Sunshine Coast Health Service chief executive Kevin Hegarty.
Sunshine Coast Health Service chief executive Kevin Hegarty. John McCutcheon

Million dollar windfall for hospital staff

FIVE Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) clinical research teams have collectively been awarded more than $1 million in State Government funding grants for medical research.

From research in neurosciences and aged care, to hospital antibiotic prescribing and advanced care planning, the grants will enhance the health service's research capacity prior to the opening of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH).

SCHHS chief executive, Kevin Hegarty, said the grant scheme provided an excellent opportunity for the health service to develop quality research programs.

"We're committed to enhancing our research capacity within the SCHHS which will help ensure we continuously improve services and deliver the best health care for our communities," Mr Hegarty said.

"Congratulations to the five successful research teams, whose submissions were chosen from more than 20 competitive applications received throughout the health service."

Associate Professor Nicholas Gray, chair of the SCHHS Research Committee, said research was the development of innovative new ideas for the improvement of health care in the future.

"Research is an investment, and these strategic grants are an investment by the SCHHS in its staff, the development of a tertiary hospital for the Sunshine Coast, and health care for the broader community," Assoc Prof Gray said.

Funded research proposals:

  • Activity, Attention, Environmental Enrichment and Innovative Technology to Enhance Recovery in Rehabilitation, Neurosciences and Geriatrics: Dr Rohan Grimley ($300,915).

This grant will build on the existing base of research within neurosciences and aged care (to an active program of local research focussed around acute stroke/transient ischemic attack) to develop ongoing research in a multidisciplinary team.

  • Influencing Hospital Antimicrobial Prescribing: Cultural, Social and Behavioural Change to Guide Clinical Practice Improvement: Dr Jennifer Broom ($231,054).

Hospital antibiotic prescribing has been identified as key to limiting the development of antibiotic resistance. This grant will extend the existing research activity in antibiotic optimisation within the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service and provide a platform for improving antibiotic prescribing.

  • Implementation of Advance Care Planning through Participatory Action Research: Dr John Endacott ($157,266).

Safe, high-quality and person-centre End of Life Care (EOLC) requires the availability of appropriately qualified, skilled and experienced multidisciplinary teams. Patients must be empowered to direct their own care where possible, and have their care reviewed systematically as their needs, values, priorities, goals and wishes change over time. This grant will develop research into advance care planning and EOLC through a program of participatory action research.

  • Emergency Department Research Support: Dr Ogilvie Thom ($193,053).

This grant will support the development of a program of research within the Department of Emergency Medicine through the appointment of key clinical research staff. In supporting this grant, the Department of Emergency Medicine will gain the advantage of ensuring a clinical research presence while providing the necessary resources to support, mentor and nurture the development of research across the department.

  • Improving Cardiovascular Outcomes and Quality of Care in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: Dr Rathika Krishnasamy ($123,521).

This grant will focus on the development of a body of research targeted at identifying key factors to improve service delivery for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients and establish a multidisciplinary model of care with incorporation of an exercise program to reduce the progression of cardiovascular disease in CKD.

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