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Music soothes the soul

Music has the power to soothe the soul. It’s a therapy that’s used in all areas of the health service to distract, reduce stress and create a sense of familiarity in an otherwise clinical environment.

Staff at the Acute Mental Health Unit at SCUH

Determined to spread the joy of music far and wide, Wishlist has helped to fund music therapy for palliative care patients at Dove Cottage, a piano for the people at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) and most recently, music equipment for mental health units across the Coast.

Mp3 players, headphones and music vouchers have been purchased to provide valuable music therapy funding for Adolescent, Adult and Acute Mental Health Units at SCUH and Nambour Hospitals as part of the ‘Music Soothes the Soul’ project.

The project allows patients to bring a little piece of home with them to hospital, by listening to their own music.

In wards with constant noise from the opening and closing of doors and the beeping of access cards, music serves as a form of distraction and entertainment for the clients.

According to staff in the Acute Mental Health Unit at SCUH, the power of music is evident in the way it can minimise the impact of auditory hallucinations and decrease boredom and frustration, therefore, creating a more peaceful environment.

Not only can it improve a client’s experience within a ward, it can also help them resume their personal life quicker – with the distraction and entertainment proven to decrease stress and, in turn, improve recovery rates.

Used as a calming resource, the music can also reduce the need for sedating medications, which can have significant side effects.

With Queensland Mental Health Week upon us, there has never been a better time to highlight the profound benefits of musical equipment.

Staff in the Acute Mental Health Unit said the headphones have been extremely well received among patients. Patients particularly appreciated the headphones’ ability block out background noise as well provide a welcomed distraction with music.

Patients with their own music on hand have enjoyed having the familiarity of their favourite tunes.

In 2018, Wishlist, thanks to the Honda Foundation grants program also provided $1483 in funding for a therapeutic drumming program in Mental Health Units at SCUH and Nambour Hospital. 

Wishlist Wrap – October

September’s Wishlist Spring Carnival was spectacularly successful, having raised $214,743 for local research projects.

Not only was it a record fundraising success but we also played host to our largest audience yet, with 800 guests joining us for lunch and the legendary ‘after party’ at Novotel Twin Waters. 

Sarah Coureas, her gorgeous son Finn Smith and his Dad Jason.

To say I’m proud of this community is an understatement.  I lay claim to being part of the most generous community in the world, and I spruik about it at every given opportunity.  I’m also part of an incredible team and on days like the Wishlist Spring Carnival I simply burst at the impressive caliber of individuals that make up Team Wishlist. 

This includes the outstanding organising committee of the event, who each year give their time so generously to making it happen – Wendy Faithful of Walter Iezzi Property Group, Craig McPherson of Pacific Jaguar Land Rover, Kelly Phelps of Travis Schultz Law, Kerri Walsh of Poole Group, Phillipa Harcourt of EyeOnIt, April Ford of April Ford Agency, Paul Nogueira of Worrells Accountants, Cassy Small of Hot91, Steve Hirst of the Sunshine Coast Daily and Andrew Duff of Sports & Spinal.  Chairman Dan Sowden of Ray White Maroochydore leads this incredible team that, together, produce more than 120 auction items and raffle prizes, and undoubtedly the Coast’s feature event on the charity calendar every year.

Thanks to each of you, and sponsors Iezzi Property Group, Pacific Jaguar and Land Rover, Poole Group, EyeOnIt, April Ford, the Daily, Hot91, Seven Local News and Travis Schultz Law.

Spring Carnival organising committee

Our next fundraising event is the Wishlist Melbourne Cup Day lunch at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club, thanks to Spire Law.  A few tickets remain if you’re yet to make plans for the Melbourne Cup, so give us a call if you’d like to know more.  A big thanks to BDO and Telstra T-Shop for their support with this high-caliber event.

Now to the impact of your generous support of the Coast’s local hospital foundation.

