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06 Apr 2022

Research-informed cancer care beyond the city

  • VCCC Alliance

“Patients and carers in regional areas are as crucial to improving outcomes for patients as people who live in the city,” says Sophy Athan, Chair of the VCCC Alliance Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee (CCAC). 

“To ensure fair and equitable healthcare, we need to involve consumers from all walks of life, experiences and locations in our decision-making,” she says.

The VCCC Alliance is currently developing a consumer network comprising people who can amplify the regional consumer experience for our forward planning. To help us in this objective, we are recruiting a regionally-based Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee Deputy Chair.

The voluntary position is not to act as 2IC to the current Chair but contribute from the perspective of a skilled consumer representative who has lived experience and potential links to networks in regional areas. 

The VCCC Alliance Strategic Program Plan 2021-24 was purposefully developed and designed in partnership with consumers and recognises that access to treatment can depend on where you live.

Therefore, high on our agenda of current initiatives are efforts to reduce disparity for regional patients so that they may have equity of access to clinical trials and research-informed treatment. 

Skilled Consumer Network

In the post-COVID era, remote work practices and the widespread use of Zoom meetings mean that regional consumers will have greater equity of access to meetings and able to make a contribution to better patient care without the need to travel.

 “As a consumer, you want to know that the right people are hearing and responding to your point of view and this is particularly true the further you move away from city centres.” - Sophy Athan, Chair CCAC

With the inevitable expansion of telehealth into regional areas and innovations such as teletrials bringing leading-edge therapies closer to home, the integration of consumer voices in future planning will enable us to stay focused on patient benefit.

Interested? Or know someone who could be?

The person we are looking for will likely have four key attributes. They will have an experience of cancer as a patient, carer, or as a close family member or friend. They will be familiar with a regional hospital environment, primary health care or integrated cancer services, and they will be an honest and open communicator who understands the value of strategic planning.

Ultimately, they will support our current CCAC Chair to develop linkages that integrate lived experience into program design and delivery – improving equity of access for patients wherever they live in Victoria.

With a common agenda, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities, the VCCC Alliance Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee has a track record of leading cultural change in consumer engagement across the alliance and beyond. It has established a consumer remuneration program, an annual consumer forum, the committee has executive support to develop a culture where the consumer is at the centre, and they advocate at state and national levels.

Why not consider being part of a dynamic and passionate committee developing consumer-led research, education and training priorities and initiatives for effective consumer engagement?

Read more about the role on our website. Expressions of Interest close Friday 6 May 2022.

For a confidential discussion and further information, please contact Sophy Athan, Chair, VCCC Alliance Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee, euroforcemusic@bigpond.com

 

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