$1 million in grants awarded to 23 health and medical research projects across southern Adelaide

Posted 22 Mar 2023

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) researchers will share $1 million in grants, with two major South Australian charities combining to support 23 exciting new health and medical research projects.

The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Group and Flinders Foundation have each contributed $500,000 to support the most recent SALHN Enquiry Grant Round.

The 23 projects will be led and conducted by staff across SALHN – which includes Flinders Medical Centre, Noarlunga Hospital, the Repat Health Precinct, and community health sites.

Targeting a range of illnesses, diseases and social issues, the research projects stand to directly benefit patients treated across SALHN, with a range of clinical trials, new therapies, ground-breaking research and continuous improvement projects among the successful grants.

These include:

  • A novel blood test to monitor treatment of lung cancer without the need for performing invasive biopsies
  • Trialling a psychological rehabilitation program to improve symptoms and quality of life in people with long COVID
  • Looking at the prevalence of risk factors for liver disease and advanced fibrosis in remote living aboriginal populations
  • Establishing a biobank consortium to provide researchers, scientists and clinicians with access to much needed human specimens, tissue and fluid to make world-class discoveries
  • Exploring alternative anaesthetic medicines to improve outcomes for neonates and infants undergoing hernia surgery
  • Reducing elective surgery waitlists by trialling alternative rapid access options for some minor surgical procedures

Over the next two years, these projects will lead to translational research outcomes.

THRF Group CEO Paul Flynn said the collaborative initiative highlights the “stronger together” approach to fighting deadly disease and illness, effectively doubling the impact for critical research projects that will help save lives in the future.

“We’re pleased to be able to support innovative projects that will pave the way for improved health outcomes for all South Australians which include better treatments, preventative health measures as well as advancements in patient and hospital care, all of them informed by the very latest research outcomes.”

Flinders Foundation Executive Director Ross Verschoor said it was through the generous support of South Australians that medical discoveries and improved care are made possible.

“The health system has been under immense pressure over the past few years, but despite this, the hard-working staff across SALHN are using their expertise and first-hand knowledge to improve health outcomes for our community and improve the way care is delivered in the future.

“Finders Foundation is proud to support SALHN in its efforts to enhance care through research and looks forward to celebrating the impact of these research projects in South Australia, nationally and globally.”

SALHN CEO Kerrie Freeman said the innovative research projects would help improve the lives of South Australians into the future.

“I would like to thank our dedicated clinicians and researchers who collaborate to bring research to the forefront and, importantly, translate it into practice to make a difference in the lives of others.

“These quiet heroes spend their days working on research that can really change lives.

“I would also like to acknowledge our donors and members of the community who take part in our trials, who contribute a great deal to research, that couldn't be done without them.”

Complete list of Enquiry Grant recipients:

Dr Adam Badenoch
Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine
Assessment of Blinding for Nerve Catheter Study (ABnC’s) study

Prof Alan Wigg
Aboriginal Health
Prevalence of risk factors for liver disease and advanced fibrosis in a remotely living adult Aboriginal population

Amy Hawke
Occupational Therapy
Implementation and impact of a sensory modulation room in a psychiatric intensive care Unit

Dr Anand Rose

A novel blood test to monitor treatment of lung cancer

Dr Ben Riley
Social Work
Family Delivered Contingency Management for Treatment Refusing Gamblers with Gambling Problems: A feasibility and acceptability pilot study

Claire Huxtable
Self-administered inhaled methoxyflurane (Penthrox®) as pre-injection analgesia in Podiatry Outpatients

Prof David Watson
Establishment of the Flinders Biobank Consortium

Duncan Lodge
Outpatient redesign –involving allied health triage and assessment to support a reduction in neurosurgery waiting lists

Dr Fiona Taverner
Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine
Baby CHiX: Caudal, High Flow oxygen and DeXmedetomidine sedation for inguinal hernia surgery in neonates and infants, a feasibility study

Dr Jacquie Beall
Child Protection Services
Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing Outcomes for Children in Out-Of-Home-Care: A Brief Targeted Intervention for Caregivers

Jenie Aikman
Mental Health
Flipping language to build positive culture to improve care experiences: Development of an e learning module

Dr Jeya Ramachandran
Home Management of refractory ascites due to end stage liver disease: a pilot study

Dr Kandegama Subha Senewirathna
Aboriginal Health
Developing a co-designed model of care that integrated the Aboriginal Health Practitioner role in SALHN rehabilitation services

Lauren Thompson / Jess Stott
Women's and Children's
A mixed methods study to explore the experiences of consumers and staff within SALHN maternity care services

Libo Xiong
Identifying predictive markers to determine the length of hospitalisation for patients with medically unstable eating disorders

Dr Muireann O'Loughlin
Palliative Care
Effectiveness of a novel approach to managing dry mouth in Rehabilitation, Aged and Palliative Care

Dr Peter Herriot
Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine
Sleeping well with persistent pain: Using cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia to improve sleep, pain, and quality of life for individuals with chronic pain

Petra Bierer
Wellbeing Matters for our Rehabilitation, Aged & Palliative Care Consumers

Prof Phil Dinning
Understanding causes of flatus / faecal incontinence: a look beyond the anal sphincters

Dr Reme Mountifield
The effectiveness of a consumer co designed psychological intervention for Body Image Dissatisfaction in individuals living with IBD

Dr Subbuh Luker
Taking Charge after COVID 19 – can outcomes be improved for people with Long COVID using a psychologically informed rehabilitation approach?

A/Prof Timothy To
Palliative Care
Feasibility study for a novel approach to delivery of breakthrough analgesics in palliative care

Zara Soden
Intermediate Care Services
Evaluation of consumer preferences and social perspectives of allied health early intervention groups


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