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Lions Club of Blackburn support medical imaging research with funding for anthropormorphic phantom

Brandon and anthropomorphic phantomAn exciting new research project can now commence in Eastern Health's Medical Imaging department thanks to the arrival of an anthropomorphic phantom kindly funded by the hard working members of the Lions Club of Blackburn.

Anthropomorphic phantoms (pictured being held by Brandon, right) are objects that can be used to simulate the human anatomy.

"They are designed to have similar tissue characteristics to normal biological organisms", explains Paul Kelly, Medical Imaging Tutor, Eastern Health. "We use phantoms to develop different imaging techniques and test x-ray exposure doses".

Anthropomorphic phantoms are invaluable for research as they provide true anatomical detail when x-rayed, but can be subjected to multiple exposures without risk.

"Current standards and practices are based on the premise that any radiation dose, no matter how small, could result in detrimental health effects such as cancer or genetic damage."

As registered users of x-ray (ionising) radiation, Medical Imaging Technologists are mandated to keep the x-ray radiation levels to a minimum using the principles of ALARA (As Low as Reasonably Allowable) whilst maintaining the diagnostic quality.

"The production of the x-ray image is based on the balance between the amount of radiation produced over time, and the degree of penetration required to effectively pass through the tissue and bone", explains Paul.

It is known that an increase in penetration reduces the amounts of radiation required, but has also an effect on the diagnostic quality of the x-ray image.

"With the advent of digital imaging and post processing enhancements, higher penetration values can be achieved requiring less radiation to produce the x-ray image", says Paul.

With thanks to the Lions Club of Blackburn, this research project will follow a 2017 investigation on the theoretical possibility of reducing patient dose for extremity imaging.

"The aim is to establish the lowest possible threshold in radiation exposure that still maintains the diagnostic quality", says Paul.

"We hope that the findings will lead to significant reductions in x-ray radiation exposure for consumers of medical imaging at Eastern Health and beyond.

"In future we hope to be able to extend the research to include all regions of the anatomy", says Paul.

With the generous support of philanthropists, Eastern Health Foundation and the Learning and Teaching directorate are proud to support staff who wish to continue their learning throughout their career.

This programs offers and opportunity for our clinical and non-clinical staff to secure a scholarship prior to commencing a program each year.

Scholarships are generously funded by philanthropic individuals, businesses and community groups invested in the development of a capable, responsive, diverse and supported workforce at Eastern Health.  

The program also has the potential to assist staff who may not have been able to consider undertaking further studies due to financial constraints.

Only with philanthropic support can Scholarships be offered to support further study in an accredited course that will enhance staff capability to perform their current role effectively, safely and efficiently.

The study undertaken could maintain or expand the staff member’s scope of practice or capability in relation to your current position at Eastern Health and may be clinical or non-clinical.

Scholarship program

Eastern Health Foundation would like to extend our appreciation to our philanthropic Scholarship partners for including:

  • BankVic 
  • 13cabs
  • Androgogic
  • Ego Pharmaceuticals
  • Glyde Metal
  • Victorian Association of Argos Orestikon and Districts

Thank you for making these Scholarships possible.

Become a Scholarship partner

Eastern Health Staff Development Scholarships are only made possible through the generosity of individuals, community groups and businesses.

We invite you to join this emerging philanthropic group in supporting your local frontline health workers, both clinical and non-clinical.

Our patients are at the centre of everything we do. Your support will ensure excellent healthcare for the community we serve.

The scholarship program aims to support Eastern Health staff that are committed to their own professional development and understand that by increasing their skills, knowledge and expertise they are able to provide excellence in care that is both evidenced based and responsive.

The Eastern Health Staff Development Scholarship program also provides us an opportunity to recognise and give back to our people. With your help, they will be acknowledged for the essential role that they play as a frontline health worker.

Please make a donation or find out more about the Eastern Health Staff Development Scholarships program by contacting Eastern Health Foundation on 9895 4608 or email

This is a fantastic opportunity to have a direct impact on health care in your local community.

You are inspiring our frontline medical teams! Thank you so much for your help.

(Chinese translation of thank you video)

Thank you

Recent support from our local community has meant the world to our frontline health workers over the last few months! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I am tremendously grateful for the gifts made to the Eastern Health Agility Response Fund.

Our community has shown my colleagues and I just how much they appreciate their frontline health workers.

When we launched the Agility Response Fund in March 2020, we didn’t know exactly what we would need. The goalposts were changing every day, sometimes multiple times a day.

Community support meant that my colleagues and I were able to respond quickly when we needed to purchase life-saving equipment.

Community help meant that we were able to connect patients with their families and prevent loneliness.

Community foresight meant that we were able to fund telemedicine initiatives for the future, to keep our patients safe at home.

