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In Profile:

the making of a surgeon

The two of us: Kirstine Kelly and breast care nurse Rhonda Barnes


3D printing and breast reconstruction

Advance Care Planning

Taking the stress out of end-of-life care with our free online toolkit

Peninsula Health

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Providing more services for a healthier you Peninsula Health is your local health service provider offering a comprehensive range of services for the community, from emergency medicine to rehabilitation, dental, and children’s health to cancer services, community health services and more. Learn more about the services provided by Peninsula Health, by visiting: Advance Care Planning

Emergency Medicine

Nursing Services

Aged Care

Outpatient Area 1

Alcohol and Other Drug Services

Frankston Mornington Peninsula Primary Partnership

Allied Health

Home-based Services


Cancer Services

Intensive Care Unit Medical Services

Speech Pathology and Audiology

Cardiac Services

Medical Support Services

Surgical and Anaesthetic Services

Continence Service

Mental Health Services

Women’s Health and Children’s and Adolescent Health

MEPACS (personal alarm call service)

Palliative Care

Community Health Services Peninsula Health Community Health provides a broad range of affordable services for people living in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula. These services aim to keep you active and healthy, as well as providing treatment and advice to help you regain your health…

Locations: Frankston Community Health Hastings Community Health Mornington Community Health Rosebud Community Health

For more information about Community Health Services, see:

Contents Cover story The two of us:

Breast cancer survivor Kirstine Kelly and breast care nurse Rhonda Barnes 2

In Profile

Dr Tristan Leech: the making of a surgeon


New theatre

Australia’s largest hybrid theatre opens at Frankston


Advance Care Planning

Taking the stress out of end-of-life care with our free, innovative online toolkit


Your health

We show you how to check for breast lumps


Research 3D printing and breast reconstruction


Volunteering A new volunteer program for Rosebud


In Brief Peninsula Health news


We did it! Because of you the EUS/EBUS machine is now available at Peninsula Health 16

Cover: Tristan Leech

Peninsula Health acknowledges and pays respect to the traditional people of this region, known as the Myone Buluk of the Boon Wurrung language group of the greater Kulin Nation and bestows the same courtesy to all other First Peoples, past and present, who now reside in the region.

This magazine is distributed across our campuses at Frankston, Hastings, Mornington and Rosebud, and sent to our volunteers, supporters and donors. You can also download it from our website. To subscribe or be removed from the mailing list please contact us below.

Corporate and Community Relations Peninsula Health PO Box 52 Frankston Vic 3199 Telephone 03 9788 1284 1501


Connection is a free community publication from Peninsula Health.


elcome to our first edition of Connection for 2016. Our theme for this edition is women’s health, to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March.

Our feature stories profile the many sides of breast cancer – a health concern for all women. Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. Australian women have a 1 in 8 lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year. The number of breast cancer cases has been rising steadily in recent years due to an increase in life expectancy, increased urbanisation and the adoption of western lifestyles. Currently we don’t have enough knowledge about the causes of breast cancer, but early detection remains key to reducing the number of deaths from breast cancer. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance of survival. We follow the journey of Kirstine Kelly, a Mornington Peninsula local who three years ago was diagnosed with breast cancer and commenced treatment at Peninsula Health. Today Kirstine says she is happier and healthier than ever. We talk to Rhonda Barnes – a breast care nurse providing an invaluable service to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer at Peninsula Health. Rhonda’s job is to support the family, coordinate the patient’s care and provide them with information. Our ‘In Profile’ section features Mr Tristan Leech, a member of the breast surgery team at Frankston Hospital, which treats more than 130 women a year. The incidence of breast cancer in the southern metropolitan region of Melbourne has been increasing over the past 10 years. To help combat the growing threat to the health and wellbeing of women on the Mornington Peninsula, we are seeking to expand our breast care services to increase our ability to diagnose and treat the disease, as well as increase the support services for women affected by breast cancer. Our target is to raise $400,000 to fund a breast care nurse and equipment. We are hoping that the community will once again rally to help make sure residents of the Mornington Peninsula continue to have access to the best healthcare services available. We are always focused on improving our services to better serve you. I’d like to thank you for your generous support in helping us to raise $500,000 to bring the Endoscopic Bronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) and Endoscopic Ultrasound machine to Frankston Hospital. I’m very pleased to report that because of your efforts and generosity, the machine has been purchased and is now at Frankston Hospital. This equipment is vital for diagnosing cancers of the lung and pancreas. Mornington Peninsula patients can now be assessed quicker and closer to home. I hope you enjoy the first edition of Connection for the year and that you are inspired by the exciting developments underway at Peninsula Health. Sue Williams I Chief Executive Officer

