Local Central Coast Cancer charity Crestani Scholarships with the help of its supporters has continued to expand with the awarding of 13 new scholarships during the 2022 year.
YVONNE CRESTANI: I can’t thank the donors enough because education is the key to successful treatment for patients
Since its inception by Yvonne Crestani in 2007 the Crestani Foundation has provided a total of 51 scholarships to health professionals and students for research and studies into better outcomes for cancer patients.
In November the foundation announced a new partnership with the mid-North Coast Cancer Institute in Port Macquarie awarding two scholarships to radiation therapists.
And in December at its annual Awards night through its partnership with the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy, the foundation awarded a third scholarship to a radiation therapist, five scholarships to radiation therapy students at the University of Newcastle and for the first time awarded scholarships to medical students with a focus on Cancer Care at the University of Newcastle.
PROF. JANE BLEASEL: So it’s my great honour to be here today to acknowledge the recipients of the Crestani Scholarships and also to sincerely thank Yvonne Crestani for her generosity in making these available to the University of Newcastle students.
LUCY: My name is Lucy Alston. I’m a 4th year medical student and a recipient of the Crestani Scholarship in medicine for 2022.
I would really like to thank the Crestani Foundation, the donors and the University for this opportunity and helping invest in medical education and medical students.
DR MELISSA PARK: This year I’m in my final year of my studies in medicine at the University of Newcastle.
Receiving a scholarship has enabled me to attend educational conferences, to enhance my understanding of research and further my studies in the field of surgery as well.
In total, 8 new scholarships were awarded on the night.
The Foundation also announced the inaugural Crestani Foundation scholarship in oncology nursing to be awarded in 2023.
PROF. AMANDA JOHNSON: Tonight we are launching the inaugural Crestani Scholarship for an undergraduate nursing student in Cancer Care.
The School of Nursing and Midwifery is focused on producing graduates who deliver excellence in caring which is strongly aligned to the Crestani Foundation’s values.
Yvonne herself is a retired nurse in inverted commas and has personal family experience of cancer and as such recognizes the important role registered nurses play
in the care of people with cancer, their family and friends.
Also speaking at the awards night were Professor Nicholas Goodwin and Dr Michael Burke from the Central Coast Research Institute who are in talks with Crestani Scholarships to support future research efforts on the Central Coast.
PROF. NICK GOODWIN: Our focus is on new models of integrated care and as we understand it today cancer has become as much chronic disease as anything else and understanding how we can better support people to live with cancer whether it be through prevention or screening or
treatment or survivorship is becoming more and more important.
DR MICHAEL BOURKE: I think you can have the place, you can have the instruments, you can have the people but like anything you need funding.
So it’s quite important for us to do this and one of the things we’ve been chatting about with Yvonne is using funding from the Crestani Foundation.
Dr Burke emphasized that funding of projects such as summer scholarships for research in ethics applications and in protocol writing would be key future areas of focus between his biomedical team and the Crestani Foundation.
DR MICHAEL BOURKE: It really will help fill a gap in the way that we conduct research translational, important translational research, on the Central Coast.