Posted: November 5, 2018

Grand River Hospital’s regional cancer centre and Kitchener Public Library are celebrating the first anniversary of their partnership that brought patients a newly redesigned resource centre.

The J. Wesley Graham Patient and Family Resource Centre in GRH’s cancer centre re-opened one year ago. The resource centre received generous financial support from Grand River Hospital Foundation as well as strong encouragement from patients who advocated for its renewal.

Two women looking at books instead the resource centre

Martha Wright, a long time patient of the cancer centre, was a keen supporter for redesigning the resource centre through the cancer centre’s Patient and Family Advisory Council.

“I felt very strongly that the resource centre would be a vital addition to the services available at the cancer centre,” said Martha. “As a patient in active treatment for cancer, I felt I had a lot to offer, both as a person interested in helping patients navigate the information available, and also as a patient who could empathize with their cancer experience.”

The resource center provides patients access to relevant up-to-date information on specific types of cancer, health databases, digital audiobooks and magazines, streaming music and videos. The specially-curated collection focuses on strategies to help patients deal with a cancer diagnosis such as healthy eating, smoking cessation, exercise, yoga and meditation. A leisure collection is also available to those who are looking for something un-related to their disease.               

“We are thankful for our community donors for making the J. Wesley Graham Patient and Family Resource Centre a reality. Through the work of the Grand River Hospital Foundation and our Patient and Family Advisory Council our patients will reap the benefits of the resource centre for years to come,” said Jane Martin, vice president of the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre.

The resource centre also offers the latest in technology including new computers and iPads to assist visitors in finding the information they are looking for.

“The resource centre is a very special place for me. In addition to being an excellent source of information, it is a great place to spend time between appointments. I'll often pop down to the resource centre after blood work and spend an hour or so before my next appointment checking my email, chatting with the volunteer, or just relaxing with a book. It definitely makes the time between appointments go by quickly and is a very pleasant, quiet space to go,” said Martha.

The resource centre has received more than 2,600 visits since it’s re-opening and is staffed by GRH volunteers and Kitchener Public Library staff.

“Whatever the reason, the resource centre is a warm, welcoming environment and I cherish the relationships that I have developed with many of the patients and caregivers who have utilized our services. It has been a wonderful year; a success not only in the number of people who have come through our doors, but also in the quality of our interactions,” said Martha

Patients onsite and throughout the region are encouraged to visit the resource centre to learn more about their disease and become more involved in their care. Resource centre staff and volunteers work hard to tailor information and education resources to empower patients, improve the patient experience and create an environment where patients and caregivers are more informed and more involved in their care.

“The J. Wesley Graham Patient and Family Resource Centre is an important part of what makes the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre so special. During this difficult time, patients and families are able to get information from a credible source,” said Diane Wolfenden, Chair of the Grand River Hospital Foundation Board of Governors. “We are proud to support the partnership between Grand River Hospital and Kitchener Public Library and are extremely grateful for the donors who’ve made the first anniversary possible.”

“We have been honoured to be a partner in the Grand River Hospital community. Now, more than ever, it is important for public libraries and librarians to help people access fact-based, reliable information. And it is even more important when seeking information about your health,” said Mary Chevreau, CEO of the Kitchener Public Library. “Kitchener Public Library is committed to providing service to our community members, where they are and when they need it most. To the staff, donors, and volunteers of Grand River Regional Cancer Centre, and especially to the patients and their family and friends, thank you for inviting us to be one part of your health care journey.”

As we move forward in our second year, we hope to better guide patients through their cancer journey and provide them with the right resources at the right time so they can better manage their disease and take an active role in their care. We also look forward to working with our community partners and developing resources to support patients with cancer throughout the region.

Ongoing donations to Grand River Hospital Foundation help the resource centre build its collection and increase the educational and peer support opportunities in the space. 

For more information about the resource centre and its current activities, please visit (opens in new window).