Director, Corporate and Community Relations Amy Johnston

Editor Silvia Dropulich Layout and Design George Ovlachi

Writers Rhonda Barnes Silvia Dropulich Eliza Keck Claire Polatidis

PeninsulaHealth @PeninsulaHealth PeninsulaHealth


The ofOF us: US: THETwo TWO

Kirstine Kelly and KIRSTINE Rhonda BarnesKELLY


Kirstine Kelly


I wanted to help her in any way I could.


’ve been doing this for 20 years and cases like Kirstine’s are still difficult for me.

“When diagnosed with cancer, getting onto treatment as fast

as you can is important.

As a breast care nurse, I’m the lynchpin for the care of the patient. My job is to support the family, coordinate the patient’s care and provide them with information. Information is power. Once we have power we feel in control, once we feel in control, we can cope. A doctor will tell a patient ‘these are your results, this is what we’ve found and these are what the next best steps will be’. But it’s a well-known fact that when you’re receiving bad news, by the time you’ve left the consultation you’ve retained only about 50 per cent of the information; by the time you get home that probably goes down to about 25 per cent. When my clients are leaving I always say, “if you don’t understand anything, call me, we’ll go through it again”.

One minute Kirstine is planning her wedding and the next she has this heartbreaking diagnosis.

They have my number.

Suddenly, she not only had to think about the cancer, which is a big scary thing, but also the issues around fertility.

When diagnosed with cancer, getting onto treatment as fast as you can is important.


They can call me about anything at any stage in their journey.

Breast cancer survivor Kirstine Kelly and breast care nurse Rhonda Barnes share their journey

Rhonda was there and was a major support for me. We took it one day at a time. I had so many questions and she helped me work through them. She explained my treatment options. There was so much new information to absorb. Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy followed. My dark long, curly hair fell out. I cried. I experimented with scarves, hats and beanies and sometimes just did the bald look. Rhonda assured me that my questions and emotions were very normal. I met a lot of strong, courageous women fighting their own battles. Some of these women became life-long friends.



t changes you. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago, it’s hard to describe what I was going through.

We drew strength from each other and shared ideas and plans for the future. I made changes to my diet. I cut out sugary drinks, added supplements and ate more vegetables and healthy natural food.

It happened very quickly.

When I felt stronger, I started walking, and then added fitness goals.

One minute I was planning my wedding to Andy and hoping to start a family of my own, and the next I was told that a lump in my breast was Stage 3 breast cancer.

Rhonda was keen to hear about my progress. Further tests revealed encouraging news.

There is no history of breast cancer in my family. I was 39 and I thought I was healthy. What would this mean for Andy and I? What did I need to do to get through this? What was going to happen next? It is an overwhelming diagnosis. Rhonda Barnes, the breast care nurse at Peninsula Health, is someone I will never forget. Our immediate investigations into IVF options prior to starting my cancer treatment revealed I would not be able to get pregnant.

My hair grew back. I had the wedding of my dreams (albeit with very short hair) surrounded by my closest family and friends. I’m happier and healthier now than I have ever been. I’ve completed the ‘Sussan Women’s Fun Run Classic’ for breast cancer for the past two years, beating my personal best each time. As the illness is further and further behind me, I want to do more for my loved ones, for other women facing the struggle, and for myself. I’m grateful for my health, and for every new day. I’m thankful for the people around me. And I’m thankful for Rhonda, who was there when I needed her.

That news was more harrowing than the breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The optimum time to start your chemotherapy is within four weeks of your surgery.

