COVID Vaccine Policy Letter 2021

September 8, 2021 |

Dear Valued Students,

I want to start by expressing my heartfelt welcome to the 2021-22 Academic Year at the de Souza Institute at the Michener/UHN School of Continuing Education. As always, we are excited for you to join us across our many courses, programs and workshops, and to offer you exceptional learning with our expert teachers and instructors.

The student experience we aim to create for you is limited not only to the quality of teaching and learning. Michener is committed to the health and safety of our students and our community. Vaccines have been recognized by authorities as a safe and effective way to protect you and those around you from serious illness due to COVID-19. The Michener Institute of Education at UHN – in alignment with the University Health Network policy, mandatory requirements by the Ministry of Heath, and expectations for post-secondary institutions – will require all students and employees who access Michener for in-person events to be vaccinated. For regional chemotherapy workshops, we will also ask you to understand and follow your local, regional, or workshop hosting institution vaccination requirements.

Proof of vaccination is not required of students who are learning completely online.

To work or study in person at Michener, students and employees will be required to have at minimum their first dose of a two-dose approved Health Canada or World Health Organization vaccine by September 7. Michener will release a vaccination policy shortly that will describe how to report vaccination status and the date by which a second dose must be received. The policy will also address all visitors who access the campus. We will also have a process to accommodate individuals who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code. That policy will be accessible to de Souza Institute learners on Proof of vaccination is not required of students who are learning completely online. You will, however, need to demonstrate proof of vaccination if you require entry to Michener’s site for any reason.

Michener will continue to follow existing health and safety measures as set by public health – such as mask-wearing, vigorous cleaning, capacity limits in common spaces and regular self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms. Michener will also continue to monitor for any changes to public health guidelines and review our policies accordingly.

If you are coming onsite to Michener or UHN as a Continuing Education learner, you will be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination, and present it with one piece of government-issued ID. You can access your vaccine receipt here. If this policy impacts your ability to participate, please contact us at

Thank you all for your cooperation and understanding during this time.

Mohammad Salhia
Director, Continuing Education

2021 de Souza Chemotherapy Competency Maintenance Course – Frequently Asked Questions

July 14, 2021

An update to the Provincial Position Statements for Nursing Practice in Cancer Care has been published by Cancer Care Ontario in systemic treatment administration.  To support nurses and cancer care organizations, de Souza Institute has developed a video recording and a set of frequently asked questions below.


What are the course offerings from de Souza Institute on Systemic Cancer Treatment Administration? 

The Institute offers two online and highly interactive courses that support the provincial standards in chemotherapy and biotherapy administration and safety: 

  • the Provincial Standardized Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Course (PSCB) for initial competency development, and  
  • the Chemotherapy Competency Maintenance Course (CCMC).   

The above two courses are updated regularly to reflect the latest national and provincial standards, and are linked to the CCO Drug Formulary and monographs. 

The unique experience for students is augmented by the integration of case studies, workshops, and opportunities for clinically relevant and practice-based knowledge application. 


How does the 2021 CCO position statements affect the CCMC renewal timeline? 

In coordination with Cancer Care Ontario, de Souza Institute will use the following criteria: 

  • Nurses who are due to participate in a renewal course taking place in July, August, or September 2021, will take their courses as scheduled as per the current 18-month renewal policy. All renewals thereafter will be on a 24-month cycle. 
  • For nurses whose CCMC renewal course is due after October 1st, 2021, the start date for their courses will be extended by six months. Renewals thereafter will be on a 24-month cycle.  
  • For example, nurses who are to start the course on October 18, 2021 will have a new renewal course start date of April 2022. 
  • Due date extensions and additional details are provided in the de Souza Chemotherapy Competency Maintenance Course extension table


Do nurses get reminders for their renewal course timeline?  

Nurses get four email reminders prior to the last possible course offering to meet the Chemotherapy Competency Maintenance Course requirement timeline. 


What happens if nurses fail to complete the renewal course within the timeline? 

Nurses whose CCMC renewal lapses will need to repeat the Provincial Standardized Chemotherapy and Biotherapy (PSCB) Course.  


If a nurse goes on Maternity Leave/Sick Leave, would he/she get an extension for the renewal course? 

Please contact a de Souza Institute educator prior to the planned maternity leave for advice.  We recommend that you inform the Institute of your planned maternity leave 3-4 months in advance so that we could help you choose an option that works best for you.  A medical note or a letter from HR will be required.  Please visit de Souza Institute’s Cancellation, Incomplete or No Show Policy.   


If a nurse takes a Systemic Cancer Treatment Administration course from another organization, would it be recognized by de Souza Institute? 

Please contact de Souza Institute for course equivalency assessment.  A challenge exam, with an administrative fee, may be required to assess the applicant’s current state of knowledge.  


How are managers/educators informed whether a nurse has completed PSCB/CCMC?   

Currently, when nurses complete either PSCB or CCMC, their course outcome is sent to their email on file, copied to their respective manager. 

In addition to the above, starting October 2021, managers will receive a secure and consolidated document outlining the completion status of all the nurses on their team they approved for PSCB or CCMC.  This document will be provided after each offering to support CCO’s new reporting process. 

Since managers play a critical role in supporting their nurses’ chemotherapy and biotherapy competencies, and given CCO’s new reporting requirement, managers’ contact information and approval for their staff’s participation in PSCB and CCMC is a pre-requisite for a nurse’s registration. 


National Nursing Week 2021

May 10, 2021

Nursing Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate and recognize all the extraordinary work nurses do. As we enter the second year of a pandemic, the whole population has seen directly the heroic way nurses have stepped forward to support and lead public health, guide policies, communicate and provide invaluable physical and supportive care to patients, families and the public. COVID-19 has highlighted nurses’ courage and competencies in managing complex and critical situations.

We recognize the importance of every shift as nurses step forward to support and care for their patients and families. Nurses have been exemplary in their approach to working with highly challenging scenarios, where COVID cases surge again and ICU beds are full. Together with other members of the health care team, nurses react quickly, often putting first their patients and families to support health care needs. We celebrate the role of the nurse this week! Thank you so much for all that you do!

Find out more about this year’s National Nursing Week theme #WeAnswerTheCall on the CNA-AIIC website

Oncology Nursing Day 2021 Message

April 6, 2021

Oncology nurses play a pivotal role in the care of individuals and their families living with cancer and have an immense impact on their quality of life throughout the cancer journey. As we enter the second year of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to witness the tremendous dedication of oncology nurses as they rise … Read more

Cancer Chat: Bringing AI-enabled cancer support to life

March 24, 2021

In a paper recently published in JMIR Research Protocols, researchers at de Souza Institute, University of Toronto, and La Trobe University in Australia outline their new AI-enabled cofacilitator tool for online cancer support groups. The tool uses a machine learning algorithm based on interpreting patterns of written text to track support group participants’ progress in … Read more

Natural Language Processing–Based Virtual Cofacilitator for Online Cancer Support Groups: Protocol for an Algorithm Development and Validation Study

March 9, 2021 |

Natural Language Processing–Based Virtual Cofacilitator for Online Cancer Support Groups: Protocol for an Algorithm Development and Validation Study Authors: Yvonne W Leung, PhD; Elise Wouterloot, MA; Achini Adikari, BSc; Graeme Hirst, PhD; Daswin de Silva, PhD; Jiahui Wong, PhD; Jacqueline L Bender, PhD; Mathew Gancarz, MMSc; David Gratzer, MD; Damminda Alahakoon, PhD; Mary Jane Esplen, … Read more