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Improving patient experiences and outcomes by connecting cancer care 
and driving best practice.
GICS Website
We welcome you to the winter edition of our Grampians Integrated Cancer Service (GICS) newsletter. We are happy to be indoors during these colder months, with this time of year being one of our busiest times; we have lots of initiatives underway and we are excited to share this update with you.. 

In this edition, we'll announce our successful applicants for the 2023 Grants Program. This year we are pleased to be able to make available grant funding to our regions cancer care workers to undertake professional development opportunities. Also, we have locked in a date for this years Annual Forum where we'll be launching our 2022-23 Annual Report. 

As always, we will also provide updates on any Grampians region and statewide projects underway, along with new cancer resources and upcoming cancer events.

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

GICS Updates

GICS 2023 Grants Program
We are very happy to announce the successful applications that sought funding as part of the GICS 2023 Grants Program. It is very encouraging to have so many service improvement ideas come through to us. 

All applications had to meet strict criteria including:
  • Target the Action Areas of the Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-24 and the Optimal Care Pathways
  • Have the capacity to lead to measurable and sustained improvement in experiences and outcomes for patients diagnosed with cancer living in the Grampians region.
  • Seek to better understand or provide a solution to a known, long standing and significant issues
  • Consider and include the patient perspective.
We've listed the health services in alphabetical order, with a summary of the projects GICS will be funding this round and we will provide further updates as each project progresses.

Ballarat & District Aboriginal Cooperative (BADAC)
Cancer Calendar
This project involves the development of an Aboriginal Art Calendar that will endeavour to assist in maintaining high screening rates within the Aboriginal community. Each month of the calendar will illustrate / highlight a different type of cancer screening that will align with nationwide / statewide cancer screening campaigns and initiatives normally held throughout each calendar year. The final product of the A4 calendars will be made available for free for the aboriginal community, with each months image/illustration to be created by local Aboriginal artists. The calendar will be linked with forums and events hosted by BADAC along a similar theme. 

Central Highlands Rural Health
Multidisciplinary Oncology Prehab/Rehab Support Program
This project is about implementing a local program providing pre-habilitation and rehabilitation exercise incorporating social, carer and multidisciplinary support in a 12 week format with alternating education sessions and social support component.

Grampians Health - Ballarat
Investigate the benefits of a Nurse Navigator (NN) role for Day Oncology Patients.
This project is associated with exploring the context and nature of treatment cancellations and pathology result delays through patient and staff interviews and available data.

Grampians Health - Horsham
Survivorship Clinic including a Wellness Massage Business Plan
This project is looking to integrate a Cancer Survivorship Clinic to look at the unmet needs for cancer survivors into the Symptom Management and Education in Cancer Clinic (SMECC). This clinic is a nurse led initiative that provides education regarding treatment and treatment toxicities; symptom management support; and timely follow up and support during treatment. 

Rural Northwest Health
Cancer Awareness, Prevention & Support (CAPS) Yarriambiack
This project is focused on addressing the significant range of barriers to an improvement in the incidence of cancer in the region by increasing awareness, providing preventative advice and associated strategies. This project also seeks to provide methods of support for those living with cancer and cancer survivors. 

West Wimmera Health Service
WWHS Skin Check Clinics
This project is looking to implement skin check clinics that will provide much needed access for the West Wimmera catchment for screening and early detection of melanoma and non-melanoma cancers.
GICS Professional Development Grants
Now Open!
GICS are pleased to welcome and support professional development grant applications from the Grampians region multidisciplinary cancer workforce.

Applications are open for relevant conference or training opportunities that will be completed by 30 June 2024.

To be eligible you must work in cancer care at any of the following organisations:

  • Ballan Health & Care Services
  • Ballarat Austin Radiation Oncology Centre (BAROC)
  • Beaufort & Skipton Health Service
  • Central Highlands Rural Health
  • East Grampians Health Service
  • Grampians Health
  • Maryborough District Health Service
  • Rural Northwest Health
  • St John of God Hospital (Ballarat)
  • West Wimmera Health Service.
Please visit our website for further information and if you would like to register your interest please email 
GICS 2023 Annual Forum
Save the Date 
Block out your calendar, we have set Tuesday 17 October 2023 for our Annual Forum. We are planning to hold this years event in a virtual capacity only and will hold the session around midday to allow clinicians to attend during their lunch breaks.

Once we have finalised the details of this years Forum, we'll have an update on our website with further information.
Contacting the GICS Team
Email Address Update
As part of the Grampians Health (GH) amalgamation we have migrated to a new email address. This has occurred so that all staff within the GH footprint have the same email address. Previously, when emailing a member of the GICS team you would have used, we have now transitioned to

If you would like to contact a member of our team please either visit the Contact Us page on our website or email GICS Admin - who will be able to assist you further. 

Region Updates

Grampians Bowel Cancer Nurse
Welcome Jaymee!
Many of you may already be aware of the appointment of a dedicated Bowel Cancer Nurse for the Grampians region funded by Bowel Cancer Australia and Dry July.

Jaymee is a registered nurse who has specialist knowledge and experience caring for patients with bowel cancer and will be working two days a week at Ballarat Base Hospital and St John of God Hospital Ballarat to support bowel cancer patients and assist them in their treatment journey. 

Jaymee will act as a single point of contact for bowel cancer patients offering continuous care and support from diagnosis and through treatment. In addition to providing care coordination, Jaymee is assisting in identifying gaps in service provision in the region. This information enables the opportunity to tailor and implement some improvement activity aimed at improving outcomes for people diagnosed with cancer in our region. 

