Ipswich Hospital Foundation partners with UQ to boost mental health research in West Moreton

By | Fundraising, Health, Recent

Queensland mental health research has received a boost with Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) and The University of Queensland (UQ) announcing PhD scholarships to create new knowledge about mental disorders.

The scholarships are intended to support PhD students conducting research with mental health experts at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, a statewide Queensland Health research organisation based in West Moreton Health.

Ipswich Hospital Foundation CEO, Mr Scott Young, said he was excited to announce the new scholarship endowment fund, which had grown out of a long and established partnership with the Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI).

“In the early 2000s, the Sunshine Coast chapter of ARAFMI entrusted IHF with their hard-earned fundraising dollars to form a scholarship fund, a portion of which was awarded every few years to a PhD student supervised by researchers employed at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and enrolled at UQ,” Mr Young said.
“Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research has partnered with UQ for nearly thirty years in the conduct of its mental health research programs, so we are excited that the University has matched funding contributed by ARAFMI and IHF dollar-for-dollar to create an endowment scholarship.

“This arrangement will see core funding invested and proceeds used to support scholarships for PhD students supervised at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research for generations to come.”

Executive Dean of UQ’s Faculty of Medicine, Professor Geoff McColl, said the University was proud to help fund PhD scholarships dedicated to mental health.
“PhD scholarships have kickstarted the careers of some of Queensland’s brightest mental health researchers, who have dedicated their research to helping people with severe mental health conditions such as schizophrenia,” Professor McColl said.

“Since 2006, the ARAFMI scholarships have funded 3 PhD students whose projects have made critical discoveries to help understand the origins of mental health conditions, and develop targets for their prevention and treatment.

“We’re pleased to be backing important research at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and hope these scholarships will underpin vital new treatments, better services, and improved outcomes for people with mental disorders in the future.”

There is more information on the UQ Scholarships webpage.


Image: The University of Queensland PhD candidate Zilong Du
Image credit: The University of Queensland

Caption from left: Carla Pecoraro, Tendai Miller, Jeevan Jangam, Dr Lilantha Wedisinghe, Sarah Skalecki, Abigail Bangoy, Emily Wilson

Ipswich Hospital Foundation fund three research projects shaping the future of cancer care

By | Fundraising, Health, Recent

Caption from left: Carla Pecoraro, Tendai Miller, Jeevan Jangam, Dr Lilantha Wedisinghe, Sarah Skalecki, Abigail Bangoy, Emily Wilson 

West Moreton Health staff are shaping the future of cancer care in the region through Ipswich Hospital Foundation’s (IHF) Regina and Vicki Doig Research Scholarship funding.

Three projects have been funded which will explore care options for residents with blood disorders, develop strategies to improve cervical cancer screening, and access to chemotherapy for rural consumers.

Each year, almost 1,500 local residents are diagnosed with cancer and a further 500 die from the disease.

Funding through the Regina and Vicki Doig Research Scholarship for Cancer Care has been provided in partnership with local supporter Vicki Doig, West Moreton Health, and Ipswich Hospital Foundation.

Ipswich Hospital Foundation Chief Executive Officer Scott Young thanked all of the researchers who applied for the scholarship, as well as the selection panel for their time and expertise in reviewing the applications.

“Crucially, we would like to thank Vicki Doig for her research support,” Mr Young said.

The scholarship was named in honour of Vicki’s sister Regina, who tragically died of lymphoma in 1987 aged 39.

Vicki set up the fund in her sister’s memory to advocate for evidence-based advancements in cancer care in West Moreton.

Ms Doig said research had rapidly improved cancer treatment in the decades since Regina died, and she looked forward to seeing the outcomes of the research ahead.

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Officer Hannah Bloch said the scholarship was an example of the work being done at a local level to improve the health and wellbeing of the community.

“We have a strong research and innovation agenda at West Moreton Health and this research will highlight how we can improve our cancer services,” she said.

“The three successful applicants will work with our Research and Innovation team to develop their projects and provide the evidence needed to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of cancer care in our region.”

Research projects

  • Oncology Nurse Unit Manager Cherry Spross is investigating the needs of rural patients who use the Ipswich Hospital oncology service to consider providing chemotherapy or supportive care services closer to home at Boonah, Esk, Laidley, and Gatton hospitals.
  • Acting Cancer Care Co-ordinator Mark Rothery is investigating whether some lower risk haematology services could be provided at Ipswich Hospital. This would reduce the need for travel outside the region for patients who currently travel to tertiary hospitals, including Princess Alexandra Hospital, for care.
  • A team of Obstetrics and Gynaecology trainees led by Senior Staff Specialist Dr Lilantha Wedisinghe will conduct a cervical cancer screening survey in the West Moreton region to develop strategies that will improve participation in cervical screening.

