New Flinders Cancer Wellness Centre Opens to Ease Cancer Burden

Patients and their families affected by cancer will receive additional support from today with the opening of a new cancer wellness centre at Flinders Medical Centre to mark World Cancer Day.

The centre will be the focal point of a new cancer wellness program, to help ease the burden of cancer and address many of the unmet needs of patients and their families during and after cancer treatment - many of which can be lifelong.

This extra support will focus on a range of physical, educational, emotional and practical impacts which cancer can often have, including fatigue, anxiety, dietary, financial and employment concerns among others.

Located on the ground floor of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, the centre will also be a valuable conduit in connecting patients and carers with support groups and other services in the community.

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, Clinical Director Cancer Services, Professor Chris Karapetis said the centre would provide greater support for the wide-ranging effects of cancer for the more than 2,500 people diagnosed with cancer at Flinders each year, and 30,000 patients and families who regularly visit the centre for treatments and appointments.

“Cancer patients living in Southern Adelaide receive the very best treatment at Flinders, but we know there are many other factors which can impact on their health and wellbeing when they transition to life with cancer, and life after cancer,” Professor Karapetis said.

“For many, being diagnosed with cancer is the most traumatic life event they will experience. They can be overwhelmed with information, and at the same time often don’t know where to turn to for help in addressing the ‘knock-on’ effects of cancer.

“In having a new and unique space like the wellness centre, we’ll be able to extend support beyond treating just the cancer itself, and provide patients and their families with holistic support that encompasses all aspects that contribute to a healthier life so they can really thrive, during and after cancer.”

A range of services will initially be offered to people affected by cancer to address many of their unmet needs and these services will continue to grow, including:

  • Health information library and books
  • Access to a Cancer Council SA Outreach Nurse and a range of Cancer Council Services
  • Online programs to improve physical and mental wellbeing
  • Public seminars and information sessions from health professionals
  • Exercise and physical activity services
  • Arts in Health services including art and music therapies
  • Support from the FMC Volunteer Service and Cancer Council Volunteers
  • Large meeting spaces for a range of cancer support groups
  • Spiritual care support
  • Other therapeutic activities that promote wellness including meditation

The centre also features quiet spaces, comfortable seating, complimentary tea and coffee, computers and charging stations, board games and puzzles and volunteer support from the Flinders Medical Centre Volunteer Service.

Thanks to The Dry July Foundation, and participants who took part in the annual alcohol-free fundraising challenge, the Dry July Family Room will also provide a welcome place for families to gather to talk privately and process news, as well as a space for small group programs.

The centre will also provide optimal conditions for recovery, health and well-being thanks to Delos, who have generously donated an air-filtration system, to purify the air and water to mitigate airborne health risks, and provide dynamic lighting designed to restore the body’s natural rhythms.

Flinders Foundation Executive Director Ross Verschoor acknowledged the incredible generosity of the South Australian community in raising the $500,000 needed to fit out the centre.

“From individual donations, to support from corporate businesses and fundraisers in the community, it’s been overwhelming to see the lengths Flinders Foundation’s supporters have gone to help provide more support for those sadly affected by cancer,” Ross said.

“A wellness centre was part of the original vision for the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer when it opened in 2012, and it’s wonderful that we’ve been able to come together to make this centre a reality.”

Generous supporters of the wellness centre include The Dry July Foundation and 2018 New York Marathon participants. Mix102.3’s Breakfast duo Jodie and Soda also went to great lengths with their support, setting a world-record for the amount of time spent on a ferris wheel and raising $230,000 in the process.

For further information about the wellness centre, including program schedule visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/fmc

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