THE Mid North Coast Health District is among the five regions participating in a NSW cancer research network which has just been awarded $7 million through the Translational Cancer Research Capacity Building Grant.
Awarded by the state government through the Cancer Institute NSW, the grant will build an innovative cancer research network on the Mid-North Coast, Hunter, New England, Central Coast and Northern NSW.
"We will all be employing additional clinical trial specialists to assist us in improving our collection of data and information so we can do more clinical trial research across the rural health footprint," NSW Regional Health Partners chairman Stewart Dowrick said.
"This is one of the largest investments in clinical trial cancer funding for rural local health districts, and as chair of the board that has received this funding, we are very excited by this."
Mr Dowrick said clinical trials helped improve the care provided to our community.
"It is important for our healthcare teams, our clinicians, to be a part of these projects to enhance their knowledge and understanding but be part of research projects that improve the treatment of our patients all the time," he said.
Associate Professor Craig Gedye will be chief investigator of the project.
"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."
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.
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said by sharing knowledge, people and resources, problems could be solved faster.
"This network provides continued momentum for crucial work across our region to ensure better, healthier living outcomes for us all," Professor Zelinsky said.
Chief cancer officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW Professor David Currow said NSW was at the forefront of innovation in cancer research.
NSW Regional Health Partners brings together the University of Newcastle, University of New England, Hunter Medical Research Institute, 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.
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