improvement. The RCN Education Fund plans to invest strategically on cancer care teams currently in place to integrate multiple complex skill sets.

To this end, the RCN Cancer Quality Innovation (CQI) initiative is sponsoring three renewable Educational Grants of up to $25,000/year to support training initiatives relevant to these or other skills related to cancer care quality. The targeted skill set must be directly relevant to RCN goals and objectives.

Who can apply

This opportunity is open to all health care professionals with an interest in developing knowledge in cancer care optimization and that work within RCN’s three partner hospitals and are directly involved in the provision of cancer care, including:

  • physicians
  • nurses
  • rehabilitation professionals
  • psychosocial health experts
  • other health care professionals involved in the provision of cancer care


Areas of study

Domains of knowledge/skills covered by this funding mechanism are directly linked to the RCN’s target of cancer care quality improvement:
• Measurement tools (e.g. performance assessment score cards)
• Informatics (e.g. health applications, communications, cancer-specific electronic documentation)
• Leadership & Management (e.g. needs assessment, strategic planning, project implementation, post-intervention evaluation)
• Knowledge translation: transfer of knowledge from generation to clinical application (e.g. user adoption, barriers, change management, team
• Other domains not necessarily mentioned here but directly in line with RCN goals and values and Faculty growth plans.


Only formal training programs by recognized institutions will be eligible (i.e. executive degrees, year-long fellowships, or off-site certification programs).  Skill set acquired must be transferable to McGill and usable within the reality of the MAHN to generate clinical excellence and academic productivity.

2014 Winners

Optimizing health care management

Radiation-oncologist Dr. Tarek Hijal, the MUHC’s Associate Clinical Director of Radiation Oncology, will complete a two-year executive Master’s degree in Health Economics, Policy and Management at the London School of Economics. Topics of his program will include quality assurance strategies, outcome measures in oncology and the cost effectiveness of health care projects.

He will focus on measuring and reporting health outcomes and improving operational efficiency, in addition to developing the skills to evaluate the economic impact of new technologies. Upon completion of his program, he plans to implement network-wide practice guidelines and automated electronic medical record auditing.

Improving performance

Head nurse Karine LePage from the In-Patient Hematology-Oncology and Internal Medicine floor at the JGH will be completing a week-long intensive course on Leading High-Performance Health Care Organizations offered by the Harvard Business School.

Her program will focus on evaluating new care delivery models and understanding their impact, applying best practices to health care delivery and implementing innovations in order to streamline budgets. Her goal is to return with stronger skills in strategic planning and improving performance in oncology.

Evaluating advanced cancer patients

Clinical nutritionist Jonathan di Tomasso of the MUHC’s Cancer Rehabilitation Clinic will complete a Master’s in Nutrition at McGill while collaborating with the McGill Nutrition and Performance Laboratory. Through his degree he will participate in the development of a comprehensive profile of nutrition, performance and quality of life characteristics to help screen advanced cancer patients.  

This profile will allow teams to determine the type of program that would most benefit patients, whether it is rehabilitation, cachexia or palliative care programs. Ultimately, he will develop tools to evaluate the effectiveness of these various interventions with advanced cancer patients across the network.

Acquiring best practices

Faced with an increase in the number of oncology patients admitted to their unit, nurses at SMHC’s Intergrated Surgery Unit are embarking on a self-directed program to develop oncology-specific skills. Spearheaded by head nurse Maria Kozma-Hong, the unit will do field research by observing the daily routine of the surgical oncology units at Mount Sinai Hospital and Sunnybrooke Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

They will also send three nurse champions to attend the Nursing Oncology Conference at the Cleveland Clinic and the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology Conference in Quebec City. Lessons learned will be shared with the team, allowing them to integrate an oncological perspective within the foundation of their post-operative care practices.


Read more about the 2014 winners.


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