SSMRF launches the inaugural Red for Research campaign, inviting the St George and Sutherland Shire communities to go Red for Research throughout June to raise awareness and to support groundbreaking medical research carried out at St George and Sutherland hospitals.
Funds raised from the Red for Research campaign will help support projects in key health areas including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and microbiome and inflammatory bowel disease.
SSMFR chief executive Leanne Dib said the current pandemic plaguing the globe highlighted more than ever the role of medical research in saving lives.
“The impact of COVID-19 on all our lives has highlighted to many the importance of supporting medical research in our local hospitals,” Ms Dib said.
Board member, Associate Professor Peter Gonski, said hospital-based research was vital to improving the health of local residents.
“Research encourages doctors and other health workers to question, examine and test hypotheses so that our patients can be assured to get the best evidence-based treatment available,” he said.
Representatives from the foundation’s founding partner, St George Bank, joined St George Hospital general manager Paul Darcy, Georges River mayor Kevin Greene, Microbiome Research Centre director Professor Emad El-Omar and the foundation’s ambassador, former St George Illawarra Dragons Jason Nightingale last week to launch the campaign outside St George Hospital.
A second launch was held at Sutherland Hospital.
“St George Bank is proud to be the founding partner of the SSMRF, supporting world-class medical research, helping to improve the health, medical care and well-being of our community,” St George Bank head of SME banking Anthony Mathews said.
Paul Darcy said the foundation did a wonderful job “supporting research in our hospital, helping to improve the healthcare of our health district and the lives of patients and their families”.
Councillor Kevin Greene is a long-time supporter of the foundation.
“Georges River Council is proud to support the magnificent work that the St George & Sutherland Shire Medical Research Foundation has now been funding for over 10 years,” he said.
“The foundation has developed a reputation that is acknowledged worldwide for leading research projects which are at the cutting edge of introducing new techniques for better health outcomes for everyone across the world.”
Jason Nightingale – no stranger to wearing red thanks to his days as a St George Illawarra Dragon – said the campaign was a great way to help raise awareness for the foundation and its important role in the community.
Tynan Motors is another proud supporter. Its group marketing director Madeline Tynan is a foundation board member.
“Having our local community get involved and support the foundation is an important part of raising awareness for the talented researchers conducting their projects right here in our community,” she said.
Sutherland Hospital general manager Vicki Weeden said the foundation provided vital research funding to its doctors, researchers and allied health workers.
“Hospitals with a strong research culture provide researchers the opportunity to discover new treatments to ensure the best care is available to our patients,” she said.
Ms Dib asked individuals, schools, businesses, local healthcare workers, doctors and community groups to “go red” this month to support the foundation’s work.
“We encourage you to be as creative as you can about how you ‘go red’,” Ms Dib said.
“Whether it is for a day or the entire month, the Red for Research campaign is a fun and easy way to get people talking about medical research.”