Grants focus on rapid health benefits

Saving Indigenous babies, speeding access to support for people with severe mental illnesses, and stemming the disease burden in southern suburbs – these initiatives will be assisted from research to reality after winning Medical Research Future Fund grants.

Flinders University secured three of the eight Rapid Applied Research Translation (RART) Health Impact Grants awarded in South Australia.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint says the grants, worth almost $600,000, will make a real difference to people’s lives.

“Flinders does exceptional health research which has a global impact, but it can be a challenge translating breakthroughs into effective preventions or treatments,” Professor Saint says.

“Funding which supports our talented researchers to be able to more rapidly spread the benefit of their work is greatly welcomed.”

Project details for the grants, which commence in January 2019, are:

Healthy South: Testing the feasibility of the rapid translation of Health in All Policies (HiAP) ideas to create healthy urban environments, create health promoting services and stem the non-communicable disease epidemic in the Southern area of Adelaide (Lead: Professor Fran Baum, director of the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity – value: $199,863)

The Healthy South initiative will adapt a whole-of-community approach to creating health, wellbeing and low risk environments for non-communicable diseases. With a focus on stimulating collaborative action, the research will examine whether evidence and practice can be rapidly disseminated, while identifying any blocks to doing so.

Safely sleeping Aboriginal babies in South Australia – doing it together (Lead: Associate Professor Julian Grant  – value $196,860)

This project will provide the opportunity for Aboriginal families to provide a safe sleep environment for their newborn babies while increasing awareness and knowledge of safe sleeping behaviours. It aims to reduce the 3:1 gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the 4:1 gap in Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy.

Implementing a decision support tool to facilitate early access to community-based care for people with severe mental illness (Lead: Associate Professor Niranjan Bidargaddi – value $200,000)

Explore whether the use of patients’ MBS and PBS data consolidated in My Health Record via the AI2 platform can support improved decision making by clinicians and other healthcare professionals and optimise health care for patients with severe mental illness by assisting the transition between community and primary care.

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