March 4, 2021

A/Professor Lisa Hui wins top prize at RANZCOG Annual Scientific Meeting

Associate Professor Lisa Hui from our Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has won the top prize at this year’s Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) for her research on obstetric and newborn outcomes during pandemic lockdown in Melbourne.

She was awarded the prestigious Aldo Vacca Award for the best free communication for her talk on the ‘Collaborative Maternity and Newborn Dashboard (CoMaND) for the COVID19 pandemic: real-time monitoring of perinatal services performance indicators in Victoria’.

Her research showed that public hospitals across Melbourne observed increases in infant birthweights over the 90th centile, as well as increases in rates of maternal overweight and obesity during the first Melbourne lockdown period. There was also a decline in exclusive breastmilk feeding during stage 3 and stage 4 restrictions.

More than 400 scientific abstracts had been submitted to the ASM this year. At the virtual award ceremony held on 18 February, RANZCOG President, Dr Vijay Roach, said to Lisa, “I am sure Aldo would have been very happy to have known that you are receiving this award.”

The CoMaND project collects a wide range of maternal and newborn outcomes from public hospitals each month and produces a report that is circulated to health services, the COVID-19 expert obstetric advisory group to Safer Care Victoria, and the Chair of the Consultative Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Morbidity and Mortality.

The collaboration was supported by grants from the Norman Beischer Research Foundation and the University of Melbourne Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

“It has been incredibly valuable for our clinical leaders to be able to monitor the impacts of changes to maternity care during the pandemic,” said Lisa. “The support of our funders was crucial to this work.”

“It has been incredibly gratifying to have 100 per cent of public maternity hospitals in Melbourne signing up to the collaboration so that we can rapidly detect any concerning safety signals in perinatal outcomes such as stillbirth or preterm birth,” added Lisa.

Wanda Stelmach, Chief Medical Officer, said, “Northern Health is immensely proud to have A/Professor Lisa Hui as part of our clinical and research teams. Her proactive approach to problem solving is paving the way to better mother and baby care, not only in the north but throughout the obstetric community.”

The CoMaND project will continue to report on the impacts of the pandemic on mothers and babies throughout 2021 and 2022.