28 October 2019
By Mary Bermingham
In the midst of daunting study schedules and heavy workloads, the next generation of Cork’s medical profession will come together to show that a good deed goes a long way, as they gear up to officially launch UCC Med Day 2020 on Tuesday 29th October, to coincide with World Stroke Day.
The timing of the launch is by no means accidental. Taking place on 11th April 2020, all proceeds raised as a result of the next annual UCC Med Day will go directly to Stroke Services at Cork University Hospital (CUH) and the Cork Stroke Support Group (CSSG), located at St Finbarr’s Hospital. With the theme of ‘prevention’ to take centre stage during World Stroke Day, these hugely important charities are more significant than ever, their necessity emphasised further by the frightening statistics that place stroke as the third biggest killer in Ireland.
In a bid to increase awareness on World Stroke Day, Stroke Services at CUH will also hold a Stroke Awareness Day for the public on 29th October from 8.30am- 3.30pm at the hospital.
Now entering its second year, the inaugural UCC Med Day took place on 13th April 2019. The event is an annual fundraiser modelled on the Med Days run by students of UCD and Trinity College, which each year raise vital funds for the college’s charity of choice. Coordinated and managed entirely by members of the UCC Medical Society, UCC’s Med Day is based on the same ethos and will see UCC students volunteering their time in allocated shifts as they take to the streets and shopping centres of Cork with their branded t-shirts and collection buckets, encouraging the public to dig deep and give generously.
Thanks to the efforts of the UCC Medical Society during this year’s Med Day, more than €7,000 was raised for the associate charities, with CUH Charity receiving almost €3,000 from the total sum towards Stroke Services at CUH. The UCC Med Day activity marked a significant milestone for CUH Charity, as it was the first fundraiser for the hospital’s new 25-bed Stroke Unit since their Stroke Unit Appeal was set up earlier this year.
The other organisations to benefit from money raised were UCC Friends of MSF Society and UCC Surgeon Noonan Society. While three charities shared the spotlight in 2019, UCC Med Day 2020 will see the students focus their efforts predominantly on the stroke services that cater to stroke patients across Munster. While the Stroke Services centre at CUH provides standout care to those presenting with stroke, the Cork Stroke Support Group at St Finbarr’s Hospital offers integral support to both stroke survivors and their families, helping them to cope with life after stroke. Since launching in 2010 in association with the Irish Heart Foundation, the voluntary organisation has become one of the most successful stroke support groups in the country, run by a committee composed of stroke survivors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and volunteers.
Speaking in the lead up to the UCC Med Day 2020 launch on World Stroke Day, Michael Nason, CEO of CUH Charity, commented: “CUH has the largest in-patient stroke service in the country, seeing over 500 patients annually. One of our main goals this year has been to raise funds for the development of our new 25-bed Stroke Unit, so to have had the backing of UCC Medical Society’s Med Day was pivotal for us. Not only did the students involved raise a significant sum of money, but they also raised awareness of our fundraising drive. This development at CUH is vital, as getting to such a unit quickly greatly reduces mortality and morbidity and increases the chance of returning to independence by 20 percent, versus standard care on a medical ward. At a time when emergency healthcare is needed most, we at CUH Charity are proud to support the development of new services in the hospital and are delighted to have the support of these enthusiastic young students.”