Queensland’s Leading Non-government Community Organisation in Cancer Control [Interview][Transcript]

Katie Clift Cancer Council QueenslandGuest: Katie Clift
Presenter: Dianne Grace
Guest Bio: Katie Clift is one of Queensland’s most recognised commentators on health and medical news. With nearly a decade of experience as a radio broadcaster and media strategist, Katie has specialist expertise in social media management and integrated communications. She regularly features on local and national news programs and has a personal interest in behavioural health and lifestyle trends. She joined Cancer Council Queensland as head of media in 2012 and last year helped the organisation to achieve more than 8,000 feature stories in print, broadcast, and online media, including 120 front page newspaper stories.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, we welcome Katie Clift the Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson of Cancer Council Queensland here to share great information about their organization and how they are providing all Queenslanders with the best possible prospects of preventing, detecting, effectively treating and surviving a cancer diagnosis. They offer a range of support and information events throughout the year, in locations across the state. They provide support to those who are have been diagnosed with cancer, those who have family or friend that is affected by cancer and to survivors as well. Among the support services that they provide are thru phone/email support, cancer counselling, Health Professional Cancer Network, Educational events, and Community Grants Program.

Health Professional Radio – Cancer Council Queensland

Dianne Grace: Welcome to Health Professional Radio. This is Dianne Grace and joining us today is the Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson at the Cancer Council Queensland. Let us welcome Katie Clift.

Katie Clift Thanks for having me Dianne. Great to be here.

D: Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to talk to you today. Katie, can you give us more information about what does Cancer Council does and who does benefit from it?

K: Yes. The Cancer Council exists for all Queenslanders who are affected by all cancers. We have one in two Queenslanders diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and more than 26 thousand people who’ll be diagnosed to…alone. So we’re focused on the entire spectrum of cancer from people helping them to prevent cancer through to when they’re diagnosed and the journey of treatment in that diagnosis and then survivorship and we do cover all Queenslanders and all cancers. I think some people think we just focus on the main common cancers, they say a lot of that in the media, but we do exist to help all people effectively treat, prevent and survive a cancer diagnosis.

D: Well that’s definitely great news especially for the better treatment of cancer. Is there any new research in particular that Cancer Council Queensland has been doing recently?

K: There’s so much new research that’s being undertaken all the time. We have so many research grants that we invest in externally. So we go to organizations like QUT, UQ, and QIMR and invest in some of the wonderful laboratory work and different analytical work that they’re doing in those institutions every year. We’re able to do that through people who fund our work and Queensland has been so generously give towards what we do through fund raising efforts and campaigns every year and then we’ve got an in-house research team of epidemiologists, so they analyze the Queensland cancer registry data. So we always have new research that’s coming out on all types of cancers and particularly what we’re looking at the moment is we’re spearheading work into a national cancer atlas. So a few years ago we did a Queensland cancer atlas that mapped out the geographic inequities between people diagnosed in metro areas and regional parts of the state and now we want to take that process to all of Australia. So definitely, our researchers are very, very busy.

D: Wow. It’s good to know that you never stop conducting research and looking for better ways and it’s also good news that the Government is not stopping in showing support through funding. Also, it’s good to know that you’re helping those cancer survivors to navigate through life and help them return to their normal lives and get back to work. Could you expound more about your other patient support services?

K: Yes. The people would well know 13 11 20 which is our cancer information and support line and really that’s the first point of contact for anybody who’s got any question about any cancer. So whether you’re diagnosed yourself or your friend or family member or a carer of somebody who’s been diagnosed, 13 11 20. We’ve got health nurses and registered health professionals there to take your call and speak with you about your experience and answer questions. And we’ve also got a cancer counseling service that we offer statewide. It offered at no out of pocket costs for people who need to access that service and it’s referred through 13 11 20 and they’re registered psychologists. So it’s wonderful that we’re able to provide that incredible service that we know so many people need to talk about their experiences. As I said whether you yourself have been diagnosed or you’re a carer, maybe you can do a counseling session together and we offer that face to face and over the phone across the state. So those are just some of the services, we’ve got a whole range of peer support services, different support groups and ways to connect with people be on that as well, but definitely 13 11 20 is the first place to go in terms of accessing more support.

D: If you’ve just joined us, I’m in conversation with Katie Clift from the Cancer Council Queensland and she’s here talking about the various patient support services that they have and more information about research and better treatment for cancer. Katie as you know most of our audience are from aged care or most of them are health professionals, what do you want them to take away from having heard you today?

K: Well first of all for health professionals we have a really strong health professional network that we can communicate with on a regular basis in terms of our new research or new services and programs that would fit professions. So it’s always worth people getting in touch with us so they can be a part of that network via 13 11 20 or at our website which is cancerqld.org.au. It’s really important to be a part of that network and it’s important for us to reach out to GPs and those health professionals working on the ground so that they know our support services are out there and they can refer their patients directly to Cancer Council. So that would be the main message that we would want to get out today – is that we’re here, we have a great network that’s already operating and we would love to extend our services to as many Queenslanders as can benefit from them. So we would love for people to get in touch with us, check out our website, find out more details and help us to reach people who are in great need of cancer support and help.

D: Thank you so much Katie for joining us today, it’s been our pleasure. Again, the website is cancerqld.org.au and their hotline is 13 11 20. If you’ve just missed our conversation, we have a transcript on our archive, you can visit us at hpr.fm and you can also listen to it via SoundCloud. Thank you so much, you’re listening to Health Professional Radio.

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