Past Event: Employers Cancer Care Summit

March 03, 2020
Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre

2020 Employers Cancer Care Summit

Read coverage from the event

This year's conference will address cancer-related issues and opportunities tied to benefits plans and the workplace.

How much does it cost?
$129 plus tax.

Should I attend?
If you’re an employer responsible for your organization’s drug plan, benefits, wellness, human resources and/or corporate health – or an advisor, broker, benefits consultant or group insurer – then this summit is where you want to be.

Continuing education (CE) credits will be offered at this event.



Francesca Allman

Cassandra Williamson-Hopp
Katerina Galkina

Join the conversation on Twitter: @BenCanMag


Untitled Document

Employers Cancer Care Summit

March 3, 2020
Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre


8:00 – 8:55 AM

8:55 – 9:00 AM

9:00 – 9:30 AM
Is your benefits plan keeping pace with rapidly changing infused cancer treatments?
In some regard, cancer has evolved to the point where we can talk about it as a chronic disease as opposed to a death sentence, which is largely attributed to new drug innovations. Yet the Canadian health-care system, including private health benefit plans, is struggling to keep up with new treatments appearing regularly. This means long delays for new drug reviews, questioning coverage of inpatient versus outpatient cancer therapies and increasing gaps and inconsistencies in health-care coverage. All these changes mean employers must navigate if, when and how to support their employees living with cancer – and at the same time, manage the costs of doing so. In this session, Tim Clarke will address patient access issues surrounding innovative infused oncology drugs coming to market in Canada and address the questions plan sponsors should be asking now, in order to be ready to take advantage of what’s coming next. 

Tim Clarke, president, tc Health Consulting Inc.

(This session has been made possible by AstraZeneca)

[Download Tim's Presentation.]


9:30 – 10:00 AM
Kidney cancer: An evolving treatment landscape
This session will help attendees better understand the patient populations impacted by advanced kidney cancer. It will provide insight into how the treatment paradigm of advanced kidney cancer has shifted over the years, with discussion of novel therapies and key clinical trial data. Finally, this session will highlight challenges in making treatment decisions for affected patients.

Dr. Nazanin Fallah-Rad, medical oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre & Mount Sinai Hospital

(This session has been made possible by Merck)

[Download Dr. Fallah-Rad's Presentation.]


10:00 – 10:30 AM
How can employers support a successful return to work for cancer survivors?
Many cancer survivors are able to remain at or return to work following treatment. However, the experience of cancer and how it affects employment can be very individual, influenced by the type and extent, treatment, the employee’s overall physical, cognitive and emotional health, social and available resources. When employers make accommodations and offer supportive working environments, survivors are more likely to lead productive occupational lives. This session will explore positive workplace features that have proved beneficial for cancer survivors’ return to work and employment, in addition to opportunities for improvement.

Maureen Parkinson, provincial vocational rehabilitation counsellor, BC Cancer Agency & co-director, Cancer and Work

[Download Maureen's Presentation.]


10:30 – 11:00 AM


11:00 – 11:40 AM
An employer’s perspective

Employer perspectives are inevitably changed by employee experience, which can unfortunately include battles with illness. Drawing on personal and employee experiences, Diana Godfrey has been leading Fidelity Canada’s drive to deliver innovative benefits and drug plans for employees, including offering life-sustaining drugs.  This moderated fireside chat will explore a plan sponsor’s point of view as it pertains to cancer treatment and education, creative plan redesign and supporting the organization’s actionable values.

Diana Godfrey, senior vice-president, human resources and corporate affairs, Fidelity Canada

Francesca Allman, senior national account manager, Benefits Canada

[Session not available for download.]


11:40 AM – 12:25 PM
Psychosocial oncology: Exploring the intersection of mental health and cancer
The impact of a cancer diagnosis is life-altering. Enduring a drug regimen and confronting mortality can take a toll on an individual’s psyche, translating into mental-health concerns during treatment – as well as long after it ends. Not only must cancer sufferers focus on the physical body, but social issues play a significant role: financial concerns, reduced employment opportunities and the stigma of disability, to name a few. This panel will delve into a relatively new field called psychosocial oncology, which highlights the intersection of cancer’s physical, social and behavioural aspects for both patients and caregivers.

Dr. Virginia Boquiren, registered clinical psychologist, Centre for Psychology and Emotional Health
Dr. Gary Rodin, head, department of supportive care, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/University Health Network & professor, psychiatry, University of Toronto

Cassandra Williamson-Hopp, conference editor, Benefits Canada

[Session not available for download.]


