Nelson Mandela once said, ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done,’ and next year the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation will have been doing the impossible for 60 years.
Established in 1960 by Professor Don Beaven, the foundation has contributed $27 million and counting towards medical research. Put simply, a significant number of Canterbury’s 300 medical researchers working within the health and education sectors would not be able to undertake the ground-breaking medical research they are today, without the sustained and rigorous efforts of the the foundation.
The medical research funded by the foundation makes a real difference in the short, medium and long term, not just to the health of Cantabrians, but to health globally. General Manager Colin McDougall says, “lifting the bar for health is relevant to everyone,” and if the point needs illustrating, we only need look as far as Martin Than’s 2018 study on improving outcomes within the public healthcare system.
Martin Than and a Christchurch team studied and applied nationwide changes for the assessment of suspected heart attack patients in the Emergency Department at Christchurch Public Hospital and throughout New Zealand. His research combined a wide range of the essential indicators and tests for suspected heart attacks. The care pathway developed and implemented has reduced previously 24-hour hospital admissions to under six hours in up to 50 percent of cases. The results have been outstanding, with good outcomes for patients and savings of $11 million dollars and 200,000 doctors’ hours per annum nationally.
The Canterbury Medical Research Foundation raises funds through donations, bequests and public events. The black-tie annual Wine and Art Auction is a sell-out each year, and held its 25th anniversary in 2018. Proceeds from the event go directly to a pre-approved research project. Events planned for 2019 include Opera Meets Art at Christchurch Art Gallery on 30 March which raises funds for neurological research undertaken by subsidiary company New Zealand Brain Research Institute. “More fun and incredibly worthwhile events are planned, where you’ll hear from the researchers themselves,” Colin says.
Board Chair Geoff Cranko says the foundation is very focused on supporting emerging talent, as well as retaining experienced researchers. “It is critical to retain talent in Canterbury for health outcomes, as well as for the sustainability of our community.”
Your donation or bequest can be tagged to particular research that interests you. You can meet the researcher, so you can clearly see the difference your support is making.
“With its history, infrastructure and breadth of research, Canterbury Medical Research Foundation is ideally placed to work collaboratively with other health services funders to provide much needed support to Canterbury’s talented researchers.”
Find the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation on Facebook and Instagram.