The BETTER Institute
As the number of Canadians at risk of cancer and other chronic diseases continues to grow, so does the need for health professionals to deliver effective disease prevention and screening recommendations.
To improve cancer and chronic disease prevention and screening for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers and their associated lifestyle factors in patients 40-65 years of age.
Areas of Focus
Training of BETTER Prevention Practitioners™: hands-on training of healthcare professionals on the Prevention Practitioner role and BETTER approach.
Implementation Support: tailored implementation and adaptation support to primary care practices and organizations interested in adopting or adapting the BETTER approach.
“BETTER is a unique program that has developed an approach that has been tested and proven through rigorous trial methodology to integrate prevention and screening for major chronic diseases through Prevention Practitioners”
Dr. Eva Grunfeld
The BETTER approach focuses on prevention and screening of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and associated lifestyle factors (diet, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol). Specifically, the approach identifies a new role in the primary care setting (the Prevention Practitioner), which can be taken on by any clinician or health care professional including those in rural or remote settings and Indigenous populations.
Informed by the BETTER toolkit, the purpose of this skilled role is to work directly with patients to determine which cancer and chronic disease prevention and screening actions they are eligible to receive, and through a process involving shared decision-making and S.M.A.R.T. goal setting, develop a unique, personalized “Prevention Prescription” with each patient.
Funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC), the BETTER Prevention Practitioner Training Institute aims to scale and spread the The BETTER Program™ across Canada. Two satellite offices in Toronto, Ontario (serving Eastern Provinces) and Edmonton, Alberta (serving Western Provinces) lead the scale up efforts.
The program is flexible and designed to meet the needs of a variety of primary care settings including solo practices, large multidisciplinary group practices, fee-for-service, salaried or alternative relationship plans, and rural or urban settings. As such, the BETTER model is well suited to address the cancer and chronic disease prevention needs of rural, remote, and Indigenous populations where primary care service resources may be limited and where having a Prevention Practitioner embedded in individual or group practices can increase the capacity to address the chronic conditions and associated lifestyle factors that are more prevalent in these communities.
Ultimately, this initiative has the potential to improve the health of Canadians through the introduction of a new model of care that integrates cancer and chronic disease prevention and screening into diverse primary care settings throughout Canada.