A Note from Hope

Welcome to the NovaHope website. It is my honour to share with you the story of what inspired me to start NovaHope Health and Wellness Services and to create the role of the Cancer Coach Nurse.

I graduated from the Halifax Infirmary School of Nursing in 1987. As a new graduate, I was drawn to the action of the Emergency Department. In 2008, with 20 years’ ER experience, I decided to explore another nursing speciality which led me to the chemotherapy unit at the Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville, Nova Scotia.

During my work as an oncology nurse, the opportunity presented itself to work a short term at the Halifax Cancer Centre in the radiation department, allowing me to expand my knowledge in radiation oncology. My next step was working as a Cancer Patient Navigator. Once again, this allowed me to expand my knowledge and skills in leadership as an oncology nurse.

 I decided to take my combined experiences gleaned from working with the provincial health care system, and the many opportunities serving patients and families affected by a cancer diagnosis, to redirect my energy: offering support not currently available to the cancer patient.

 Although there are amazing people in the Nova Scotia health care system and a wealth of health care providers who work hard to bring the best to their patients, there are simply not enough resources to provide cancer patients with the augmented support that they desire. An oncology patient is faced with deep insights into what it is like to be confronted with a life-threatening disease and all the challenges that go along with seeking optimal wellness, regardless of outcomes.

 My offerings to that patient are my oncology skills and expertise combined with education in psychosocial oncology and a heartful of desire to make a difference in their cancer experience. These attributes focus on a face-to-face, one-on-one, at-your-own-pace integrative whole health approach. As an oncology nurse in the role of the Cancer Coach Nurse, it is my passion to address concerns of the body–mind–spirit, providing an experience of ease, comfort and empowerment.

Hope Gillis
Hope Gillis RN CON (C)

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