Jaymee will be working alongside the GICS team one day per week for the remainder of this year in auditing patient experiences of care against an optimal pathway for colorectal cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment. Outcomes of this audit will be reported in early 2024.
Grampians Health Clinical Trail Consumer Awareness Session
Grampians Health launches first session
The inaugural session, hosted by the Rotary Club of Ballarat South, was aimed at providing local community members with valuable information to debunk common myths and boost their understanding of clinical trials. It was hosted by Lisa Bell, Clinical Trial Coordinator and former SKILLED intern, and Dr Wasek Faisal, Medical Oncologist at Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre and Clinical Director of GICS.

The session used educational resources and a framework developed by the VCCC Alliance and co-designed with VCCC Alliance consumers. The design, format and layout of the session’s framework have been driven by consumers with input from health professionals across Victoria.  Read more about the session here.
Film Screening in Ballarat
Conquering Cancer
Can you imagine a world without cancer? For the first time in human history, the elimination of a cancer – cervical cancer – is possible.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. It is also curable if detected early and treated. With a comprehensive approach to prevention, screening and treatment, cervical cancer can be eliminated as a public health problem globally within the next 100 years. In Australia, we are on track to reach this target as early as 2030.

Cancer Council Victoria invites you to the film screening on Wednesday 6 September to see the award-winning documentary Conquering Cancer to learn more about efforts locally and globally to eliminate cervical cancer. To find out more information and reserve a spot here.
New Cancer Support Group
Cancer Support Group for the Edenhope & District
Led by Edenhope's district nurse, Debra McCall, this supportive community provides comfort and encouragement to those affected by cancer, as well as offering education and the opportunity to connect with others facing similar challenges.

The group meet on the fourth Tuesday of every month, between 4 - 5pm, at the Edenhope & District Community Centre.

For more information about the group or what cancer supports are available contact Edenhope's Health and Wellbeing Hub on (03) 5585 9830.

Statewide Updates

Optimal Care Summits
The Victorian Tumour Summits program has been funded by the Victorian Government for another three years, under a new name – The VICS Optimal Care Summits. This program is a strategy of the Victorian Cancer Plan 2020–2024, aimed at agreeing priorities for reducing variations in cancer care and improving patient cancer outcomes throughout Victoria.

Each financial year, VICS will deliver at least two strategic consultations (surveys, data reviews and summit events) with cancer multidisciplinary clinicians, Integrated Cancer Services, consumers, and other expert stakeholders. The first consultation in this new phase of the program will focus on oesophagogastric cancer – visit the OCS website for more updates and information as it comes to hand.
Adult Cancer Resources Update
The Adult Cancer Resources section of the VICS website has a new filtering page to help you search more than 150 guidelines, forms, reports, videos, podcasts, and more from across our statewide network. Explore tools and evidence to guide your practice at 
View VICS Resources
For more Victorian Integrated Cancer Service (VICS) information please visit the VICS website or alternatively subscribe to receive the bi-monthly VICS newsletter.

Cancer Resources

Cancer Council Victoria (CCV)

Legal Support Program - the CCV Legal Support Program provides practical legal support services to Victorians with advanced cancer. Legal support is confidential and provided free to eligible Victorians, in partnership with participating Victorian law firms. Read more...
Education & Training Opportunities - the CCV has a range of opportunities available to enhance health professionals cancer knowledge and skills, see the list of upcoming events:
  • Effective Cancer Communication Workshops
  • Talking to Patients about Health and Weight Workshops
Check out the CCV website for other education and training events. Read more...

REGENERATE: an online resource for young people about life after treatment

 Adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors experience a range of poor physical and psychosocial outcomes compared to healthy peers, but may not actively seek help in addressing their survivorship needs.   

ReGenerate is a free online resource for young people aged 15-25 to assist with post-treatment transitions and support health and wellbeing after cancer. Led by the Victorian AYA Cancer Service and co-designed with young people, ReGenerate features evidence-based information and advice delivered through interactive written material, videos and
youth-hosted podcasts.
Read more.

Care of the Older Person with Cancer: TOOLKIT

The VICS Care of the Older Person with Cancer Toolkit has been developed to assist health services and ICS improve the care of the older person with cancer.

The toolkit provides information to help identify and address existing barriers, examples of existing geriatric oncology services and key resources including how-to guides, education opportunities and patient resources.
View the Toolkit

Aboriginal Cancer Journey Strategy 2023-28

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) last month launched their Aboriginal Cancer Journey Strategy 2023–28 – a roadmap for improving cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria. It includes 49 priority actions such as developing a statewide model of Aboriginal Cancer Coordination and a cancer training and education program for Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers (AHLOs) and other hospital-based staff. Read the strategy here
Cancer Institute NSW - Cancer Conversations

Cancer Conversations is an after-hours online forum where we bring the latest information and emerging evidence from key cancer conferences to life with expert speakers from across the NSW. 

This one-hour cancer conversation, held on 18 April 2023 discussed the complex issues around cancer management of older Australians.  The multidisciplinary panel shared their perspectives from a geriatric oncologist, geriatrician, nursing and pharmacy view highlighting the importance of collaborative and holistic care and nurse led clinics.  
Watch the Webinar

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 Victorian Integrated Cancer Services are supported by the Victorian Government