Photos courtesy of Jim Peacock

Quality care for our cancer patients requires a dedicated team of health care professionals knowledgeable in all aspects of cancer care. They are:

The Medical Physicians and Cancer Care Staff

  • Dr. Tanya Austin – General Practitioner
    with Specialty in Oncology
  • Dr. Amitabh Bakshi – General Practitioner
    with Specialty in Oncology
  • Dr. Pedro Camacho – Hematologist
  • Dr. Trace Thomas – Internist
  • Dr. Rick Engman – Internist
  • Jill Blacklock – RN
  • Coral Forbes – RN
  • Lindsay James – RN

Equally important to the cancer patients’ care are their physicians, social workers and individuals who diligently carry out the day-to-day support and essential services within the hospital. These individuals respond to the needs of the patient with their own unique area of expertise. Teamed together with the support of the oncologists in Victoria and the BC Cancer Agency, their goal is to provide the best possible care for the patient.

The Lab Technologists

• Conduct the initial testing to support the diagnosis of cancer via lab samples (blood and tissue)

• Treatment and follow up recommendations form part of the pathologist report in many cases

• Monitor the patients as they undergo treatment by performing tests such as white blood cell count, kidney liver function tests etc.

• Cross-match compatible units of blood and arrange platelet transfusions

• Perform testing for patients who are vulnerable to infection due to side effects of the treatment

• Refer specialized tests off island to BC Cancer Agency

The Pathologists (Lab Physicians)

• Responsible for histology, hematology, chemistry, blood bank and microbiology.

• Supervise, establish policies and provide clinical consultative services regarding lab results.

• Provide diagnostic services for submitted tissue specimens.

The Pharmacists

• Counsel all patients receiving new oral chemotherapy medication.

• Conduct a detailed medication review for potential drug interactions with a patient’s home medications for all new chemotherapy starts.

• Prepare easy-to-use blister packaging for complex oral dosage regimens

• Perform a thorough review of chemotherapy orders for accuracy based on BC Cancer Agency protocols and laboratory values

• Provide a safe and effective product preparation environment in the Biological Safety Cabinet to ensure products remain sterile and are limited in exposure by staff during preparation.

The Radiologists and Nuclear Medicine

• Conduct initial testing using CT, MRI, mammography, or ultrasound imaging to allow oncology to make a diagnosis.

• Perform subsequent biopsies for specific cancers such as lung, breast, prostate, and metastatic cases.

• Continue regular CT, MRI, mammography, or ultrasound to assist patient and cancer team in planning treatment.

• Place patient’s Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) line for treatment, for cases involving chemotherapy.

• Provide palliative relief with pain injections and fluid drainages for symptom relief for progressive cancer cases

Every department at St. Joseph’s including nutritional services, housekeeping and the volunteers also support the cancer patient in some way. St. Joseph’s General Hospital’s commitment to the patient is to provide excellent medical care, offered with compassion within a safe and comfortable environment.