Canadian Cancer Society - Mission Programs

ON - Better Women - Peel Region - Peer Health Coach

THE CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY Did you know that 4 in 10 cancers can be prevented? At the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), we educate people on how to reduce their risk of cancer and how some types of cancers can be found early through screening tests. 

BETTER Women is a research program that goes beyond cancer to help women aged 40-65 reduce their risk of chronic disease by creating and achieving health goals. Activities such as getting screened, moving more, healthy eating, quitting smoking and, reducing alcohol intake can reduce a person’s risk of getting cancer and other chronic diseases. Volunteer peer health coaches will provide regular support to women so they can reach and maintain their health goals.

For research purposes, the Peel Region (includes Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, Ontario) site of the BETTER Women program will be focusing specifically on the health of South Asian women and will be recruiting only South Asian women aged 40-65 to become peer health coaches.

Although much of the work is done independently, South Asian peer health coaches form a team supporting South Asian patients at the Peel Region site and work together, with staff partners, to provide ongoing enhancements and input into the development of the program. 


To become a volunteer peer health coach, you will complete a 24-hour online training program that will be delivered over the course of 5 weeks.

You will join the BETTER Women program to support women aged 40-65 achieve personal health goals that can help reduce their risk of chronic disease (being more active, healthy eating, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol and getting screened). 

You will be matched with a patient and connect with them either through phone, text, email, or video conference for 10-15 minutes sessions per week to coach them to reach their goals. Based on your availability, you may be matched with 1-5 patients at any given time (6-month timeframe per match).


Peer health coaches can relate to the group of women being supported through BETTER Women because of their own lived experiences and backgrounds. 

We are looking for: 

  • South Asian women between 40-65 who have faced challenges in reaching health goals.
  • Be able to read, write and speak English. In addition, we are looking for some peer health coaches who can speak South Asian languages such as Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu
  • Who understand these challenges and have had success in meeting their own health goal, whether through healthier eating, walking more, quitting smoking or cutting back and reducing alcohol consumption. 
  • Who are non-judgmental and empathetic towards others facing similar challenges.
  • Who can communicate effectively and through a variety of platforms (phone, email, text, or video conference) and have basic computer skills. 
  • Who can connect well with a variety of people and develop meaningful relationships based on trust and strong listening skills. 
  • Who are flexible in adapting to different people and situations. 
  • Who are open with availability to meet participant schedules.
  • Who have strong organizational skills in order to track conversations and report on the successes patients have. 
  • Who have strong commitment to confidentiality, the privacy of information and can maintain high ethical standards and professionalism by working within the boundaries of the program.


As an organization we will provide you with: 

  • Comprehensive training to become a BETTER Women peer health coach. 
  • Online resources and a peer health coach toolkit. 
  • A designated CCS staff member who will provide ongoing support. 
  • Regular meetings with other peer health coaches to build a strong community of practice.

 As a Volunteer Peer Health Coach you will be:

  • Promoting your own personal development by participating in comprehensive training
  • bringing together a community of women all on the same journey
  • helping prevent cancer by effecting widespread behavior of South Asian women in your community
  • Making a difference in your life and the life of another woman or women
  • working towards better health, not only for yourself and participants, but for your community


  • We’re asking for a 1-2-year commitment of 3-4 hours per week due to the relationship-based nature of this role. The role can accommodate vacations. 
  • You have a willingness to be a part of a research study, contributing to project evaluation.
  • We are anticipating an ongoing level of commitment which will include regular supervision check-ins and involvement within a community of practice.

Application deadline is Feb 22. To apply for this opportunity, please click on

Disclaimer: Peer health coaching is not counselling. Coaches are not medical professionals and do not diagnose or prescribe nutrition, disease or physical fitness. They are volunteers who are trained in motivational interviewing and work with participants to uncover their own goals and motivation for change.