'Instrumental' CancerCare Manitoba director Jackie Shymanski dies

Jackie Shymanski, director of communications and public affairs for CancerCare Manitoba, has died.

Jackie Shymanski was director of communications and public affairs for CancerCare Manitoba

CancerCare's director of communications, Jackie Shymanski, died on Friday. (Courtesy CancerCare Manitoba)

A well-known journalist, who once covered the war in Bosnia for CNN, has died.

Jackie Shymanski, who was most recently working in Winnipeg as the director of communications and public affairs for CancerCare Manitoba, passed away on Friday, May 13.

She had served in the role since September 2010, said a CancerCare news release.

"In her role as director of communications, she worked with newsrooms to raise the profile of CancerCare Manitoba and managed difficult issues skillfully," said a written statement from Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba.

Shymanski was "instrumental" to creating the Cancer Patient Journey Initiative, patient-friendly resources geared towards Manitobans undergoing treatment for cancer.

"Many staff at CancerCare also remember Jackie as a trusted friend and confident who would listen to concerns and try to help. People have told me her door was always open," said Dr. Navaratnam.

Before working at CancerCare, Shymanski worked with Manitoba Lotteries and MTS Allstream. She was also a former journalist with CNN where she won a duPont award, an American award that honours excellence in broadcast journalism, for her work covering the Bosnian war. Shymanski also worked for a short time at CBC Manitoba and CTV.

"She was very proud of her years as a journalist for CNN," said Dr. Navaratnam.