People living with cancer and the healthcare professionals caring for them are the winners from a $7 million investment, NSW Regional Health Partners announced on Friday.
The Translational Cancer Research Capacity Building Grant, awarded by the NSW Government through the Cancer Institute NSW, will build an innovative cancer research network in the Hunter, New England, Central Coast, Mid North Coast and Northern NSW.
Associate Professor Craig Gedye will be Chief Investigator of the project.
“It can be hard to do health and medical research. With this network we hope to make it easier for patients and their clinicians to collaborate to advance cancer care not only in NSW, but for anyone experiencing cancer,” Dr Gedye said.
“We have incredible people and clinicians in our regions and, by building on the systems we already use, we hope to embed cancer research in healthcare to improve the lives of people with cancer. I’m proud that it will happen here.”
NSW Regional Health Partners Chairman Stewart Dowrick said the $7 million injection will help people in rural and regional NSW who are often excluded from research.
“We’re a partnership with a common interest in improving the lives of people in rural and regional NSW, and cancer is a part of many of those lives,” Mr Dowrick, who is also Chief Executive of the Mid North Coast Local Health District, said.
“It is extremely rewarding for NSW Regional Health partners to be recognised as the translation centre and partnership to make this innovation happen in cancer care.”
The research led by Dr Gedye will be run out of the University of Newcastle. The new dedicated staff will be based at the Hunter Medical Research Institute.
“By sharing knowledge, people and resources we can solve problems faster. This network provides continued momentum for crucial work across our region to ensure better, healthier living outcomes for us all,” Professor Alex Zelinsky, AO, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle said.
The grant recognises NSW Regional Health Partners as a partnership of institutions focused on bridging the gap between what medical research tells us and what happens to people in the health system.
Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow, said NSW is at the forefront of innovation in cancer research.
“Investment in research with a focus on priority populations is an important driver in improving cancer outcomes. We want to make an impact where it matters most – on the lives of people affected by cancer today, and into the future,” Professor Currow said.
NSW Regional Health partners is a partnership of the University of Newcastle, University of New England, HMRI, Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network, Calvary Mater Newcastle and the Central Coast, Mid North Coast and Hunter New England Local Health Districts.