Thank you.

Winter NewsYou can read more about how these gifts made a difference in the Winter edition of 'Because of You'.

A Chinese version is also available.

As you will read, 2,860 kind people generously donated $727,697 to the Eastern Health Agility Response Fund to 31 July 2020, directly supporting our frontline health workers.

Thank you for:

  • Two heart lung bypass machines in Intensive Care to take over the work of the heart or lungs when patients are critically ill
  • 16 vital signs monitors in our COVID-19 wards to provide 24/7 monitoring of heart rate and breathing function
  • Three video laryngoscopes in our Intensive Care Units and Emergency Departments to help doctors insert breathing tubes for patients who require ventilation
  • One rapid testing machine in our Pathology Laboratory to test for COVID-19 and influenza
  • Nine iPads to keep patients in touch with their families during visitor restrictions
  • Enhancement of our 'Virtual hospital ward' to provide healthcare services in the home

On behalf of everyone at Eastern Health, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to all of our donors.

Thank you for taking the time to support our frontline medical teams. Thank you for saving lives.

If you have any questions about how your gift is making a difference, please contact Eastern Health Foundation on 03 9895 4608.

Yours sincerely,

Dr John Dyett
Intensive Care Specialist at Eastern Health

PS There is still so much more we need to do as we battle the lasting effects of the second wave of COVID-19 in Victoria. The Eastern Health Agility Response Fund is an ongoing appeal. Please make a donation today.


Edition 17 Chief Commissioner T Bear 416x621In line with their mission to support Victorian hospitals, Blue Ribbon Foundation launched their COVID-19 appeal in March.

Supporters were asked to purchase a Constable T Bear or make a donation and nominate their local hospital.

The appeal supported 74 hospitals across the State, including Eastern Health sites! What an amazing contribution to the fight against COVID-19.

We are most grateful to Blue Ribbon Foundation for their ongoing support and partnership. This includes their newly formed Eastern Metro Branch.

Find out more about their commitment to remembering lives by saving others at

Turning Point has recently received a grant of $215,000 to support older adults in the Yarra Ranges, thanks to Gandel Philanthropy.

Close shot of patient holding hands with a carerDid you know that chronic pain affects one in three older adults, and it is estimated to be Australia’s third most costly health problem?

Many people living with chronic pain become dependent on prescribed opioid medication and research shows that this can be harmful in the long-term.

Social connection is recognised as a key ingredient to improving the quality of life for those suffering chronic pain, and an important step in reducing opioid dependency, but it is often difficult for health providers to address in the traditional clinical setting.

A new project, devised by Turning Point in partnership with Eastern Health Foundation, aims to tackle this challenge and it has been given a significant boost after being awarded a Major Grant from Gandel Philanthropy.

The Opioid Use and Pain, Addressing Loneliness in Mature Adults (OP-ALMA) project, is a pilot program targeting older adults in the Yarra Ranges with chronic pain and opioid dependence.

It is an innovative, world-first approach to the holistic management of pain and opioid dependence combined with well-being and quality of life in older adults.

The project will include a strong focus on mentoring and coaching health professionals in the region, to enhance their capacity to address social isolation.

Dr Shalini Arunogiri, an addiction psychiatrist at Turning Point, says the team is thrilled to receive this funding from one of Australia’s largest independent family philanthropic groups.

“As health providers we know that long-term use of some pain medications can be harmful to health. We want to help people get up and about, to connect with others in their community. This project gives us a real opportunity to make a difference”, says Dr Arunogiri.

Vedran Drakulic OAM, CEO of Gandel Philanthropy, says the project ticked all the boxes when considering grant recipients.

“Positive ageing is one of the key focus areas for Gandel Philanthropy. As such, partnering with Turning Point and Eastern Health to pilot this new approach to improving the health, wellbeing and quality of life of older people experiencing chronic pain, addiction and loneliness was a natural fit.

The project is embedded in community, offers tailored social and community activities and involves consumers, carers and health healthcare professionals. It is clearly a comprehensive, well-structured approach and it is strongly aligned to our emphasis on promoting healthy ageing within communities,” says Mr Drakulic.

Turning Point will collaborate with the peak body for older adults, COTA Vic, and other key community partners in the Yarra Ranges region as well as with Eastern Health’s Pain Management Services, in delivering this project.

Thank you Gandel Philanthropy!

About Turning Point

Turning Point is a national addiction treatment centre, dedicated to providing high quality, evidence-based treatment to people adversely affected by alcohol, drugs and gambling, integrated with world-leading research and education.

Turning Point is a highly-valued internationally recognised centre within Eastern Health, that delivers outstanding and innovative research, education and treatment services across Australia.

