The Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Queensland is a volunteer managed charity organisation dedicated to improving breast and prostate cancer services to people living in rural and regional Queensland by providing grants for the education and placement of nurses, research grants, rural seminars and produce a Resource Directory of services and support available throughout Queensland. We also provide financial assistance grants for rural and regional patients for expenses relating to the treatment and travel costs.
In February 2012, the board successfully completed the process of registration of a new name, rules and logo to permit us to provide assistance for sufferers of prostate cancer as well as breast cancer. To reflect this our new name is 'Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of QLD Inc.' Our focus is primarily on cancer sufferers in rural and regional Queensland. The board is confident that the broadened role for the Association will commit us to continue our work in relation to breast cancer but also to make a valuable contribution to the cause for sufferers of prostate cancer.
Subcommittees and Volunteers Representing BPCAQ:
Fraser Coast - Penny Kilner and Pammie Ellem
All our board members and subcommittee members are volunteers. Our association employs just one part-time office administrator, Tracey Plumridge, who is available at the office on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9:30am - 3:00pm.
Coping with cancer and dealing with the challenging treatment paths can be an exhausting and emotional journey for the bravest of patients, this is even more challenging for those living outside of a major city where services and support are not always available. The mission of the Breast & Prostate Cancer Assoc. of Qld Inc is to deliver essential services to patients across rural and regional Queensland.
** Patient assistance grants - for patients living in rural and regional Queensland we provide financial help with the cost of emergency general expenses, travel and treatment to ease the burden of having to travel large distances and be away from their families. Last financial year we provided over $64,000 to 95 patients. All applications are assessed by the local breast/ prostate or cancer care nurse and is for emergency financial relief. The nurses provide support and information about a range of services available to the patient.
**Breast & Prostate Care Nurses - We have established a Breast & Prostate Cancer Care nurse in the Goondiwindi district with funds provided from the Weengallon Ladies Day Committee and supporters in the Goondiwindi district will be funding a 3 year program. We have previously established nurses in the following districts: Emerald, St George, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Charleville, Mitchell and Longreach.
** Nurse further education - we offer scholarships to nurses wishing to specialize in this area, plus provide funding for special conferences and seminars
**Research - we completed funding a PhD study to improve support mechanisms for breast care nurses in a rural setting, being conducted by Pammie Ellem. (2000 nurse of the year). This project has provided much needed professional support for many breast care nurses working in isolated towns across Queensland.
**Annual Community Seminars - each year we host a community health seminar where we organise specialists to give talks on a variety of topics, in September 2019 we will be visiting Mackay - $15 includes morning tea and lunch. The seminar runs from 9am to 4pm. We have speakers from Mackay and Brisbane, providing information on the latest treatment, services and support. Everyone is welcome!
** Information - we provide a Services and Resources Directory that lists all the support groups, breast care nurses, breast screen clinics and other services specific for breast cancer throughout Queensland. Please email our office for an up to date electronic copy.
**Volunteer Sub-committees and support groups – Blackbutt, Chinchilla, Miles, Toowoomba, St George, Emerald, Mitchell, Goondiwindi, Rockhampton, Central West – Westn Breast Support Group and Augathella, provide support and conduct fundraisers to encourage community awareness. Generally a committee might host an annual event or organize raffles, morning tea etc to help raise awareness in the community and donations recieved fund services for their district, strengthening communities.
In summary; BPCAQ is an important organization because through funding specialist nurses, we are able to provide support and education in many isolated areas. Through research we can improve outcomes for people suffering from breast and prostate cancer. Through information we can encourage early screening and detection. Through patient financial assistance grants we can directly help patients with the costs associated with travel and treatment at a ground roots level. Through sub-committees and support groups we can encourage community support for patients.
We appreciate your support and donations that will assist us in the delivery of these essential services.
Rural Nurses interested in undertaking further studies in Breast Cancer via Distance Education, are encouraged to send an expression of interest to our office, scholarships are available to do a single unit via La Trobe University.
We receive monthly Workplace Donations from the staff at the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Good2Give, Ritchie IGA Stores
RITCHIES IGA'S - COMMUNITY BENEFITS PROGRAM - The Ritchies Benefit Card or Key Tag and be used at any Ritchies IGA's - Queensland; Boonah, Daisy Hill and Logan City. Check the Ritchies website www.ritchies.com.au for other stores around Australia. RITCHIES donates a percentage of your purchases to BPCAQ. BPCAQ has received over $10,000 since 2008 when the program began! Please help Ritchies support BPCAQ and register with the Community Benefits Program at the store near you!