Headlines June 2017


Queen's Birthday Honours for Ken Harvey

Congratulations to A/Prof Ken Harvey, who was honoured in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours list. Ken has been made a member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to community health and the pharmaceutical industry through roles in developing guidelines for the ethical use of antibiotics.


A/Prof Elliott receives award for 'citizen science' work

Congratulations to A/Prof Julian Elliott, who was awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Health Minister's Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research 2017 on 8 June. The medal is bestowed annually to the top-ranked Career Development Fellowship applicant through the National Health and Medical Research Council.

His work focuses on building systems for translating research into practical healthcare solutions that improve patient health and quality of life. One example is Cochrane Crowd, a citizen science platform with over 5,000 members.


Research world first for Goma

The world's first population-based study examining mental health during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes in an earthquake context has officially been conducted by Australia Awards scholar Goma Kumari Khatri. Ms Khatri recruited 497 women who were pregnant at the time of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal to conduct interviews and assess their mental health. During this research, she uncovered baseline findings about the factors of mental health and common mental disorders during pregnancy.

Ms Khatri is seeking collaboration with other national and international organisations to extend this research, focusing not only on women who were pregnant at the time, but also women who conceived following the earthquake.


STAREE reaches 1,000

On 31 May, StaREE (Statins in Reducing Events in the Elderly) held a celebration to mark the 1,000th participant. This event was attended by 70 people and included representatives from the Heart Foundation, Stroke Foundation and various community networks. The milestone celebration also marked 400 GP Practices being involved in the trial, and Prof Sophia Zoungas made a special mention of the valued support of the general practitioner community.

StaREE is on the cusp of exciting progress with regional expansion across the three existing sites in Victoria, Tasmania and Perth and new sites about to begin in Queensland and New South Wales. The study hopes to invite 10,000 people from across Australia into the study.

To find out more information, please visit www.staree.org.au.


Australian Breast Device Registry comes to Queensland

ABDR Research Officers hit the road late May, recruiting Queensland surgeons and sites into the breast device registry. Sarah Barrington-Smith and Alice Noone travelled from Tweed Heads to Toowoomba, visiting seven sites which perform breast implant procedures and meeting with surgeons and nurses about the importance of contributing data to the ABDR. Their visit culminated with a well-received presentation at the Perioperative Nurses Association of Queensland State Conference in Toowoomba.

The ABDR recently announced their 15,000th patient enrolled in the registry and aims to release an annual report later the year. Follow the ABDR's progress on Facebook and Twitter.

Heather Karen Karin

Jean Hailes Research Unit present at family health conference

Dr Heather Rowe, Dr Karen Wynter and Dr Karin Hammarberg from the Jean Hailes Research Unit attended the biennual Maternal, Child and Family Health Nurses Association (MCaFHNA) Conference in Melbourne on 1–3 June. At this conference, Victoria and Tasmania celebrated 100 years since the first maternal and child health care centres were established. They presented two papers: 'Depression and anxiety symptoms in women at 6 months postpartum: associations with specific partner behaviours' (Karen Wynter) and 'Supporting MCaFHNs in mental health promotion: online self-help initiatives to prevent postnatal mental health problems' (Heather Rowe together with Fiona Darling from partner organisation, Jean Hailes for Women's Health).


Majority of women not achieving healthy weight during pregnancy, global study finds

ABC News, 7 June 2017
Prof Helena Teede

Almost a quarter of women are not gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy, while more than half are gaining too much weight, a global study led by Melbourne researchers has found.

Read the full article


Showcasing SPHPM's excellence

SPHPM's high-quality and diverse spread of research was recognised at the School's annual Excellence Awards earlier this month. The ceremony was held in the newly opened conference rooms at 553 St Kilda Road and was opened by ABC Melbourne's Jon Faine, who spoke about the need for scientists to share their passion and discoveries with media and the community.

The awards recognise researchers who have designed and delivered outstanding projects across all career stages. Awards named in honour of the late Professors Henry Krum and Damien Jolley were particularly poignant with their families in attendance.

Congratulations to all our winners! Visit our blog to see the list of everyone honoured.


Queen's Birthday Honours

Adj Prof Nick Crofts was made a member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours. He was recognised for his significant service to medicine in the field of epidemiology, particularly through contributions to the control of HIV and other infectious diseases.

Also honoured were former staff members Ian Anderson and Paul O'Brien, and former student David Langton.


Cochrane's Learning Week

Cochrane Australia recently ran an inaugural Learning Week training program, which attracted over 200 local, interstate and international registrations to eight full-day courses. The workshops explored all aspects of systematic reviews, research synthesis and evidence production. While some delegates attended one or two courses, others attended the full week's offerings. Participant feedback was universally positive and will help to shape Cochrane Australia's future training programs.


Melanie attends the World Health Assembly

Melanie Gibson-Helm (Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation) attended the World Health Assembly (WHA) held at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, 22–31 May 2017. The WHA is the World Health Organisation's annual decision-making meeting and is attended by all member states. Spending a week at the WHA was an amazing opportunity to witness health policy being made, and to see the balance between foreign policy and health policy in action. It's a challenge for countries to present their context, progress, challenges and position on a given topic in only a few minutes!

Knee guides

Rachelle and Ilana speak at standards launch

Prof Rachelle Buchbinder and A/Prof Ilana Ackerman were on a speaker panel facilitated by ABC National medical reporter Sophie Scott at the recent launch of the Clinical Care Standards for Knee Osteoarthritis by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care in Sydney. The Clinical Care Standards aim to promote high-quality, evidence-based care for knee osteoarthritis and reduce unwarranted variation. Both Prof Buchbinder and A/Prof Ackerman were members of the multidisciplinary Topic Working Group (chaired by Prof Buchbinder) that has developed these Clinical Care Standards over the past 18 months.


TEDx speaker comes to SPHPM

On Wednesday 7 June, staff and students from SPHPM and the AMREP precinct learnt how to deliver messages with impact and keep their audiences engaged from TEDx Melbourne's Jon Yeo. The highly anticipated MERQ Seminar was attended by over 100 people in the new conference facilities at 553 St Kilda Road. Jon delivered a dynamic and informative presentation highlighting key points in determining effective communication.