Today the Australian Government’s Minister for Health, Hon. Greg Hunt MP, has announced eight national translation research centres, including the Western Australian Health Translation Network (WAHTN), will receive more than $33 million for research into health care practices and interventions. The funding will focus on people with, or at risk of, developing chronic conditions.
The WAHTN has been awarded $4.14 million in the latest round of the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) as part of the Rapid Applied Research Translation (RART) program. This round of RART grants was targeted to primary care research, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary care and public health interventions which address lifestyle factors which lead to chronic disease. This builds on $1.97 million previously awarded to WAHTN in 2018, totalling $6.1 million provided by the Australian Government over three years.
Commenting on the successful funding application, Executive Director of WAHTN, Professor Gary Geelhoed, said “The awarding of these funds to WAHTN and to similar bodies around Australia, comprising the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA), confirms the ongoing commitment of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and MRFF to the importance of these entities in promoting medical research and its timely application.”
The grant will provide funding for 12 research projects from WAHTNs Health Service Translational Research Projects (HSTRP) initiative, three Targeted Translational Research (TTR) Fellowships and several National System Level Initiatives, which are projects carried out across the nine AHRA Centres throughout Australia.
The TTR Fellowships align with WAHTNs aim to support our emerging research talent. Along with building and strengthening the research workforce within WA and enhancing our capacity and capability to undertake high quality translational research. The Fellowships will be targeted to the research areas of:
- Aboriginal Health
- Wound Care
- Antimicrobial Resistance
The HSTRP program attracted 68 applications from the public and private health sector, PathWest and the WA Primary Health Alliance. The large number of quality applications made the process highly competitive. It also provided an encouraging snapshot of the strength and breadth of translational health research occurring in WA hospital and primary health settings. The successful projects, listed in the table below, will be supported by $2.84 million in MRFF funding, with matched funding from the health services.
The successful HSTRP recipients are:
|Recipient||Project Title||Health Service|
|Dr Christopher Brennan-Jones||PCH Ear Portal: Improving access to specialist ENT and Audiology services in metropolitan Perth||Child and Adolescent Health Service|
|Dr André Schultz||Implementation of solutions to improve follow-up for Aboriginal children hospitalised with lower respiratory tract infections||Child and Adolescent Health Service|
|Prof Graham Hillis||Community based education and exercise training in heart failure: Harnessing an existing resource to bridge a gap||East Metropolitan Health Service|
|Prof Christobel Saunders||Measuring the cost of continuous improvement in care-cancer at Royal Perth Hospital – a ‘proof-of-concept’||East Metropolitan Health Service|
|Assoc Prof Paul Cohen||Getting the MOST out of follow-up: a randomised controlled trial to compare three-monthly nurse-led telephone follow-up, including monitoring serum CA125 and patient reported outcomes using the MOST (Measure of Ovarian Symptoms and Treatment concerns) with routine clinic-based follow-up, following completion of first-line chemotherapy in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer||North Metropolitan Health Service|
|Prof Michael Millward||Integrating Tumour Mutational Burden (TMB) testing for appropriate selection of immuno-oncology therapy in metastatic melanoma fit for the modern era||North Metropolitan Health Service|
|Prof Girish Dwivedi||High Performance Medicine through Artificial Intelligence in the Emergency Department||South Metropolitan Health Service|
|Assoc Prof Andrew Maiorana||Primary Care Adherence to Heart Failure guidelines IN Diagnosis, Evaluation and Routine management (PATHFINDER) Study||South Metropolitan Health Service|
|Dr Wei-Sen Lam||TeleTrials in WA: A feasibility study to develop and pilot a TeleTrials framework to bring clinical trials closer to home for country patients||WA Country Health Service|
|Ms Jo Moore||A community and health system partnership to prevent hospitalisation and improve outcomes through a Compassionate Communities Model of End of Life Care||WA Country Health Service|
|Prof Desiree Silva||Embedding E-Health (Pregnancy Lifestyle, Activity, Nutrition (PLAN)) into routine clinical practice pathways to provide a healthy start to life||Ramsay Health Care|
|Mr Richard Varhol||Unlocking the potential of health system integration through data linkage: Combining primary and secondary data across the continuum of care to support policy development and clinical management of chronic disease in WA||WA Primary Health Alliance|