April 6, 2022

Research week 2022: Listening and learning from our patients

Dr Vicky Kartsogiannis (PhD), Research Coordinator, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, here at Northern Health, summed it well when she said, “Just wanted to congratulate everyone involved in organising Research Week amongst all challenges in the background. Brilliant as always!”

She went on to say, “Despite being a virtual event, I think it has been a blessing as it allows people to join in from home or wherever they may be.”

Research Week, when we celebrate our many inspired researchers at Northern Health, was marked on 28, 29 and 31 March.

Congratulations to the team of Dr Faten ‘Faye’ Zaibak, Director, Research Operations, Brittany Szabo, Natali Cvetanovska, Rachel Brade and for Professor Peter Brooks AM, for facilitating the event.

As Faye says, “What a week! Research week highlighted the hard work of our researchers in 2021. The week started with Professor John Prins challenging us to think about the healthcare workforce of the future. We learnt about how our research is contributing to understanding the consequences COVID-19 has had on the stillbirth rate. (A/Prof Lisa Hui on the topic of ‘Increase in stillbirths and reduction in medically-indicated preterm birth: adverse impacts of Melbourne lockdown‘). The value of audit in establishing the state of play and identifying further research questions that will ultimately optimise the compliance with surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis in open reduction internal fixation procedures. (‘Surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis in open reduction internal fixation presented by Ms Sarah Hassan.) The role our research can play to help improve allergy testing. (‘Location, location, location: Determining the ideal site for allergen controls in forearm skin prick testing’ presented by Rebekah De Losa.)

The oral presentation award went to A/Prof Lisa Hui with Ms Rebekah De Losa and Ms Sarah Hassan also receiving awards and raising the flag for the next generation of researchers at Northern Health. A big congratulations to our people’s choice winners, Ms Belinda Baines (Best Oral) and Ms Octavia Nakos, medical student at Northern Health (Best Poster). Although voting has ended, the posters and abstract book are available here to view.

Our highlighted division this year was Diagnostic and Cancer Services with a session hosted by A/Prof Prahlad Ho.

“To hear that Belinda Lee’s vision for coordinated big data approaches to treat pancreatic cancer is already making a difference and the Haematology teams OHP assay showing promise in providing a global picture of coagulation and potential for COVID-19 management was exciting,” said Faye.

Prof Anthony Russell rounded off our talks with an outstanding Grand Round, presenting data showing how empowering individuals, and their General Practitioners, can improve outcomes, reduce hospital stay and cost to the health system.

Our overall awardees for Rising Star in Research was Eleanor Johnson and Researcher of the Year, A/Prof Lisa Hui.

“Great to see a nurse win the Rising Star in Research Award, and together with Lisa, see research grow within the Women’s and Children’s division. It was lovely to see A/Prof Hamish Ewing come out of retirement to run the trivia session. Congratulations to Stephen Tucker who, in the last few rounds of the trivia competition, edged past the leader Saz (who was unmasked to be no other than Sarah Hassan),” adds Faye.

Special thanks to Northern Health Foundation and JR Medical Books for their generous sponsorship of Research Week.

Pina Di Donato, Acting Executive Director, Public Affairs and Foundation, said it was heartening to read stories like that of Chris Lynch and know that funding from Northern Health Foundation, was making a difference.

“Funding research is an important part of our mission at Northern Health Foundation,” she said.

As Professor Peter Brooks, AM, Research Lead says, “Research carried out at Northern Health, both before and during the pandemic in the area of ‘virtual health’, will lead to Northern Health being able to deliver many more services outside of hospitals. This has again emphasised the importance of listening and learning from our patients, and from the community, about what they think is important to them.”

“We know that a health service which commits to, and nurtures, a research culture has happier and more satisfied staff and produces better patient outcomes. We should all be proud of the clinical care we deliver, and strive to underpin this with education and research.”

Thank you for participating in Research Week 2022. We would appreciate you taking the time to complete a short survey on Research Week. The survey will only take you 1 – 2 minutes to complete. Your feedback will go towards improving future events. Please click here for survey.

Featured image shows the cover of our 2022 Abstract Book.