An innovative pilot program, set up in partnership by BreaCan and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, is providing support to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. 'The Bridge of Support' program was officially launched on Thursday, 17 June 2010 by the Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Minister for Health, at The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Each week, BreaCan volunteers are available to talk to women undergoing chemotherapy, surgery or attending the outpatient clinic. The trained volunteers have each experienced cancer and by drawing on these experiences, they can make a remarkable difference to the health and wellbeing of women with a breast cancer.
Mr Andrews recognised the importance of the Bridge of Support program in complementing the exceptional care already being provided by the hospital,
"This program recognises the need to go beyond just clinical care of women with breast cancer and provides a holistic approach to supporting women and their families throughout their cancer journey. The volunteers give the gift of hope to women with Breast Cancer… I'd like to congratulate the volunteers and team at BreaCan, who together with their colleagues from the hospital, are extending care to women at a difficult point in their cancer treatment."
The pilot project started in April and will run until September next year. Seven of BreaCan's experienced peer support volunteers are involved in the program, which currently operates every Thursday at the Royal Melbourne Hospital between 10am to 2pm. It is hoped that this program will ultimately lead to collaborative programs with other hospitals.