Another Monitor for Australian First Project at Coffs Harbour

The Rotary-inspired campaign to support local cancer patients with a technological first for Australia at Coffs Harbour’s Mid North Coast Cancer Institute has received another boost thanks to Coffs Coast woman Linda Kirkwood.

Ms Kirkwood has donated the seventh vital signs monitor to the project, which was launched by the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour Daybreak and the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute in 2017.

The Coffs Harbour campus is the first cancer centre in Australia to use technology to interface and integrate its vital signs monitors with an oncology-specific electronic medical records system.

The wireless technology relies on the new monitors to record patient observations, such as blood pressure, pulse rate and respiration, to a central data base.

Ms Kirkwood said she wanted to help Rotary reach its goal of replacing all 10 of the campus’ vital signs machines with the new technologically advanced monitors.

She donated the $8800 monitor in memory of her late father, Bill Kirkwood, who was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in 2017.

“When Dad passed away, I wanted his legacy to continue on by giving back to our local community,” Ms Kirkwood said.

“The connection with my father having had cancer made this project even more relevant… to be able to help others in the same situation.

“Rotarian Marilyn Brien made me aware of the project at the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute. It was timely and I thought, in some way, I could contribute.

“I could have supported deserving organisations elsewhere, but this is a local project that is benefitting local patients. I think Dad would be very happy.”

Radiation Oncology Clinical Nurse Consultant Belinda Kendall gratefully accepted Ms Kirkwood’s donation, saying it brought the cancer unit a step closer to completing a hugely significant project.

“This approach to patient care is a first for cancer centres in Australia. Everyone is looking at us, wanting to know how we did it,” Ms Kendall said.

“Well, we did it in partnership with our community. The generosity of those who have supported this project has meant we have been able to do something very special in cancer treatment right here on the Coffs Coast.

“Our latest monitor brings us closer to completing this unique project, and I think Bill Kirkwood would be pleased.”