My Westmead Casino Royale
30 November 2012
It was Viva My Westmead on a cold rainy night in Western Sydney two weeks ago when 200 guests and supporters attended the first My Westmead Casino Royale.
There was plenty to do once you entered the decked out Grand Royale Reception Lounge. Gaming for the adventurous - a poker tournament, roulette and blackjack. Activities for the fun at heart -- a caricaturist, psychic and photo booth. And the all important fundraising activities like the lucky envelope: 100 envelopes sold, one containing the $3,000 Loxley on Bellbird Hill prize (generously donated) and 99 with a $1 scratchie! It was such a great feel in the room to see so many generous people standing up front clutching their envelope!
The lucky winner of the prized envelope! And MC Rob Shehadie
Elvis and the fabulous showgirls
Elvis and Marilyn were front and centre to meet and greet our guests, while Sabrina Mitwali and the fabulous showgirls entertained our My Westmead crowd, and once again we were blown away!
It's only with the support of local businesses that we can host these events and bring thecommunity together to raise money for health care and research at Westmead. Chemist Warehouse at Parramatta, Dental Avenue, Wow Cow at Burwood and Dyldam developments all generously sponsored the event, demonstrating the value they place on world class local health care and international research at Westmead.
We are also grateful for the support we received from Mallouhi Property, Grand Royale Reception Lounge and Just a Photobooth.
What's so exciting with our My Westmead events is seeing our local community come together to support a cause that is there for them, or someone they love, when they need it most.
Keep your eye out for our next event, or join our newsletter mailing list by calling 02 8836 4000.
My Westmead Gifts Arrive!
03 October 2012
This week, the Foundation celebrated over $400K of equipment, research and services being disbursed to Westmead Hospital - providing more people with access to the best possible treatment and care.
In the humble education block of Westmead Hospital, our team gathered with about 100 doctors, nurses and executive staff to come together and celebrate this fundraising achievement, only made possible because of generous donations made from individuals, community groups, businesses, trusts and foundations.
|There was a short time of speeches from our Executive Director Eric d'Indy, Brad Astill General Manager of Westmead Hospital and Professor Stephen Leeder of Chair of the Western Sydney Local Health District Governing Board and Director of the Westmead Research & Education Network.|
|Professor Stephen Leeder|
First up was the Occupational Therapy unit, who received over $60,000 worth of equipment including: wheelchairs, stump supports, leg rests, tilt wheelchairs, cushions, Iris tilting wheelchair, Electrical muscle stimulator and an e-link rehabilitation tool.
The girls from Occupational Therapy and Chris Bauer from our team
It proved to be a gratifying experience for the Foundation team to fundraise for the Occupation Therapy department, always supporting our efforts and actively getting involved by speaking with potential donor groups and taking the time to tell us about their work. This makes our job so much easier when we go and ask the community for support. Thank you!
As well as encouraging direct financial support, part of our job at the Foundation is to identify important needs, within the Hospital, find a likeminded community business or individual and then seek in-kind support to address this.
In this case, the OT equipment included a sewing machine, donated by Bernina, to assist the unit when making personalised slings and supports for the patients. Many members of the OT team are also sewers and realised some time ago that it was more cost effective to make arm slings themselves rather than purchasing commercially. Not only are the slings cheaper this way, they are designed to a perfect fit for the patient, which improves their recovery.
Next was the Department of Surgery, who received a Microwave Ablation Machine, specifically to work on liver cancer treatment. This equipment allows, with a portable ultrasound, precise targeting to destroy cancerous tumours. It is anticipated this will result in less hospital time for the patient and a reduced recovery time-- further improving their care and health outcomes.
Our next item was a little hard to bring up, but very important for patients who need colorectal surgery. Funding was provided to the Colo-rectal surgery department for surgery supplies which facilitated minimally invasive trans-anal surgery. With one in twenty-seven Australians affected in their lifetime by colorectal surgery, purchasing this equipment will result in patients being home after only a day.
|A donation of $4.5k to the Vascular Biology Department and Dr Medbury was next for a decloaking chamber -- which is an automated tissue-staining preparation tool that helps standardise the technique to ensure more reproducible, reliable results in a time efficient manner.
|Dr Medbury and Sarah from our team|
Our team referred to this item as the 'rice cooker' as that's what it looks like, but the benefit this small item provides in improving vascular research is vast. With cardiovascular disease as a national health priority, we know that research like this will help so many in our community.
