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Incredible community support helps local lung disease patients

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Thanks to the generous support of the West Moreton community, an incredible $65,695 has been raised to help local lung disease patients.

These funds, raised as part of IHF’s 2024 Winter Appeal, will be used to purchase a highly specialised ultrasound machine for the Respiratory Department at Ipswich Hospital.

Lung disease knows no boundaries. More than 7,000 appointments are offered each year at Ipswich Hospital’s Respiratory Department for lung conditions and diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lower and upper respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, interstitial lung disease, occupational lung disease, sleep-related disorders and more.

Additionally, on average, 137 people a year are diagnosed with lung cancer in West Moreton, with forecasting predicting that this number will increase to more than 250 new cases a year by 2025.

A complication of lung cancer or other respiratory diseases can be fluid in the lungs. The new ultrasound machine will assist clinicians in identifying this fluid, while providing pinpoint visibility for biopsies and the insertion of drainage tubes.

Having a dedicated ultrasound machine will also enable the Respiratory Department team to perform bedside ultrasounds, reducing the need to transfer patients to other parts of the hospital.

To everyone who donated, your wonderful support goes beyond providing equipment.  You are helping to improve safety, flexibility, efficiency and patient-centric care – improving outcomes for when it matters most.

Thank you.
Scott Young, CEO.

Respiratory Department team at Ipswich Hospital

Stanbroke employees’ generous donation brings the gift of healthcare closer to home for Gatton locals

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Thanks to the incredible generosity of the employees at Stanbroke, Gatton Hospital is boosting its healthcare services.

Employees from the century-old beef producers at Stanbroke have donated an incredible $100,000 to advance care and facilities at Gatton Hospital.

Ipswich Hospital Foundation is managing the funds and facilitating the procurement of a range of specialty equipment and resources to expand health services at Gatton Hospital, meaning less people need to travel outside the region for care.

The new resources will benefit patients undergoing physical and occupational therapy, infusion therapy, and bariatric and geriatric care.

Director of Nursing at Gatton Hospital, Terry Kowald said the donation had funded specialised bariatric care equipment including a new wheelchair, pressure socks, shower and commode chairs, and bedside tables and chairs.

Other new equipment includes a steam cleaner, bed and floor sensors to alert staff if a patient gets out of bed and may require support, fitness and physical rehabilitation equipment, patient transfer equipment, and wheeled walkers.

The hospital has also received a delivery of day medical infusion chairs. The new chairs are designed to give greater comfort to patients undergoing infusion therapy, while helping to protect staff from back injuries when applying dressings or removing oncology pumps.

“This is really positive news for Gatton Hospital,’ Mr Kowald said.

“Traditionally, many patients requiring infusion therapy had to travel long distances to receive the care they need, but now, thanks to the generosity of Stanbroke employee’s, these patients will be able to get the care they need, without the added stress, time and cost of travel.”

Patients require infusion therapy for a variety of reasons, including chemotherapy, blood transfusions, iron, and intravenous antibiotics, with each treatment session taking between two and seven hours.

Mr Kowald said funding would also mean more people could return to Gatton Hospital, closer to home, to continue their recovery and rehabilitation following surgery or other treatments at larger hospitals.

“We’ve now got the tools and resources to provide more patient rehabilitation services locally,” Mr Kowald said.

“We have quite a variety of patients, including geriatric and bariatric patients, and this means we can now offer them a wider range of therapies closer to home.”

James Friis, Stanbroke Plant Manager at Stanbroke, said the employees make regular voluntary donations to help a variety of local community and healthcare organisations.

“We’ve got a fund at Stanbroke where all of our workforce can donate $1 of their wages per week,” Mr Friis said.

“We’ve had this going for many years now and we donate to local groups that we think need a bit of a lift.”

Following meetings with the hospital, which Mr Friis described as very positive, the company decided to donate $100,000 to help with the purchase of resources that would benefit the wider Gatton community.

