The Emer Casey Foundation is sponsoring a 12-month contract for an oncology nurse.
Former research student Vicki Cleary will be appointed as the hospital’s first ever gynaecological oncology liaison nurse.
The post is one of only two in Munster and one of six throughout Ireland.
Vicki’s role will provide a crucial care and communication link between doctors and patients.
She will also oversee a new consultancy database being managed in a joint enterprise with medical students at UCC.
The 27-year-old holds a BSc in nursing and a Masters in gynaecological cancer. She has worked in gynaecology in the South Infirmary and also in the Cork Fertility Clinic. She also holds a PhD in Medicine and Health.
The CUH post is being sponsored by the Youghal- based foundation, which officially launched the initiative at a presentation in the east Cork town. It was attended by Séamus O’Reilly, consultant medical oncologist at CUH and South Infirmary Victory University Hospital (SIVUH), and John Coulter, consultant gynaecological oncologist at SIVUH and Cork University Maternity Hospital.
Mr O’Reilly said hospitals “have infrastructure but lack humanism” and patient care was known to improve dramatically wherever a liaison nurse existed.
A similar post in the South Infirmary “has transformed the care of patients with genealogical malignancies,” he said.
Mr O’Reilly also welcomed the “measurement of care” implicit in the UCC database initiative. “You can’t manage what you haven’t measured,” he said, “but now we can look at the needs of patients with gynaecological cancers, better measure what they need and advocate more effectively their future needs.”
The Casey family established the foundation in 2006 after Emer succumbed to ovarian cancer aged just 27. It aims to fund research and to provide pastoral assistance to women diagnosed with the disease.
To date, it has donated over €500,000 towards studies by the Trinity College-based Discovary Research Consortium into early detection, chemo resistance and ovarian cancer stem cells. It also supports research at University of Melbourne and University of Edinburgh.