Harnessing Inner Strength

Helouise Waislitz and Richard Pratt at the launch of

“Harnessing Inner Strength”, as the program’s centrepiece became known, was an Australia-first program designed to minimise the psychological impact of cancer on patients and their families.

Peter Mac had always provided a full range of oncology services. But it became clear that cancer patients and their families needed a greater focus on addressing their psychological  and emotional well-being.

In 2006 The Pratt Foundation committed $1.4 million for this purpose and partnered Peter Mac to launch Australia’s first program in this field. At a ceremony in June 2006, attended by Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and the late Richard Pratt, Heloise Waislitz  revealed her own eventually successful battle with throat cancer some six years earlier.

During the five-year partnership, the “Harnessing Inner Strength” program developed a range of new psychological services  and helped to change the  hospital’s treatment culture towards a more holistic approach.

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