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Wishlist announces $105,876 worth of grants

Wishlist has announced $105,876 will go towards funding seven innovative medical research projects to be undertaken on the Sunshine Coast.

The total was revealed at the recent Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Research Day.

Image result for sunshine coast health research day

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Research Day 2017.

SCHHS Research Committee Chair and Director of Renal Serivces, Associate Professor  Nicholas Gray, said research and education is integral to SCHHS.

“Research drives innovation and excellence in health care, attracts a high quality workforce, and improves health outcomes for the community,” A/Prof Gray said.

“It fosters inter-disciplinary collaboration essential for meeting the future needs of the population.”

Wishlist Foundation CEO said the largest funding commitment was awarded to Professor Tony Stanton for a randomised trial of the benefit and cost-effectiveness of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy optimisation in heart failure.

More than $46,000 has been dedicated to the project.

“This year’s research grants will delve into a range of conditions and methods of care, including Chronic Kidney Disease which affects hundreds of people living locally, a specific therapy used to treat heart failure, the monitoring of invasive diseases in our vulnerable populations, and the barriers of caring for dying newborns close to or at home,” Ms Rowe said.

“These research projects are advanced and are largely unprecedented so we are proud that the Sunshine Coast is leading the way to investigate such topics.”

“It only takes one piece of research to make a huge difference, whether it is a long-awaited cure for a debilitating disease, a nationwide change to models of care, or enhancing treatment.

“Funding these developments could potentially benefit us all, and it is only possible thanks to the support of our very generous community.”

A/Prof Gray said this year SCHHS was grateful to welcome keynote speaker Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim from the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University and Australian of the Year 2017, a neuroscientist and stem cell scientist.

As a world leader in spinal cord injury research, he has led a Brisbane team in a world-first clinical trial in which the patient’s own olfactory cells were transplanted into their injured spinal cord in the first stages of a therapy to treat human paraplegia.

“In 2016 our research included, 53 projects, seven of which were clinical trials,” A/Prof Gray said.

“The total value of grant funding awarded to SCHHS staff for research projects in 2016, from Strategic Funding Grants, Wishlist Sunshine Coast Health Foundation research grants and research higher degree scholarships and Study, Education and Research Trust Fund (SERTF) was $1,595,375.00.

“Research is growing, collaborations are being formed, and the people of the Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions will be rewarded with the benefits.”

Building sustainable research capacity requires development of a strong research culture within clinical departments and the health service, effective research management, funding support, suitable research facilities and research collaborations.

 

Superbugs on the hit list for Coast Researcher

With almost 4000 Queenslanders hospitalised this year suffering the flu, a Sunshine Coast researcher is joining the crusade to investigate the overuse of antibiotics.

Infectious Diseases Physician, Associate Professor Jennifer Broom, based at Sunshine Coast University Hospital, received a $50,000 Wishlist grant to undertake a collaborative research project which now involves the University of New South Wales and multiple hospital in New South Wales and Queensland.

“Misuse of antibiotics across Australia and internationally is common (leading to bacterial resistance) and there are limited new antibiotic agents under development,” A/Prof Broom said.

“This means we are facing the very real possibility of a post-antibiotic era.”

“Attempts to influence doctors’ use of antibiotics have seen limited success internationally, yet few studies have explored the reasons why antibiotics are over-prescribed.”

The extensive research programme involved interviews with more than 200 doctors, nurses, managers and pharmacists within the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service and four other hospitals in Queensland and New South Wales.

“We found that doctors overprescribe antibiotics out of concern for the immediate patient outcome and that long-term antimicrobial resistance is not really considered in their decision-making,” Dr Broom said.

“Diagnosis can be difficult – for example differentiating the flu from bacterial infections, which leads to overprescribing just in case a bacterial infection is present.

As Antibiotic Awareness Week begins, Australia has been named as having one of the highest rates of antibiotic use in the developed world. According to the World Health Organisation, around 29 million prescriptions are issued every year.

A/Prof Broom’s study has now been published in multiple journals and presented at national and international meetings and is forming the basis of antibiotic prescribing innovations within Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

“The more antibiotics are used the more chance bacteria have to become resistant to them, and this is increasing in Australia and worldwide. If we don’t stop overusing antibiotics, common infections will become untreatable.