“We have an awesome bunch of people working at the Stanbroke who are always thinking of the local community. We’ve helped Blue Nurses, Rural Fire Service, Hospice and other community groups around the area and the hospital was one that is very close to our hearts.

“Our hospitals, doctors, and nurses, and really all medical staff, need more support, and we should be funneling more into this area. Everybody gets sick at some stage in their life and needs medical care, and I’m just immensely proud of the team at Stanbroke for what they’re doing for this community.”

Special thanks to the generous employees at

New tech helping reduce stress for families thanks to Courier Mail Children’s Fund

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Diagnosing jaundice in newborn babies is now faster and less stressful for babies, families, and midwives across the West Moreton region, thanks to the addition of four new Bilistick testing machines at Ipswich Hospital’s Special Care Nursery. 

The Bilistick technology, which is used to test newborn babies for jaundice, provides instant results, enabling faster medical intervention and nursing care for infants impacted by jaundice, and resulting in babies being discharged back to their families more quickly after treatment. 

The four new machines were purchased thanks to a $24,000 grant won by Ipswich Hospital Foundation from the Courier Mail Children’s Fund. 

Nurse Unit Manager Kathryn Howard, and Manager, Midwife, Antenatal and MGP Julie Eaton said their team are now utilising this new equipment, and it’s reducing stress and waiting times for tiny patients and their families. 

Prior to the introduction of the Bilistick systems, midwives had to return to the hospital to have newborn’s blood tested by Pathology in cases of possible jaundice. With the new Bilistick machines, midwives will be able to perform the test right in the patient’s home and then advise the family immediately if the baby requires special hospital care. 

With each midwife visiting an average of between four and five patients each day, it means that between 700-800 babies can now be tested in the comfort of their homes. 

As well as reducing stress and waiting times, the Bilistick System, which costs around $9 per test, will provide a significant saving compared to more traditional blood tests (at a cost of around $13 per test), with an average of 1,000 tests being conducted each year. 

According to Julie Eaton, the system is simple to use, and staff can be trained quickly in-house by the Clinical Midwife.  

The new Bilistick Systems are now in use for home visits, in the Special Care Nursery and in the special care ward.

 

This project is supported by:

 

Curing Homesickness Project

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With sincere thanks to Coles and The Common Good via the Curing Homesickness Project, three Massimo Rad-97 oximeters are making a difference in Ipswich through outpatient oximetry monitoring at home.

The advantage is for children with sleep disorders, for example obstructive sleep apnoea or sleep disordered breathing, which will help to inform the urgency of treatment.

Previously, overnight oximetry was achieved by admitting the child to hospital but with these units we are able to loan them to parents to do oximetry at home and then they return the unit and the overnight recording can be downloaded and analysed.

Received in August 2023, these three Massimo Rad-97 oximeters and associated software is valued at $10,000 are being well utilised.

 

Image Netherlund Iopu and Clinical Nurse Anitha Bharathan

 

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Thank you for Going Pink!

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The Ipswich Hospital Foundation’s Go Pink Campaign, a vibrant and impactful initiative spanning the entire month of October, successfully concluded last month! 

We are thrilled to share you raised a total of $64,000! The outcome of this remarkable campaign will play a crucial role for breast cancer patients in the West Moreton region. 

Community engagement was nothing short of inspiring.  

West Moreton Health staff hosted IHF Go Pink morning teas across all hospitals in the region, the result? Over $7,000 was raised in one day, Ipswich Surgical Ward were our fundraising champions raising almost $1300!  We’d like to express our sincere gratitude for the enthusiasm and generosity of the incredible WMH staff throughout all West Moreton facilities. 

Club Services Ipswich (CSI) came on board as the main sponsor of the campaign. They hosted two events, including a breathtaking Luncheon adorned in pink, drawing a huge crowd, this and their merchandise and raffle sales over the month raised $8,000. 

19 third party fundraising activities amplified the impact of the campaign even further. Special thanks goes out to Orion Hotel and Quota Ipswich for your support, just to name a few. 

