NEMICS Annual Workshop

March 2015

View the Annual workshop presentation

On 13th March NEMICS held its annual planning workshop bringing together key stakeholders from public and private health services, consumers and community and primary care health sectors.  

The workshop began with a recap of current NEMICS and state initiatives and an overview of new challenges.  The participants identified opportunities for achieving better quality and integration of cancer care across the north east region on Melbourne.

The following opportunities were identified and prioritised:


  • Negotiating inter-hospital referral pathways for specialised services within the region
  • Sharing data within the network to ensure appropriate care is delivered at an institution with adequate volumes of service
  • Improved information sharing about clinical trials


  • Integration with primary care to enable:
    • Appropriate and timely referrals into tertiary cancer services
    • Shared care arrangements post cancer treatment
    • Addressing patients’ needs in survivorship
  • Better use of data to:
    • Inform clinicians about current levels of care and outcomes
    • Better understand who lives in the NEMICS region and is treated elsewhere


  • Integrating the private sector into a population model of cancer care via cancer MDMs
  • Care coordination along the patient journey
  • Increase availability of supportive care services in the acute care setting


NEMICS 2014 Annual Forum Report

Cancer Survivorship Care: Bridging the gap

The NEMICS forum, held on 26th August 2014, featured the latest evidence in survivorship care and models of care in practice.  Headlining the forum was Associate Professor Janette Vardy from the University of Sydney.  Janette presented the Sydney Survivorship Clinic and Sydney Research Group’s work in cognition, physical activity and symptom control.  Evidence-based interventions to address effects of cancer and cancer treatments were highlighted, including weight management, physical activity, psychological and wellness interventions.

Professor Trish Livingston from Deakin University presented the ENGAGE study which tested the efficacy of clinician referral to a 12 week exercise physiology programme for prostate cancer survivors.  The programme significantly impacted the amount of vigorous-intensity exercise that men completed (with a significant increase in the number of men meeting exercise guidelines).  It also demonstrated positive effects for cognition and depression.  Trish highlighted the potential impact of clinicians recommending exercise after cancer.

Priscilla Gates introduced the new Austin Health haematology nurse-led post-treatment clinic.  Informed by research, the clinic recognises the importance of identifying psychosocial needs and targeting survivors at end of treatment.  The clinic combines validated holistic assessment with preventative approaches, health promotion and care planning.  Priscilla provided important ‘how to’ information about setting up a clinic, selecting measures, evaluating outcomes and utilising wellness programmes to support clinic interventions.

Paula Howell outlined cancer survivorship initiatives across the region, lessons from the Victorian Cancer Survivorship Pilot Projects and next steps in survivorship care.

The night ended with NEMICS consumer representative, Anne Kay, launching the innovative patient-held resource: ‘My Cancer Care Record’  and the release of the NEMICS 2013/14 Annual Report.

Kathy Simons & A/Prof Janette Vardy  Prof Trish Livingston & Max Shub


Cognition and Cancer Breakfast Session:

27th August 2014

NEMICS hosted a ‘cognition and cancer’ presentation and panel discussion with Associate Professor Janette Vardy at Eastern Health.  Forty nursing and allied health professionals from across the region attended.

Janette presented current research into the causes and mechanisms of cognitive impairment in people diagnosed and treated for cancer.  She highlighted research trends in pharmacological, behavioural (CBT), exercise and complementary and alternative medicine interventions to address cognitive impairment in cancer patients.

Janette challenged us to think about how we prepare patients for potential cognitive impacts of cancer and its treatments, screen for functional impacts of cognitive changes and link patients with cognitive interventions and supports.  

Professor Trish Livingston chaired a panel discussion to consider current practice in the network.  The panel highlighted the contribution of community rehabilitation and linkage with the Cancer Council Victoria Nurse Helpline Service for cancer patients impacted by cognitive changes.

With a number of randomised control trials currently testing cognitive behavioural interventions with cancer survivors, this is an expanding area in cancer rehabilitation.

Special thanks to our panel:

Dr Bianca Devitt, Oncologist, Eastern Health and St Vincent’s Hospital
Catherine Morell, Nurse Unit Manager Day Oncology, Mercy Hospital for Women
Katherine Lane, Nurse Helpline Manager, Cancer Council Victoria
Michelle Quick, Occupational Therapist, Community Rehabilitation Eastern Health

print text size increase