Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital

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Funds raised this Dry July will help fund equipment, programs and refurbishments

About Us

Calvary Mater Newcastle is the major cancer care centre for Hunter New England Local Health District, delivering more than 485,000 occasions of outpatient services and in excess of 17,000 inpatient treatments per year.

We provide a comprehensive range of cancer services, diagnosis and treatment including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplants and surgery.

As the region’s tertiary referral cancer hospital, we treat a lot of patients who travel a great distance to have their treatment. Calvary Mater Newcastle is recognised as a leading research centre. It is also the main centre for cancer clinical trials in the Hunter region, with local, national and international research collaborations taking place.

By raising funds for Dry July and choosing to support Calvary Mater Newcastle, you are helping fund projects for our oncology services that directly benefit and assist in the comfort and care of our patients and their families.

The projects and equipment funded in 2023, included:

- Two chemotherapy treatment chairs for the Day Treatment Centre
- Post-operative surgical bras for women undergoing surgery for breast cancer and breast reconstructive surgery
- Enhance and update equipment in the Occupational Therapy Oncology Equipment Loan Program.

By supporting us in 2024, we hope to improve the patient experience for those being treated within our outpatient services.

Thank you for choosing to support Calvary Mater Newcastle.

Latest Updates

Christine's Story

For Christine Neville, 10 August 2021 will always be a date she remembers – the day she discovered she had breast cancer.

Since the diagnosis, Christine’s life has been understandably turned ‘upside down’. In September and October 2021 Christine endured two rounds of surgery to remove the cancer and some lymph nodes; this is currently being followed by chemotherapy, which will continue for a total of 16 weeks. Once this treatment has finished, Christine will then face radiation therapy five days a week for five weeks, with the knowledge that she will have endocrine therapy for a further seven years.

The speed by which Christine’s diagnosis happened, followed by the commencement of her treatment, meant Christine had a lot to take in in a short amount of time, with the change in her physical appearance being just one consideration.

Christine was known for her beautiful thick curly hair so “the knowledge that my hair would 100 per cent fall out throughout my chemotherapy treatment was a shock,” said Christine. “Once chemotherapy started my hair started to fall out in chunks every hour, I felt shattered throughout the whole process.”

“On Christmas Day I couldn’t bear seeing my hair fall out any longer so opted to shave my head. It allowed me to feel momentarily in control and the coolness I felt after all the hot flushes I had been experiencing was refreshing.”

Since the commencement of Christine’s treatment she has been receiving support from the hospital’s McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Helen Moore. Thanks to Dry July support, Helen was able to offer Christine a variety of turbans in different styles, colours and patterns. Christine said, “The turbans are great, they are soft, keep my head warm and also come in some lovely patterns. I like to wear one when I go out as I find I don’t get stared at as much. I also went on to purchase an additional one for night time as they really are so handy.”

Christine concludes, “It’s the small gestures like the turbans that really make a difference at a time when you need it the most!”

Thank you Dry July Foundation for making this possible.

Thanks to you, Calvary Mater Newcastle’s Ward 5C is now benefitting from the purchase of ten new vital sign patient monitors

Thanks to Dry July funding, Calvary Mater Newcastle’s Ward 5C (Haematology) is now benefitting from the purchase of ten new vital sign patient monitors that have been installed into the ward’s single rooms.

For many of the hospital’s patients being treated for leukaemia they will spend a large proportion of their stay in one of the single rooms due to disease-related symptoms and treatment side-effects.

The new monitors enable staff to ensure that clinical and observation monitoring is carried out effectively and safely for each patient isolated in these rooms.

Linzi Nolan, Nurse Unit Manager Wards 5C/D, said, “Checking and recording clinical observations, blood pressure, temperature, etc, is carried out every four hours and is vital in terms of monitoring for sepsis and deterioration which can occur very acutely in the haematology patient cohort.

“We are very grateful for the funding provided by Dry July to enable the purchase of these monitors. They are fast, efficient, and now conveniently installed at each bedside.”

The Department of Radiation Oncology’s walls come to life thanks to Dry July 2021 funding

The Department of Radiation Oncology’s corridors at Calvary Mater Newcastle have come to life thanks to a new mural installed in the department following Dry July funding.