The Vascular Surgery department was next, receiving the VNUS system, assisting patients who suffer from ailments such as diabetes, ulcers or varicose veins --representing 1% of the population. This piece of equipment means the patient is in an out in one day, negating the need for overnight admission, and requires less dressing post-op.
With more than 90% of melanoma cases identified by dermatologists in Australia, the importance or accurate and efficient identification is very important. We helped Professor Pablo in the Dermatology department by purchasing a full-body digital photography and dermoscopy system that consists of a camera, computer and frame to allow a patient to be in the same position for every check-up.
|Above: Prof Pablo and Marlene from our team||This improves the diagnosing ability of the dermatologist and reduces the time needed of the patient.|
The next piece of equipment was described to our team as the most vital piece of anti-natal equipment in Women's Health -- in that it monitors what the baby is doing within the womb. In the high risk unit, one of these is needed for every baby to make sure they are growing properly. We looked at a print from the ECG which shows when the mum was given ice and the resulting change in the baby -- amazing. We also provided funding for more than 15 Foetal Doppler's -- portable little machines that let mum dad and the nurses listen to the heart beat of the child -- or children.
The importance of mums and dads being able to go home with their little ones is close to all of our hearts and this item for the Maternity department meant just that. For babies who are jaundiced the bilibed means that mum and dad can take them home, and the babies lie on the machine for light therapy which helps convert the blood cells and treat this illness. The mobility of the unit is amazing.
|Shivani from our team and Debbie from the Maternity Ward||Tracey from our team and Florence from the Birth Unit|
The Birth Unit was next on our agenda. Our fundraising team and perhaps the general public had never thought about what happens when a blood transfusion is needed and cold blood is taken from refrigeration and given directly to a patient. An infusion warmer ensures that as the blood is transferred, it's heated to reduce the shock and effects to the body. This is especially important after a women has given birth and is more likely for a mum with multiple babies. Having this piece of equipment means that mum and bub can stay together, with less chance of illness.
The new Caseload Midwifery service at Westmead espouses that a mum-to-be has one midwife with her from 20 weeks. As this program expands and more of these midwives are out and about in the community, more equipment is needed to support their great work. We raised funds to purchase portable sphygmo's, foetal dopplers, scales and a jaundice meter. Looking at the metre -- this is an amazing item that looks like a tv remote control, that simply by being held to a baby can indicate if they have a bilirubin level that is concerning. Without this machine -- nurses need to prick the heels of the child for a blood test -- which isn't fun for anyone!
Finally, we presented our research grants. The first, the Westmead Hospital Surgery Research Scholarship, a joint initiative of Westmead Medical Research Foundation & Westmead Charitable Trust. The scholarship was presented to Dr Deepali Kamalapurkar who has been focusing on the establishment of a fast track acute care cholecystectomy service at Westmead Hospital.
|Dr Deepali Kamalapurkar and Prof Stephen Leeder||Top Up grant recipients Mary and Sultana|
Next up were the recipients of our My Westmead top up grants, Mary Wong and Sultana Banu. The grants are made possible by donations to the Foundation by members of the community. A Top-Up grant bridges the gap between the NHMRC Biomedical and Public Health Stipend and a scholarship awarded by the Commonwealth Government, the University of Sydney, industry or other funding body and are greatly appreciated by Westmead students.
The morning tea was also an opportunity for us to thank some generous businesses and contacts including long term supporters Arab Bank and friends Veronica from Dental Avenue, Lou-Lou from Lou-Lou's Desserts and Wendy and Marlene from Grand Royale.
A big thanks to all our generous donors for making all this possible!
Wendy and Marlene, both from Grand Royale Function Centre, our Marlene, Veronica from Dental Avenue and Susie from our team.
A GIANT for a night
27 September 2012
|A generous opportunity was offered to the Foundation recently, from the GWS Giants. As a community partner this year with the Giants we have received many generous offers for our donors and staff of the Hospital (including free tickets, gift packs and merchandise). But, this was a particularly special treat. Two volunteers from the Foundation, Phil and Tim, experienced a Greater Western Sydney Giants corporate session, with the team, a true night to remember!|
"Upon arrival, we were given our Giants shirts, and guided to our personalised locker in the Giants locker room -- that was awesome, everyone loved that. We then spent time out in the middle of Skoda Stadium, kicking back and forth with several Giants players," said Phil.
