Launch of ASPREE (Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) study for the Mount Gambier regionPhoto L - R Assoc Prof Lucie Walters, Professor John McNeil, Mr Don Pegler and Professor James Dunbar
The launch for the ASPREE study for the Mount Gambier region took place at the Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health (GGT UDRH) offices, Flinders University Campus, Mount Gambier on Friday, April 5th. Hon. Don Pegler (Independent Member for Mount Gambier) officially opened the study. The event was hosted by Dr Sharyn Fitzgerald (ASPREE Regional Manager & Coordinator) with key guest speakers Professor John McNeil (ASPREE Principal Investigator and Head, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University) and Professor James Dunbar (Director, GGT UDRH). The ASPREE study is a collaborative between Academic institutions and regional General Practitioners to determine the true balance of the risks and benefits of low dose aspirin in healthy elderly people. The GGT UDRH at Warrnambool provides support to this Monash University based study by enabling the research field staff to use the GGT-80 freezer located at their offices at the Warrnambool campus of Deakin University for the storage of Biobank Blood samples.
Top 10 finishes in 2012 for GGT UDRH
The GGT UDRH has been named as the 3rd most productive research organisation, as measured by research output, for 2012 with only the University of Melbourne surpassing it. This ranking, listed in the ROAR profiles (Roadmap of Australian primary health care Research) of the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHC RIS) suggests that the Greater Green Triangle UDRH is the premier Australian organisation for rural and remote research, evaluation and development, supporting its work in the rural health disparity, prevention of chronic diseases, health services improvement and workforce enhancement. The Department's Director, Professor James Dunbar said that the achievements of the GGT UDRH over the past ten years were amazing with all other names in the productive organisation list coming from well-established universities.
Professor Dunbar has also been rewarded for his hard work and contribution to primary health care by being listed as the top ROAR researcher profiler for 2012. His research interests are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and quality improvement in health care and he has been working closely with local, national and international health professionals and the community with the aim to reduce the amount of death and disease due to heart disease and diabetes in rural Australia. The GGT UDRH is active in diabetes prevention research and cardiovascular risk factors and has benefitted from its links with the National Public Health Institute of Finland as well as from consultations with the local health community.
The Department's Centre of Research Excellence occupied 3rd position in the 10 most viewed ROAR projects rounding out a highly productive and successful year. Stream 2 of this project is based at the GGT UDRH in Warrnambool, Victoria and its aim is to investigate improved models in regional governance and e-health, effective multi-disciplinary teamwork and primary care performance and accountability in Clinical Microsystems.
GGT UDRH commemorates 10 years of service
In February 2012, the Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health celebrated ten years of service in SE South Australia and SW Victoria.
A special celebratory dinner was held on Wednesday evening, 15th February with guest speakers, Professor Michael Barber (Vice Chancellor, Flinders University) and Professor John Catford (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Deakin University).
This was followed on Thursday, 16th February by the Seminar: 10 Years of promoting ‘Greater Health' which was held at Deakin University, Warrnambool Campus. This seminar brought together university professors, medical institute heads and health industry professionals and was part of the department's ongoing role in addressing chronic disease problems, improving health service delivery and dealing with workforce issues in the area.
Key speakers at the Seminar included Mr Mark Williams, (Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle Program, SA Health), Professor Erkki Vartiainen, (National Institute of Health and Welfare, Finland), Professor Rob Carter, (Deakin Health Economics), Professor James Best (University of Melbourne), Professor Timothy Skinner, (University of Tasmania), Dr Michael Smith, (Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care), Dr Phil Tideman, (Integrated Cardiovascular Clinical Network SA), Dr Dale Ford (Improvement Foundation of Australia ) and Professor Claire Jackson (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners).
This milestone was also highlighted by the publication of a commemorative book titled "10 Years Promoting Greater Health 2001 - 2011" which chronicles the successful growth and development of the GGT UDRH over the past ten years and the passionate and dedicated staff who helped along the way.
Deadly Healthcare, a new book authored by Professor James Dunbar (Director GGT UDRH), Professor Prasuna Reddy and Stephen May was recently launched in June 2011, at Readings bookstore in Hawthorn, Victoria.
The book provides a detailed analysis of modern health care systems and factors associated with the case of Australia's ‘Dr Death', Jayant Patel, who was convicted of manslaughter and grievous bodily harm in 2010 in relation to incidents when he was a surgeon at Bundaberg Base Hospital, Queensland.
In developing the book, Professors Dunbar and Reddy drew on their extensive health services research backgrounds. The authors conducted widespread investigations into a mass of public inquiry data and interviewed key figures in the affair to reveal how the dangerous events transpired and how a repeat of these tragic cases can be avoided.
This is a story that is relevant and timely for all who are a part of modern complex healthcare networks, from hospital administrators to doctors, nurses and ancillary staff, to patients themselves.
"A thoroughly enjoyable read. With fascinating detail the authors clearly demonstrate the thin veneer coverall in all healthcare systems. There are lessons to be learned from this case by all countries." Sir Graeme Catto (FRCP, FMedSci, FRSE, immediate past president of the General Medical Council and Professor of Medicine, University of Aberdeen).
APHCRI Centre of Research Excellence for building quality, governance, performance and sustainability in primary health care through the Clinical Microsystem Approach
The Department was recently awarded an Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI)-funded Centre of Excellence for Research in Building Quality, Governance, Performance and Sustainability in Primary Health Care. This is a partnership with the Universities of Queensland and New South Wales.
This Centre of Excellence will undertake research into building improved quality, governance, performance and sustainability in a primary health care setting. Research Stream 2, which aims to improve the safety and quality of primary healthcare is based in Warrnambool, Victoria. Dr Amr Abou Elnour, GGT UDRH post-doctoral research fellow for the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute's Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) will be conducting his research in Warrnambool with an aim to identify best practice quality and safety characteristics in general practices and how they can be implemented across Australia. In addition, Post Doctoral Fellow, Dr Siew Seen Lim and Masters student, Andrea Hernan will be joining Dr Elnour in early 2012 as part of the CRE team.
CRE Primary Health Care Microsystems' Chief Investigators and team members of Research Streams 1 and 2 in will be meeting at Deakin University in Warrnambool on February 17th to discuss and review the program's progress and future strategies. This activity will coincide with the GGT UDRH 10 year celebrations, enabling participants to be involved in both events.
Degree of Doctor of Science
In early 2011 Professor Erkki Vartiainen (MD, PhD) was awarded honoris causa, the Degree of Doctor of Science from Flinders University. Professor Vartiainen has maintained a close association with the GGT UDRH since 2002 when he provided invaluable assistance with the development of the Department's inaugural work on diabetes prevention, the Diabetes Prevention Project Initiative. Since this time he has continued to offer advice and breadth of experience to the Director and other GGT UDRH and Flinders University researchers, including leading on various research grants; substantive contribution to the Department's public health program's strategic directions; participation in writing retreats and various other public health workshops, and mentorship of academic staff.
Professor Vartiainen has been an Adjunct Professor in Public Health at the University of Kuopio in Finland since 1985 and Research Professor in National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) since 2000. He is held in high regard internationally by public health researchers, and he currently heads one of the world's largest research groups working on the prevention of chronic disease.
Professor Vartiainen, along with his colleague Adjunct Professor Tiina Laatikainen (MD, PhD), has also recently been appointed an Adjunct Professor with Flinders University.
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