Thanks to the recent Woolworths Wall Token appeal we’re about to place an order for 300 backpacks for children taken into Child Protection, often in the middle of the night with nothing to their name.  The backpacks will include pyjamas, a toothbrush and comb, teddy bears/books relevant to the age and sex of the child, and hopefully provide a little comfort during a stressful time of fear and uncertainty.

The Buderim Foundation donated $4,000 towards our project to provide sensory distraction suites at BreastScreen at Nambour Hospital.  Our partners Sunshine Toyota and the Sunshine Coast Daily play a vital part in this community and their support of the Buderim Foundation further helped our work this month.

During Mental Health Week this week we ordered MP3 players and resources for the Adolescent Mental Health unit at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.  We also supported a staff member in the Child and Youth Mental Health Service attending a state-wide mental health initiative aimed at ensuring young people and their families have access to quality mental health extended treatment options and rehabilitation services close to home.

We also recently agreed to fund more communication resources for patients with disabilities or English as their second language, a music room for our Music Therapist at Dove Palliative Care, memory boxes for children who have lost a parent or sibling, new televisions for the Renal Unit at Gympie Hospital and some sensory modulation equipment for eating disorder patients at the Maroochydore Health Hub.

We’ve included a $10,000 blanket warmer for Ward 5D at SCUH, and a $15,000 accessory for breast biopsies at Medical Imaging at SCUH on our wish list.  This means we’re working to find the funds for this equipment as quickly as possible.

With your continued support we will find those dollars a little more quickly.

Our research grant recipients are all thrilled at the opportunity to explore their field of expertise a little further, and perhaps even influence a that field of expertise across the globe.

An interesting side note to the Wishlist Spring Carnival is that, through the bravery and sheer grace of our guest speaker Sarah Coureas and her gorgeous son Finn Smith, our 800 guests left a lot more informed about the warning signs and danger of Sepsis.

We’re also producing a video that will be rolled out to clinicians across our Health Service, of interviews with families who have been impacted by Sepsis.  The clear message from all is to follow your instincts and ask the question of your doctor – could this be Sepsis?

The House the Coast Built will be welcoming families by Christmas and we couldn’t be more grateful to Ausmar Homes and their team of contractors and suppliers.  Thanks to everyone, but those most recently onsite include Dulux, Gecko Painting Services and Preferred Plasterers.

Our painting heroes!

We farewelled our Events and Marketing Coordinator, Ashlea Heisner last month and wish her the very best in her new role at Stockland.  We warmly welcomed Jackie Bryan, Rebecca Croft and Emily Wilkinson to the team.  

There’s a lot coming up including the announcement of a major project that will benefit this community and beyond for many years to come, so stay tuned for more later this month.

The past few months have been filled with moments that remind me why I’m so passionate about the work of Wishlist after almost nineteen years. 

Our team climbed Mt Coolum in honour of young Maddy Jones, who lost her life to Sepsis at the age of 18.  Maddy’s dad Damian is a keen ambassador for the fight against Sepsis and started the Maddy Jones Foundation in her memory.  Our team tribute to Maddy was important to us all.

Lastly, I visited my friend Bill, whom I met nine years ago when he visited the Wishlist “donger” at the back of Nambour Hospital to give a donation in memory of his beloved wife.  Bill lives a happily frugal existence so he’s able to donate $1,000 to Wishlist every year in her memory.  Visiting Bill is always a special experience. 

Both Damian and Bill are beautiful reminders to me of enduring love and how we’re each able to impact the world around us despite anything life throws at us.

Thanks for doing your bit, through your support of Wishlist.

Lisa Rowe – Wishlist CEO

Mental Health Garden offers peaceful time out

A flourishing sensory garden and sitting area in the Older Person’s Mental Health Unit (OPMHU) at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) has created a much-needed space for patients and families to find peace and fresh air in an otherwise clinical environment.

Staff at the Older Person’s Mental Health Unit enjoying the garden

Catering specifically to the needs of older persons aged 65 and over, the Older Person’s Mental Health Unit has the complex task of treating mental illness in patients with physical fragility and the need for increased emotional support requirements of their families. Determined to leap these hurdles, staff in the Unit had the innovative idea to introduce an accessible sensory garden to their therapy program.