Dr Jason Kelly and Barnes MrRhonda Paul Miller

For Kirstine however, we were also trying to rush through the fertility appointments before treatment because we knew it was important to Kirstine and her fiancé Andy. Trying to arrange appointments for various specialists, all within a short space of time and in a specific order, can be very difficult. I take that difficulty away from the family and organise it all for them. I love everything about my job, except one thing – we don’t have a breast care nurse here on Thursdays and Fridays. Our surgeons operate on Thursdays or Fridays and their patients go home before I’m in on Monday, which means they are discharged without seeing me. As the lynchpin for their care, not seeing a patient after their operation means they get a disjointed service. I would love for all women here to have access to a breast care nurse every day of the week. Then I would know we’re doing everything we can to help these women and their families through such a difficult time.


In Profile: Tristan Leech

The making of a surgeon Words I Silvia Dropulich


t wasn’t a premeditated move, but it was the right move.

In his early years, Mr Tristan Leech, a breast, endocrine and general surgeon, fantasised about becoming a forensic pathologist working for the FBI where he would break a


murder case open by carefully extracting a vital clue with a pair of forceps from beneath a victim’s fingernail at autopsy. “Despite there being doctors in my family, my career daydreams were very much informed by representations in popular culture,” says Tristan. He was also fleetingly intrigued by psychiatry.

Mr Tristan Leech

“I was rotated to Werribee where I was fascinated by the locked, padded rooms and locked cigarette drawers and enjoyed nothing more than spending an afternoon discussing theology and astrophysics with the resident maniasufferer,” recalls Tristan. “I was interested in how disease changes a person’s experience of the world.” But after a brief stint as a general surgery intern at a country practice in Horsham, Tristan eventually came to the realisation that he wanted to be a surgeon. Today he is part of a breast surgery team at Peninsula Health, which treats more than 130 women a year, carrying out procedures on one of the most intimate parts of a woman’s body – the breast. Tristan looks back on his surgical training with great fondness and an appreciation of the skills and knowledge that came with it. “I was quickly immersed in the realness of interacting with people living their

most terrifying days – trying to help them cope with the physical and emotional impacts of their disease, and their treatment,” says Tristan.

“Some take it in their stride and say ‘just do what you have to do’ – but for others, their world collapses in a heap,” says Tristan.

“The cancer - the trauma - the cruelty of it all.

Tristan believes that because breast cancer research has been highly successful, this has contributed to a better understanding of the condition compared to other cancers.

“Discovering a new breast symptom or receiving a cancer diagnosis can be one of the most stressful events in a woman’s life. “We are able to provide a compassionate, comfortable and complete breast service that can assess, diagnose and treat women quickly. “But there are obstacles to patient care – for example patient scans, biopsies and results can be scattered around different public/private facilities and this makes it difficult to formulate the full picture and create a personalised management plan.” Upon discovering an abnormal breast screen result, Tristan has observed an interesting range of responses from his clients.

“Breast cancer is considered one disease but there may be 1000 different versions of it,” Tristan explains. “We are getting a better understanding of how the disease changes.” Breast cancer is caused by genetic changes, which may be inherited from the family or due to gene damage acquired throughout our lives, according to Tristan. He says Australia has a well-developed breast screen program, with supporters of the program pointing to a better prognosis while critics of the program argue that some cancers detected in women, may never be a problem for them. “Unfortunately we don’t know whether a cancer detected in a woman’s breast will turn out to be a problem for her or not,” says Tristan. The first step upon discovering an abnormal lump is to have the lump removed, Tristan explains. In many cases, the removal of the lump resolves the issue, but other cases may not have such a fortunate outcome. “The most challenging part of my role is delivering bad news to a patient…that things haven’t gone well and the disease has spread,” says Tristan. “You have to face the client and her family coming to terms with this news.” Conversely, the most rewarding part of his job is being able to tell patients that everything is fine – the treatment has worked – they are in the clear.

