Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Cancer Centre named 2023 Outstanding Regional, Rural and Remote Site

Congratulations to the team at Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) Cancer Care Centre, who were awarded this year’s AGITG Outstanding Regional, Rural and Remote Site Award.

The Centre is an active site for AGITG clinical trials and is currently recruiting for the NEO-IMPACT and OXTOX trials. It employs measures to ensure early engagement of patients on clinical trials. Existing interpreter services are used to ensure information is presented in a language our participants are most familiar with, by staff who are familiar with the requisite cultural considerations. This supports continuity of care for participants from culturally and linguistically diverse populations and ensures equitable access to clinical trials. First Nations people are also encouraged to enrol on trials with appropriate cultural support.

“The Centre is presented with unique challenges for consideration of the diversity and cultural backgrounds of their cancer community,” said Prof Lorraine Chantrill, ISLHD Director Clinical Trials.

“Through the dedication of our teams, we have been able to exceed expectations for recruitment to AGITG clinical trials. We’ve increased the number of clinical trials we offer by tenfold and provided access to new treatments for more than 100 patients last year.

“None of this would be possible without our team of dedicated young oncologists and committed staff members.”

The Centre will continue to focus on enhancing clinical trial access for regional, rural and remote communities by building capacity for telehealth models of care and developing strategies to support the cultural needs of clinical trial participants.

The award was accepted by Kyrie Rodgers, the clinical trials coordinator at ISLHD Cancer Care Centre. “I am humbled and honoured as a representative of an extraordinary team, led by our manager Carly Leighton, to accept this award,” she said.

“Our journey has been fuelled by the belief that everyone, regardless of their location or background, deserves equitable access to clinical trials, close to home.

“Our passion and commitment to engage with our Indigenous and disadvantaged communities goes beyond clinical rigour; it is rooted in empathy, respect and a genuine desire to empower our patients. We believe in fostering relationships built on trust, ensuring that these communities not only have the option to participate in trials but are given the opportunities to actively shape the future of their own healthcare.

“Our friends, our family, our children and we, ourselves, live in regional and rural areas. Our community struggles with access to equitable healthcare on a day-to-day basis. This award is not just ours; it belongs to the countless patients and their families, the community, the partnerships and our colleagues who have been part of this journey.”

Learn more about the Outstanding Site Award