The garden (pictured) was funded in 2018 by the Queensland Community Foundation via Wishlist, with help from Bunnings, to help make a difficult time a little more pleasant by encouraging relaxation, mindfulness as well as offering a potential alternative to medications for patients.

The result is a tranquil and relaxing outdoor environment which focuses on sensory stimulation and making the Older Person’s Mental Health Unit a more welcoming place.

Clinical Nurse in the Unit Sarah Challenger said that the garden has been a great success and, with Mental Health Week upon us, a timely reminder of the therapeutic benefits of taking time to get outdoors.

“Having a therapeutic space like the garden and courtyard is so important to patients, visitors and staff as it’s an area where everyone can come together as equals to enjoy some time out of the clinical area.

“A lot of the patients enjoy having a cuppa in the garden area or walking around touching and smelling the different plants and herbs we are growing.

“We have held patient birthdays, BBQ lunches and celebrations in the garden,” said Ms Challenger.

Sarah also said the space is a popular topic of conversation among patients, staff and families.

“Patients have commented that the garden ‘doesn’t feel like I’m in hospital when I’m sitting in the garden’ or ‘every other time I’ve been in hospital there’s never been a space like this for patients- I love it!’”.

The sensory garden forms part of Wishlist’s commitment to supporting mental health projects on the Sunshine Coast. The local hospital foundation has also funded equipment for Adult, Adolescent and Acute Mental Health Units including the provision of musical instruments, Mp3 players and headphones to foster a calming environment for patients.

Queensland Mental Health Week (October 5-13) is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on what all of us can do to look after our mental health and reach out to those who need support.

This year’s theme is Take time–for mental health. Take time is about the simple yet proven things everyone can do to boost mental wellbeing.

Seven years of great service

Wishlist Coffee House volunteers with Richard Ward.

If you’ve visited Gympie Hospital you would have stopped by the Wishlist Coffee House and been helped by the shops well-known Manager, Richard Ward.

Richard has spent the better part of a decade looking after the operations of the Coffee House and its hard-working tribe of volunteers.

After many years of service and over $400,000 raised for the Hospital and his community, Richard is hanging up his Wishlist apron for the last time.

Richard said his time at the Wishlist Coffee House has been a rewarding chapter of his life.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of working with wonderful volunteer staff, hospital staff and all the customers that visit our establishment.

“I leave not with a heavy heart rather with a terrific feeling of accomplishment which now can be handed on to the next dedicated person.

“Of particular note, I must mention my loyal staff, none of this would have been possible without them, thank you,” said Richard.

Wishlist is now on the lookout for a new Coffee House Manager to take the lead.

The hospital foundations CEO Lisa Rowe said that Richard will leave some very big shoes to fill.

“It won’t be easy to replace Richard but we’re confident there’s someone out there with just as much passion for the Gympie community, to take Wishlist Coffee House forward.”

 “It’s a unique and rewarding role, to work alongside a team of wonderful volunteers and deliver the extra’s that make a difference at Gympie Hospital,” Ms Rowe said.

Wishlist raises $214k for local research

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe with Dr Paula Lister and Dr Brad McCall.

Wishlist and the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Study, Education, Research Trust fund (SERTF) are on a mission to reduce the number of children that lose their lives to sepsis by funding vital research into the deadly condition.

The Sunshine Coast Community knows the story of little Finn Smith—the 13-month-old boy who lost his hands and feet in 2013 to Meningococcal Septicaemia. Or, as it’s more commonly known, Sepsis.

Finn was one of the lucky ones. Sepsis is one of the most common causes of death among Australian children.

On September 13, World Sepsis Day, Finn’s Mum Sarah Coureas spoke to a room of 800 people at Wishlist’s Spring Carnival to raise awareness and money for Sepsis research on the Sunshine Coast.

The event raised a staggering $214,743 – a fundraising record for the Coast’s Hospital Foundation.