“Worldwide, there has been a significant increase in resistant organisms. This means bacterial infections that were once easily cured with antibiotics are becoming harder to treat.

“Reducing our antibiotic use locally will reduce bacterial resistance on the Sunshine Coast.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said A/Prof Broom’s study was an important reminder off the back of one of the worst flu seasons in Queensland.

“Wishlist also funded a $151,560 instrument which is now being used in Pathology Queensland’s Microbiology Laboratory at Sunshine Coast University Hospital,” Ms Rowe said.

“The MALDI-TOF instrument ensures the rapid identification of bacteria so doctors can prescribe the most effective antibiotics.

“I know this equipment is regularly used in the Pathology Department and can identify bacteria within 30 minutes, instead of scientists having to wait overnight for results.”

A/Prof Broom’s research project was also supported by an Australian Research Council research grant.

Can you help Wishlist fund more research projects, donate today at wishlist.org.au.

Wishlist teams with iconic business

The Coast’s most iconic theme park Aussie World has teamed up with hospital foundation Wishlist.

Mascots Jake and Tilly visited the Children’s Ward on November 2 giving patients family passes to mark the partnership.Aussie World outside SCUH (2)

Aussie World Chief Operating Officer Aaron Flanagan said: “We’ve been really keen to establish a partnership with Wishlist for some time”.

“Wishlist is a fantastic organisaIMG_1096tion, they look after such a wide demographic in the community from Caloundra right through to Gympie.

“We are a really community-focused business, so this was just a great extension of that.”

 

For sponsorship enquiries contact Philanthropy Manager Hans de Koning on 5202 1777 or email hans.dekoning@health.qld.gov.au.  

 

 

 

 

 

SALUTE TO DEMENTIA SUFFERERS

It is 8.30am and Paula George greets her 94-year-old father Alan with a smile and military salute.

This day, Alan remembers his daughter’s name, but it’s not always the case despite the close bond the two share.

Alan George during WWII

Photo: Alan George during WWII

“He has good days and bad days,” Paula admits. “He was very intelligent, which makes this so hard.”

Alan sits comfortably in his chair stacking wooden blocks at Glenbrook Residential Aged Care at Nambour. He is one of about a dozen people living in the facility with a complex dementia diagnosis.

The veteran served in the Intelligence Unit in WWII in Darwin, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands before he became a senior diplomat based in Europe with his wife Cathe and five children.

Now, the grandfather-of-four has vascular dementia, an incurable and progressive disease affecting his memory, reasoning and judgement, which he has lived with for 10 years.

“I am sharing our story to support Wishlist’s goal of raising $30,000 for a specially-designed dementia-friendly outdoor area at Nambour Hospital and also a sensory garden here at Glenbrook,” Paula says.

“Dad was always gardening. He lived through the Depression and grew fruit trees to provide for the family. This proposed project is so important, it’s so enriching.

“My grandmother had Alzheimer’s Disease so I witnessed her staying with different relatives and everyone caring for her. I watched her struggle.

Paula George and Alan George.

Photo: Paula George and Alan George.

“There came a time with my dad that my mother reluctantly let people come into their home to help. He stopped recognising mum and it broke her heart. She lost her partner, lost her soul mate.”

Being married for 63 years, Paula says the couple were only separated by illness.

Cathe and Alan George on their wedding day.

Cathe and Alan George on their wedding day.

“Mum passed away six months ago, so I come in with my brother and greet dad when he’s having breakfast and sometimes we walk through the garden.

“He is profoundly deaf due to concussion grenades in the war, but he still has understanding and insight. You grab those moments like a little gem.

“Unfortunately, you have nowhere to hide with this disease.”

Next Sunday, Wishlist will hold their first Teddy Bears’ Picnic to raise funds for a specially-designed outdoor area to enhance patient care at Nambour Hospital’s Acute Restorative Care (ARC) Unit.

The team provides care for frail older patients with complex cognitive issues and is rallying the community to support the event at Cotton Tree Park.

Major sponsor and award-winning care provider Just Better Care supported the picnic without hesitation, in part due to the number of people the organisation cares for with dementia.

Director Tony Sandy cited one particular heart-wrenching case of a client who went very quickly from being a business and community leader to losing everything when he was struck by early onset dementia.

“This person lost the business he’d worked all his life to build and is now living with relatives, and cared for by family, along with the support of Just Better Care,” Mr Sandy said.