12:25 – 12:30 PM

ECC Speakers

Employers Cancer Care Summit

March 3, 2020
Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre


Dr. Virginia Boquiren

Derek Weir

Dr. Virginia Boquiren is a clinical psychologist registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She completed her PhD in clinical psychology at Rosalind Franklin University in Illinois, U.S. and predoctoral internship in health psychology at Vancouver Coastal Health. Dr. Boquiren’s professional experiences offer a breadth of clinical training, working with adults coping with physical and mental-health issues, but her specialty is psychosocial oncology. She’s completed a number of research pre-doctorals and a postdoctoral fellowship, focusing on coping, adjustment and quality of life for individuals dealing with chronic illness – particularly cancer. Her research areas address cancer survivorship issues, including psychosocial, gender and other factors impacting body image, sexual health and well-being in cancer survivors, their caregivers and loved ones. In terms of her clinical work, Dr. Boquiren works with clients who are experiencing a variety of anxiety and depressive difficulties. In addition, she helps individuals who are managing various psychosocial stressors, including low self-esteem and confidence, body image issues, self-criticism, relationship issues, work stress, return-to-work issues and grief/loss of loved ones. Dr. Boquiren’s a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario, Canadian Psychological Association and the Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies. She currently works at the Centre for Psychology and Emotional Health and the Downtown Psychology Clinic.


Tim Clarke

Derek Weir

Tim Clarke founded tc Health Consulting in early 2017 after more than 20 years with international human resource consulting firms Aon and Hewitt. His vision is to work with all industry stakeholders to cost-effectively improve the health of Canadians by bringing the next generation of health, benefits and insurance solutions to Canadian employers. Leveraging 25 years of employer health experience, tc Health works with health innovators to successfully bring new solutions to the Canadian health and benefits ecosystem. Clarke’s a regular speaker at Canadian benefits, insurance and technology industry events – and a writer for industry publications. He has a bachelor of mathematics from the University of Waterloo, is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries, in addition to a licensed insurance agent.


Dr. Nazanin Fallah-Rad

Derek Weir

Dr. Nazanin Fallah-Rad is a medical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Mount Sinai Hospital. She’s a member of the University Health Network and a lecturer in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto. She currently works with the solid tumour oncology program, focusing on genitourinary malignancies and breast cancer. Dr. Fallah-Rad’s passionate about didactic teaching in both undergraduate and post-graduate medical education. She’s completing her master's in education at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Recently, Dr. Fallah-Rad was appointed lead for the division of medical oncology and hematology fellowship education curriculum. Her primary research interests are in GU malignancies and medical education. 



Diana Godfrey

Derek Weir

Diana Godfrey is currently senior vice-president of human resources and corporate affairs for Fidelity Canada. She’s a member of Fidelity Investments Canada’s senior executive team and is a champion of many employee-led initiatives in wellness, mindfulness and healthy living. Under her direction, Fidelity Canada has been awarded many of Canada’s top employment awards, including Canada’s Top 100 Employers, compassionate employer designations and top family-friendly employers.  Beyond Fidelity, Godfrey’s very active in the volunteer sector and currently serves as an honorary industry chair for the Weekend to Conquer Cancer in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. For more than ten years, she served as a board director for the Milton Community Resource Centre, a not-for-profit, multi-service organization that provides services to children and families of Milton and surrounding communities. She also served as chair of the human resource and governance committees for MCRC. More recently, Godfrey joined the fundraising committee of the Milton District Hospital Foundation.


Maureen Parkinson

Derek Weir

Maureen Parkinson has worked for more than 25 years as the provincial vocational rehabilitation counsellor at BC Cancer Agency. She’s the co-director and content lead for Cancer and Work, a website designed to inform cancer survivors, employers and health-care providers on how to help cancer survivors stay, return to and find work. Parkinson’s a sessional instructor on workplace health for Pacific Coast University, teaching cancer and worker support. She co-authored a commission paper for the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology, titled “Cancer and work: A Canadian perspective,” and wrote the booklet Cancer and work: A practical guide for cancer patients. Previously, Parkinson worked as a vocational rehabilitation counsellor for a public rehabilitation hospital – in addition to a vocational rehabilitation consultant for insurance and law firms and a job search/career exploration program facilitator for Service Canada. She has a master’s in counselling psychology, is a Canadian-certified rehabilitation counsellor and has completed the certified return-to-work coordinator program through the National Institute for Disability Management and Research.

Dr. Gary Rodin

Derek Weir

Dr. Gary Rodin is the University of Toronto/University Health Network chair in psychosocial oncology and palliative care – in addition to being the head of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s supportive care department. He’s also a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and leads a clinical research program on the psychosocial dimensions of cancer. Dr. Rodin has published widely in these areas and is recognized internationally for his efforts to improve the effectiveness and availability of psychosocial and palliative interventions for patients and families living with advanced disease.

Event Location

The 2020 Employers Cancer Care Summit will take place at the Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre.

Visit the Marriot Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre website for more information

525 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M5G 2L2

Marriott Downtown at CF Eaton Centre