Since the event, Wishlist and SERTF have announced their commitment to direct close to $90,000 to important sepsis research. The funding will allow the Sunshine Coast University Hospital’s (SCUH) Paediatric Intensive Care Specialist Dr Paula Lister to conduct two sepsis-related projects that will change the way the common disease is diagnosed and treated.

Executive Director of Medical Services for the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Prof. Deborah Bailey, said Wishlist’s contribution to local research was enormous.

“Wishlist is funding $360,000 worth of research now on the Sunshine Coast across a range of initiatives. But all of them are to improve quality outcomes and a lot of it is to do with Sepsis.

 “This research is about early resuscitation using high end medication to save babies and children with sepsis.

“Sepsis has been with us forever. But we’re getting smarter and we’re introducing new medication and new therapies all the time. So, we’re always learning and improving and getting better results,” said Prof. Bailey.

The vital research will benefit families on the Coast and potentially much further afield.   

“What we expect is that we will have a protocol that can be rolled out to hospitals across Australia, New Zealand and the world, that will improve the outcomes of the sickest patients.

“Our research funding and our research profile wouldn’t exist without the funding that we get through Wishlist and the Hospital’s fund, which Wishlist also supports.”

Eleven other projects have been given the green light as part of a $363,352 commitment to local research.

Other projects include research into the effectiveness of mindfulness-based group interventions for mental health concerns in expectant mothers, continued investment into antimicrobial resistance due to antibiotic over-subscription, a study of emergency department presentations and treatment of falls among the elderly.

Wishlist has directed more than $1.5 million towards local research projects to support the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.

As part of its mission, Wishlist recognises the need to support and encourage research activity that contributes to improved healthcare outcomes for the Sunshine Coast and wider community and adds to the body of research knowledge.

Regional Wall Token appeal supports Wishlist and local kids

Shoppers from the Sunshine Coast and the surrounding area can help make a difference for local sick and injured kids like Beerwah local Ethan when they do their grocery shopping this August, as Woolworths and the Children’s Hospital Foundation once again join forces for their annual Regional Wall Token appeal.

Ethan and his twin brother Harrison were born premature at 27 weeks; at eight days old, Harrison passed away. Ethan spent a total of 256 days in hospital and was diagnosed with severe neonatal chronic lung disease requiring respiratory support.

Shoppers can help Ethan and children like him by adding a $2 wall token to their grocery shop from August 21 to September 10. All money raised through local Woolworths supermarkets will help the Children’s Hospital Foundation support the Sunshine Coast University Hospital via Wishlist.

In 2018, the appeal allowed Wishlist to fund several pieces of life-saving equipment including a Video Laryngoscope for the Neonatal Unit at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and important glucose-monitoring equipment for children with Type 1 Diabetes.

To find out more about how the Regional Wall Token campaign will help children like Ethan, please visit www.childrens.org.au/woolworths.

Successful Research Projects

Wishlist and SERTF have committed to fund 13 local research projects to the tune of $363,352 following the 2019 Research Funding Round.

Close to $80,000 in funding will also be directed to important Sepsis research led by Sunshine Coast University’s Paediatric Intensive Care Specialist Dr Paula Lister. The research funding will allow Dr Lister to conduct two sepsis-related projects that will change the way the common disease is diagnosed and treated.

Congratulations to all our successful research applicants!

Read more about each project below:

Applicant: Prof Nicholas Gray
Co-Investigators: Prof Alex Broom, Prof Jennifer Broom, Prof David Johnson, Dr Emma Kirby and Dr Katherine Kenny
Project Title: Social justice and antimicrobial resistance: A sociological study of vulnerability
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $50,000.00

Applicant: Dr Michelle Davison
Co-Investigators: Dr Peter Snelling and Dr Ruaraidh McRitchie
Project Title: BUCKLED: Bedside Ultrasound Conducted in Kids with distal upper Limb fractures in the Emergency Department. A randomised controlled trial.
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $19,992.43

