Your Dry July fundraising in 2022 has helped patients living with cancer continue to have access to our world class wellness therapies at the ONJ Centre

Our Wellness Team supports patients’ body, mind, and soul alongside their medical treatment.

Through the 2022 Dry July fundraising campaign, $60,000 was raised for exercise physiology programs at the Wellness Gym and for Psychology services provided at the ONJ Centre.

The exercise physiology team has worked diligently to increase the visibility and credibility of the Wellness Gym at the ONJ Centre, and the efforts put in have provided an environment for the service to flourish. Referral to the Wellness Gym is part of the ongoing conversation with patients, clinical staff, and doctors.

Given that the Wellness Gym is still in its growth stage, the message about exercise physiology is clear and we need to continue fostering this message to ensure that referral to exercise physiology becomes part of routine cancer care for all patients treated at the ONJ Centre. Thanks to you, Dry July fundraising has enabled this to happen. Moving towards full recommencement of services, we saw a proportional increase in all exercise physiology-driven services.

In 2022/2023 (to date), we had 725 new referrals (35% increase from 2021/2022), and 506 patients used the wellness gym. Our team performed 388 initial consultations, 509 in-person follow-up consultations, 400 in-person group classes, and 1,400 patients attended our in-person group classes.

Since 2021, the visibility and credibility of the Wellness Gym has significantly increased and this is certainly a result of clinical and research collaborations and expanding service provisions/focuses, which includes geri-oncology and enhanced pre-rehabilitation for individuals embarking on high-risk cancer surgery.

“To all you wonderful exercise physiologists, regular exercise was the missing ingredient that each of you helped replace" - Patient.

"I had the best time working with your team. One of the most prominent moments for me was when you casually suggested that I learn to play tennis on the opposite side. You helped me break through many walls and barriers I set for myself, and I started enjoying playing tennis again.’ - Patient

While we are unable to provide direct feedback from patients due to privacy and confidentially, we have seen the growth of telehealth services across the psychology services. Telehealth has remained the preferred service mode into 2022/2023. In the years 2022/2023, 169 referred outpatients benefitted from the service. We have 20 outpatients awaiting intake assessment and therapy.

The enormity of a cancer diagnosis and treatment is sometimes overwhelming to our patients. The flexibility and continued uptake of telehealth-delivered services has proved successful even following the recommencement of in-person services. People who are going through treatment often do not want to make another trip into the hospital, so this mode of service will be continuing.

Thanks to you these programs are open to every person undergoing cancer treatment. They not only improve the efficacy of cancer treatments but also brighten patients’ days, reducing stress and instilling life changing habits.

On behalf of Austin Health and the ONJ Centre – thank you for changing the lives of every patient at the ONJ Centre. 

Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre





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