The first patients are about to begin walking through the doors of Melbourne’s outstanding $189 million Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.
The world-class facility, which is attached to the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg, will open the doors to three of its seven levels on July 2.
The centre will offer radiation, day oncology and one floor of research along with a drop-in service and group programs such as Look Good Feel Better, individual consultations, mediation, relaxation, music and arts therapy.
Inpatient wards and a palliative care unit are due to open in mid-2013, and once fully complete the centre will include 64 oncology and haematology in-patient beds and 28 palliative care beds.
The centre will also boast dedicated
research into vaccines and treatments for all types of cancer and will become home to the largest clinical research site of the internationally-renowned Ludwig Institute world-wide.
In officially opening the centre, Ms Newton-John said she decided to lend her name to the initiative knowing it would offer wellness programs and an integrated wellness centre, something that was missing when she fought her own battle against breast cancer 20 years ago.
“From my own experience I know what a gap there was in the delivery of truly holistic cancer care and how much there was a need for a cancer centre and philosophy that gives equal support to patients’ well-being as it does to surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and research,” she said.
“It’s almost 20 years to the day that I had breast cancer…so what an amazing thing to come from the darkest, most difficult time in my life to one of the most amazing moments in my whole life.”