Find out more about the Regina and Vicki Doig Research Scholarship for Cancer Care, or to donate to Ipswich Hospital Foundation visit:

Claire IHF

Ipswich Hospital Foundation appoints Director of Fundraising & Marketing

By | Fundraising, Health, Recent

The Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Claire Hughes to the newly created position of Director of Fundraising and Marketing. 

Ms Hughes has more than 11 years’ extensive experience and skill development within fundraising and marketing across the for-purpose sector. An industry leader, Claire has worked at various levels within fast paced, complex, national charities in both the UK and Australia.  

In her most recent roles at MS Queensland, Claire has led both the fundraising events and community and the individual giving and philanthropy programs. Prior to this, Claire established a successful community and events fundraising program and team at Legacy Brisbane.  

IHF CEO Scott Young acknowledged that’s Claire’s appointment was a result of the recent change in strategic direction to increase fundraising to support West Moreton Health (WMH) in improving health care and medical research and innovation in the region.  

“IHF has a clear focus to raise vital funds and create more of an impact to WMH, and the community that require their services. Funds raised will support medical equipment, facilities, and other clinical services.  

“In addition to this, there are many opportunities to support and direct funds to the newly created WMH research and innovation department through research scholarships,” said Scott. 

“Claire brings a high level of skills and experience, having worked at organisations including Mater Foundation, Oxfam Australia, and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.  

“She is a committed and passionate fundraiser and contributes to the sector through several volunteer roles, including Deputy Chair of Fundraising Institute Australia’s (FIA) Queensland Committee, as well as playing a pivotal role serving on the FIA Conference Committee,” he added. 

Awarded FIA Queensland’s Young Fundraiser of the Year in 2019, Claire is an advocate for the fundraising profession, fostering emerging leaders in the sector as a FIA tutor and mentor. In addition, Claire was a Board Member for Inala Youth Service, supporting young people and the community there to thrive. 

“I am excited to be joining IHF at an pivotal time of growth and opportunity. I look forward to further establishing the fundraising program, raising awareness for the cause, and creating vital new relationships in the community. Together with the team and community, we can make a real difference to the lives of people in the area requiring hospital services,” Claire said.

Claire IHF

Claire Hughes. Director of Fundraising and Marketing.

Gardens at Gatton Hospital have sprung back to life thanks to the Australian Industry Trade College

By | Fundraising, Recent

The gardens at Gatton Hospital have sprung back to life thanks to a working bee co-ordinated between the Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) and the Australian Industry Trade College.

Thirty college students and staff spent two days clearing and replanting the hospital courtyard, staff garden and circular driveway.

The exercise taught the students practical gardening and leadership skills – and led to them getting some unexpected life advice.

While she had a willing audience, Director of Nursing Deb Woods planted seeds on healthy habits around sleep and nutrition and dished the dirt on vaping, drug-taking and consumption of energy drinks.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan welcomed the initiative by IHF and their partners and said it was a great demonstration of the commitment by the Foundation to support the rural hospitals within their district.

“Our local hospitals may not be as large as the Ipswich Hospital, but they are every bit as important to our community and it’s encouraging to see IHF understands the positive difference their support can make to us.

“In the past, our local hospital auxiliaries have had to fundraise for basic items and while that’s commendable of them, we welcome initiatives like today’s that give a real boost to our hard-working rural hospitals.

IHF Chief Executive Scott Young said community partnership projects were a key part of the Foundation’s vision.

“Projects like this one bring benefits to the community, the hospital and all those who take part,” Mr Young said.

“This project has been supported by Bunnings Plainland and Pohlmans Nursery, the Australian Industry Trade College, Southern Cross Transport, Gatton Hospital and Lockyer Valley Regional Council.

“But the real heroes of today’s story are the students who gave their time and energy to restore the gardens of this wonderful hospital.”

To learn more about the IHF, please visit .

Hospital Foundation helps secure items for rural hospitals

By | Fundraising, Health, Projects, Recent

The Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) has secured $30,000 worth of equipment for West Moreton Health hospitals at Gatton, Laidley and Esk.

IHF Chief Executive Officer Scott Young said visitor chairs, sofas and televisions were among the items requested by the rural directors of nursing when grant applications were compiled, along with a pressure care chair for Laidley Hospital.

“We are over the moon to be supplying the rural hospitals and their communities with this equipment,” Mr Young said.

“These items will go a long way towards improving the experience of patients and their loved ones when they visit our facilities.”

