Since its inception in 2007 Radiation Oncology Queensland (ROQ) has been providing exceptional patient care to Queensland. ROQ currently has three established centres in Toowoomba, Cairns and Gold Coast. With a commitment to best practice cancer care, ROQ’s latest venture is to provide much needed cancer treatment to Queensland’s Western Corridor with a new centre set to open in Springfield late this year.
Since the beginning ROQ’s number one priority has been to provide easy access to the best cancer care for everyone. First opening in Toowoomba, ROQ provided a much needed radiation therapy services not only to the residents of Toowoomba but for the entire Darling Downs region, especially rural towns such as Warwick, Dalby and Oakey who before ROQ Toowoomba would have to face the gruelling travel into Brisbane for treatment.
Continuing their commitment to service areas in desperate need of cancer care, ROQ will open a centre in the rapidly expanding area of Greater Springfield where the closest radiation therapy centre is in Brisbane’s CBD. CEO Mark Middleton says ROQ Springfield will be a big win for local cancer patients.
“Our Springfield centre will reduce the need for patients to travel to places as far as central Brisbane. ROQ will be the first centre offering radiation therapy to patient’s in the western corridor and beyond. Currently people have to travel 40 minutes from Springfield and Ipswich into the city. A 10 minute appointment quickly becomes a half day exercise … this centre will ensure people can access cancer services closer to home”.
Technology and Innovation
As with all ROQ centres, the Springfield centre located within the new Springfield Mater Private Hospital will be a modern stateof- the-art centre equipped with the latest in radiation therapy technology. Springfield will commence with one Varian linear accelerator, with plans to include a second machine within a year. The centre will be offering several methods of radiation therapy treatment: Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and Volumetric Arc Therapy (VMAT). Additionally, ROQ has introduced Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) for select patients utilising Respiratory Gating which will also be offered at Springfield.
Radiation Oncology Development Manager Toni Sisson understands the importance of staying abreast of the latest technology. “ROQ is all about innovation. This is achieved by creating a positive environment where ideas are celebrated. We are constantly in search of ways to improve what we do. For us, embracing new technology and being innovative has become the norm and what is expected end demanded from our team”.
ROQ has a dedicated team of radiation oncologists who will be consulting at Springfield: Dr Michael Poulsen, Dr Jonathan Ramsay, Dr Kumar Gogna, Dr Peter Gorayski and Dr Manoja Palliyaguru. All our radiation oncologists are experienced professionals committed to every cancer patient that walks through the doors and to make them feel at ease during a very difficult time.
Dr Peter Gorayski who is currently based at ROQ Toowoomba started his career with ROQ as a radiation oncologist trainee and is now a valued member of the team and a perfect example of the proud ROQ culture and commitment to cancer care.
“There is something very special about having the privilege to care for people with cancer. Being a radiation oncologist involves honesty, open communication, hope and a great deal of compassion. ROQ has provided me with a great start to my career and I am excited to take the next steps at Springfield”. All our radiation oncologists are also involved in clinical trials and cancer research. Furthermore, they have been published in a number of journals, are mentors to future radiation oncologists, continue to expand their knowledge through further study and are leaders in their field.
Delivering exceptional cancer care is only made possible with a team of talented professionals. As it is across the ROQ network, the Springfield team will be made up of radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, medical physicists, registered and clinical nurses and administration staff. These disciplines all collaborate and work together in order to ensure all ROQ patients receive the best care and complete their radiation therapy journey in the most positive way possible.
Gold Coast Nurse Manager Emily Ballarin is passionate about the clinical nurse’s role in a patient’s radiation therapy journey. “It is particularly rewarding to help cancer patients throughout their journey. The role of the radiation oncology nurse is to co-ordinate all aspects of the patient’s care during their treatment. Working in a multidisciplinary team is vital to ensure optimal outcomes for patients. We have developed very close and cooperative relationship with our doctors, radiation therapists and allied health professionals”.
Staff Development and Awards
ROQ prides itself on developing its’ people and invests heavily on their staff professional development. Many current staff are undergoing further studies while at work and all staff are encouraged to participate in the internal ROQ in-service program.
Mark Middleton says the key to providing a successful service is to have a happy and engaged staff.
“We are continually seeking people who are dedicated, passionate about what they do and motivated and excited to be a part of a great culture … a happy and engaged workforce will naturally result in outstanding cancer service to the community”.
ROQ’s happy and engaged staff are considered a family. This is reflected in their inclusion in Best Places to Work Australia 2014 list where they were ranked 25th and then successfully placed 23rd in Asia’s Best Small and Medium Workplaces 2015. A rank in this prestigious list is based on an extensive cultural audit and trust index voluntarily taken by ROQ staff.
Integration Clinical Lead Radiation Therapist Huong Nguyen who has been with ROQ since the beginning truly embraces this idea of family and a supportive culture.
“It is such a positive and engaging environment to work in. We [the staff] are always rewarded for our efforts and great work is always acknowledged … I love being a part of such a success story. Just because we are expanding doesn’t change our attitude or our approach to both exceptional cancer care and a fun and supportive workplace”.
The team at ROQ believe in making the impossible possible. From humble beginnings, ROQ has forged leaps and bounds ahead, expanding exponentially with an endless spirit and a motivation to not only provide outstanding patient care but to continue to deliver it with the same enthusiasm and passion as they did when they were only one centre.
“There is no end to ROQ’s mission to provide access to affordable and exceptional cancer care across the nation. We are on track to open another two centres in Greenslopes and Redlands and we will continue to forge the way and step across State borders and beyond”.
For more information go to www.roq.net.au
Article written by Alicia Moo, ROQ
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