Bond University research fellow Dr Amanda McCullough has been awarded the Emerging Health Researcher Award for 2017. The $25 000 prize will go towards furthering Dr McCullough’s research career and help drive her crucial work that aims to stop the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria by reducing antibiotic prescription among general practitioners. Her research has shown that Australian GPs prescribe nearly 6 million antibiotics annually, which Dr McCullough has demonstrated is four to nine times higher than what is recommended by Australian guidelines. As part of her research, Dr McCullough has been reviewing the evidence on why GPs and members of the public use antibiotics, and how this could be reduced for common conditions such as coughs, colds, flus and ear infections. To help change prescribing behaviour, she is also involving a psychologist in her work. In addition to Dr McCullough, five additional outstanding health researchers were acknowledged as finalists and awarded $5000 each to continue their research that is driving changes in health policy and practice in Australia. They are: Dr Bridianne O’Dea from the Black Dog Institute, for her research into using technology and social media to identify, treat and prevent mental illness and promote wellbeing in youth; Dr Emma Beckett from the University of Newcastle, for her research into gene-nutrient-environment interactions; Dr Jaquelyne Hughes from the Menzies School of Health Research, for her research into reducing rates of chronic kidney disease in Indigenous communities; Dr Rae-Anne Hardie from the Australian Institute of Health Innovation at Macquarie University, for her research into enhancing quality of pathology testing in general practice; and, Dr Thushara Perera from the Bionics Institute, for his research into precise instrumentation to measure hand tremor, balance, posture, rigidity, and gait in movement disorder patients.
A new regional training hub will help Flinders University Rural Health SA to work closely with stakeholders in the Limestone Coast and Riverland regions to instigate and coordinate more medical training programs, expanding its undergraduate program to junior doctor and postgraduate internships and education. For the past 20 years, Flinders Rural Health SA has built a network of high-quality educational facilities which support medical, nursing and allied health students in primary care, community, emergency, inpatient, aged care, research and allied health settings. The network already supports rural clinical programs in the Riverland, Limestone Coast, Adelaide Hills-Mallee-Fleurieu and Barossa regions. The new training hub will focus on future strategies for the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program (RHMT). It coincides with Flinders University gaining accreditation for the new workplace-based assessment program which is open for international medical graduates to commence a 12-month program at the Mount Gambier Hospital and then obtain full-time work at health sites around the Limestone Coast.
Flinders University alumna Kirsty Boden, a nurse who was killed in the 2017 London Bridge terrorist attack, has been honoured with the awarding of a scholarship for rural nurses in her name. Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling honoured Kirsty Boden with a posthumous Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award during a special ceremony. Received by Kirsty’s family, the award acknowledges her selfless role to care for others in a terrible incident, and the bravery which cost this dynamic young woman her life. It is a legacy which will have immediate significance for the two inaugural recipients of the Kirsty Boden Memorial Nursing Scholarship. In September 2017, the Government of South Australia announced a $100 000 grant to establish the Kirsty Boden Memorial Nursing Scholarship at Flinders University, comprising 10 scholarships to be awarded to final year nursing students from regional South Australia over the next 5 years. The first recipients of $10 000 scholarships for 2018 studies are Rita Amyan and James Cheeseman.
Monash University’s Associate Professor Diana Egerton-Warburton has been inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for 2018 in recognition of her achievements and commitment to the field of emergency medicine. Associate Professor Egerton-Warburton is Director of Emergency Medicine Research, Monash Medical Centre ED and an emergency physician with a passion for patient and community advocacy. She is an Associate Professor at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash health (SCS) and the National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University. Associate Professor Egerton-Warburton has led and participated in a number of multi-site clinical trials and clinical research projects, with an emphasis on focused on pragmatic, patient-centered research, to influence practice and policy. She has received numerous research grants including NHMRC, AMA and VicHealth. Associate Professor Egerton-Warburton was the president of the Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine from 1997 to 2000. She was chair of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Public Health Committee for almost a decade and has led an international project to highlight and reduce the harmful effects of alcohol. She has been awarded numerous prizes including VicHealth and Australian Medical Association’s Women in Medicine Award 2016 for an “outstanding contribution to emergency medicine with a strong passion for public health”. She is a member of the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and other Drugs, providing policy advice to the Commonwealth Government. She has provided policy advice to the Victorian Minister for Health.
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