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Rethink Breast Cancer and Pfizer Canada announce recipients of the 2023 national quality improvement grants to support metastatic breast cancer patients


This is the third year that Pfizer Canada and Rethink join forces to prioritize the voices and quality of life of people living with mBC

KIRKLAND, QC, July 31, 2023 – Rethink Breast Cancer (Rethink) and Pfizer Canada are proud to announce three recipients who will collectively receive over $200,000 in grants for their work in developing innovative strategies to measurably improve the quality of care for people living with metastatic breast cancer (mBC).

Guided by the unique and unmet needs identified by people living with mBC and their families, Pfizer Canada and Rethink Breast Cancer have committed to funding the following proposals:

  • Dr. Geoffrey Watson, Sinai Health System: In recent years, metastatic breast cancer (mBC) has been increasingly diagnosed in younger women, however little attention has been paid to the unique challenges faced by this particularly vulnerable group. The goal of this project is to develop an innovative virtual educational program, tailored to the unique needs of young patients with mBC. The key impact of the program will be in the use of innovative technology to enhance access to comprehensive, up-to-date, and highly actionable information that improves the lives of young patients with mBC.

  • Dr. Sarah Cook, University of Calgary: Patients living with metastatic breast cancer can access a lot of information online, yet few sites include supportive and palliative care resources that prevent or relieve suffering. This program will bring together patients, caregivers, doctors, and nurses to choose the best online supports. They will be added to a free, online “Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Platform.” Patients will test supports for ease of use and helpfulness. Importantly, this project promotes equity and will give patients control of how and when they get information they need to feel well even when their cancer is worsening.

  • Dr. Nathalie Levasseur, BC Cancer Vancouver Centre: This project seeks to quantify and improve upon racial and ethnically determined disparities in outcomes for patients with metastatic breast cancer in British Columbia. It will be done utilizing real-world evidence from the existing provincial breast cancer outcomes unit databases along with new patient intake questionnaires and conducting qualitative interviews to engage stakeholders. This will ultimately support advocating for system reform and better address the needs of patients who self-identify as part of a minority group by implementing a co-developed intervention.

“We are proud to partner once again with Rethink for this third year of the quality improvement grants. Together, we are committed to improving the lives of Canadians living with metastatic breast cancer,” says Andrew Brown, Medical Affairs Lead, Oncology, Pfizer Canada. “This program continues to evolve focusing on meeting the unique and unmet needs of the community.”

Grant recipients were determined by a joint review panel comprised of Pfizer Canada and Rethink Breast Cancer representatives, members of Rethink’s mBC Advisory Board and medical experts. Areas of interest identified within the joint Request for Proposal (RFP) issued in January 2023 were determined with patients and for patients, through collaboration and input of the Rethink Breast Cancer team and mBC Advisory Board.

“Since the beginning, Rethink and Pfizer Canada adopted an approach that gives people living with mBC a voice where the decisions about funding are being made,” says Nathalie Baudais, co-chair of Rethink’s Metastatic Breast Cancer Advisory Board. “Patients want to accelerate ideas that will tangibly improve their care. We’re really excited to see the value of each project presented by the grant recipients as they come to fruition and improve the lives of people living with mBC.”
Funded projects are expected to begin in September 2023 with anticipated completion dates of December 2025.

About Quality Improvement (QI) Grants
A quality improvement (QI) grant is a type of grant which consists of Pfizer funding to support independent projects for systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in health care services and the health status of individuals and targeted patient groups and do not relate to a Pfizer asset.

About Pfizer Canada
Pfizer Canada ULC is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care portfolio includes some of the world's best known and most prescribed medicines and vaccines. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything we do, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or you can follow us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter or YouTube.

About Rethink Breast Cancer
Rethink Breast Cancer is a Canadian charity known for making positive change and rethinking the status quo when it comes to breast cancer. Rethink educates, empowers and advocates for system changes to improve the experience and outcomes of those with breast cancer, focusing on historically underserved groups: people diagnosed at a younger age, those with metastatic breast cancer and people systemically marginalized due to race, income or other factors. We uplift, inspire and most importantly, rethink breast cancer to help people live better and live longer.
For more information visit or follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

For more information:
Corporate Affairs Canada
1-866-9Pfizer (1 866 973-4937)
[email protected]

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