Iconic opportunities: Harnessing the 2018 World Cancer Congress

13 April 2018

In order to fully harness the 2018 World Cancer Congress (WCC), Icon Group, a Vanguard partner of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) since 2017, launched the inaugural Middleton Scholarship. We sat down with Mark Middleton and the 2018 scholarship recipient, Courtney King to learn more about this unique opportunity.

Icon Group is Australia’s largest dedicated provider of cancer care with a growing reach into Asia and New Zealand. The Group brings together all the core aspects of cancer treatment – chemotherapy compounding, medical oncology, radiation oncology, haematology and pharmacy and is built on a strong but simple vision - to deliver the best cancer care possible, to as many people as possible, as close to home as possible.

The Middleton Scholarship is a personally funded scholarship by Icon Group CEO Mark Middleton and provides ongoing professional development opportunities for current employees. The scholarship is open to all current Icon Group employees and the successful candidate is invited to attend the UICC organised  World Cancer Congress, which aims to strengthen action and impact on cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. In the lead up to the Congress, the winning applicant will also be invited to participate in a UICC Master Course, which offers a unique opportunity to acquire specialised knowledge and skills both in cancer control and non-cancer fields. Furthermore, he or she will receive an opportunity to chronicle their learnings with the company and beyond.

The scholarship application process encouraged a supportive company culture whereby staff were able to both self-nominate and nominate their peers to apply. Applicants were then asked to answer a number of questions including how they would benefit from attending the WCC. Each application was read by a judging panel consisting of Mark Middleton, Icon Group board member, Cathie Reid and former Cancer Council Queensland CEO and current UICC board member, Jeffrey Dunn.

We sat down with Mark Middleton and the 2018 scholarship recipient, Courtney King to learn more about this unique opportunity.

Mark, what was your motivation behind the Middleton Scholarship? 

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing staff thrive. Watching team members achieve their goals, progress in their careers and find job satisfaction fills me with great pride. As a company we foster continued professional development and seek to provide opportunities to our staff, across all disciplines.

It has been a long-term career goal for me to initiate a scholarship that rewards people for being dedicated to their work and provides them with a platform to grow. I’m thrilled to make this a reality and to be able to involve UICC as well.

Courtney, can you describe your role with Icon Group? 

I am a Pharmacy Practice Unit Advisor, specifically looking after Icon’s education and training portfolio. My job allows me to work with our front-line pharmacy teams to deliver exceptional care to our patients. Cancer patients require special attention and a holistic model of care to support their treatment journey. The education and training I coordinate and deliver within my role is intended to equip and up-skill our pharmacy teams to deliver services with a special focus on cancer patients.

What do you hope to gain from this experience? 

I think this experience will provide considerable opportunities to develop my understanding of key areas of cancer care that require direction including healthcare leadership, emerging prevention and treatment strategies, and key workforce planning and development requirements for delivering cancer care. Participation in the master course will not only broaden my current knowledge, but will also allow me to consider potential areas of clinical and professional practice research within Icon. And attending the World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur will also provide significant networking opportunities that will not only benefit me professionally, but the wider business.

Mark, what made Courtney’s application a stand-out? 

Firstly, we received over 60 applications, all of the highest quality, I along with my fellow judges were overwhelmed with the response.

At Icon Group we employ a range of different disciplines, all integral to the delivering of exceptional care. There are many employees within the cancer care division who do not work directly with our patients, but work behind the scenes to ensure operations are met and the highest quality of service is delivered. Courtney is a shining example of the importance of such a role. The enthusiasm she brings to her role is inspiring and her application answers reflected her commitment to improving care for patients and a thirst for seeking new challenges. She goes that extra mile, and I’m excited to watch her journey.

UICC would like to congratulate Courtney and applauds Icon Group’s initiative to promote professional development and their continued commitment to partner with us to help build a stronger cancer workforce and reduce the global cancer burden. To learn more about how your company can get involved in the World Cancer Congress or set up a similar programme, please contact fontaine@uicc.org.

Last update: 
Friday 13 April 2018
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