After a short introduction from veteran AFL player Luke Power, the boys proceeded to participate in three training drills facilitated by several of the players: kicking, hand balling and goal kicking. Then, to top it off, they got to participate in a nine aside game of AFL, followed by a word from the COO and an amazing roast dinner. The fans were spoilt with footy love!
The experience was a great opportunity for someone who loves their footy to get a feel for the countries newest AFL club.
"They were really inspiring. Seeing and hearing the passion from everyone in the club really gave a feeling of hope for their future success!"
A big thanks to the Giants for this great experience.
07 September 2012
The Brain Dynamics research team, just across the road at Westmead Millennium Institute are seeking participants for a 'Family Members of People with Depression'.
They are seeking participants who are the first degree relative (parent, brother, sister or child) of a person with Major Depression (unipolar) to participate. Participants must not have experienced depression themselves, be well and aged between 12 and 65.
Their research is aimed at gaining a greater understanding of the factors that predispose and protect individuals against the symptoms of depression. They will be examining all aspects of the mind, including thoughts and feelings, and how these interact with biological characteristics such as brain structure and function.
Possibilities are endless in research, and this research will make a significant contribution to the quality of care and diagnosis available for individuals who experience depression
Your involvement would involve 6 hours of various assessments including:
- MRI scan
- EEG recording (both non-invasive brain measures)
- Computer based activities
- Blood test
Each component is voluntary. Twelve months later you will be contacted for a short follow-up phone call and asked to complete a questionnaire online.
Participants will be reimbursed for their contribution.
If you are interested in participating in the study, or would like more information please contact Casey Evans on 02 8836 4000 or email Casey on email@example.com
This research has been approved by the Western Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee.
New lab enables life saving medical treatments
11 July 2012
We have some exciting news to share --The Ian Potter Foundation, an Australian philanthropic organisation that supports and funds initiatives of excellence and innovation across Australia, together with the Thyne Reid Foundation partnered to help fund two new facilities in Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research's new building.
The new Australian research laboratory and biobank will allow scientists to move to the forefront of medicine, to find futuristic ways to repair defective genes and use cells to repair the body.
"Expanding these facilities will position Westmead's health campus to become the leading centre in Australia and an internationally competitive centre for cell production and clinical translational research in adoptive immunotherapy," said Mrs Janet Hirst, CEO of The Ian Potter Foundation.
As part of the expansion of Westmead Millennium Institute's research facilities on the Westmead campus, the new Human Applications Laboratory will be used to find new ways to treat leukaemia, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Scientists will examine how to increase pancreatic Islet cell production, for experimental treatment of Type 1 diabetes presently limited by capacity to just four or five transplant patients a year.
The new lab will also equip Westmead Millennium Institute to develop highly innovative and progressive gene and stem cell therapy addressing the causes of arrhythmia and repairing heart failure. The new lab will be supported by a state-of-the-art computerised Cell and DNA biobank for access by research projects across Australia.
"Scientists solved the genetic code for humans some years ago, but that took a huge amount of money and effort. Soon, we'll be able to find out an individual person's genetic code for under $1,000 in a few minutes," said Westmead Millennium Institute's director, Professor Tony Cunningham.
"These facilities will give us a way of doing something useful with the genetic information we are now able to gather more easily. Having found the genes that are defective, we need a way of repairing them, and that's one of the fields these facilities will help our researchers to do. We are also moving into the era of replacing defective cells and tissues with human cells grown in the test tube in their normal configuration.
"This breaks the mould of the types of medicine that we've used in the past. This is not just new drugs. This is the future of medicine.
"These facilities will be open to all relevant researchers on this campus and elsewhere, helping both children and adults.
We are very grateful to The Ian Potter Foundation for supporting the development of the Human Applications Laboratory and the Thyne Reid Foundation for supporting the development of a Cell and DNA Biobank.
Every bit of medical research that happens bring us closer to finding cures and better treatments and it couldn't happen without the support of organisations like The Ian Potter Foundation, the Thyne Reid Foundation and the generosity of our community.
My Westmead Winter Ball
20 June 2012
Westmead Medical Research Foundation recently hosted the second 'My Westmead Winter Ball' raising over $15,000 for medical research and care at Westmead while celebrating the best of Westmead: its staff and the impact they have on the community.
The Grand Royale at Granville was filled with 250 guests from the Westmead community - doctors, nurses, researchers and their friends and family - who had all bought tickets for a night to remember!
