Cancer Council Fellowship Awarded

Media Release

16 June 2014

Cancer Council Tasmania, in partnership with the University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Health, today announced its major $95,000 Fellowship to Launceston researcher, Dr Mai Frandsen.

Cancer Council Tasmania CEO Penny Egan said Dr Frandsen’s project – “Supporting expectant mothers to be smoke free” – was critical for the future health of all Tasmanians.

“Dr Frandsen’s program will not just support the pregnant women to be smoke free and remain smoke free, but also look at their family environment,” Mrs Egan said.

“This is a very important project, because protecting pregnant women and their children from both smoking and passive smoking is critical to the overall health of the Tasmanian community.”

Dr Frandsen said her pilot project will aim to recruit 100 pregnant women who are smoking daily and want to Quit.

“My project will support pregnant women who want to quit and provide a smoke-free environment for their baby,” Dr Frandsen said.

“The support will be personal, ongoing and tailored to the individual mothers. While helping expectant mothers to choose a Quit plan to suit them, I will also focus on helping establish a smoke-free environment for the new family”.

“Providing a supportive smoke-free home has been found to be one of the most effective ways of helping new mothers quit … and stay quit.”

Professor Dominic Geraghty, Deputy Head of School, said that Dr Frandsen was the ideal person to undertake such a study as she has been working in the smoking cessation field since completing her PhD in 2012.

“The study requires a researcher with excellent analytical and particularly communication skills, and Dr Frandsen has a proven track record in both,” Prof. Geraghty said.

Dr Frandsen said expectant mothers will be offered the opportunity to participate in the research when they attend scheduled antenatal appointments.

Cancer Council Tasmania also announced a $10,000 scholarship to Alexandra Woodworth to undertake Honours and Jeanne Foster Scholarships to Susan Wright, Kym Nutting and Caroline Knipe. The scholarships provide funding for professional development for Tasmanian health professionals in a recognised field of cancer control.

Cancer Council Tasmania also announced its Cancer+ program Scholarships to Alana Fitzgibbon, Rokhsar Hussain and Caitlin Daniels, providing professional development to Tasmanian health and education professionals working with children, adolescents and young adults with cancer.

Media contact: A.Mark Thomas, M&M Communications, 0422 006 732