Mater puts the spotlight on preventative health

Mater Private Hospital Springfield is bucking the traditional hospital model of treating illness, partnering with the community to focus on preventative health.

A group of students from Springfield Central State High School (SCSHS) met with medical professionals at Mater Private Hospital Springfield who treat patients with cancer every day.

Mater Cancer Care Centre Springfield Nurse Unit Manager Billy Jovanovic guided students on a tour through the facility, explaining the treatment options for patients with skin cancer including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

 “Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults aged 15 to 29, so it’s a really relevant topic.”

Radiation Oncology Centres (ROC) Springfield Site Manager Joshua Runham shared an insight into the technology and science behind radiation treatment for cancer, including a demonstration of the linear accelerator.

“Machines like the linear accelerator use pin-point accurate radiation to eradicate cancer cells or reduce their growth. However, in some cases we may only be able to relieve the symptoms of cancer – the best treatment option for skin cancer will always be prevention.”

Springfield Central State High School health teacher Ben Williams approached Mater to arrange the innovative excursion, aiming to not only educate his students but to ultimately impact on their behaviours.

 “With the high prevalence of skin cancer in Australia, the student’s assignment is focussing on initiatives associated with skin cancer, including treatment options. Furthermore, we’re looking at the personal skills required to reduce risk and improve health outcomes.”

Director of Mater Private Hospital Springfield Justin Greenwell said the community spirit of Springfield has bought about many opportunities to engage with a number of groups including schools.

“We have a role, not only to provide medical services, but also to educate and promote proactive health initiatives in order to foster a healthy community at Greater Springfield. This visit was also a great opportunity to meet with students and talk about their aspirations for the future.”

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