Patients and staff are now greeted by a colourful and fun mural depicting local Newcastle scenes and landmarks, designed by talented local artist Mitch Revs. The mural is located in the corridor leading to the Zeus treatment unit and has brought joy and fun to the walls.

Karen Jovanovic, Chief Radiation Therapist, said, “Cancer diagnosis is a huge, life-changing event, causing much anxiety for our patients. It has long been recognised that the environment patients encounter while attending hospital or clinic for health-related appointments influences patients’ stress levels. Our staff try to alleviate patients’ anxiety in many ways, including making the physical environment more comfortable, rather than clinical, thereby helping the patient to have a positive experience.”

On the addition of this mural Karen comments, “Patients usually spend a few minutes seated waiting in the corridor prior to treatment and will therefore have a chance to look for details in the Newcastle scene. This mural is a fun distraction and a great talking point that we hope will help improve the patient experience.”

Calvary Mater Newcastle Oncology Loan Pool gets a boost

Thanks to Dry July funding the Calvary Mater Newcastle Oncology Loan Pool continues to go from strength to strength as worn equipment is replaced and an additional range of equipment brought in.

The Oncology Loan Pool provides free short term loan of equipment to assist patients when they are discharged home or supports them to remain at home while receiving cancer treatment. Undergoing treatment and recovery from cancer can be a financially challenging time, and having access to the free Oncology Loan Pool assists in alleviating some of this burden.

A range of equipment is available to assist patients with activities of daily living like showering, toileting, transferring and mobility, as well as providing comfort measures to reduce pressure injuries.

Andrew Wakely, Occupational Therapist in Charge, says. “You cannot underestimate the difference the Oncology Loan Pool makes to our patients and their family members.

“One of our previous patients was undergoing treatment for breast cancer for a period of five years. Throughout this time and until her death, the Occupational Therapy Department was able to loan her items regularly to meet her ever changing comfort and functional needs. Items included cushions, mattresses, dressing aids, bathroom assistive equipment and a wheelchair.

“Sadly, several years later, the same patient’s husband found himself with an aggressive cancer diagnosis, also requiring assistance with a small amount of equipment to help him and his family manage his illness at home. With the aid of this equipment, the adult sons were able to care for their father right up until his death, and were very thankful that it assisted them to spend more quality time with their father in a familiar environment. The equipment reduced the patient’s risk of falls and increased his mobility, as well as providing comfort measures and assistive aids for showering and toileting. The service was free of charge, and took one more burden away from the family in their time of need.”

Andrew concludes, “It is an honour and a privilege to be able to assist our patients in what for many can be one of the most challenging and traumatic periods of their lives. However, this couldn’t happen without the generosity of Dry July allowing us to update and broaden our range of Oncology Loan Pool equipment. Thank you.”

Your commitment to Dry July has helped Calvary Mater Newcastle purchase much needed equipment

Thank you for taking on the Dry July challenge and supporting Calvary Mater Newcastle this year. This has enabled the hospital to fund projects and equipment that assist our patients, their families and carers, toward a more comfortable experience during and following their cancer treatment. We are extremely grateful for your fundraising efforts and dedication.

Your fundraising for Dry July this year has enabled Calvary Mater Newcastle to purchase the following items:

• New assistive equipment and pressure care items for the hospital’s Oncology Loan Pool Equipment.

• Scarves/turbans for people experiencing hair loss after cancer treatment.

• Postoperative bras for women undergoing surgery for breast cancer and breast reconstructive surgery.

• Four CADD pumps. CADD pumps are small light weight infusion pumps for patients who require continuous therapy over a number of days. These pumps will assist the Day Treatment Centre to deliver at home chemotherapy to a greater number of patients.

• Two low profile beds for Ward 5B (Oncology).

• A mural for the entry corridor to a treatment unit in Radiation Oncology.

• 10 vital signs monitors for installation in single rooms on Ward 5C (Haematology)

As you can see, this funding will allow us to update and enhance a wide variety of equipment that will help make our patient’s more comfortable, whether as an inpatient or outpatient. 

On behalf of all the patients and staff at Calvary Mater Newcastle, we would like to thank you for your support and contribution to making a positive difference in the lives of people living with cancer.

Donate to Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital