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Blue Dot Army

Blue Dot Army Inc

Blue Dot Army was established by Crystal Howrie after her own experience with cancer left her determined to improve the service experience of those undertaking cancer treatment. ‘Blue Dot’ represents the small tattoo a person with cancer must have to accurately guide the radiologist to administer radiation treatment. For many it is a painful and permanent reminder of their cancer experience. ‘Army’ represents the people who provide support to those with cancer – advocates, partners, volunteers etc.

Blue Dot Army has commenced development of services that achieve our goal of advocacy. To improve the cancer experience for people from outer metro and regional communities in Western Australia, we have partnered with chemo@home and Metro Hotel Perth to offer an alternative to in-hospital treatment – ‘Blue Dot Hotels’. This new initiative is the first of its kind in Australia. The aim is to create an ‘at home’ nurturing environment for the cancer treatment, administered by a registered nurse from chemo@home. The hotel experience allows people to receive treatment in their room, lessening the risk of infection (in some patients) and avoiding costs such as parking and transport typically associated with a hospital visit. The intention is to grow Blue Dot Hotels in WA and extend the service to other states in Australia to increase the national support for regional patients.

We have also created a personalised service called ‘Blue Dot Concierge’. The aim of this service is to provide one contact person who can coordinate and simplify the research and engage process for the person with cancer. A person receiving cancer treatment will be assigned a support buddy to guide them on service provision. The Concierge will research health and well-being support specific to an individual’s needs according to their treatment plan (incorporating any personal events) to understand what products and services may be required e.g. making medical or personal appointments, shopping, sourcing of wigs for hair loss from chemotherapy, transport services etc.

To support the Concierge, a database will be created to house all current and relevant providers of products and services to allow efficient and accurate identification of individual services.

These products have been the early results of interviewing people who have received cancer treatment within the past 2-3 years. The aim of this research is to understand the critical interactions that could be improved or completely redesigned. Blue Dot Army is continuing to identify where we can advocate for change and we have gained deep insights, including non-medical experiences to date. We will work with service providers to seek funding to improve some of these experiences (e.g. improving the waiting room experience).

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PO Box 568


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