“The additional support our families receive from organisations like ours provides huge relief and respite to those who care for loved ones with dementia, and we see our support of this event as a way to provide just a little bit more, hopefully through the provision of the dementia garden.”

The innovative project will include a sensory garden, mini workshop and other stimulating therapeutic tools in an environment which will be a first on the Coast for dementia patients.

Currently, there are more than 413,106 Australians living with dementia that require specialist care. That number is expected to grow to 536,164 by 2025.

Teddy Bears’ Picnic on National Grandparents Day

When: Sunday October 29

Time: 9am until midday

Where: Cotton Tree Park

Cost: $10 each which includes food, drinks and activities voucher.

Tickets: wishlist.org.au

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Two minutes with Tony Sandy

Two minutes with Teddy Bears’ Picnic major sponsor, Tony Sandy from Just Better Care.

Why did you become a sponsor of Wishlist’s first Teddy Bears’ Picnic?

My grandtonyparents played a significant role in my upbringing by providing various forms of support.  When I look back on my own experiences, the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is invaluable.  A grandparent provides old-fashioned values, is a mentor, a wonderful companion and interestingly a historian by way of their history paving our future.  Sadly, grandparents can be forgotten or unnoticed in society’s addiction to a faster pace of life.

It is for this reason I wanted to sponsor Wishlist’s first Teddy Bears’ Picnic igniting a celebration of grandparents and their wonderful contributions to families.

Tell us about your organisation Just Better Care?

I’m passionate about making a difference within our community by making people feel happier and more independent living in their own homes.  Just Better Care know the right support can be pivotal in making all the difference.  Our positive and person-centred approach to in-home care and community engagement puts you in control, supporting you to achieve your goals with trusted professionals, quality support and a comprehensive range of services to meet your individual needs.  Our mission is to enrich lives every day and create fresh opportunities, empowering you to live your life to the fullest at home, and in your community.  Our disability and aged care services are focused on the things that matter: trust, independence, fulfilling dreams and belonging.

Why did you want to support a dementia-friendly outdoor area at Nambour Hospital?

Latest statistics reveal Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in Australians over the age of 65 and second leading cause of death in Australia.  Sunshine Coast currently does not have a purpose built outdoor facility to accommodate patients with cognitive issues.  This newly built outdoor area at Nambour Hospital will provide much needed restorative care, bridging the gap of patient’s self-worth whilst increasing their quality of life.

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LINE-UP ANNOUNCED FOR TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC

Bring the whole family to celebrate national Grandparents Day next weekend and raise much-needed funds for dementia patients at Nambour Hospital.

The family-friendly event on Sunday, October 29, will be held at Cotton Tree Park from 9am until 12pm.

The first Wishlist Teddy Bears’ Picnic will feature an interactive puppet show, a jazz and blues band, Billy’s Buddies demonstration, jumping castle, storytelling, face-painting, pony rides, roving entertainers, children’s yoga, reptile encounters, food stalls, a Teddy Bear Hospital and more.

Lisa Wilson and Ashlea Heisner - Teddy Bears' Picnic (2)

Wishlist event organisers Lisa Wilson and Ashlea Heisner with Leo the Bear.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the event will raise funds for a Dementia Garden including the installation of fittings, furnishings and equipment at the new Acute and Restorative Care Unit at Nambour Hospital.

“This project has been on our Wish List for the past three months with a fundraising goal of $30,000,” Ms Rowe said.

“Thankfully we have sponsors who have come onboard to make this day possible, including Just Better Care, Poole Group, Your Aged Care Solutions and Kruger Law.

“We now need the community to turn out for a fun day and support those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia.”

Entry costs $10 per person and includes a food, drink and activities voucher.

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“This event was spearheaded by one of our very dedicated volunteers, who ran a similar event in New York,” Ms Rowe added.

“We envisage this day to be just as successful with all proceeds to go straight to the Dementia Garden.

“It is also a unique opportunity for grandparents to create some special memories with their families.

“For as little as $15 every child can receive a plush Just Better Care Wishlist Bear and priceless handmade rug as a momento of the day.”

Purchase a ticket to the Teddy Bears’ Picnic before October 20 to go into the draw to win a Family Pass to Aussie World, valued at $144.  

Limited tickets available at wishlist.org.au or phone 5202 1777. Teddy and handmade rug bundles start at $15.

TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC LINEUP: (Free with $10 entry)

  • Strawberry stall
  • Billy’s Buddies demo
  • Face-painting
  • Girl Friday jazz band
  • Pony rides and petting zoo
  • Reptile encounter
  • Reading corner
  • Children’s yoga
  • Roving entertainers
  • Interactive Puppet Show
  • Jumping castle
  • BBQ
  • Fairy floss
  • Popcorn
  • Snowcones
  • Teddy Bear Hospital

WISHLIST’S GARDEN APPEAL

Wishlist is appealing to the community to help fund a sensory garden, as part of Mental Health Week.

The Sunshine Coast health foundation is planning to install the garden in the Older Persons Mental Health Unit at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital at a cost of $5000, but community donations are needed to get the green project off the ground.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the project would focus on sensory stimulation and would be designed specifically for older people experiencing mental illness.

“We would love the community to rally for this important cause,” Ms Rowe said.

“At some point in most of our lives we experience trauma or distress, and this is just one way we can help people who are requiring treatment in our public health service to battle this debilitating illness.

“If just 500 people gave $10 each, this project would be funded.”

Psychiatrist Dr Pamela Hudson-Jessop and Acting Nurse Unit Manager Sarah Challenger.

Psychiatrist Dr Pamela Hudson-Jessop and Acting Nurse Unit Manager Sarah Challenger.

Acting Nurse Unit Manager Sarah Challenger said a courtyard within the state-of-the-art SCUH facility had been pinpointed for the location of the project.

“The majority of our consumers are over the age of 65, and have come to hospital to receive specialised mental health care,” Ms Challenger said.

“We have a wide variety of mental health conditions which require admission, though we do tend to see a lot of older people with depression and anxiety, especially in those who are experiencing a loss of independence and belonging in the community as they age.”

A recent summary of research into promoting good health through contact with nature, found that even small levels of exposure to nature accounted for improved health outcomes across a number of health conditions, including mental health.

“Sensory input – especially through a sensory garden – is so important to providing holistic care to our consumers in this age group because it is something a lot of them enjoy, and can also improve their health and wellbeing on a number of different levels,” Ms Challenger added.

“I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to apply to Wishlist for funding to help make our Older Persons Mental Health Unit a more relaxing, welcoming and therapeutic environment for our consumers and their families.

“Being in hospital can be a scary and confronting experience, and anything we can do to help alleviate that has to be of benefit for consumers, families and staff.”

Psychiatrist Dr Pamela Hudson-Jessop said natural environments proved to provide a range of health benefits.

“Most of our patients would benefit from being able to access a relaxing outdoor space where they can gather, contemplate, talk, relax and perhaps even meditate,” Dr Hudson-Jessop said.

If you can help, please consider donating at www.wishlist.org.au or phone 5202 1777.

100% of every donation goes directly to the cause as Wishlist’s operational costs are sustained by commercial ventures such as Nambour Hospital’s car park.

GYMPIE STAFF QUARTERS RECEIVE REVAMP

Gympie Hospital’s staff quarters have been given a face-lift.

Hospital foundation, Wishlist, has directed almost $10,000 to replace ageing bedding furniture in four units that are primarily used for rotating medical officers and those who are on-call.

Residential Accommodation Officer Fiona Kello said 12 new king single bed bases, mattresses and beside tables provided a valuable improvement to the wellbeing and comfort of staff.

“The current staff quarters were constructed when Gympie Hospital was first built,” Ms Kello said.

“With the number of medical officer staff rotating through Gympie, coupled with on-call requirements, there has been an increase in the number of staff requiring accommodation on-site, and for more than one night,” Ms Kello said.

Gympie Staff Quarters

REVAMP: Gympie Hospital Staff Quarters

 

“Air conditioning is also being installed in the block, so this small revamp of the units will positively impact our hard-working health staff who provide exceptional care to patients at any time of the day and on any day of the year.”

Wishlist also recently spent $1900 to purchase a specialised sofa bed chair for the Gympie Hospital paediatric area to provide added comfort for parents to stay close to their sick children.

As well, Wishlist has provided an additional $2500 to fund a Sensit Chair and foot stool for the Department of Emergency interview room to reduce aggressive patient behaviour.

The SenSit Chair is a sensory-stimulating chair which provides a sense of security and calm, and will benefit mental health patients and vulnerable children and adults who present to the Emergency Department.

