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Welcome to the December edition of the NEMICS newsletter

NEMICS will be closed from 23 December reopening on 3 January 2023. 
In this newsletter:
Farewell to NEMICS' Clinical Director 
Message from A/Prof Paul Mitchell 
NEMICS Annual Report 2021 - 2022
Training opportunity for Allied Health professionals 
ACCESS program - supportive care tools
NEW resource - My Cancer Guide
NEMICS' welcomes Sameerah Arif
Victorian Tumour Summits update
Melanoma 2022 Summit update
COSA Conference 2022

Farewell to our Clinical Director -
Associate Professor Paul Mitchell 

NEMICS' Clinical Director, A/Prof Paul Mitchell, is stepping down after a remarkable
17 years.  His final day with NEMICS will be 31st December 2022. 

Paul's passion and dedication have been integral to the success of many programs including, the Victorian Tumour Summits program, and the broader VICS.  

We thank Paul for his commitment to NEMICS and improving the services provided to people with cancer and their families over many years.  

Associate Professor Paul Mitchell’s farewell statement

It’s been a privilege to have provided clinical leadership to Victorian cancer reform activities and NEMICS over the last 17 years.

Now 72% of people diagnosed with cancer in Victoria can expect to be alive at five years, up from only 46% thirty years ago.

I became involved in cancer system reform while I was Director of Cancer Services at Austin Health and became the inaugural Director of NEMICS.
The early days of Integrated Cancer Services (ICS) were difficult, establishing consortia of sometimes competing health services, driving a population rather than institutional focus, trying to find effective means to influence without specific authority or financial levers, and finding a path where none existed before. We needed both information on how the system was performing and a means to make it perform better.

Others and I were instrumental in establishing the Victorian Tumour Summits, having now run 13 tumour-specific events to identify unwarranted variations and identify potential improvement activities.

We still have considerable challenges ahead – an aging population, increasingly complex treatments, greater patient expectations, and increasing costs. It is essential that we provide both the best treatment and make the best use of the available resources.

I wish the ICS and NEMICS the best in addressing these challenges. For me, it has been a wonderful and fulfilling opportunity to lead change and improve cancer outcomes!    

NEMICS Annual Report 2021 - 2022

There have been many achievements in cancer services improvement across the NEMICS region.

Our member health services - Austin Health, Eastern Health, Mercy Hospital for Women, and Northern Health have demonstrated their ability to adapt and innovate cancer services despite the challenges of a pandemic.

Our annual forum highlighted innovations in multidisciplinary meetings, telehealth, models of care, expansion of SURCs, better care at home, and much more.

For more information about NEMICS cancer services improvements, cancer activity, and what we do, please see our 2021-22 Annual Report.  


Training opportunity for allied health professionals

Cancer rehabilitation is considered part of best practice cancer care. NEMICS funding has enabled the development of an evidence-based cancer rehabilitation (CaRe) training program.  
The training program is for allied health professionals in the NEMICS region.  The aim is to increase knowledge and confidence to deliver cancer rehabilitation.

Program content will include:

  • Cancer basics (e.g. physiology, terminology, treatments)
  • Understanding the role of the multidisciplinary team
  • Managing rehabilitation needs across the continuum
  • Identifying patient needs and goal setting (including multi-disciplinary screening)
  • Communicating with patients

The CaRe training program will offer 8-12 hours of face-to-face content, supplemented by online resources. 

Training will be held on Tuesday 7 and Tuesday 14 February 2023.

If you are are interested in more information or registering, please contact:
Germain Tan, Project Manager:     

Cancer Council Victoria (CCV) - increasing patient ACCESS 
to supportive care

Recently, CCV and NEMICS partnered to provide online education about the ACCESS project and the free resources available for health professionals.  The project aims to assist health services to respond to increased supportive care needs, and support staff to initiate and complete referrals to CCV. 

More than 60 staff from NEMICS health services attended the sessions.  

A recording is available for staff who were unable to attend: 

Health professionals can refer patients affected by cancer to 13 11 20 Cancer Support by filling out an online referral form at: 

Additional resources are available at:     

NEW Cancer Council Victoria Resource

Cancer Council Victoria has launched a new online cancer services guide – ‘ My Cancer Guide’.

Designed for both health professionals and people affected by cancer, this online guide links to over 450 cancer support services across Victoria and enables people to search for appropriate services based on type of support needed, location and cancer type.

My Cancer Guide also provides information to help people make informed choices about the services that they engage with and education to help navigate the healthcare system.

Visit My Cancer Guide and find support services that are right for you.       

Welcome to Sameerah Arif  

We are very happy to welcome Sameerah to the NEMICS team as the Project Manager, Northern Health.

Sameerah brings to the role a wonderful passion for improving cancer care and experience working with the Leukaemia Foundation providing supportive care coordination and delivering a national COVID-19 response. She has also delivered projects for Rural Workforce Agency Victoria.
Her background is as a Radiation Therapist.    

Contact Sameerah at:       

Victorian Tumour Summits update 

The Tumour Summits program is an initiative of the Victorian Integrated Cancer Services (VICS) and supported by the Victorian Government. This year the program delivered a pancreatic and melanoma summit. At the end of each phase, the program undergoes review, evaluation, and redesign to ensure it is meeting its purpose and the needs of cancer clinicians throughout Victoria.  

On behalf of NEMICS, who host this VICS program, I would like to thank and acknowledge Janine Scott, Sam Whitcher, Diana Fayle, Rebecca Miller and Lori Cameron for all their great work and contribution to this program. The Phase 4 program will end in late December when the team finish.

The Tumour Summits Phase 5 redesign will take place in early 2023.     

Melanoma 2022 Summit

The Melanoma 2022 Summit, co-chaired by A/Profs Phil Parente and Victoria Mar, was held 14 October with 83 active participants in attendance.

The Summit summary report is a detailed snapshot of the event, including summaries on all presentations, data highlights, and the post-Summit investigation and action ideas from small-group work on the day.  In addition, the introduction, policy context, POLAR primary health data and Summit recap videos are now available on the Tumour Summit website.   

COSA Conference 2022 

Both Linda Nolte and Helena Rodi were successful in having abstracts accepted for their work in advance care planning at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Conference 2022.

Posters titled Advance care planning in cancer services: the evidence, national collaboration and sustainable resource development and Advance care planning practices in Victorian cancer services were presented and outcomes shared with the cancer community.  

Helena Rodi
Service improvement and consumer manager
Linda Nolte
NEMICS Program Manager
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