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New leadership roles support better cancer care

News Item

posted by WM Admin on 2015-05-05 12:44:25.388

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National

Jonathan Coleman media release, 5 May 2015

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says two new sector-based cancer leadership roles will ensure patients receive even better support and care.

Clare Greensmith has been appointed National Lead for the cancer psychological and social support workforce initiative, and Heidi Watson takes up the role of Clinical Leader, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Network Aotearoa.

“Budget 2014 provided an additional $4.5 million a year for improved psychological and social support for cancer patients,” says Dr Coleman.

“The new national lead will assist DHBs to employ a psychologist in each of the six regional cancer centres, and up to 20 new cancer psychological and social support workers across the country.

“These new roles will help to ensure that the psychological and social needs of cancer patients and their families are properly assessed, and they have access to appropriate support and counselling.”

In 2013 an additional $650,000 was invested to support improved adolescent and young adult cancer services, including the establishment of the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Network Aotearoa.

“Adolescence can be a challenging time of life for young people and their families, without the added stress of dealing with cancer,” says Dr Coleman.

“A new clinical leader role has been created to support the development of the AYA Cancer Network Aotearoa, and to help shape future services for young people affected by cancer. We want to ensure that young people have access to high quality services no matter where they live.”

Notes:

Clare Greensmith is a registered psychotherapist and a registered occupational therapist. She has extensive experience in service development and management, including the development and management of support services at Otago Community Hospice. She also has clinical experience of working with people with cancer.

Heidi Watson takes up the role of Clinical Leader for Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Network Aotearoa from her current position as a clinical nurse specialist in adolescent and young adult cancer at Auckland DHB.