Mission, Advocacy & Support Programs

ON - Better Women - Volunteer Peer Health Coach

Did you know about 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.


Position Overview


BETTER Women is a research program that goes beyond cancer to help women aged 40-68 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.


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


Key Responsibilities

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


As a volunteer peer health coach, you will join the BETTER Women program to virtually (you can reside anywhere in Ontario) support women aged 40-68 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 by phone, text, email, or video conference for short 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).


The program is currently being offered by three sites: Summerville Family Health Team, Barrie and Community Family Health Team: Family Medicine Teaching Unit and Women’s College Hospital Family Practice Health Centre.


Your Impact

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


Skills and Qualifications

  • Women between 40-68 who reside in Ontario and have faced challenges in reaching health goals.
  • Have had success in meeting their own health goal including healthier eating, exercising, quitting smoking, or reducing alcohol consumption. 
  • Are non-judgmental and empathetic towards others facing similar challenges.
  • Can communicate effectively and through a variety of platforms (phone, email, text, or video conference)
  • Basic computer skills. 
  • Can connect well with a variety of people and develop meaningful relationships based on trust and strong listening skills. 
  • Flexible in adapting to different people and situations, and meeting participant schedules. 
  • Strong organizational skills 
  • Strong commitment to confidentiality, the privacy of information and can maintain high ethical standards and professionalism by working within the boundaries of the program.

Training & Support

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.



  • We are 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.
  • Ongoing level of commitment which will include regular supervision check-ins and involvement within a community of practice.


To apply for this opportunity, please submit an application.


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