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Flinders Foundation

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Working together to prevent, cure and care.

That simple sentence sums up Flinders Foundation’s purpose – to work together with individuals and organisations in the community to support health and medical research and improve patient care across the Flinders medical precinct.

Together, we raise vital funds to support the leading clinicians and researchers across Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University to make medical discoveries and improve the care available to patients and their families – including those facing cancer.

Each year more than 2,500 South Australians are diagnosed with cancer at Flinders, and the hospital provides more than 30,000 appointments annually for people with cancer.

By working together with organisations such as the Dry July Foundation, and generous individuals and fundraisers in our community, the inspiring cancer researchers at Flinders can get closer to the next breakthrough, and patients and their families can continue to receive the best treatment, care and support.

This support includes opening the $30 million Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer in 2012. This unique centre combines compassionate care, world leading research and comprehensive support programs for people living with cancer, all under the same roof.

In February 2020, Flinders Foundation worked in partnership with Dry July to open a new Cancer Wellness Centre on the ground floor of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. The centre provides a range of services to help patients and their families to help ease the burden of cancer and address many of the unmet needs of patients and their families during and after cancer treatment – many of which can be lifelong.

This extra support focuses on a range of physical, educational, emotional and practical impacts which cancer can have, including fatigue, anxiety, dietary, financial and employment concerns, among others.

By signing up for Dry July and raising funds for Flinders Foundation, your support will contribute to cancer wellness exercise classes and dietetic group education sessions.
Thank you for supporting Flinders Foundation to prevent, cure and care.

Latest Updates

Oncology Massage program underway - Grant from Dry July Foundation SA

Maggie Wittchen was among the first patients to be treated to a relaxing massage thanks to an expanded oncology massage service at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC).

Maggie, who was recently admitted to hospital for five days of continuous chemotherapy treatment for Lymphoma, said massage provided extra comfort to her and other cancer patients.

“Massage is a lovely idea – it’s definitely soothing and helps me to relax,” Maggie said.

In a state-first, patients admitted to FMC’s cancer ward (Ward 5G) are able to receive hand, foot, neck and body massages from an oncology qualified remedial massage therapist to help ease some of the symptoms associated with their disease.

Oncology Massage Therapist Andrea Cornish visits the ward twice a week to provide massage for patients who are unwell or receiving inpatient treatment.

“This very light touch therapy can really improve the quality of life for people with a history of cancer,” Andrea said.

“Research has shown that gentle massage may help to alleviate some of the symptoms of chemotherapy treatment, including pain, nausea, depression, anxiety, fatigue and neuropathy - sometimes by up to 60 per cent.

“There’s also evidence that it can help with shortness of breath, memory problems and disturbed sleep.”

The oncology massage service has been provided to patients receiving chemotherapy in the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer Infusion Suite since 2014, but this is the first time massage is available at a patient’s bedside.

The expansion of this service has been made possible thanks Flinders Foundation and a $32,000 grant from the Dry July Foundation – a campaign which encourages people to give up alcohol for the month of July and raise funds for cancer patients and their families and carers.

Cancer Ward Clinical Services Coordinator Avis Glenn said the massage service would greatly improve patients’ wellbeing:

“We often have patients here for days, sometimes weeks, so massage not only helps with alleviating some pain but also provides a good distraction and someone else to talk to,” she said.

“It’s also really valuable that Andrea can now visit our patients in their beds for massage, without them having to venture far.”

Continuing the Oncology Massage Program

Flinders Foundation will use Dry July 2016 funding to extend the Flinders Infusion Suite (FIS) in-chair Oncology Massage Program to run for the entire year of 2017.

The program currently operates two hours a day, five days per week.

Flinders Foundation started this program in 2013 within the Flinders Infusion Suite in the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC) and it has proven to be extremely popular with patients and staff. Since its inception there has been a growing evidence-base for the role of oncology massage for effectively managing physical and psychological symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment.

An experienced Oncology Massage Therapist attends the FCIC Infusion Suite to offer free 20 minute hand and foot relaxation massages to patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Furnishings for the New FCIC Patient Space

The Dry July Foundation has awarded a grant to Flinders Medical Centre Foundation for furnishings in the (Dry July funded) new patient space on the ground level of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC). Works for completing the refurbishments to this space are finally underway in the Centre and we look forward to showing you the new space soon!

The grant will be used for the purchase of sofas, armchairs and coffee tables to make patients utilising the space a little more comfortable.

Oncology Massage Program at FCIC

The oncology massage program at the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC) will run 2 hours a day x 5 days per week to offer free 20 minute hand and foot relaxation massages to patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments. The program will be fully funded by Dry July, until at least early 2017.

Massage has been shown to help relieve anxiety and depression, and enable a patient to relax.

Flinders is one of the busiest public hospitals in South Australia, serving the southern community of Adelaide and the southern region to Mount Gambier as well as patients from Northern Territory. The FCIC Infusion Suite has 12 chairs and two bed bays delivering treatment throughout the week. The unit sees approximately 300 patients, delivering more than 650 chemotherapy infusions, per month. FMC hopes to one day have enough funding to offer the oncology massage program to every patient.

Patient space and library at Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer

The Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC) opened in 2012 and has brought together out-patient care, cancer prevention and treatment research, clinical trial groups, cancer care coordinators and survivorship services together under the one roof at Flinders.

Due to the large amounts of visitors to the FCIC there is little private and quiet space for patients, carers or their families.

To improve the care of these patients, the Foundation has identified the need to devise easily accessible programs and spaces that patients can utilise when they visit the centre.

Funds from Dry July are being used towards transforming an existing underutilised area into a patient space and library.

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