Grace Gawler Institute – Annual General Meeting, Ross, Tasmania – 21 Nov 2019
Topics Tabled in the annual report:
- Directors report
- GGI plans for 2020
- GGI needs
- PR & Fundraising issues to brainstorm
- GGI Service Delivery
*The 2019 AGM location was chosen because our third director, Jeff Hutner, is a resident of Tasmania. GGI is investigating extending its services in to Tasmania. To this end; we explored possible venues for workshops and lectures as well as retreats. We also visited existing community facilities. We met with and sought the opinion in these matters with a retired University of Tasmania researcher and oncologist.
*Directors Grace and Pip report exceptional patient outcomes – this included psychological and emotional support. We are meeting GGI aims with patients experiencing outcomes beyond clinical expectations. This is impressive given most patients were advanced and stage GGI’s advocacy services continues to find life-extending minimally treatment options for patients who have failed their treatments in AU & NZ.
*2019 saw significant increase in research which directly benefited patients. This is in line with the institute’s name change to the Grace Gawler Institute for Cancer Survivorship and Research in Oct 2018. Therapeutic director, Grace Gawler, on average spends 16 hours per week unpaid research time. Pip Cornall, spends several hours unpaid research time each week.
*Global Benchmark – Working with some of the best minds in cancer continues to give GGI a global benchmark for cancer medicine excellence. GGI continues to grow and develop our medical alliances for the benefit of patients. For example; providing patient access for expert medical second opinions.
*One of GGI’s strengths is the ability to navigate patients who have followed alternative medicine advice, back into the medical system. This clientele, like the others above, usually falls through a gap in our medical systems.
*Patient demand for nutritional advice continues to increase. GGI has been successful at steering patients towards credible science-based nutritional choices.
Overall outcomes of GGI’s services 2019.
We achieved the following…
Helping patients and their families safely navigate the complex Cancer maze.
We provided patient advocacy, emotional and psychological support.
We have identified a special needs group of cancer patients who have had severe adverse reactions to their treatments and can no longer tolerate certain treatments; for example, chemotherapy. These patients fall through a gap will which we address later in our report.
We educated patients how to communicate better with their doctors and health providers.
Our goals for Cancer Patient Advocacy and Support, Cancer Awareness and Education, were realised.
We continued to provide, video conferencing with patients across Australia and New Zealand.
Financials: For more information visit ACNC here.
Fee increase – due to the complexity and sophistication of our personalised cancer services, 2019 saw a fee increase for our cancer navigation plans. A new comprehensive platinum navigation plan was introduced for clients with more urgent needs.
Product Sales: Continue to support GGI services
Grants: We have continued to apply for grants, albeit unsuccessfully. In 2020 we are negotiating to engage the services of a voluntary grant finder.
GGI continues to meet its aims by providing high-quality service delivery with low administration and overheads.
- From the inception of the GGI until current time, the 2 salaried directors, despite working a combined 100 hrs+/week, are committed to drawing minimum wages. Altruism has always been a key objective of the GGI.
- GGI services a large volume of enquiries from patients who may not join our navigation plans. We cater to these clients providing free advice and resources by email, making sure their needs are met. This is a substantial time commitment.
- Free Podcasts – Navigating the Cancer Maze Australia – click here to visit
- Prostate Mates – a service for men with prostate cancer – click here to visit
- Free books and e-books
GGI plans for 2020:
As a response to patient feedback we are extending our advocacy services in 2020. This will involve a new program designed to increase patient’s education, awareness and tools to build resilience and confidence. This will be delivered via workshops and/or webinars. A new training division of GGI was registered as the Australian Centre of Supportive Care Medicine. We will be increasing informational programs for a range of cancer types; in particular breast cancer. In line with our aims, the new programs will empower cancer patients to become more involved with their healthcare professionals.
The U-CAN-TRI project – our mobile marine billboard – purpose-built for promoting GGI services on the East Coast of Australia will be further developed in 2020. Click here for more information.
Adverse Side Effects Group: Over the decades we have identified a subgroup of patients that is consistently increasing in numbers. These are patients who are suffering severe adverse side-effects such that they are often unable to continue with treatment. The sub group contains many seniors who experience poor quality of life as a result of their side-effects. We also identified a younger clientele who demonstrate severe side-effects such as hand-foot syndrome and severe peripheral neuropathy. This subgroup falls through a gap in standard care. GGI attempts to source minimally invasive medical treatments that they can tolerate; thus extending their life quality.
Breast Cancer: Consistent with GGI’s centre for supportive care medicine initiative, in 2019 and 2020, we will be building upon the extensive breast cancer support experience of our founder, Grace Gawler. Grace received Rotary International’s Jean Harris award for services to women’s health for her breast cancer work. The award was based on her support groups, workshops and retreats and bestselling book Women of Silence – the emotional healing of breast cancer.
PR and fundraising issues to brainstorm:
GGI regularly conducts think tank sessions with all directors and associates. We also listen to feedback from our patients regarding ideas for fundraising, grant applications and other initiatives. These think tank meetings are minuted and reviewed regularly.
This is a true and accurate representation of notes taken at GGI’s AGM. Nov 2019
P J Cornall – public officer and director
Grace Gawler (Cornall) – therapeutic director
Jeff Hutner – director and adviser