Around the universities and research institutes

Cate Swannell
Med J Aust || doi: 10.5694/mja16.1807C3
Published online: 18 July 2016

The Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network has received a prestigious international award — the ASPIRE Award for Excellence in Social Accountability.

The Aspire Award is developed under the auspices of the Association for Medical Education in Europe, the leading international association for medical education. The ASPIRE Award recognises medical, dental and veterinary schools that excel in assessment of students, student engagement, social accountability of the school, and faculty development.

This is the first time the international award has been presented to a program representing a collective of schools.

The LIME Network supports collaboration between medical schools in Australia and New Zealand to advance the development, delivery and evaluation of quality Indigenous health initiatives.

The reviewers highlighted that the LIME Network Program and its members clearly demonstrate a strong commitment to social accountability, noting that it is “[a]n impressive bi-national initiative with a focus on a topic of national (and indeed) global priority, within a clear construct of social accountability”.

“Key outcomes and impact have been, and continue to be, achieved through a model that is inclusive, participatory, and community oriented.”

The review panel also observed that “the LIME Network operates to bind all medical schools together creating greater impact than could be achieved by any alone, or by any smaller grouping”.

Professor Shaun Ewen, LIME Network Project Lead, said that “the Network has contributed to transforming the future Australian and New Zealand health workforce”.

“Indigenous leadership, better trained physicians, more diversity through the recruitment and graduation of more Indigenous medical students. Indigenous people taking their rightful place.”

Professor Nicholas Glasgow, President of Medical Deans congratulated the LIME Network: “This is a great achievement for LIME Network members, particularly the LIME Reference Group and secretariat.

“It is a tribute to the innovation evident in the field of Indigenous health and medical education made possible through their collaborative work.”

The LIME Network is a project of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand, and receives funding from the Australian Government Department of Health. The Network is dedicated to ensuring the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning of Indigenous health in medical education, as well as best practice in the recruitment and graduation of Indigenous medical students.

Professor Kelsey Hegarty has been appointed as Australia’s first chair of Family Violence Prevention, a joint appointment by the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women’s Hospital (the Women’s). Professor Hegarty is a leading voice at the University of Melbourne and researcher on the role of the health system in preventing family violence in Australia and globally. Professor Hegarty is an academic general practitioner who co-chairs the Melbourne Research Alliance and leads an abuse and violence research program in the Melbourne Medical School’s Department of General Practice. Her current research includes the evidence base for interventions to prevent violence against women; educational and complex system interventions around identification of family violence in health care settings (including men who use violence), and responding to women and children exposed to abuse through health care and through the use of new technologies. For over a decade Professor Hegarty has contributed at both national and international levels to the family violence field, advising the World Health Organization on guidelines for health practitioners and health systems change. She has developed a program of research in family violence, which began when she developed the Composite Abuse Scale, which has been used extensively globally as an outcome of intervention trials and is available in 10 languages. Professor Hegarty played a lead role in the development of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioner’s White Book on Abuse and Violence and an online learning module. She has developed innovative family violence curricula for health practitioners and regularly teaches to undergraduates and postgraduate health practitioners. Professor Hegarty has been the chair of the governance group of the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria for many years. She is also Director of the postgraduate Primary Care Nursing Course. She continues to work in general practice.

James Cook University has established a memorial fund to support the continuation of Emeritus Professor Rick Speare’s work on research capacity strengthening at Atoifi Adventist Hospital, Malaita, in the Solomon Islands. Professor Speare died last month. He was a specialist public health physician and became an internationally recognised leader in neglected tropical diseases among humans. Equally, he made important contributions to wildlife health. His higher doctorate of veterinary science was awarded by the University of Queensland for his research on amphibian disease. Professor Speare started at JCU in 1988 as a research fellow, before his appointment as an associate professor in 1991, when he took up the role of Director of the Anton Breinl Centre for Tropical Health and Medicine. He went on to serve in various capacities, including as Deputy Director of the Department of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and later as Head of the then School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences. He played a pivotal role in the establishment at JCU of the WHO Collaboration Centre for the Control of Lymphatic Filariasis in 1996.

Sixth-year JCU medical student Chloe McKenna has been awarded the Best Research Paper Prize at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ 2016 Annual Scientific Congress in the specialty program of Rural Surgery. Ms McKenna’s presentation, entitled Quality of life outcome comparisons examining sacral nerve stimulation and biofeedback as management of faecal incontinence, was based on her honours research. From a dietetics background, Ms McKenna’s research stemmed from her interest in gastrointestinal issues. Chloe said faecal incontinence was much more prevalent than people thought. “In north and far north Queensland 12.8% of people experience faecal incontinence,” she said. “It is non-discriminatory and can affect people of any age.” She is also hoping to submit her research at this year’s Townsville Health Research Week symposium.

Flinders University’s School of Medicine has welcomed two new Matthew Flinders Fellows. Associate Professor Rosalie Grivell has been appointed a Fellow in Maternal Foetal Medicine while South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute-based Associate Professor Stuart Brierley will move from the University of Adelaide to continue his research into visceral pain, along with nutrition and gastrointestinal diseases. Associate Professor Brierley is a National Health and Medical Research Council R.D. Wright Biomedical Fellow and Head of the Visceral Pain Group located at SAHMRI. He is an internationally recognised authority on the different afferent classes innervating the gut, the mechano-transduction channels underlying their function, the interaction of these channels with inflammatory mediators, and how this changes in acute and chronic pain. Associate Professor Grivell will provide leadership in the expansion of Foetal Maternal Medicine services at Flinders Medical Centre, and bring a collaborative approach with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

  • Cate Swannell



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