Hospital Foundation raises millions for Far North health care



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Kerry Shepherdson, Libby Cuckson, and Naomi Dwyer from the Mossman and Douglas Friends of the Foundation holding a sausage sizzle at Mossman Markets. Image: Supplied.
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More than $2.89 million has been provided to improve health outcomes in FNQ in 2019-2020, thanks to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, including over $200,000 for the Mossman Hospital.

The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation is a non-profit charitable organisation that supports and raises funds for equipment for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, and the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service.

Despite being impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, the Foundation has had a strong year.

Through its hundreds of volunteers, including 24 volunteers in the Mossman and Douglas Friends of the Foundation out branch, the Foundations raises funds through many activities such market stalls, raffles, sausage sizzles, and even Christmas gift wrapping.

And they are always looking for new volunteers.

Foundation CEO Tony Williamson said the $2.89 million in grants of equipment and research, was the Foundation’s third-best in its 23 years.

“And it means we’ve now ticked over $23 million in 23 years, which we’re incredibly proud of,” Mr Williamson said.

Total revenue, including the Foundation’s cafes and other commercial activities, was up to $5.48 million from the previous year’s $4.68 million and fundraising efforts of $2.55 million was well above the previous year’s $1.6 million.

Funds from the Foundation’s commercial activities cover all expenses, which means every cent donated, goes where it’s intended.

“This outcome is a tribute to Foundation staff and volunteers who were willing to adapt as needed,” he said.

“Instead of slowing down, we approached the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service with a plan to fund any needed hospital equipment to better prepare regional and Cairns health services. The ‘Join the fight against COVID-19’ was a massive success at a very testing time.”

$1.89 million in total was contributed to the COVID-19 campaign, with the Foundation buying $95,000 worth of equipment for the Mossman Hospital from this campaign. 

Other key contributions for the year include $140,298 for Mossman Hospital, as well as $333,000 for cardiology, $200,000 for research, $413,000 for Mareeba Hospital, $224,740 for Innisfail, $102,106 for Babinda, $122,465 for Atherton, and $186,466 for Tully Hospital.

As well, during the 2019-2020 financial year, volunteer hours were down due to COVID-19 but the Foundation is hopeful this will improve in 2021.

The Friends of the Foundation network grew to include Weipa, with other branches in Atherton, Cow Bay, Croydon, Gordonvale, Herberton, Innisfail, Mareeba, Mossman and Tully being increasingly active. 

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