Mr Tristan Leech


Peninsula Health opens THE TWO OF US:

two new multi-million dollar state-of-the-art KIRSTINE KELLY AND health facilities


The Hybrid theatre is equipped with the latest Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA) technology

Words I Silvia Dropulich and Claire Polatidis


eninsula Health has been acknowledged as an innovative health leader with the recent opening of two new multimillion dollar state-of-the-art health facilities: the Hybrid Interventional Theatre, and the Rapid Assessment Chest Pain Unit. Victorian Premier The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Minister for Health The Hon Jill Hennessy MP, and The Member for Frankston, Mr Paul Edbrooke officially opened the Theatre and the Chest Pain Unit in February. The $5 million Hybrid Interventional Theatre is the largest theatre of its kind in Australia. “It will mean patients undergo shorter surgeries and experience quicker recoveries,” said the Premier. Peninsula Health CEO Ms Sue Williams said the Hybrid Theatre will expand and transform the types of surgeries and procedures available to the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula communities.

“The $5 million Hybrid Interventional Theatre is the largest theatre of its kind in Australia.

“Patients with complex vascular issues can now be treated at locally at Frankston Hospital,” Ms Williams said. “Patients will also benefit from less invasive surgery with fewer complications and quicker recovery times.” Vascular disease affects one in five Australians, and is likely to increase in our region with its ageing population and rise of chronic health issues. The Hybrid Theatre is equipped with the latest Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA) technology explains


Mr Wai-Leng Chue, Head of the Vascular Surgery Unit at Peninsula Health. “DSA technology enables our team to look at the patients’ arteries and veins in fine detail,” said Mr Chue. “This helps us diagnose and treat life and limb threatening conditions, more safely and efficiently,” he said. “The Theatre combines the capability of a traditional angiography suite within a fully functioning operating theatre environment.” This enables endovascular stenting and angioplasty to be combined with open surgery, to tackle the most complex vascular conditions in a safe and efficient environment using state-of-the-art technology. In medicine vascular relates to a vessel or vessels, especially those which carry blood. The fundraising efforts of the Pink Ladies Auxiliary volunteers helped bring the new DSA equipment to Frankston Hospital with the group contributing more than $1.2 million towards the DSA machine.

Mr Wai-Leng Chue, Head of the Vascular Surgery Unit at Peninsula Health

Victorian Premier, the Minister for Health, and Paul Edbrooke also opened the Rapid Assessment Chest Pain Unit.

The former truck driver credits Peninsula Health with saving his life last year when he suffered a major heart attack and was treated with a new stent put into his heart.

The new 8-bed Rapid Assessment Chest Pain Unit will provide a quick assessment by specialist cardiologists for people with chest pain.

Since then, he has completely changed his lifestyle.

“This means more patients will be treated earlier and faster, which will help to ease pressure on the emergency department,” said Ms Williams.

“I have learnt to listen to my body, I know if something is not right to go straight to hospital.”

The Unit is expected to treat an additional 2000 patients a year. It is designed to treat patients presenting with chest pain to the Emergency Department (ED), thereby taking the pressure off the ED.

“I stopped smoking, I’m being careful with what I eat, and I’m exercising more than I ever have,” said Mr Meaney.

Mark was admitted into the new Rapid Chest Pain Assessment Unit for further tests. “I consider myself very lucky to be here,” he said.

One of Unit’s first patients was Mark Meaney of Rosebud (pictured below).

Patient Mark Meaney meets the Victorian Premier The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Minister for Health The Hon Jill Hennessy MP, and The Member for Frankston, Mr Paul Edbrooke.


Advance Care Planning

Words I Eliza Keck


icky’s father, a 72-year-old Mt Martha resident, had suffered a major stroke unexpectedly while on holiday in New Zealand. Nicky had to notify her brothers, arrange flights, take time off work, make arrangements for her family, pack a suitcase and fly to New Zealand. Through all the stress and sadness, she took comfort in knowing one thing – her father had an Advance Care Plan and she knew exactly what he wanted the doctors to do, even though he couldn’t tell them himself. “My father was a very private man; he didn’t speak about his health concerns with family,” says Nicky. “He had mentioned he was seeing a neurologist for some test results and I asked if I could go with him. After that visit, I knew that he had suffered a series of mini-strokes over the past few years, and the likelihood of a serious stroke was imminent.” In 2011, Nicky’s mother used Peninsula Health’s free Advance Care Planning service when she was diagnosed with cancer. Nicky decided to ask her father if he would like to make an Advance Care Plan as well. “To be honest, I didn’t think he’d take me up on the offer, but he did,” says Nicky. That one small decision by her father made a world of difference.

