Counterpart aims to make the service accessible and relevant to women from all walks of life. As such, from time to time, Counterpart initiates special projects and programs. These projects are often in collaboration with other cancer services and hospitals, and reach out to groups that are marginalised or whose needs are difficult to meet as part of the mainstream health and supportive care system.

 

Current projects

Signpost project — finding your way with metastatic breast cancer

Counterpart is a partnering with Cancer Council Victoria, McGrath Foundation, Breast Cancer Network Australia and Think Pink on a project convened by University of Melbourne. This project seeks to identify the information needs of people with metastatic breast cancer and provide tangible and accessible ways of finding the information people are looking for. Read about the Signpost project on the University of Melbourne website.

 

Past projects

Western Central Melbourne Integrated Cancer Services endometrial cancer survivorship project

In collaboration with The Royal Women's Hospital, Inner North West Melbourne Medicare Local and Western and Central Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service, Counterpart was involved in an Endometrial Cancer Survivorship Program. Counterpart provided a consumer perspective to this project to help provide a proof of concept in relation to early stage endometrial cancer recovery.

The project developed, implemented and evaluated a model of survivorship care which actively involves women and their GPs. More information about this project can be found here.

Connecting and Supporting Rural and Regional Women with Cancer — 2015 to 2016

Counterpart partnered with Barwon South Western Region Integrated Cancer Service and Grampians Integrated Cancer Service on a pilot project to improve understanding of the support and information needs of women affected by cancer in rural and regional Victoria. The project was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, Cancer Strategy Unit. Download the Connecting and Supporting Rural and Regional Women with Cancer report for an outline of the aims, methodology and findings of the project, and recommendations.

Victorian Cancer Survivorship Project – December 2011 to November 2013

Counterpart was a partner in a two year project funded by the Victorian Department of Health as part of the Victorian Cancer Survivorship Program. The project was undertaken in collaboration with the Breast Service of the Royal Melbourne and Royal Women's Hospitals, Western Health and the Inner North West Melbourne Medicare Local.

The goal of the project was to develop, implement and evaluate a model of survivorship care as part of the government funded Victorian Cancer Survivorship Program. The twin objectives were to improve the quality of care for women completing treatment for early breast cancer at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Women's Breast Service and Western Health Breast Service, while reducing the intensity of hospital-based care to create greater capacity for new patients.

This 'codesign' project successfully incorporated women's voices and has been extended to other treatment centres and tumour streams. It has provided key learnings to the sector and several conference presentations have helped to circulate the findings more broadly.

The final report for this project can be found here.

Information and support for women from culturally and linguistically diverse groups

In 2012, Cancer Australia called for submissions to their "Supporting People with Cancer Grant Initiative Program". BreaCan, in collaboration with Western Health, successfully secured funds from this initiative to increase information and support for women from culturally and linguistically diverse groups.

Focusing on the information and support needs for Vietnamese women with a breast or gynaecological cancer, the project aimed to create a comprehensive best practice community model of information and support that could be implemented with other minority groups.

Key outcomes of the project included:

  • Developing and integrating sustainable approaches for engaging diverse groups, commencing with Vietnamese women in the Western Health community.
  • Building and strengthening linkages for women affected by breast and gynaecological cancers within the Victorian Vietnamese community to develop culturally appropriate quality information and support resources, including mechanisms for improved access to community support.
  • Developing a best practice culturally appropriate community service model that engages consumers, the acute sector and the local diverse community to respond to local needs.
  • Drawing on the best practice community-based model to translate to other cultural groups.

Resources developed from this project can be found here.