Our dedicated volunteers played a pivotal role in the success of the campaign, selling IHF Go Pink merchandise both online and face-to-face throughout the month. Their efforts, combined with the support of our community, resulted in a remarkable $17,000 raised towards our overall IHF Go Pink goal. 

The heart of our campaign lay in the stories of resilience and triumph. Local breast cancer champions Gillian Velasquez, Corina Kearvell, and Emma Robinson, who all underwent treatment, shared their inspiring journeys at various events. Additionally, BreastScreen Queensland was a constant presence, providing valuable support at the majority of our events. 

Thank you again to everyone who contributed to this campaign, your impact will make a real difference.

 

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IHF Wig Lounge grand opening!

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Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) was proud to launch the IHF Wig Lounge last month.

A heartwarming initiative dedicated to helping individuals experiencing hair loss due to medical conditions, such as cancer treatment and alopecia.

IHF’s Wig Lounge is a safe and welcoming space for both men and women facing the challenges of hair loss. We provide a variety of high quality synthetic wigs, turbans, beanies and scarves to boost confidence and comfort. Our trained volunteers are committed to ensuring a supportive and caring environment for all visitors, in a relaxed and private space.

With thanks to grants from Energex and Tour de Cour, IHF can offer this service at no cost and provide wigs for products, to assist people when they are at their most vulnerable.

The grand opening was a joyous afternoon, attended by sponsors, supporters, former patients and volunteers.

Emma Robinson a former breast cancer patient said  at the opening, “I wish this was available when I was going through treatment. The idea of trying on the wigs in a private environment where no body is looking at me, having an hour with a trained professional who will let me try on as many as I like, is absolutely amazing. Losing your hair is just the worst, I can’t tell you how wonderful this place is going to be for anyone going through cancer or any other hair loss condition, it’s lovely, it’s private and everyone is awesome. The fact that you have so many options and you don’t have to pay for it, is just incredible, because that’s one thing that is not a burden, in a very tough time. I just wish this was available when I was going through treatment.”

Karen Miles a BreastScreen Nurse said “the number one question I am asked when a person is diagnosed is, will I lose my hair?” Hair loss is a very distressing side effect, I’ve had many people tell me, almost apologetically, how upset and worried they are about their hair loss. They can often feel it’s a vanity to be so worried about their hair loss and some have told me it is the worst part of their treatment. They want chemotherapy to treat and hopefully cure their breast cancer but although they can hide their surgical wounds with clothing or prothesis, hair loss announces to the world that you are sick and going through chemo. When an amazing service, this will make an amazing difference for people in West Moreton who are experiencing hair loss”.

For more information about the IHF Wig Lounge or to make a booking, please click here.

 

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Ipswich Hospital Foundation Announces Five New Board Members

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The Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) is pleased to announce the appointment of five new board members to its Board after an extensive recruitment process overseen by the Office of Health Statutory Agencies (OHSA).

The appointments were approved by Honourable Shannon Fentiman MP, Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women and are effective 28 September 2023.

As part of this transition, Ms. Jacinta Dale, a respected local lawyer and fourth-generation Ipswich resident, has been appointed as the new Chair, succeeding the retiring Chair, Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, the current Vice Chancellor of the University of Southern Queensland.

Ms. Dale, an accomplished legal practitioner and governance professional, brings a wealth of experience in risk management, compliance, and stakeholder engagement. She is also the founder of the local law firm Abedale Law and has previously served as an IHF board member and Deputy Chair.

Ms. Dale paid tribute to Professor Mackenzie, acknowledging her inspiring leadership and dedication to reshaping IHF’s strategic direction over the past several years.

“I acknowledge Professor Mackenzie’s inspiring leadership and significant commitment to the revised strategic direction of IHF over the past few years. The Foundation is in an excellent position because of her incredible work, and I thank her for the time generously given to the West Moreton community.”

Ms. Dale also highlighted the dynamic and diverse composition of the new Board, which comprises ten members with expertise spanning finance and legal, governance and strategy, fundraising and marketing, health administration, local business, and rural representation.

The new Board members are:

Hannah Bloch – Chief Executive, West Moreton Health

Ian Church – CEO, Lockyer Valley Regional Council

Daniel Lalor – Local business owner and fundraising consultant

Tanya Miller – CEO, Focal Community Services, Ipswich

T’aire Olsen – Director of Enrolments and Community Relations at Ipswich Girls Grammar School

Scott Young, CEO of Ipswich Hospital Foundation, welcomed the incoming Board members and praised the retiring members for their invaluable contributions.

“Welcome to our new members, who have a deep connection to our community and will continue to lead us purposefully, making a significant difference in improving the health and well-being of West Moreton residents. I extend my sincere thanks to our retiring members, Professor Mackenzie and local lawyer Lana Carter, for generously dedicating so much of their personal time to steer IHF in the right strategic direction. It has been a pleasure to work with both of these inspirational leaders,” said Mr. Young.

The Ipswich Hospital Foundation looks forward to the leadership and expertise that these new Board members will bring to the organization as it continues its mission to enhance healthcare and well-being in the West Moreton community.

To find out more about our IHF Board, visit Our Board – Ipswich Hospital Foundation 

The Dr Bob McGregor Paediatric Health Research Fund has officially launched!

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The city’s first Paediatrician, Dr Bob McGregor may have officially retired from the Ipswich Hospital Foundation board after many dedicated years of service, but his legacy will continue.

Bob hung up his scrubs for the last time after 47 years in February but remained on the board.

For 21 years, Bob was a major driving force on the board, raising funds for facilities, equipment and research seeking to specifically support paediatric services throughout the city.

But now, he felt it was the right time to step down from his position.

“I was a founding member of the board and I just felt it was the right time to give someone else a go,” said Mr McGregor.

On Wednesday, October 27, the board held a farewell luncheon for their long-serving member and in recognition of his efforts, the foundation presented him with ‘The Dr Bob McGregor Paediatric Health Research Fund.’

The new fund was officially launched on Monday 25 October and has since received an overwhelming response.

“I was so surprised and over the moon when I was presented with the fund,” said Mr McGregor.

“I couldn’t speak, I didn’t expect that at all. And I cannot believe the fund already has gained a substantial amount of funds. I am absolutely chuffed, I mean, I am so happy that I have a bit of drawing power,” he laughed.

Ipswich Hospital Foundation CEO, James Sturges said the new fund will support locally relevant projects aligning with Mr McGregor’s passion for Paediatric Research.

“We are delighted to launch the Bob McGregor Paediatric Research Fund,” Mr Sturges said.

“The fund will aim to support projects which demonstrate high-quality research and innovation techniques that align with Bob’s enthusiasm and approach to the health priorities in the West Moreton region.

“The fund will also aim to recognise and respond to the diverse and growing needs of the West Moreton community.”

Chair of the board, Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the new fund will aim to recognise and respond to the diverse and growing needs of the West Moreton community.

“Our community encompasses the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service area servicing the City of Ipswich and the Regional Councils of Somerset, Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley,” said Ms Mackenzie.

“We are grateful to have had Bob on the board servicing these regions for more than 20 years and we wish him all the best with his future endeavours.”

For the past five months, Mr McGregor has been collaborating with the University of Queensland to research the health of children growing up in the 21st century.

“I’m hoping that the funds will go into meaningful research into the rising mental and physical health problems we see now in children and young adolescents,” said Mr McGregor.

“I’m hoping to develop a very strong evidence base to link to the fact that 25 per cent of young people are affected now by mental health.

“This was something I never saw in private practice 47 years ago, and there’s a lot of research to be done.”

Mr McGregor said he will use his spare time to continue his research, spend time with his wife and family, travel in his caravan and pick up his guitar once again.

 

To donate to The Dr Bob McGregor Paediatric Health Research Fund, visit https://www.ihfoundation.org.au/give/.