Flinders Medical Centre Foundation
Flinders Medical Centre Foundation



Thursday, 29 July 2010 12:52

Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, and Federal Member for Boothby, Dr Andrew Southcott, said that a Coalition Government would deliver an additional $5 million to the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, now incorporating the LIVESTRONG Cancer Research Centre.

In the 2007 Budget, the Howard Coalition Government committed $10 million to the proposed Cancer Centre. At the time, Andrew, Southcott worked closely with key stakeholders and led delegations to meet with Ministers and their advisers.

“I played an integral role in securing the initial $10 million and am pleased to announce an additional $5 million for the project,” Dr Southcott said.

“The Flinders Medical Centre will now have a world-class facility which will coordinate cancer research and care with a special focus on prevention.”

The additional funding will enable the fit out of an additional floor, including a lecture theatre, patient support areas and a patient service area.

“I have recently consulted with the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation and other key stakeholders and understand that without the additional funding one floor of the Centre would remain a ‘cold shell”, Dr Southcott said.

“I congratulate the Foundation for their leadership on this project and am delighted that I have been able to secure the additional funding needed for its completion,” he said.

“This is an important announcement for Boothby; an important announcement for South Australia."



Monday, 26 July 2010 12:58

South Australian business leaders can soon rest easy when they travel to remote areas of Australia, thanks to a remote electronic heart attack decision-making tool currently being developed at Flinders Medical Centre.

They will lean more about the tool during the next inspirational lunch on 26 July, at Adelaide Casino.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), the term used to describe all conditions and diseases of the heart and blood vessels, is Australia’s number one killer, responsible for 48,000 deaths a year.

Despite the advances in treatment of heart attacks, less than 10 per cent of Australians receive ideal care due to delays in presenting to a doctor because of their remote location or the lack of training of the GPs and young Physicians.

The electronic tool developed at Flinders provides rapid assessment of the risk of the patient that appears to be having heart attack and provides immediate, best practise recommendations to any health service, regardless of their location in a rural, regional or metropolitan area.

Once developed the system will provide doctors with real-time decision-making support and features a package of care that includes: better patient documentation; assessment of patient risks and benefits; and clinical guideline recommendations for patients presenting with chest pains and a possible heart attack.

“We have just completed Stage 1 of the project and we are about to start Stage 2, which is to raise funds so that we can trial the tool in hospitals across Australia, in order to see how effective the tool is and if it actually helps to improve patient outcomes in everyday clinical situations,” said Dr Chew.

The electronic system has been developed as a non-commercial project of the Heart Foundation of Australia, the College of Emergency Physicians, the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand and Flinders Medical Centre Cardiology research teams.

“With one Australian suffering a heart attack every 11 minutes, there is a pressing need for strategies that improve the decision-making process, so that patients that present with chest pain or appear to be having a heart attack can be assessed quickly and efficiently, in order to provide the highest standard of care; this is vital in remote locations where advice from a specialist cardiologist is not often available,” adds Dr Chew.

All media are invited to attend this event and Dr Chew will be available for interview upon request, please contact the FMC Foundation Office on 08 8204 65016 to arrange.

Hosted by Channel 7’s Jane Doyle and supported by Adelaide Casino, this presentation is part of a series of Inspirational Luncheons to help Flinders Medical Centre Foundation inform local business leaders of the groundbreaking work that is being conducted at Flinders.



Monday, 19 July 2010 13:58

Dr Ganessan Kichenadasse, Oncologist from Flinders Medical Centre is getting on his bike, all in the name of charity as he competes in the social aspect of this year’s Tour de France.

Dr Kichenadasse will put his cycling skills to the test by riding 8 stages or 685km of the Tour de France, in order to raise $5,000 or more for both the FMC Foundation and the McGuinness McDermott Foundation.

Inspired by Lance Armstrong’s survival story, Dr Kichenadasse decided to specialise in Oncology – the branch of medicine concerned with the study and treatment of tumours (cancers); and over the last two years he has also developed a passion for cycling, just like his hero Lance.

Dr Kichenadasse will join seven other cyclists from the charity cycle team as they begin this legendary endurance race in the Pyrenees and finish with the grand final on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

With bulldozers set to move in on the site of the new $27 million Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC) in a matter of weeks, Dr Kichenadasse is hoping that his cycling team will raise thousands of dollars to fund vital cancer research in the LIVESTRONG™ Cancer Research Centre within the new Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer; and to help care for kids with cancer at the Women and Children’s Hospital (WCH).

