Despite what has been a tough year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, PA Research Foundation continued to grow its impact in 2020; highlighted by the announcement of more than $1.4 million in medical research funding at the Metro South Health Research Support Scheme announcement event on 30 November.
The $1.4 million pledge, through the 2021 PA Research Foundation Research Awards, is above the funding commitment from the previous year and spread across 20 separate projects, including for the first-time emergency medicine.
The second-ever annual PA Giving Day, held in September was a resounding success, with over $653,000 raised for research and patient support on the PA Hospital campus. This figure was $150,000 above the organisation's initial target of $500,000 and a source of pride for all involved.
As well as funding vital research, the Foundation completed several significant projects which helped improve the patient experience, including but not limited to the installation of high-speed Wi-Fi in the Brain and Spinal Injury Units.
Another highlight for the Foundation was the continued support of the organisation's valued corporate partnerships. Aveo marked a key milestone in their five years of support for the Foundation's Project Pink campaign, with the achievement of $1 million in funds raised through the collective efforts of communities nationwide and the generosity of Aveo Group.
In the community fundraising space, while Covid-19 affected the ability to run some of the annual campaigns in their usual forms, the Foundation kept those fires burning, while also raising $45,000 to support cancer patients through its continued involvement in Dry July.
In its 14th year, the annual Smiddy Fun Run transformed into a virtual event entitled Smiddy Fun Week, so that participants could take part in a Covid safe environment of their choosing while still raising funds for skin cancer research. The virtual format also gave people the option to walk, run, swim, or cycle across seven days during Skin Cancer Action Week (15-21 November). In total 81 participants and 10 teams took on the Smiddy Fun Week challenge, raising close to $30,000.
In a year that also marked a full decade of collaboration and partnership with The University of Queensland's Dermatology Research Centre, PA Research Foundation Chief Executive Officer Damian Topp said 2020 had reinforced again the importance of the organisation's supporters.
"Our commitment of $1.4 million to medical research for next year is a testament to the impact of our supporters and the esteem the PA Hospital is held in by so many people," he said.
"We could not do what we do without our supporters big or small, every dollar helps us to save lives and give hope to people diagnosed with cancer and other serious diseases and make a difference to every patient who comes through the doors of the PA.
"To every single person and organisation who has supported us and the PA Community through what has been a trying year for us all, I can't thank you enough."