A sod turned on world-class research facilities in Frankston


Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, Monash University Professor Christina Mitchell, Peninsula Health Chief Executive Felicity Topp, Frankston City Council Mayor Kris Bolam and Federal Member for Dunkley Peta Murphy (left to right) turn the first sod on the new Academic and Research Centre. 

The first sod has been officially turned at Frankston Hospital on Peninsula Health’s new Academic and Research Centre.

The multi-million dollar centre is a joint venture with Monash University and is expected to take around 12 months to complete, opening in early 2022. Peninsula Health’s Chief Executive, Felicity Topp, said the sod turn was a significant milestone.

“This is a symbolic moment in the evolution of Peninsula Health and the further progression of the Frankston health precinct,” said Ms Topp.

“As we continue to expand our research profile, we are delighted to be creating a state-of-the-art environment for our clinicians, researchers and students,” said Ms Topp. “This project will enable us to provide exceptional facilities to enhance the capabilities of our current teams and the next generation of healthcare professionals.”

“The local community will benefit enormously from this new centre,” added Ms Topp. “Our focus is to improve health outcomes for local people by enabling translational research across both Peninsula Health and Monash University, as well as through the National Centre for Healthy Ageing (NCHA).”

“The NCHA is a nationally significant initiative, and I am looking forward to working with Monash University and the Commonwealth to greatly improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians,” said Ms Topp.

A component of the NCHA, a health data and implementation platform, will be housed within the new Academic and Research Centre, while the bulk of the collaborative project will be based at the nearby Peninsula campus of Monash University.

Professor Christina Mitchell, Dean Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University said “The new health data and implementation platform will consist of new state of the art physical and data infrastructure for secure data storage. The platform will be a resource for multiple research areas including addiction, mental health, and ageing research.”

This milestone for the Academic and Research Centre comes at the same time that four new projects within the NCHA’s Living Labs are announced, which bring together end users with other partners such as clinicians, community organisations, consumer representatives, researchers and technology developers to co-design and test new approaches and solutions to real world problems in healthy ageing.

“These four projects span better mental health care models for older people during and after an admission to emergency departments, support for family carers of older people, and targeted interventions for the 137,000 Australian hospital admissions where alcohol and other drugs are a factor,“ said Professor Mitchell.

“The successful researchers will also co-design and implement a Mornington Peninsula Residential Aged Care Research Network with representatives from aged care peak bodies. The network will provide a scalable platform for the NCHA to identify and address research and quality improvement priorities of local, national and international importance.”

“We congratulate the successful candidates and thank the Commonwealth Government for their support,” added Professor Mitchell. “This was all made possible through the Commonwealth’s Community Health and Hospital Program grant awarded to us in 2019.”

Construction of the new Academic and Research Centre is being managed by Australian construction group, Built, following a competitive tender process.

Director, Vic and SA, Ross Walker, said “Built is proud to deliver this advanced academic healthcare facility for Peninsula Health and Monash University. Using innovative design principles, Built will deliver an efficient and functional learning and research healthcare environment that will positively benefit the community.”

“Our team has extensive healthcare experience, delivering more than $350 million worth of projects in the Health and Aged Care sector nationally. Being able to apply this experience within the academic and research fields of healthcare is both a positive and rewarding undertaking for our Victorian team.”

National Centre for Healthy Ageing – LIVING LABS PROGRAM – Pilot Round 1 Outcomes

* “Mental health problems and emergency department presentations for older people: a multiple methods investigation to inform improvements to patient-centred care

Dr Rosamond Dwyer (Peninsula Health) $145,660

* “Who cares for the carer? Co-designing a novel service to support health and wellbeing of older carers of older people”

Professor Keith Hill (Monash University) $149,636

* “Development of a Mornington Peninsula Residential Aged Care Research Network (RACReN)”

Dr Katrina Long (Monash University) $144,124

* “Mapping the Alcohol and Other Drug patient journey to improve treatment access and engagement in care”

Associate Professor Suzanne Nielsen (Monash University) $149,744

Peninsula Health Chief Executive Felicity Topp says the local community will benefit enormously from this new centre.