Dr Kichenadasse said: "I really enjoy cycling and I was looking for a new personal challenge, as well as helping to raise awareness about cancer and funds to fight the disease.

“One in three Australians will be affected by cancer within their lifetime. I am particularly interested in brain tumours, and although there is a lot happening in the understanding of the biology of such cancers, there has been only a marginal improvement in terms of survival outcomes.

“I hope that by completing this challenge I can inspire others to do something similar to raise awareness and funds for charity; as every single dollar raised will go to support vital research into cancer prevention, early intervention and innovative cures.”

You can support Dr Kichenadasse or the other riders participating in this challenge by making a donation online at his Everyday Hero page or call the FMC Foundation at 8204 5216.



Friday, 25 June 2010 00:00

A new bariatric surgery technique, developed by an international collaboration featuring Flinders University surgeons, is showing promise in the treatment of not only obesity but also Type II diabetes and hypertension.

Unlike traditional bariatric procedures which involve restricting or rerouting food or removing part of the stomach, in this new procedure two electrodes are implanted through keyhole surgery and attached to the vagus nerves at the entrance to the stomach.

A device similar to a pacemaker is then implanted just under the skin which sends electrical pulses to block the vagus nerves, which results in the patient feeling fuller and less hungry.

A Flinders team led by Professor Jim Toouli, Professor of Surgery at Flinders University, was second in the world to perform this procedure in 2006 (beaten only by a Mexican team who started earlier because of the time difference).

After successful trials in three centres around the world, the device was found to successfully aid weight loss and specialists also noted it appeared to control type II diabetes and high blood pressure quicker than other forms of bariatric surgery.

Type II diabetes is characterised by high blood glucose levels and is linked to obesity through the accumulation of fat in the liver which can cause insulin resistance.

A second international trial focussed on the implications of the procedure for 30 type II diabetes patients has recently concluded. Flinders was the largest of four trial centres, performing the procedure on 10 patients.

Professor Toouli said the trial has "shown great results" and the procedure could be a significant alternative in the treatment of type II diabetes and high blood pressure if diet and exercise fail to manage the condition.

"Because the procedure is minimally invasive, it could also be used to treat type II diabetes sufferers who are not as obese who would not normally be considering having a major operation."

However, the researchers are yet to determine why the device is more effective in controlling the conditions than traditional weight loss surgeries.

"We believe blocking the nerves could cause hormonal and neurotransmitter changes which may cause this result," Professor Toouli said. "It is now the subject of further laboratory research here at Flinders to better understand how that works."



Friday, 25 June 2010 00:00

Flinders investigations are leading the world in determining whether video game playing and electronic media use can have an impact on a teenager's sleep.

In a study at the Child and Adolescent Sleep Clinic at Flinders, 13 teenagers were assessed over the course of a few weeks as to how long it took them to fall asleep after 50 minutes of video game playing before bedtime, or 50 minutes of watching a relaxing DVD.

The study, led by Dr Michael Gradisar, found that those who played video games before bed took nearly double the length of time to fall asleep as the DVD watchers, although the difference was only an average of three or four minutes.

As was expected, a third of the teenagers also fell asleep while watching the DVD but none fell asleep while playing the video game.

"While the difference in falling asleep was only a matter of minutes it seems a small amount of activity does seem to produce a small effect," Dr Gradisar said. "Now we want to investigate whether there will be a bigger effect on sleep if the teenagers play for longer."

Dr Gradisar's research has found sleep problems occur in up to 50 per cent of South Australian children and adolescents at some stage of their
development, and 70 teenagers have been treated at the Child and Adolescent Sleep Clinic at Flinders since it opened in 2006.

The effects of sleep deprivation on young people can have "significant consequences" on their school attendance and learning and concentration levels.

"Poor sleep during teenage years has also been linked to elevated levels of depression," Dr Gradisar said.

"Parents should be mindful about even having electronic media in their kids' bedrooms - televisions, mp3 players, computers, mobile phones.

"It is well known that television viewing before bedtime is associated with young people going to bed later and getting less sleep, but even mobile phones can emit a lot of light at night which can also have an effect on a teenager's body clock." 


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