Nicky Walker

Take the stress out of end-of-life care with our free online toolkit Nicky Walker knows all too well the benefits of an Advance Care Plan. Nicky was enjoying time with her family when she received a devastating phone call. 8 I CONNECTION

“I was surprised by some of dad’s choices outlined in the Plan.” “He made it very clear he would not be interested in life-saving procedures, if the best possible outcome would be fulltime care. I had peace of mind in that I knew exactly what dad’s wishes were and I’m so grateful for that.” As his medical power of attorney, Nicky was asked to make all medical decisions regarding her father’s care. “At such an emotional time, your instinct is to make decisions for life to be prolonged,” says Nicky. “But having the Plan to refer back to was a tremendous relief and ensured decisions were made as dad would have wanted them to be made. Some family members were convinced that dad would recover from the strokes and would want to be kept alive at all costs.

Nicky Walker and her family

“But with the Advance Care Plan they could see in plain writing what dad wanted.” Nicky, mother of three, says the biggest gift she could give to her family was to complete an Advance Care Plan herself.

To access the Advance Care Plan Online Toolkit visit:

“Taking the time to think about these tough decisions isn’t fun, but leaving it to your family to decide on the spot while they’re distressed would be much worse.” Thanks to a new online toolkit launched by Peninsula Health, it is now easier than ever to make your wishes known. Nicky was one of the first people to use the online toolkit. “The online toolkit was very detailed and I’m confident that, should the worst happen, both my husband and I now know exactly what each other would want.”


Rhonda Barnes

Your Health

We show you how to check for breast health Early detection and appropriate treatment of breast cancer can dramatically improve the chance of survival. If the cancer is caught before it spreads further than the breast, there is a 96 per cent chance of five year survival. Words I Rhonda Barnes

age and family history. However there are practical steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, such as maintaining a healthy weight (especially after menopause), reducing alcohol intake and reducing or quitting smoking. There are a number of risk factor myths which are not supported by research or are unproven because there has not been enough research done on them. If you hear a ‘risk factor’ that you’re not sure about, you can visit the Cancer Council’s iheard website: and submit what you heard to find out if it is true.

Some common myths include: • wearing underwire or tight-fitting bras


simple and effective way to detect breast cancer early is to know what is normal for your breast tissue and regularly conduct self-checks.

• using antiperspirants or deodorants

As is the case with many other diseases, age is a major risk factor in developing breast cancer. Because of this, BreastScreen Australia offers free mammograms every two years for women aged 40 or over. Women aged 50 – 74 account for three quarters of all breast cancer diagnosis and so will receive written reminders every two years.

• breast implants

Some risk factors for breast cancer cannot be avoided, such as


• abortions or spontaneous miscarriages • stress • a bump or knock to the breast All of the above myths have been disproven through rigorous research and are not considered risk factors for breast cancer.

How to self-check Once a month, look and feel the entire area of your breasts, your armpits and up to your collarbone and become familiar with what is normal for you.


Look for any changes to the breast tissue including:

• a new lump in your breast or underarm (armpit)

or swelling of part of your • thickening  breast

or dimpling of your breast skin • irritation  or flaky skin in your nipple area • redness  or your breast


pulling in of your nipple or pain in your nipple area


discharge other than breast milk • nipple  • any  change in the size or the shape of your breast

• pain  in any area of your breast.


If you have one or more of these symptoms, you should visit your doctor for a check-up.


