West Moreton Health staff are shaping the future of cancer care in the region through Ipswich Hospital Foundation’s (IHF) Regina and Vicki Doig Research Scholarship funding.
Three projects have been funded which will explore care options for residents with blood disorders, develop strategies to improve cervical cancer screening, and access to chemotherapy for rural consumers.
Each year, almost 1,500 local residents are diagnosed with cancer and a further 500 die from the disease.
Funding through the Regina and Vicki Doig Research Scholarship for Cancer Care has been provided in partnership with local supporter Vicki Doig, West Moreton Health, and Ipswich Hospital Foundation.
Foundation CEO Scott Young thanked all of the researchers who applied for the scholarship, as well as the selection panel for their time and expertise in reviewing the applications.
“Crucially, we would like to thank Vicki Doig for her research support,” Mr Young said.
The scholarship was named in honour of Vicki’s sister Regina, who tragically died of lymphoma in 1987 aged 39.
Vicki set up the fund in her sister’s memory to advocate for evidence-based advancements in cancer care in West Moreton.
Ms Doig said research had rapidly improved cancer treatment in the decades since Regina died, and she looked forward to seeing the outcomes of the research ahead.
West Moreton Health CEO Hannah Bloch said the scholarship was an example of the work being done at a local level to improve the health and wellbeing of the community.
“We have a strong research and innovation agenda at West Moreton Health and this research will highlight how we can improve our cancer services,” she said.
“The three successful applicants will work with our Research and Innovation team to develop their projects and provide the evidence needed to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of cancer care in our region.”
The selected research projects are:
- Oncology Nurse Unit Manager Cherry Spross is investigating the needs of rural patients who use the Ipswich Hospital oncology service to consider providing chemotherapy or supportive care services closer to home at Boonah, Esk, Laidley, and Gatton hospitals.
- Acting Cancer Care Co-ordinator Mark Rothery is investigating whether some lower risk haematology services could be provided at Ipswich Hospital. This would reduce the need for travel outside the region for patients who currently travel to tertiary hospitals, including Princess Alexandra Hospital, for care.
- A team of Obstetrics and Gynaecology trainees led by Senior Staff Specialist Dr Lilantha Wedisinghe will conduct a cervical cancer screening survey in the West Moreton region to develop strategies that will improve participation in cervical screening.