Mr Young said the IHF was also co-ordinating the revitalisation of three gardens at Gatton Hospital next week by 30 Year 10 students who are studying at the Australian Industry Trade College. Bunnings Plainland has kindly donated the mulch, plants and equipment.

Work on a reflection garden at Laidley Hospital is due to commence in July.

Director of Nursing at Gatton Hospital, Deb Woods, said she was very grateful for the work of the IHF, the generosity of Bunnings and the kindness of students and staff at the Australian Industry Trade College.

“We look forward to offering patients and their loved ones a more comfortable stay with us as well as some beautiful new gardens that all the community can enjoy,” Ms Woods said.

Mr Young said the IHF had submitted a further $332,000 worth of grant applications, which, if successful, would benefit all five West Moreton Health hospitals as well as its research and innovation program.

“Despite our charity’s legacy name, we represent all of the hospitals in the West Moreton region in our funding applications, our fundraising activities and through the work of our generous community volunteers,” Mr Young said.

The IHF has aligned its strategic direction with that of West Moreton Health to concentrate on enabling targeted, evidence-based initiatives that would benefit the health service and community.

For more information on the IHF’s fundraising efforts, visit their website.

Morning tea raises $4000 for local cancer care research

By | Fundraising, Recent

Cancer care research in West Moreton has been bolstered by $4000 raised at a sell-out morning tea on Saturday.

More than 160 people attended the third annual Regina and Vicki Doig Morning Tea organised by the Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF).

Proceeds will benefit the new Regina and Vicki Doig Research Scholarship for Cancer Care, administered by the IHF in collaboration with the West Moreton Health Research and Innovation department.

Ipswich resident and scholarship benefactor Vicky Doig said the success of the morning tea gave her confidence in the future of local cancer care research.

Ms Doig established the scholarship in honour of her sister Regina, who died of lymphoma in 1987, aged 39.

Clinicians from West Moreton Health hospitals in Ipswich, Boonah, Esk, Gatton and Laidley who wish to make a tangible difference to cancer care through research are eligible to apply.

“All I want is for the research to make a real difference for the people of West Moreton and a legacy for Regina,” Ms Doig said.

Senior research development officers Dr Emma Finch and Dr Michelle Delaney told the guests assembled at Brothers Leagues Club how the scholarship would be administered by the health service’s Research and Innovation department under the leadership of Christopher Hicks.

IHF Chief Executive Officer Scott Young said the Foundation was fortunate to have the experience of the Research and Innovation team supporting the scholarship.

West Moreton Hospital and Health Board Chair Michael Willis thanked Ms Doig and Mr Young for making the scholarship available to clinicians.

“This scholarship will greatly improve clinical care for cancer patients in our region and enhance the reputation of our health service as one that excels through evidence-led innovation,’’ Mr Willis said.

To learn more about the IHF or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit .


Special Care Nursery to benefit from IMA donation

By | Fundraising, Recent

Ipswich Malayali Association (IMA) has donated $1,000 to the Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) to support the Children’s Christmas Appeal.

The donation was organised by Tee Varghese, Nurse Manager, Clinical Information at West Moreton Health (WMH), and a member of IMA.

Each year IMA, which was established in 2013 representing the Malayalam language-speaking people in the area, conducts Christmas carols and home visits around the festive season. Its traditional practice for members is to make a small donation that can be later handed over to an eligible charity.

Of the 12 members on the committee, 11 are WMH employees. They are representative of several different departments including Clinical Informatics, Digital Health, ICU, Ward AMU, Ward 4F, IPH Relief Pool, Ward 7B and IPH ED.

“We were able to successfully conduct Christmas carols and home visits in December 2022 after a hiatus of about three years, due to the pandemic,” Tee said.

“This year, the committee members voted to donate the money to IHF that would then benefit Ipswich Hospital services.”

WMH CEO Hannah Bloch added, “This is a great example of our passionate employees doing wonderful work in the community and a donation to IHF”.

“Ultimately, this allows IHF to purchase more equipment for the special care nursery, the beneficiary of the Children’s Christmas Appeal,” Hannah explained.

Scott Young, CEO of IHF added, “Tee is a wonderful ambassador for both IHF and WMH, and our Foundation is very fortunate to have received incredible support from employees of WMH and their association with community groups within Ipswich”.

To learn more about the IHF or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit .

IHF Gala Dinner to Raise Money for Mental Health Initiatives and Research

By | Fundraising, Recent

Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) will hold its inaugural Gala Dinner to celebrate 25 years of service at Ipswich Civic Centre on Saturday, 22 April this year.

