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Our Learnings & Quality Assurance

In every way possible, Wellspring Calgary strives to maximize its mission impact to support people and families living with cancer across southern Alberta with programs, services and a community of support created and informed by those living a cancer experience. This goal transcends, quite literally, every aspect of our organization. 

Several processes are undertaken in support of program quality.

Program Development Process

All new programs are subjected to a full and rigorous development and ongoing development process.

“The program offerings at Wellspring are such superior quality. They are not only evidence informed but also highly applicable. In my view, our programs are giving people incredible tools that are not just for the cancer journey but tools for life. This is a village and everyone involved shares a heartfelt dedication to helping those impacted by cancer. You can really feel that this community makes a difference in helping to support and sustain those who are impacted by cancer.”
Ariel Learoyd
Wellspring Program Leader

Quality Assurance

Wellspring’s program model includes quality assurance features such as:

  • Minimum credentials of leaders
  • Where applicable, credentials and areas of expertise from guest experts
  • Required training for new leaders
  • Reference and police checks
  • Ongoing evaluation


Wellspring welcomes the opportunity to acquire knowledge about the efficacy of everything we do beyond our evaluation efforts at Wellspring.

Research protocols complement Wellspring’s standard data collection and aim to acquire new knowledge that deepens understanding of supportive care needs or program outcomes. This knowledge supports Wellspring’s program development process and provides a presentation and publication platform to share the knowledge and enhance Wellspring’s reputation. Research projects can be constructed by Wellspring for its own purposes, or be conducted in collaboration with a credible academic or institutional research organization.


Patient Engagement Research – What Works at Wellspring Calgary and How
In 2012-2013, several cancer survivors participated in a research project led by the University of Calgary, with support of Alberta Health Services and funded by Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI). CLICK HERE to read the report outcomes.

Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation

Wellspring Calgary is part of an affiliate network of Wellspring centres across Canada, which began in 1992 in Toronto by Anne Armstrong-Gibson who was determined to fill the void for others that she experienced living with cancer. As part of the network, Wellspring Calgary is subject to regular and rigorous external evaluation by the parent affiliate to ensure our staff, volunteers, and Program Leaders are fulfilling our commitments to the Wellspring brand and essence in delivering high quality, evidence-informed programs and services for people living with cancer.

The System Performance Review (SPR)

SPR is a comprehensive, multi-modal evaluation strategy to assess the strength and efficacy of all key components that comprise a Wellspring organization.  It is a means to objectively and rigorously assess each key area and, from those findings, identify ways of improving the organization’s working strategies to maximize mission impact, system efficiencies, reach, growth, and long-term sustainability.

The primary objective of the SPR is to create, and support, a continual and shared learning process that strengthens the inner workings of individual Wellspring organizations that are affiliates of the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation, and also the Wellspring network as a whole.

As part of the SPR, an annual Mission Survey is conducted with members. According to the 2021 Mission Survey, Calgary recipients agreed or strongly agreed as follows:


of members have a better understanding of what to do to maintain or improve their well-being


of members have gained skills and knowledge to address their needs


of members feel supported and cared about


of members have gained skills and knowledge to maintain or improve their well-being


of members agree that Wellspring helps them feel less isolated


of members can express their needs and feelings better


of members can manage stressful situations better


of members are satisfied with their overall experience at Wellspring