Alberta Cancer Foundation

Team Effort

EFW’s Director of Marketing and Physician Relations Scott Schroeder at the 2019 ride. Photograph by Ron Sombilon.

For more than 50 years, EFW Radiology has played an essential role in the cancer care community. The company’s 450 staff and 80 physicians provide diagnostic and interventional imaging services to 13 community clinics in Calgary and area, including the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and Foothills Medical Centre. From x-rays and ultrasound to MRIs and CT Scans, EFW’s team performs more than 600,000 imaging services a year, helping colleagues from a variety of disciplines determine if there is illness or irregularities — including cancer — in their patients’ bodies.

“Sometimes [we’re referred to] as the physician’s doctor,” says Nairn Nerland, chief executive officer of EFW Radiology. “Say a cancer patient comes to us to do imaging with respect to their cancer — [imaging] would help identify the form of cancer, the aggressive nature of the cancer, or help identify remission.”

Besides accurately diagnosing cancer and monitoring for aspects of remission, EFW also uses its advanced technology to monitor cancer treatments during clinical trials.

“It’s a very important role,” says Nerland. “We do a lot of work in the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, because they conduct a lot of research trials on specific cancer treatments. They’ll come to us for imaging to see how the cancer is reacting to the treatment.” While these services are undoubtedly essential to cancer care and treatment, EFW’s commitment to the cancer care community extends far beyond the imaging support it provides on a daily basis.

“We are part of this community and we want to do everything we can to support it. The only way we can do that is to get involved socially, not just medically,” says Nerland.

Over the years, EFW has given back to the cancer community in several ways. In 2012, it made a major donation to the Alberta Cancer Foundation in support of breast cancer research at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.

“[The donation] was tied to the number of mammography examinations we performed,” says Nerland. “For each diagnostic mammography examination performed, we made an incremental donation, which [ultimately] totaled $50,000.”

That same year, EFW Radiology joined the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting the Alberta Cancer Foundation through the Tom Baker Cancer Conquerors Ride Team, which is one of the Ride’s largest community teams with over 100 members. As well as financial support, many EFW employees joined the team — which includes nurses, doctors, patients and community members — to complete the two-day Ride.

“We bought the uniforms, and we had radiologists join the team,” says Nerland. “I’ve personally ridden on the team for five years.”

Today, EFW employees continue to ride as part of the Tom Baker Cancer Conqeurors. The team has raised over $2.5M for the Ride, and in 2019, EFW Radiology also sponsored the Anti-Gravity Booth at the event — a popular photo booth activation at camp.

“We want to have [and build] relationships in terms of fundraising, and also experience what goes on in the community to support cancer,” says Nerland. “That’s hugely important to EFW.”

Since this article was written, the 2020 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alberta Cancer Foundation is so grateful for the support of all our Riders, sponsors and volunteers.