Update from Wishlist CEO - Wishlist Org
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Update from Wishlist CEO

15th March, 2021

This month we celebrate a major milestone in the history of our charity – Development Approval for the site and the closure of the EOI process to appoint a builder for our new Wishlist Centre.

In July we commence work on a four storey accommodation facility directly opposite the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH), on the corner of Eccles Blvd and Bright Place, Birtinya.

The building will provide a sanctuary to patients receiving ongoing treatment at SCUH, and their families and carers.

Artist impression – Wishlist Centre

Not only will guests have spacious, comfortable self-contained accommodation, but welcoming indoor and outdoor communal spaces throughout the building will offer an escape from the loneliness and isolation of hospital treatment or caring for a loved one.

The Centre will include two levels of spacious and light-filled accommodation, with single, family and interconnecting rooms.   A podium level with a dedicated Wishlist Centre office and communal spaces for guests to use, includes kitchen and laundry facilities and outdoor areas to relax and see the counsel of others going through a similar experience.

Ample breakout spaces for community activities and guest educational programs will include east, west and southern balconies for social hire, guest relaxation and outdoor activities. 

More than accommodation, the facility will be supported by not-for-profit, the public and private sectors offering a circle-of-care to patients and their families.   We will work with a range of stakeholders to provide the physical, spiritual, psychological and emotional support needed by families and patients experiencing the hospital journey.

Student opportunities, social enterprise projects and volunteer roles are all being considered within the Centre.

By the end of 2022 the Centre will be open and provide 20 spacious, comfortable rooms for patients needing to be close to SCUH, and their loved ones or carer. 

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from health-related commercial partners for our ground floor tenancies, specifically in the medical, allied health and specialist services categories.  We are in discussions with a range of primary health care providers in the hope of locking in a medical practice to support guests in the floors above, residents, patients of the hospital and hospital staff within the precinct.

A $12 million grant will fund the build of the Centre, thanks to Member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace MP and the Commonwealth Government.

Wishlist is working to raise an additional $1.5million to complete the project, and make it all it must be for families of the Coast, Gympie and beyond. We’d love your help.

We’d also welcome the opportunity to tell you more about this innovative facility so please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit www.wishlistcentre.org.au for more.

While this project is certainly exciting, our commitment to the needs of local health services will continue unabated.

Again, we’ve pledged more than $1 million to our ongoing service commitments, equipment, research and staff education next year. As of the end of January we’ve spent more than $500,000 on needs identified by our frontline health team members, and signed up for more than $1 million additional services, equipment and research and education projects. 

We’ve just ordered $70,000 in ophthalmology equipment for Caloundra Hospital, a $40,000 transonic machine for SCUH, leaflets to manage pain medication across our hospitals, fans for palliative patients, TVs for educational purposes in the Adem Crosby Unit at SCUH and maternity ward of Gympie Hospital, and an Accuvein for children of Gympie Hospital.

Photo: Renal patient Larry Ryder with nurse Julee Rajesh who applied for the $40,000 transonic machine.

This week we approved $23,000 in Academic scholarships, funded largely by our partners Sunshine Toyota, Wealthmed and BOQ Buderim and Maroochydore. Our lucky scholarship winners received up to $5,000 in support of their undergraduate or post-graduate studies, funded by commissions paid by our Corporate and Alliance partners when a Health team member buys a car from Sunshine Toyota, or takes up a home loan with BOQ Buderim or Maroochydore.   Our partners truly play such a vital part in the work our charity does every year and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support.

Photo: Staff Scholarship recipient Danni Stewart.

Late last year we approved $275,182 towards 12 local research projects, ranging from exploring the use of Yarning Circles to understand indigenous woman’s experience of maternity services at SCUH to determining the genetic markers of changing moles in high risk melanoma patients.  This collaborative research grant round was done in partnership, yet again, with the Health Services’ SERTF fund, and it is aimed at providing more effective treatment options, the early detection of serious illness and contributing to research occurring across the world.

One of our rock star researchers recently achieved global recognition for her team’s work, supported by Wishlist through the 2019 Wishlist Spring Carnival.   The Queensland Paediatric Sepsis Project was the winner of the 2020 Global Sepsis Alliance Award, honouring major contributions in the global fight against sepsis. 

I also heard this week from a young research nurse working on this project, who had recently diagnosed a very young patient in Emergency with Sepsis, attributing her astute response to the fact she’d been working on the research project.

I never cease to be amazed at what, as a community, we help to make happen in our local hospitals.

Last week we launched the long-awaited Paediatric Critical Care Unit Family Room, to provide a beautiful, comforting space for parents at the bedside of their critically ill child to grab some sleep and a shower, make a cup of tea and relax … within a few metres of their child’s bed.  This $185,000 project has been two years in the making and was a collaborative effort between Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids, the Woolworths Wall Token appeal and Armestos Transport.

Photo: The new Paediatric Critical Care Unit Family Room

The room, in honour of little Hugo Barnhurst, is further testament to how much this community cares about families going through tough times. Speaking of legacies, Wishlist House (The House the Coast Built) has been bursting at the seams with families and patients needing to be close to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. More often than not, every room is occupied with families experiencing tragedy and heart break. 

This beautiful home, thanks to Ausmar Homes, brings peace and comfort to guests every day and we thank our lucky stars every day for the community support that provided this priceless gift to the Sunshine Coast and Gympie communities, and beyond.  

Reed House has also been busy over the Christmas period, and our volunteers have been incredible in servicing both the accommodation and transport needs of their guests. 74% of hospital patients referred to our accommodation facilities are from the Gympie region and so many say they wouldn’t be able to access treatment if it weren’t for the affordable accommodation option and the daily free shuttle service provided by the volunteers, between Nambour Hospital and Reed House.

We’ve just drawn the winners of our Luxury Raffle that raised a whopping $23,100 towards local research projects. This holiday went to a Wishlist supporter while second, third and fourth prizes went to members of our health service! 

We sincerely thank Sunshine Coast Local Medical Association (SCLMA) for the donation of the three night holiday package to Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort and the Doctors Dozen wine prize, and to Maleny IGA for the two $500 vouchers. 

We congratulate our long-term alliance partner Wealthmed on their 10 year anniversary.

We sincerely thank our long-term corporate partner McDermott Aviation for hosting our Partner Networking evening last week, with special guests Caroline Hutchinson from Mix FM and Peter Boyce OAM.  The Machjet hangar at Sunshine Coast Airport is an incredible venue and the perfect setting for a riveting interview with Peter, Wishlist’s Chairman, on his involvement in the Daniel Morcombe inquest and other cases.

Our charity is so fortunate to have the support of volunteer Directors like Peter Boyce, who has also provided our legal work on a probono basis for more than 15 years.

Our charity is so grateful for the continued support and trust of the Coast and Gympie community and we look forward to a wonderful year of fundraising with you all – for a health service we all rely on – through 2021.

Thanks for all you do for Wishlist.

Warm regards