There is no doubt the past 12 months have been full of challenges for our people and patients.
Our health system has been stretched to its limits, healthcare workers have gone above and beyond to uphold standards of care and underlying it all is a pandemic that refuses to subside.
It’s a challenging environment, but I’ve been encouraged by how my colleagues from across the state have rallied together to form a united front through the Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Network and Taskforce and continue to deliver for our patients.
Our VCCC Alliance Strategic Program Plan 2021-24 is now well underway, and it’s exciting to see our ambitious programs coming to life. As our maturing alliance grows, so too does the impact of our work, and I take great pride in seeing a collaboration-first mindset truly embedded within and across our members. I also want to acknowledge the generous support of colleagues from across the state who contribute to our 10 programs in the Strategic Program Plan.
Consumers continue to play a central and vital role in delivering on our strategy, and their role in our work is only increasing.
One of our four core values at the VCCC Alliance is “for all”, and I’m delighted now to see clear signs of real progress towards achieving more equitable cancer care and outcomes for every Victorian.
We have established a new equity framework, as well as a partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) with an explicit focus to collaborate on lung cancer screening considerations for First Nations peoples.
Our award-winning SKILLED Clinical Trial Internship Program continues to flourish and build clinical trial capacity state-wide, delivering more clinical trial types to more Victorians and notably opening new avenues for cancer care to regional patients.
Our Teletrials networked partnership strategy proved a game-changer, delivering practice-changing results in its first clinical trial application, TARGET-TP, led by Associate Professor Kate Burbury and Dr Marliese Alexander at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
A new Federal Government brings a new opportunity to influence the key policies and directions nationally for cancer. Improving health equity remains a key priority for our work at a state level, and I was excited to advocate for a greater focus on equity in our submission to Cancer Australia to inform the emerging framework of the National Cancer Plan.
It’s important to see our data-driven research program coming to fruition as we move towards an effective national cancer data ecosystem, where strong national data linkages open new pathways to better research, in turn leading to more equitable outcomes for marginalised populations.
Over the past year, our ambitious alliance has really gained traction. Our work has been acknowledged in several national and international awards, spanning multiple aspects of our organisation – research, education and clinical trials.
After such a disrupted year, I want to thank the many people involved in the alliance for your commitment, resilience and determination which allowed us to achieve so much.
Thank you to our members, the Board, our distributed leadership team, our consumers and core staff team and everyone else with whom we have worked and collaborated, for your continued efforts as we work towards better outcomes for all.
Professor Grant McArthur