Source: Cancer Council Australia early-detection/early-detection-factsheets/breast-cancer.html and Breast Cancer Network Australia current-statisitcs-bcna_brief_summary_of_breast_cancer_statistics_jan-15.pdf

Trusted organisations for more breast cancer information: BreastScreen Australia Hotline: 13 20 50 Cancer Council: 13 11 20 Breast Cancer Network Australia: 1800 500 258


Breakthrough study leads to improved breast reconstructions

Associate Professor David Hunter-Smith (far right) with the research team (L-R) Dr Michael Chae, Associate Professor Bob Spychal and Associate Professor Warren Rozen.

Words I Eliza Keck


ou’ve done it. You’ve beaten breast cancer. But now you have no breasts. You want your old self back. You want to move on with your life. You decide you want to go under the knife one more time and get back what you lost. Deciding to have a breast reconstruction after cancer is a courageous decision, one that Peninsula Health’s reconstructive surgeons do not take lightly. They want patients to get exactly what they are expecting.

Until now, surgeons have had to estimate the ideal volume and shape of the breast implants or soft-tissue flaps using 2D photography, clinical estimates and CT scanned data. “While we would do the best we could, there was always an element of error with estimation,” says David. “Now, with the use of a new volumetric technique and 3D printing we can remove the guesswork.” While there have been a number of other techniques using 3D images to measure volume and shape, until now, none has proven reliable.

This was the driving force behind their breakthrough study into 3D modelling, one which has improved planning for breast reconstructions, reduced operation times and improved aesthetic outcomes.

“What we can now do is create software-generated 3D reconstructions, calculate and visualise volume differences, and produce models of the breasts using a 3D printer,” David explains.

Associate Professor David Hunter-Smith, said the study is a game-changer.

“By printing the breast model, we also can give the patient something physical to hold on to, helping them get a better understanding of the reconstruction. This gives them the invaluable opportunity to provide feedback before the surgery.”

“We know breast

David says ensuring the size and shape of the reconstructed breast is in line with the patient’s expectations is of upmost importance to reconstructive surgeons.

reconstruction after breast cancer can be a significant milestone for patients. 12 I CONNECTION

“We know breast reconstruction after breast cancer can be a significant milestone for patients,” he says. “In 2014, we completed a qualitative quality-of-life study using 10 years of data that confirmed breast reconstructions have positive effects on a patient’s psychological, physical and sexual wellbeing.” The quality-of-life and 3D printing studies have been widely acknowledged by medical professionals around the world, after being published in many international medical journals.

Patient Companions

A new volunteer program for Rosebud Words I Eliza Keck


eninsula Health’s new volunteer program, Patient Companions, is making hospital stays a little more enjoyable for patients, and reducing their risk of falls. Volunteers Jenny Joseph and Jan Harris are among the first to be involved in the program, now running two days a week in Walker Ward at Rosebud Hospital. Jenny, a retired nurse, was also involved in the planning stage of the program. “They told me about the new program and I said it just sounds fantastic. I came in with two other volunteers and had a meeting with staff where we worked out a couple of little strategies; what time to start, that kind of thing.” Staff identify patients who are at-risk of falling, have limited family support or require meals assistance and ask the volunteers to visit them. The volunteers then spend time with these patients, which can help reduce the risk of falling,

anxiety and functional decline. The main goal is to help patients feel more supported, secure and settled in the hospital environment. Quality manager at Rosebud Hospital, Linda Goodwin, says other hospitals with similar programs have seen a reduction in patient falls. “Evidence from other health services suggests that having someone to chat with while in hospital is not only good for your mental wellbeing, but it also reduces your risk of falls,” says Linda. “There are two main reasons for this: one is that patients eat more because they’re distracted and happier, making them stronger, and the other is that companions can help the patient by bringing things to the bedside, reducing the number of times patients, who are at risk of falling, get out of bed.” The program has only been running for two months but Jenny and Jan believe they’ve already helped many patients who might have fallen over, if they weren’t there.

L-R: Jenny Joseph, Jan Harris (volunteers for the Patient Companion Volunteer Program) and patient John Claughton.

