June 17, 2019

Research Dinner raises vital funds for student research and scholarships

On Wednesday, 12 June, Northern Health Foundation hosted their annual Research Dinner, raising funds towards vital research and education.

Hosted at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, guests included Northern Health Board Chair, Jennifer Williams AM, Chief Executive, Siva Sivarajah, Northern Health Foundation Board Chair, John Molnar, Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, Frank McGuire MP, Northern Health Research Lead, Professor Peter Brooks and Divisional Director of Emergency Services and Director of Cardiology, Professor Bill van Gaal.

Jennifer Williams opened the evening saying, “Northern Health is boldly and innovatively committed to enhancing our patients’ quality of life using digital technologies and research breakthroughs.”

“We have the opportunity to be at the forefront of new models of care, engaging our clinicians and community in providing solutions to the needs of our patients living in Melbourne‚Äôs north. We need to fund our researchers of the future and their innovative ideas that, if successful, will make a difference to the lives of our patients and community,” Jennifer added.

This year, we welcomed Keynote speaker, Professor Kathryn North AC, Director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the David Danks Professor of Child Health Research at the University of Melbourne. Professor North is a clinician scientist, world leader in genomic medicine and has extensive knowledge of digital health.

Professor North spoke about life as a clinician scientist, her career in genomics and children’s health, and future opportunities for Northern Health in its digital health transformation – “It’s a very exciting time to be a researcher, with the Future Fund, and the focus to translate research into clinical practice. Enhancing the power of digital health really means we can do big science from anywhere.”

“You’ve got to acknowledge the positives of research and this is how you encourage young people to have an addiction to research – embrace teaching others, it enriches your working life and it enriches the clinical environment. Mentorship is probably the most fun of anything I do!” Professor North added.

Multi ARIA award winners, the Grigoryan Brothers, served as entertainment for staff, corporate partners and sponsors and research enthusiasts.

PhD scholarship recipients, Rifly Rafiudeen and Zahra Nasr, were in attendance to discuss their research projects. Rifly’s research aims to reduce peri-operative myocardial infarction (PMI) and injury, particularly in patients with hip fractures who tend to be elderly with many medical conditions. Meanwhile, Zahra’s research focuses on preventing and managing post-operative nausea and vomiting, to find out how to effectively engage patients and staff in managing their post-surgical complications.

Professor Bill van Gaal told guests, “as a prolific researcher myself, I am excited about the future of research at Northern Health and encourage you to join us on this journey.”

A total of $33,000 was raised by the Northern Health Foundation, which will go towards supporting the next generation of health professionals with research scholarships and grants.

Chief Executive, Siva Sivarajah, said, “our supporters enable us to continue to translate research into practice, enhance patient safety and create positive outcomes to meet the complex and challenging needs of the northern community.”

Left to Right: Professor Peter Brooks, Frank McGuire, Jennifer Williams, Kathryn North, Siva Sivarajah