Nurse Manager Susie Sachs said SenSit chairs were already being successfully used in the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Mental Health Intensive Care Unit.

“The chair provides a safe refuge for children and adults experiencing mental and physical restlessness” Ms Sachs said.

“The SenSit Chair is just one of the many strategies we are implementing in Gympie to increase patient comfort and improve the safety for both patients and staff.”

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said thanks to community donations and supporting the Wishlist Coffee House, the recent purchases were just small ways Wishlist could help staff and patients in Gympie.

“It’s a community effort and there are many ways people can help,” Ms Rowe said.

“We are currently searching for volunteers for our Wishlist Coffee House located at Gympie Hospital, which of course a precious donation of time.

“Plus, we are raising much-needed funds for a C-MAC Laryngoscope for Gympie’s Emergency Unit to help patients who present to the department in respiratory distress. This potentially life-saving equipment is priced at $30,697.”

If you are interested in lending a hand at the Wishlist Coffee House, drop in and pick up an application form or phone the shop on 5489 8513.

To donate, click www.wishlist.org.au and hit the ‘donate’ tab or phone 5202 1777.

NATURE TO NURTURE SUNSHINE COAST MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS

A sensory garden for older people suffering mental illness is on the ‘Wish List’ for the Sunshine Coast health foundation.

Wishlist is planning to install a sensory garden in the Older Persons Mental Health Unit at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital to the tune of $5000, but community donations are needed to get the green project off the ground.

Acting Nurse Unit Manager Sarah Challenger said a courtyard within the state-of-the-art facility had been pinpointed for the location of the project.

Psychiatrist Dr Pamela Hudson-Jessop and Acting Nurse Unit Manager Sarah Challenger.

Psychiatrist Dr Pamela Hudson-Jessop and Acting Nurse Unit Manager Sarah Challenger.

“The majority of our consumers are over the age of 65, and have come to hospital to receive specialised mental health care,” Ms Challenger said.

“We have a wide variety of mental health conditions which require admission, though we do tend to see a lot of older people with depression and anxiety, especially in those who are experiencing a loss of independence and belonging in the community as they age.”

A recent summary of research into promoting good health through contact with nature, found that even small levels of exposure to nature accounted for improved health outcomes across a number of health conditions, including mental health.

“Sensory input – especially through a sensory garden – is so important to providing holistic care to our consumers in this age group because it is something a lot of them enjoy, and can also improve their health and wellbeing on a number of different levels,” Ms Challenger added.

“I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to apply to Wishlist for funding to help make our Older Persons Mental Health Unit a more relaxing, welcoming and therapeutic environment for our consumers and their families.

“Being in hospital can be a scary and confronting experience, and anything we can do to help alleviate that has to be of benefit for consumers, families and staff.”

Mental Health Peer Support Coordinator Bill McMahon.

Mental Health Peer Support Coordinator Bill McMahon.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the project would focus on sensory stimulation and would be designed specifically for older people experiencing mental illness.

“We would love the community to rally for this important cause,” Ms Rowe said.

“At some point in most of our lives we experience trauma or distress, and this is just one way we can help people who are requiring treatment in our public health service to battle this debilitating illness.

“If just 500 people gave $10 each, this project would be funded.”

Psychiatrist Dr Pamela Hudson-Jessop said natural environments proved to provide a range of health benefits.

“Most of our patients would benefit from being able to access a relaxing outdoor space where they can gather, contemplate, talk, relax and perhaps even meditate,” Dr Hudson-Jessop said.

If you can help, please consider donating HERE or phone 5202 1777.

100% of every donation goes directly to the cause as Wishlist’s operational costs are sustained by commercial ventures such as Nambour Hospital’s car park.

Teddy Bears’ Picnic announced

Bring the whole family to celebrate national Grandparents Day with Wishlist and raise much-needed funds to support dementia patients at Nambour Hospital.

With your help, we are aiming to raise $30,000 to install fitting, furnishings and equipment at the new Acute and Restorative Care Unit at Nambour Hospital to promote an appropriate dementia-friendly environment.

The event is for all ages on Sunday, October 29, from 9am until 12pm at Cotton Tree Park.

Entry is $10 which includes food, drink and entertainment.

Come one, come all!

For more visit our events page.

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