Jan, who has a background in home and aged care, joined the Patient Companions program in the first few weeks. “It’s very rewarding and interesting,” says Jan. “It’s lovely to sit and have a chat and learn about patients’ lives.” Jenny couldn’t agree more. “A lot of the patients have grown up on the Peninsula and it’s nice to hear their stories of growing up and how things have changed here,” says Jenny. The program has been so successful that Helen Wilson, volunteer program manager, is looking for more volunteers to expand it. “We are hoping to introduce this program to other wards across Peninsula Health,” says Helen. Ultimately, we’d like to have Patient Companions rostered on every day to provide extra support for our elderly and frail patients. The role requires a volunteer who is compassionate and engaging. A background in supporting others would be ideal.”

If you are interested in volunteering at Peninsula Health, call our Volunteer Office on 03 9784 2674 or email


In Brief: Check how your medications interact with alcohol Older Australians are more likely to have medical conditions and not realise that some or all of their medication could adversely react with alcohol. A recent study found that 60 per cent of drinkers were taking at least one medication that could react adversely with alcohol. Peninsula Health has launched an Australian first guide for healthcare professionals to help tackle the alarming increase in older people experiencing alcohol or other drug (AOD) related problems. Peninsula Health’s Alcohol and Other Drug Services Program Manager, Dr Stephen Bright, says failing to tackle this growing issue now will have a major impact

on future healthcare costs; especially given the rapidly ageing population. “Older adults represent a growing population who are experiencing a range of AOD-related harms that are often very specific to this population. Peninsula Health partnered with Flinders University to develop the first ever

Australian guide which is available for healthcare professionals by calling 9784 8109 or visiting Older people who are unsure about how their medications interact with alcohol can access Peninsula Health’s free online screening tool

Outstanding youth volunteer We couldn’t be prouder of Peninsula Health volunteer Georgie Fraser who late last year won the Outstanding Youth Category at the Victorian Premier’s Volunteer Champions Awards. I cannot express how much I enjoy volunteering and the satisfaction that comes from knowing that in some small way I am helping people in what could arguably be one of the most stressful moments of their lives,” says Georgie. Georgie, who is studying to become a paramedic at Monash University, volunteers in the ‘Speak Up’ program, which encourages patients to become


actively involved and informed in their medication management. She also volunteers in the Assistance and Care in Emergency (ACE) program, where she brings a person-centred care approach to

a busy, often stressful environment - a friendly face, guidance, companionship, conversation and ‘a good listening ear’. Congratulations Georgie!

In Brief: A surprise signing When President of Frankston Hospital’s Pink Ladies Auxiliary Pauline Ellerby came to the official opening of the Hybrid Interventional Theatre and the Rapid Assessment Chest Pain Unit sporting a broken arm, Premier Daniel Andrews was one of the first people to sign her cast. Next was Minister for Health Jill Hennessy writing her well wishes on the cast. We wish you speedy recovery Pauline! Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, and the Member for Frankston, Paul Edbrooke officially opened the Theatre and the Chest Pain Unit in February (see story on page 6-7). The fundraising efforts of the Pink Ladies volunteers helped bring the new DSA equipment to Frankston Hospital. The group donated more than $1.2 million towards the new DSA machine.

Find a Health Expert Find a Health Expert is a new service provided by Peninsula Health. Many of our health experts are regular commentators in the media. From specialists leading groundbreaking research to nursing staff delivering personcentred care at the bedside, there is a wealth of expertise and knowledge that our experts are keen to share. If your community group or event needs a speaker on a health issue, visit the Find a Health Expert page on our website. Topics include cancer, emergency medicine, women’s and children’s health, men’s health, positive ageing, research and clinical trials, and the future of the health service. There is no charge to your club and our involvement would depend on your event, your requirements and the speaker’s availability. The 2016 speaking calendar is now taking bookings.

For more information or to book a speaker, contact the Community Relations team on 9788 1504 or email:


We did it!

Dr Fisher gives a demonstration of the EUS/EBUS machine.

Because of you the EUS/EBUS is now available at Peninsula Health Mornington Peninsula and Frankston residents can now be tested for pancreatic cancer faster thanks to you. The EUS/EBUS machine has arrived and is now in use at Frankston. And it’s all because of your amazing support.


he Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and Endoscopic Bronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) machine helps doctors diagnose life-threatening illnesses like pancreatic cancer, lymphoma and lung cancer. “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community. This much-needed machine means local

residents will no longer have to travel long distances for their procedures. This means shorter waiting times, faster diagnosis and most importantly, faster treatment,” Chief Executive Officer, Sue Williams said. The Frankston Hospital Pink Ladies, who donated $400,000 towards the machine, and a special group of major donors were given a demonstration of the machine by Peninsula Health’s Head of Endoscopy, Dr Leon Fisher. “The machine provides detailed images of the areas being explored without having to resort to exploratory surgery, which is invasive and comes with higher risks.” Dr Fisher said. Seeing the machine at Peninsula Health was a particularly special moment for two local residents, Neil Bachelor and Mary Dyer, who shared their stories with the community about their experiences being added to waiting lists and travelling to other hospitals for the EUS procedure. “It’s absolutely fabulous to see it here.


It’s been a bit emotional for me, knowing the machine is here now for people to use, I’ve gotten a bit teary,” Ms Dyer said. “It was a great experience to see themachine. It is so clever, all the things it can do. Not having to travel for EUS procedures is fantastic,” Mr Bachelor said.

Thank you We would like to sincerely thank you – our amazing supporters – for generously donating to help bring this important machine to the Mornington Peninsula. Your support will help to detect – and treat – cancer sooner. What a wonderful thing to do!

Thank you to our donors and supporters

Donate today Yes, I want to help give the highest quality of care to patients and their families. I would like to give: $50




$­ ……………………………………… (an amount of my choice) All donations over $2 are tax deductible. Please give generously.

I would like to give to:

We are so grateful to our many wonderful donors and

Where it’s needed most

Breast Cancer Services

Frankston Hospital

Rosebud Hospital

Aged Care Services

Mental Health Services

Palliative Care

Other: .................................................

supporters. Your extraordinary generosity helps give the highest quality of care to our patients and their families. In the last four months we received the following donations over $1,000:

Payment details I would like to pay by: Cheque

Money Order



(payable to Peninsula Health)

• Mrs Ada Wilson • Ms Mary Rose Wilson

Credit card details

• Steven & Julia Faulkner • Mr B & Mrs V Woods

Card Number

• The Good Guys - Frankston • All Saints Anglican Parish Op Shop • Frankston Vietnam Veterans Association • Rosebud Hospital Auxiliary

Expiry date:

• Rosebud Hospital Kiosk Auxiliary

Cardholder’s name: …………………………………………………………………… We would like to acknowledge the following gifts received in memory of the following: • Mr Alan Clive Purchase

• Mrs Anita Kiehn

• Mr Alan Harford

• M  rs Ellen Margaret (Peg) Ashton

• Mr Albert Marsden • Mr Colin Turnbull

• Mrs Lucia (Lucy) Evelyn Collin

• Mr Drazen Markulin

• Mrs Sandra Lynne Calway

• Mr Gordon Stone

• M  rs Wilma Margaret (Billie) Wagstaff

• Mr Henry Derek Leek • Mr Kevin James Woodford

• Ms Cindy Bradley

• Mr Murray Gomm

• Ms Lillian Goss

• Mr Neville Barnard Hennessy

• Ms Patricia (Trish) Cincotta

• Mr Rodney John Miller

We would like to thank and acknowledge all our donors for their generous support.

Cardholder’s signature:………………………………………………………………

Your details Name:………………………………………………………………………………………… Address: ……………………………………………………………………………………… Suburb:………………………… State:…………………… Postcode:................. Phone:………………………………………………………………………………………… Email: ………………………………………………………………………………………… (providing your email address helps us to reduce our postage costs)

Please return to:

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Contact us to make a donation

Fundraising Team Peninsula Health PO Box 52 FRANKSTON VIC 3199

Peninsula Health Supporter Hotline: 03 9788 1284

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and observes the provisions of the Privacy Act 2001. To change your communication preferences, please call us on 03 9788 1284. ABN 52 892 860 159

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Connection Magazine Autumn 2016  
Connection Magazine Autumn 2016