Applicant: Dr Paula Lister
Co-Investigators: Prof Luregn Schlapbach and Ms Amanda Harley
Project Title: Early Resuscitation in Paediatric Sepsis Using Inotropes and Metabolic Support – a randomised controlled pilot study Platform.
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $44,075.46

Applicant: Dr Clare Thomas
Co-Investigators: Dr Michelle Davison, Ms Rebecca Halsall and Dr Lauren Kearney
Project Title: Paediatric education and assessment for non-urgent transfers (PEANUT): Evaluation of the PEANUT project
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $19,723.89

Applicant: Dr Paula Lister
Co-Investigators: Ms Suzanne Parker, Mr Paul Williams and Ms Kayla Doyle
Project Title: PIMS Study: An investigation of the utility of MICROSAMPLING VERSUS TRADTIONAL BLOOD SAMPLING FOR ANTIBIOTIC PHARMACOKINETICS in Children
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $39,823.90

Applicant: Dr Rohan Grimley
Co-Investigators: Dr Alison Craswell and Dr Elizabeth Marsden
Project Title: An epidemiological study of emergency department presentation for falls by older people in a regional hospital
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $12,596.52

Applicant: Dr Jessica Hambly
Co-Investigators: Dr Shradha Subedi and Dr Keat Choong
Project Title: Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of 24-hour beta-lactam antimicrobial infusions in elastomeric pump devices
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $20,000.00

Applicant: Dr Rochelle Ryan
Co-Investigators: Dr Scott McDonald, Dr David Grieve, Prof Kerstin Wyssusek, Prof Andre van Zundert, Prof Jeffrey Lipman and Prof Jason Roberts
Project Title: Does cefazolin and metronidazole prophylaxis during elective colorectal surgery achieve therapeutic concentrations in plasma and adipose tissue?
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $10,000.00

Applicant: Prof Tony Stanton
Project Title: Coronary Artery calcium score: Use to Guide management of Hereditary Coronary Artery Disease – (CAUGHT-CAD)
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $47,900.00

Applicant: Ms Amber Jenkins
Co-Investigators: Dr Kendall George and Dr Lauren Kearney
Project Title: Mindfulness-Based Group interventions for mental health concerns in the antenatal period: A mixed methods study
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $9,822.99

Applicant: Dr Ingrid Rosbergen
Co-Investigators: Dr Rohan Grimley, Prof Trevor Russell, Prof Sandy Brauer, Mrs Christine Tracey, Mr Norbert Greveling, Dr John Endacott and Prof Tracy Comans
Project Title: The efficacy of home-based telerehabilitation compared with centre-based community rehabilitation on time spent physically active in people with stroke: a pilot randomised controlled trial
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $19.538.10

Applicant: Dr Timothy Baird
Co-Investigators: Dr Michael Bint, Dr Erin Price, Dr Derek Sarovich and Dr Tamieka Fraser
Project Title: Using metagenomics to improve diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pulmonary infections
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $20,000.00

Applicant: Dr Lauren Kearney
Co-Investigators: Prof Fiona Bogossian, Dr Kendall George, Dr Rachel Reed, Dr Jane Reeves and Dr Tegan Triggs
Project Title: Promoting and facilitating spontaneous vaginal birth in nulliparous women at full term: systematic review, predictive cohort study and development of an evidence-based bundle of care
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $49,881.48

Wishlist funding to help high-risk teens

Sunshine Coast Public School Nurses at the Community Health Hub for Training Day.

A Wishlist grant of $11,250 will fund a new student prevention program aiming to help eliminate alcohol as the leading cause of death for 15-29-year-olds.

The Preventure program, which received the 2019 Primary Prevention Award by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, will begin with a personality test taken by Year 7 and 8 students in many public schools across the Coast.

Workshops that follow are designed to teach positive coping strategies to youth who are at a high-risk of making dangerous choices as they enter their teenage years.

The funding allows 13 School Based Youth Health Nurses, at $750 per person, to receive training across the 15th and 16th of August, so they are qualified to carry out the program.