Partnership opportunities and tickets are now available to support the event and help raise funds for Mental Health initiatives and research in the West Moreton region.

Tickets costs $220/person and includes a 3-course dinner, drinks package, entertainment, speeches from guest speakers and network opportunities.

Scott Young, CEO of IHF said, “From the primary care data for West Moreton Health, Mental Health was the highest recorded condition among all ages. This is an important health issue across our local region and one which needs increased support.

“The IHF Gala Dinner will help raise much-needed funds supporting mental health initiatives and research in our region and benefit the local community. It is going to be Ipswich’s event of the year! You don’t want to miss out and tickets are limited!” said Mr. Young.

Dr James Kesby, researcher at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research will be attending the event as a special Guest Speaker.

Dr Kesby received a scholarship through IHF to complete his PhD research on mental health from 2006 to 2010. He is now working at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) and focusing on the neurochemical control of behaviour, particularly that involved in psychosis, schizophrenia and addiction. He investigates ways to improve the long-term outcomes for people with schizophrenia by studying decision-making skills.

Secure your tickets now or make a donation by visiting .

New Members Join IHF Board

By | Fundraising, Recent

Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) is pleased to announce the appointment of three new board members, Dr. Geoff Mitchell, Jacinta Dale and Jillian Fox.

The new board appointees represent the diverse groups that support and drive IHF’s growth and influence. Each member brings knowledge and expertise from their respective field to the Foundation and is a passionate local community member.

Dr. Geoff Mitchell is Emeritus Professor of General Practice and Palliative Care who retired from full-time work at the University of Queensland in 2019 to return to general practice. He has worked 37 years as a GP in Ipswich, and his family has lived in Ipswich for 17 years. His extensive medical experience and community background will provide a substantial contribution to the IHF board in terms of the need for local medical support in the West Moreton region.

Jacinta Dale is an experienced business lawyer, having practiced in corporate, commercial, litigation, regulatory and property law. She is also a governance professional, bringing over ten years of experience delivering company secretarial support services to the IHF board. Jacinta is the founder of Abledale Law, an Ipswich firm, and is a fourth generation Ipswich local.

Jillian Fox is an accomplished senior executive with many years of strategic leadership and management experience. With her extensive experience in the community and healthcare sector, Jillian brings a strong commitment to values and governance.

Prof. Geraldine Mackenzie, Board Chair of IHF said, “We are delighted to welcome three new members to the IHF Board. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise, which is extraordinarily beneficial as we continue our efforts to support West Moreton Health to deliver safe, quality healthcare.”

Scott Young, CEO of IHF, said, “The new members join the IHF board at a time of growth and opportunities for IHF. Their guidance and advice will be instrumental in helping us continue to raise awareness of IHF within our community.”

morning tea

Let’s Support the Regina & Vicki Doig Fund Morning Tea

By | Fundraising, Recent

The beloved Ipswich charity event, Regina & Vicki Doig Fund Morning Tea 2023 will be hosted by Ipswich Hospital Foundation and Regina Doig’s younger sister, Vicki Doig, at Brothers League Club, 20 Wildey Street, Raceview on Saturday, March 4th this year.

The Regina & Vicki Doig Fund is a charity fund established by the Ipswich Hospital Foundation and Vicki Doig as a legacy for her sister who died tragically of lymphoma cancer at the age of just 39.

Regina Doig was a qualified music and language secondary school teacher. She gave her living body over to her doctors before her passing and fervently believed that with research, other lives could be saved in the future.

A familiar face to many, Vicki Doig is the former Director of the Milford Street Ipswich Kindergarten for 40 years and a proud, third-generation Ipswich resident.

Vicki is passionate about building the capability of the region through innovative medical research and wishes to leave a lasting legacy in her sister’s name to enrich the lives of people in the Ipswich and West Moreton community.

“I guess I never thought my sister would die of cancer. In 34 years, they have come so far in research. If she fell sick now, she may well have survived.

“This is why I want to start the Regina & Vicki Doig Fund – to assist with local medical research.

“She was a ballet dancer, a teacher, fluent in German and French, well educated, she was musical, highly intelligent, and shy.

“She believed girls could always achieve their dreams through education and when she believed in something, she would battle for anything,” Vicki said.

With the support from the event attendees and donors, the Fund will provide much-needed assistance in funding medical research by local researchers, for the benefit of the local community.

Last year over a hundred people attended the Morning Tea and donated to the Regina & Vicki Doig Fund. It was an event enjoyed by all.

Those wishing to secure their seats or donate to the Regina & Vicki Doig Fund please visit: