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GICS Website
Improving patient experiences and outcomes by connecting cancer care 
and driving best practice.
GICS Website
We're excited to update you with a new look and feel for our newsletter which will now be distributed quarterly, in line with the seasons. We're also now circulating our newsletter via a new platform.

In this summer edition, we'll share the success of our recent Annual Forum, the launch of our Annual Report and sadly, we said farewell to a much-valued and long standing member of our team, Lea Marshall. We'll provide a summary of our year in review and give you a sneak peak of work to come in 2023.

Don't forget! If you have any upcoming events, resources or information you would like to share in this newsletter, please contact GICS

Thank You

On behalf of the GICS team, the GICS Consumer Advisory Group and the GICS Governance Group, we would like to thank you for all your support throughout the year and wish you all the best for the year ahead!
We would like to advise that our office will be closed over the Christmas / New Year period from close of business on Friday 23 December 2022 and re-opening on Tuesday 3 January 2023. A number of staff will be taking extended leave over summer, however they will endeavour to reply to your emails upon their return. 

Our Year in Review

As we draw to the end of 2022, we take this opportunity to thank our many stakeholders for their ongoing commitment to working alongside us in our efforts to improve treatment experiences and outcomes for people living with cancer in the Grampians region.
This year we have experienced many successes, but to name a few, work has been progressing on our GICS grant funded projects with outcomes and final reports planned for sharing in our Spring newsletter edition.  

We have also worked in partnership with BRICC Medical Oncology and the Grampians Region Telehealth team, to improve access to telehealth consultations, as well as commencing SMS based patient reported outcome measures at six pilot sites. More information about these projects can be found in our GICS Annual Report 2021-22.

In November 2022 we were pleased host a very successful annual forum featuring Patient Reported Outcomes attracting a sizeable and diverse audience from within and outside of the cancer sector and the Grampians region.  A link to the forum is provided below in case you missed it.
The GICS Anual Forum had a Patient Reported Outcomes focus with keynote speakers, Dr Ethan Basch and Dr Carolyn Mazareigo. 
The GICS Annual Report is now available, providing an overview of our activities and achievements during 2021-22.

Farewell Lea

In November this year we sadly said farewell to Lea Marshall who had been a part of the GICS team for 13 years. Lea has made fantastic contributions in the supportive care space which will leave a long lasting legacy for oncology patients and health professionals alike.

We will commence recruitment to this vacant role in the new year and look forward to re-connecting with our project partners to progress the exciting initiatives that formerly fell within Lea's portfolio. In the meantime should you wish to connect with the GICS team please email GICS

The Year Ahead

Many of the GICS team will be taking leave over the summer period and are looking forward to 2023 which will see work progressing on projects we currently already have underway. 

Additionally, the team will begin preparing for a new service improvement grant program, the development of a professional development grant program for regional staff working in oncology, and establish clinical reference groups to inform service improvement priorities and activities.

Care of the Older Person with Cancer: Toolkit

As part of focus area activity listed in the 2020-22 VICS Implementation Plan - Addressing the needs of the older person in routine cancer care; the VICS have led the development of a Toolkit.  The toolkit provides a reference point for those considering implementing new approaches to caring for older people with cancer and contains practical suggestions to identify and address existing barriers, examples of geriatric oncology services that have been implemented and used in Australian health services and other key resources.

In 2023 GICS will seek to connect with regional health services using the toolkit as the basis for discussion to identify areas of local need and opportunities for service improvement activity.
View the Toolkit

Cancer Resources

Our Mob and Cancer

Our Mob and Cancer is the first Australian co-designed website developed to provide a central source of evidence-based cancer information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer and their families and communities, and the health professionals who care for them. 
Our Mob and Cancer houses a central source of culturally respectful and safe evidence-based cancer information, resources, awareness messaging, videos and guidance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including information about the culturally sensitive topics of Sorry Business, Men’s and Women’s Business and Shame, and how these relate to cancer.

Our Mob and Cancer is a culturally-safe space created by Indigenous Australians for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer, community, and their health professionals; embodying the views, history and cultural traditions of the communities it serves.
Visit the Website

Cancer Council Victoria - My Cancer Guide

CCV have launched a new online services guide - My Cancer Guide. 

Linking to more than 450 support services across Victoria, the online guide helps people to search for the support services they need based on their cancer and location. Services include psychological support, help at home, wigs and scarves, exercise programs, treatment centres, financial counselling and much more.

My Cancer Guide also provides information to help people make informed choices about the services they engage with and education to help them navigate the healthcare system.

If people can’t find what they’re looking for, we encourage them to contact our 13 11 20 cancer nurses for help, providing another layer of support.

Originally a hard copy guide, this popular resource will also be updated and released early 2023 for health professionals to refer to.
View the Guide

CarerHelp launch new resources

CarerHelp have launched their website with a new look and new resources including:
  • resources in other languages
  • resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • tips for care workers
  • resources for the LBGTIQA+ community.
Also available is an information pack including information and resources to help improve not only the carers wellbeing but also the care they provide.

With an increasing focus on the needs of LBGTIQA+ people with cancer we take this opportunity to highlight the work of Jane Ussher (BA(Hons), Dip Clin Psych, PhD) from the Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University presented at the COSA Annual Scientific Meeting in November 2022. 

Out with cancer: LGBTQI+ cancer survivorship and care

There is growing acknowledgement of the psycho-social vulnerability and health disparities experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or intersex (LGBTQI) people with cancer. LGBTQI individuals are at higher risk of cancer compared with the general population but are less likely to engage in cancer screening or have a regular healthcare provider. LGBTQI patients report high levels of dissatisfaction with cancer healthcare, and difficult interactions with health care professionals (HCPs) due to heteronormative assumptions or overt HCP hostility and discrimination, leading to patient anxiety associated with disclosure of sexual orientation or gender identity. Along with this, an absence of LGBTQI-specific cancer information or support serves to render LGBTQI people and their carers invisible. 
The Out with Cancer research study will provide insight into these health disparities and patient-clinician interactions, and outline recommendations for LGBTQI inclusive and culturally competent cancer care, drawing on a mixed-method program of Australian research on LGBTQI cancer survivorship and care. 
This research includes the perspectives of 554 LGBTQI patients, representing a range of tumour types, sexual and gender identities, and age groups, 153 LGBTQI carers, and 357 oncology HCPs. 

Rates of distress were 3-6 times higher than the general cancer population, associated with minority stress (discrimination in life and in cancer care, discomfort in being LGBTQI, outness to others), impact on gender and LGBTQI identities, lack of social support, physical concerns and sexual concerns. HCPs reported lack of confidence and knowledge about treating LGBTQI cancer patients, and wanted more education. Lack of LGBTQI knowledge and inclusivity impacted upon patients.

Results from the Out With Cancer Research Study will be used to develop better information and support for LGBTQI people with cancer, and their carers.
View the Study
LGBTQI+ Cancer Resources

Sharing News

Please feel free to share or forward our newsletter to your networks, family and friends.

If you have any forthcoming events or information, you would like us to share, please forward your content to GICS Admin.
Contact Us
Grampians Integrated Cancer Service
PO Box 577, Ballarat, VIC 3353

Ph: (03) 5320 4782
The Grampians Integrated Cancer Service is supported by the Victorian Government