The Sydney-based trainers will also provide student and teacher manuals and follow-up assistance to the trained school nurses as required.

Chancellor State Secondary College School Based Youth Health Nurse Kerry Percival said the student test and following program is a beneficial way to support teens without overwhelming them.

“Health promotion and early intervention activities form a major part of the role of the School Based Youth Health Nurse,” she said.

“By increasing the nurses capacity to respond in innovative and evidence-based ways to the needs of young people provides a valuable addition to their skill set in schools.

“The test aims to address what these students are prone to, and then put the appropriate skills in their hands to make positive future choices.”

As part of the program, students across the whole year level will complete a personality questionnaire that will identify those most in need of the prevention workshops.

Those at high risk include students scoring above average on traits of impulsivity, anxiety sensitivity, negative thinking or sensation seeking, as well as students with ADHD or trauma disorders.

Once identified, students in each personality-category are invited to be grouped together and attend two 90-minute workshops to participate in goal-setting exercises designed to enhance motivation and change behaviour.

Wishlist’s funding program is possible thanks to the support of people and businesses in our Sunshine Coast community.

The funds for this project come directly from this year’s 92.7 MixFM’s Give Me 5 For Kids Campaign, where over half a million dollars was raised for the health of local children.

Causes for this year’s Give Me 5 For Kids Campaign included funding for Local Clown Doctors, Inter-Hospital Paediatric Critical Care Transport Equipment, Children’s Yoga Therapy and Distraction Therapy.

To find out more or make a donation, visit https://www.wishlist.org.au/   

Celebrating The House The Coast Built with Darren Lockyer!

Former Brisbane Broncos Captain Darren Lockyer with the Wishlist team and CEO Lisa Rowe.

Wishlist’s newest emergency hospital house, The House The Coast Built is entering its final stages of construction, as the exterior gets closer and closer to completion.

The affordable accommodation will be a home away from home for families requiring close proximity to their loved ones receiving treatment at SCUH, and aims to be completely finished and housing families by Christmas.

To celebrate the lock-up, Wishlist hosted Lockyer’s Lock Up Lunch, an event designed to thank the tradies and businesses volunteering their time, effort and materials that have brought the project to this exciting stage.

Attendees were treated with a two-course lunch, live music and of course, heard from Ausmar Brand Ambassador and rugby league legend Darren Lockyer!

“The more that local businesses can chip in and assist those hospitals, and create a better experience for the families that need to be at those hospitals, I think that’s great,” Darren said.

Visit The House The Coast Built website to keep up-to-date with the project or donate an item to the house!

Drum delivery provides happy relief in Mental Health Unit

A delivery of Djembe drums has provided some light rhythmic relief to patients in the Mental Health Acute Inpatient Unit at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital thanks to Wishlist and the Honda foundation.

The drums have quickly become an important part of group therapy sessions, providing patients with a positive experience both physically and emotionally.

Occupational Therapist for the Unit, Bridgette Milton, said the drums are one of the most effective and engaging interventions for our patients.

“Drumming fosters strong group connectedness and doesn’t require participants to communicate verbally. Instead, it allows for emotional expression in their recovery and healing.

“Our patients have told us that the drumming provides a nice distraction from their worries/anxieties. They’re also appreciative of the opportunity to learn something new during their stay at the hospital. It’s an accomplishment and a way to pass the time.

“For others, with a background in music, it’s a chance to reconnect with something familiar and valued, which is very important during their recovery”, said Ms Milton.

The Mental Health Acute Inpatient Unit also offer other musical instruments as part of the daily group sessions, with a great response.

“The sessions usually result in fantastic large drumming circles which include a sing-along. This creates a strong connectedness as a group, and involves lots of smiles and laughs. 

“Sometimes someone will just suggest we get the drums out, or the drums will make their way out to the courtyard during our weekly BBQ, which is always great fun,” said Ms Milton.

The drums were funded by Wishlist, thanks to the Honda Foundation grants program. The program provided $1483 for the therapeutic drumming program at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Gympie Hospital.