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Cancer Council NT eNews - March 2018

March 1, 2018


CEO report

Welcome to 2018. The start of a new year brings with it the opportunity to reflect and refocus.  

Cancer Council NT is looking forward to another productive year providing services to our Territory community, driven by the guidance of our supporters. 

Our newly refurbished Darwin office is almost complete with branding and signage being undertaken April/May. I thank the Northern Territory Government funding through their Immediate Works Program and KCOM Builders for making this dream a reality.   The focus of the changes was to expand our community engagement area – which has almost doubled in size - improve the functionality of the Ostomy and Reception area and upgrade office working spaces for Cancer Council NT staff and volunteers. 

Cancer Council NT continues to advocate for continued improvements in local cancer services. The current investment in the PET Scanner Project is supported and we are keenly following its progress.  The project includes the development of the PET Scanner facility at the Royal Darwin Hospital campus, the development of an associated cyclotron facility and an expansion of cancer treatment at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre.  Funded primarily from Commonwealth funds, the Northern Territory Government is supporting this investment with additional funds to enhance elements of the equipment and infrastructure. Initial reports suggest the PET Scanner service is expected to be operating in the second half of 2018 and the cyclotron machine installed and commissioned by February 2019.  When operational, these facilities will enable more Territorians to be treated locally improving availability while aiming for better outcomes.

The voice of the community on critical cancer groups is important and Cancer Council NT is pleased to be invited as consumer representative with the Northern Territory Cancer Care Network chaired by Professor Phillip Carson.  This Territory wide group of cancer health specialists and experts meet regularly to support quality client focused cancer care in the Territory.  Agenda items include issues to be raised at the National Cancer Expert Reference Group, updates and feedback on the Optimal Care Pathways Project and opportunities and progress from the Clinical Trials Committee. The consultation, development and sign-off on the NT Cancer Plan 2017 – 2021 has been a major project which is now in the final stages and due for release before the second half of this year.  This is an important framework that all cancer services can work within and measure their outcomes against. Cancer reduction efforts and increased quality of care initiatives can be maximised by collective efforts in the areas that the cancer plan has identified as critical and Cancer Council NT looks forward to talking with the Department of Health on addressing these areas of need.

Cancer Council NT remains the only community all cancer support service in the Territory.  In response to the changing needs of those impacted by cancer, Cancer Council NT has introduced new initiatives such as a volunteer Transport to Treatment Program for eligible clients, broadened Financial Assistance Schemes for those experiencing financial hardship and reviewed support groups to refine type and include activity based groups such as the Cancer Council NT Walking Group.   This continuous improvement is vital for our service to remain effective, responsive and sustainable but this is only possible with financial support from our community. 

Enough said from me, please enjoy our first eNews of the year and I and the Cancer Council NT team in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs look forward to being of service to Territorians impacted by cancer for another year.

Yours in good health,

 Kathleen Cole
CEO, Cancer Council NT

Cancer Council NT eNews - March 2018