About Gandel Philanthropy

Gandel Philanthropy is one of Australia’s largest independent family philanthropic funds. It has been the vehicle for charitable giving by the extended Gandel family since its formation as The Gandel Charitable Foundation in 1978.

John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel AC are actively engaged in the philanthropic work and are universally recognised for their generosity and commitment to both Jewish and general causes.

Through Gandel Philanthropy, over the past 40 years they have channelled over $100 million dollars towards supporting various charitable causes in the community. Find out more at

Staff from the Respiratory Assessment Clinic at Box Hill Hospital Support from our community has meant the world to our doctors, nurses and allied health staff over the last few months.

Eastern Health is tremendously grateful to everyone who has donated to the Eastern Health Agility Response Fund so far.

You’ve shown just how much you appreciate our frontline health workers, including members of our Respiratory Assessment Clinic at Box Hill Hospital (pictured).

Thank you!

As at 30 June 2020, the following equipment and programs have been funded for our COVID wards, Emergency Departments, Intensive Care and other units at Angliss, Box Hill and Maroondah Hospitals:

  • Vital signs monitors to provide 24/7 monitoring of heart rate and breathing function
  • Video laryngoscopes to help doctors insert breathing tubes for patients who require ventilation
  • Flu testing machine to quickly test people for flu
  • iPads to keep patients in touch with their families
  • Heart lung bypass machines to take over the work of the lungs (or heart) when they are too ill to absorb oxygen
  • Enhancement of a ‘virtual hospital ward’ to provide health care services in the home
  • ICT equipment in Specialist Clinics to support telehealth / telepresence services

With Stage Three resrictions being reimposed in Melbourne from 9 July 2020, your support is still valued. Please make a donation to the Eastern Health Agility Response Fund today.

Last year 53 staff, family and friends from Box Hill Hospital banded together to raise funds for toys and equipment for the Children’s Ward, with the goal of making kid’s time in hospital a little more comfortable and fun.

Thanks to generous support from the community, their dream is now a reality.

Making time in hospital better for sick kids (Open Captions) from Eastern Health on Vimeo.

After streaming past their original goal, they were able to purchase much more than expected and have since added a raft of additions to the ward including a nitrous machine, art and craft supplies and outdoor play equipment. The ward also plans to construct a sensory wall in the near future.

The most popular item purchased so far has been an electric car used to transport patients around the hospital.

Heading into hospital can be daunting, even for grownups, so for our littlest patients, distractions like the car can take their mind off this unfamiliar environment and help them get home sooner.

Thank you to all those who contributed to this cause. Your donations are having a profound impact on the experience of children and their parents in Box Hill Hospital.

Joyce He, a member of Impact the Future Giving Circle, says she and her fellow giving circle members are motivated by giving back to the broader community they are living in.

“We are honoured to support Box Hill Hospital and help frontline medical teams combating the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting Australians”, says Joyce.

GivingCircleJuly20BMembers of the Giving Circle are mostly young professional Chinese Australians. They are community-minded donors from various walks of life, including professionals, entrepreneurs and students.

“Box Hill Hospital is located in an area that a large group of Chinese migrants are living in. It also has emotional ties for our members, as many have family and friends living near the hospital”, explains Joyce.

“As a giving circle, our mission is to raise awareness and empower change within the community, by supporting charities that protect our environment, support families and the wider community.”

“We would like to be a bridge connecting the Chinese community with mainstream society in Australia”, says Joyce.

“With COVID-19 spreading all around the world, we are very proud to have opportunities to contribute locally via Box Hill Hospital, and to assist combating the global pandemic.”

Impact the Future is based on a ‘collective giving’ model, which is the coming together of individuals or foundations to jointly fund social change.

“The ability to scale up the impact of each individual’s contribution is incredibly powerful”, Joyce explains.

A sub-fund of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, Impact the Future Giving Circle’s aim is to build long-term relationships with the organisations they support.

Eastern Health Foundation looks forward to our continued partnership with Joyce and her fellow members of Impact the Future Giving Circle.

Thank you for your support!

Eastern Health Foundation: Supervision Endoscope

Dr Nicholas Wilsmore, from our respiratory team, has a message of thanks to donors for their amazing contribution to the Super Vision Endoscope.

"I can't express enough the gratitude and thanks we have to all the generous donors and supporters in the community who have not only supported Eastern Health in this initiaitve, but also in all other initiatives through the Foundation", says Dr Wilsmore.

The new Super Vision Endescope, funded entirely by donations, is world-class technology that will profoundly improve the lives of cancer patients in our community.

It provides faster, less invasive and more accurate internal ultrasound and biopsy, to detect cancer in respiratory and digestive organs.

Thank you!