Fabulous food and entertainment made the night unforgettable and fun (as you can see from these photos!). If you attended - take a look at the photo booth photos >>
Use the password Wnter12
|The Frocks, a local band, had everyone dancing from their first song, filling the dance floor and entertaining the crowd all night long. Meanwhile, traditional Lebanese drummers bought some culture and colour to the evening -- getting people out of their seats for the traditional dabki dance.|
With fabulous prizes our fundraising efforts were sold out! The popular balloon raffle, the 'popthe lock' ice sculpture and the lucky dip saw winner after winner with over 40 prizes given away on the night. Some fundraising guaranteed people with a take home memory -- the photobooth and caricaturist were busy all night with smiling customers!
A big thank you to our sponsors who made the night happen: Arab Bank, a long term generous donor to the Foundation, Celebrating Events and Entertainment who brightened up the room with their fabulous goods and the GWS Giants who generously donated over $1,000 worth of prizes on the night. There is also one lady who we wanted to give special mention to, Muriel from Glamour Spot at Winston Hills who spent hours relaxing guests with hand massages. The support of the corporate and business community is invaluable, thank you.
Here at the Foundation we recognise that a fundraising event can be vibrant and fun. You may have missed out but want to know about our other events, or you might want to run your own fundraiser?
Give us a call on 02 8836 4000 to join our mailing list or get some advice and tips on your fundraising ideas.
Thank you James N Kirby Foundation
19 June 2012
The James N Kirby Foundation has generously provided $5000 for the Hawks Nest Care Respite Program.
This is a pro-bono service provided by First National Hawks Nest and their clients for seriously ill or terminal patients and their families and provides an opportunity for them to have some respite from the day-to-day struggle of dealing with a family member who is ill.
The program is so successful that we often have to turn families away. This grant will provide emergency funding for patients that cannot afford to wait for the next available booking.
The WMRF team would like to say a big thanks to the James N Kirby Foundation for their generous donation that will go to such a great cause.
My Westmead Ladies Night
22 May 2012
Last Friday, in Granville, the Foundation hosted the inaugural (and unforgettable) 'My Westmead Ladies Night' raising over $45,000 for women's health at Westmead!
If you were there, you may have taken a photo in the booth. Take a peek at the photo booth images here >> The password is WesLad12
Our very own Marlene Nasr (Community Relations Coordinator) led a volunteer team of 16 passionate women to make the event a reality. The circus themed event was sold out, with 500 tickets for the event at The Grand Royale, Granville snapped up within days.
Set in a fantastic venue, guests were treated to fabulous entertainment and all the trimmings, including surprise VIP guest Bruce Hopkins (pictured right), Head Lifeguard Bondi Rescue! It was truly an unforgettable night for the 500 ladies who attended.
This fundraising event was like no other the Foundation has hosted.
All of the attending My Westmead 'Ladies' enjoyed amazing activities like stilt walkers, magicians, a unicyclist, fireworks, drummers and carnival attractions ensuring that the first My Westmead Ladies Night will be remembered for a long time to come.
MC Rob Shehadie bought some comedy to the evening, while Sabrina Mitwali treated guests to incredible vocal performances and dance routines.
MC Rob Shehadie and the talented Sabrina Mitwali
Fireworks and drummers had the crowd on the edge of their seats
We were so fortunate with support from the business community and incredible generosity from guests. Our sights were set on raising as much money as we could for this great cause and the result has blown us away.
Fundraising doesn't need to be a stuffy or formal affair. You can let your hair down and laugh with your girlfriends and still make an incredible difference.
Ladies enjoying the night
An unbelievable response from the local business community was received for the event, with eight sponsors making the night a reality. A huge thanks to Artline, GAC Projects, Macquarie Community College, Revolution X, Hypoxi Parramatta, Celebrating Events & Entertainment, The Shabby Shed and MG's Hair and Body Parramatta. It is the support of both the business and general community that made this event special, bringing woman together for a night of fun and frivolity while making a direct difference for women in our local community.
|The 'My Westmead Ladies Night' 2012 raised funds for women's health and newborn baby care at Westmead Hospital. New equipment and support for this cause means women in our community get access to the best possible treatment and care, a goal we all share for those we love.
Donations for this cause are still being taken. Donate now or visit the My Westmead Ladies Night champion page to leave a message of support or a donation directly to the cause.
Alternatively you may be inspired to host your own Fundraiser to raise money for research and care at Westmead. Contact Chris Bauer on 88364000 for help in getting started.
Guests danced the night away until the early hours!