Julie Adams graduated from Curtin University in WA with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in 1986. She went on to complete her Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital Pharmacy in 1995, and in 1999 she successfully obtained Board Certification in Oncology Pharmacy (US). Julie has worked in the area of oncology and haematology for the past 26 years, in a number of hospitals (both public and private) in Western Australia. In 2000, she was successful in obtaining a grant from the Health Department of WA to establish the Home Cancer Care Service, which enabled oncology and haematology patients to receive their chemotherapy and supportive care therapy at home. In 2013 Julie with her business partner, Lorna Cook, started a private home health service company – View Health and its related subsidiary chemo@home. chemo@home is and innovative service which enables patients with cancer and other chronic health conditions to receive highly specialised care (including chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies) in their own home. Her interests include drug therapy of haematological malignancies, bone marrow transplantation, infectious complications and service delivery change management and research. chemo@home has won a number of national business awards, including most recently the announcement of Julie as the 2016 Telstra Entrepreneur and Business Woman of the Year WA.
A staggering one in two people will experience cancer by the time they reach 85 years of age. The impact on patients and the health system demands new service delivery models. Home based chemotherapy and immunotherapy addresses not only hospital capacity issues, but also assists patients and their families, especially those at risk of sub optimal outcomes due to gaps in the current service delivery systems. chemo@home is a new model of care for home chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatment. The aims of chemo@home were to establish a safe, easily accessible, integrated and financially viable private home chemotherapy service and to ensure the service met organisational expectations. During the development stage the available evidence supporting the development of home-based chemotherapy was reviewed. In addition, key recommendations from Cancer Services Plans and other pivotal information related to consumer expectations, gaps in service delivery and the strategic direction of cancer services were identified. The service is now established and has been administering chemotherapy and immunotherapy to patients in their homes for three years. Full accreditation with the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards has been achieved, with five Extensive Achievements in the mandatory criteria. Evaluation of the service against core values and clinical indicators show evidence of: 95% of patients finding the experience of having their treatment at home excellent; partnerships with universities, health funds and many others; innovation through being the first private chemotherapy and immunotherapy service in Australia; expanding therapeutic areas (such as multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis); and research through initiating multiple projects. In conclusion, chemo@home has successfully established a safe, easily accessible, integrated and financially viable private home chemotherapy and immunotherapy service in WA. Plans to expand the service nationally within the next 12-24 months are well underway. Organisational core values have been met.