A GOLD feather in our cap

Through the dedication of Associate Professor Aaron Sverdlov, Clinical Lead and Research Co-Director, Hunter New England Local Health District; and Associate Professor Doan Ngo, Co-Director and Research Lead; the Newcastle Cardio-Oncology Program (a collaboration between Calvary Mater Newcastle, HMRI, HNELHD and the University of Newcastle) has been designated a Center of Excellence by the International Cardio-Oncology Society – receiving the highest designation, GOLD status. The only centre in Australia to have been awarded this certification.

Dr James Lynam, Director of Medical Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, said, “A significant number of our treated cancer patients are at risk, or have potentially significant cardiac complications from their malignancy or treatment. Aaron and his team are helping to monitor and manage already affected patients, while simultaneously carrying out extensive research into trying to identify those patients most at risk.

“Aaron has been inordinately helpful to the department when faced with patients that require certain treatments that are known to cause cardiac complications. This award really is a testament to the team’s extensive knowledge and dedication.”

The Cardio-Oncology Service run at the Mater encompasses a full range of activities from clinical service delivery, education, advocacy and networking, as well as clinical research. It is a multidisciplinary team effort between clinicians and researchers across all local institutions.

Associate Professor Sverdlov said,

“Our mission is to improve acute and long-term cardiovascular outcomes in patients with cancer via an integrative multidisciplinary collaboration between cardiology, oncology, haematology, radiation oncology, pharmacy and pharmacology, leading to better understanding, detection, monitoring and treatment of cardiovascular diseases arising from or co-existing with cancer and cancer therapies.

“I would like to thank everyone at Calvary Mater Newcastle for their support and goodwill, especially from the Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Haematology and Cardiology departments. This is an important achievement for our institution and we are the only centre in Australia to receive top tier accreditation (and one of only 15 or 16 around the world).”

Associate Professor Ngo said, “To achieve this designation, we had to demonstrate excellence across multiple domains, including clinical service, publications, education, research, quality improvement, capacity building and leadership in the field at national and international level.

“I look forward to working together to further expand and enhance the service which aims to improve health outcomes for our cancer patients and survivors.”