MBE for Harrogate radiographer after key role in creating special bra for women being treated for breast cancer

A Harrogate professor who played a key role in the development of a specially designed bra for women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer has been recognised in the King’s New Year Honours 2024.
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Dr Heidi Probst, who has herself faced breast cancer, receives an MBE for services to radiography after dedicating her 30-year career to improving the lives of people going through radiotherapy following a cancer diagnosis.

After hearing of the royal honour, Professor Probst said: “I am honoured to accept this award in order to fly the flag for Radiographers and all my Allied Health Professions colleagues, who work tirelessly day in day out, sometimes in challenging circumstances to help care for patients.

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“I am also so privileged to be able to work alongside amazing colleagues and also with people who have experienced a cancer diagnosis who share the same values and passion to undertake research that will make cancer care and radiotherapy better, kinder and with less side effects for the patients of the future.”

Dr Heidi Probst receives an MBE for services to radiography after dedicating her 30-year career to improving the lives of people going through radiotherapy following a cancer diagnosis. (Picture contributed)Dr Heidi Probst receives an MBE for services to radiography after dedicating her 30-year career to improving the lives of people going through radiotherapy following a cancer diagnosis. (Picture contributed)
Dr Heidi Probst receives an MBE for services to radiography after dedicating her 30-year career to improving the lives of people going through radiotherapy following a cancer diagnosis. (Picture contributed)

Following a 14-year career as a therapeutic radiographer in the NHS, Heidi moved into academia in 2001 as a researcher and lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University.

Heidi led the SuPPORT 4 All project alongside a team of health experts and designers from Sheffield Hallam to design and develop a bra that can be worn during radiotherapy for breast cancer to improve accuracy of treatment and help patients maintain dignity during treatment.

Professor of Radiotherapy and Oncology, she also leads the cancer management research cluster at Sheffield Hallam University and, until recently, held the position of Director of the Health Research Institute.

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In 2018 the tables were turned when she was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer.

But Professor Probst continues to share her knowledge and experience by mentoring radiographers and early career researchers.

She has also taken up roles outside of the university to progress research and develop strategy within her profession.

Heidi’s roles have included Chair of the College of Radiographers national research group 2010-2018 and Founder of the international Breast Radiotherapy Interest Group (BRIG), a network and community for radiographers worldwide.

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