Cancer support service an innovative solution for patients
Monday, 30 April 2018
An idea for improved patient support and a scholarship were the two key steps that led a University of Adelaide Masters student to becoming the CEO of a new cancer care service in Adelaide.
Lauren Whiting's path to becoming an entrepreneur in health started in 2016 when she won the Denis Harwood Scholarship to study a Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Adelaide.
Today she is CEO of Lift Cancer Care, a new healthcare centre in Kurralta Park that delivers a range of support services needed by most cancer patients.
"My inspiration for this service began 18 months ago when a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer," Ms Whiting says.
"I watched her go through a series of specialist appointments, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but there was nowhere she could turn to for easy access to the other support services she needed."
Lift Cancer Care was launched in January 2018 and has received accreditation from the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards.
"Appropriate exercise services, physiotherapy, psychology and a place to get support from a community of other people on a similar path, can now all be accessed under one roof at Lift Cancer Care. Whereas previously cancer patients had to travel from one service to another, they can now benefit from this new 'one-stop-shop' service," Ms Whiting says.
Lift Cancer Care is already improving the service it offers to cancer sufferers by investing in a new piece of equipment called a SOZO, which screens for lymphedema.
“Lymphedema is a poorly understood side-effect of cancer treatment, which for some people can develop as late as 10 to 15 years after they were first diagnosed with cancer. It is common in breast cancer patients, with one in five women with breast cancer develop lymphedema following their treatment," says Ms Whiting.
The SOZO at Lift Cancer Care is the first one in South Australia and only one of a few dozen Australia wide.
Last year, Ms Whiting became a member at the University of Adelaide’s business incubator, ThincLab, giving Lift Cancer Care Services access to office space, mentoring and peer support through the early stages of her business start-up and the opening of the centre at Kurralta Park.
Renee Hakendorf, Manager of ThincLab, says: "Lauren’s story is inspirational. She has gone from studying entrepreneurship, identifying a business opportunity due to personal experience, right through to opening an exciting new business venture with support from ThincLab. The result is Lift, a place that provides services that people with cancer really need and deserve."
CEO, Lift Cancer Care Services
Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship graduate, University of Adelaide
Mobile: +61 (0)438 172 022
Ms Renee Hakendorf
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7633
Mobile: +61 (0)412 693 619
Mr Crispin Savage
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 (0)8 8313 7194