Friday, 16 August 2019 - 11:32am

The Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation (RHHRF) will celebrate local health and medical research this Friday evening, 16 August 2019, at its sixth annual Research Excellence Dinner, proudly hosted in partnership with St.LukesHealth at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart from 7pm.


This year’s event will see the RHHRF showcase current researchers, acknowledge 2019 grant recipients, thank supporters for their ongoing generosity, as well as welcome co-founder of JBWere‘s National Philanthropic Services, John McLeod, as keynote speaker for 2019.


RHHRF CEO Heather Francis said the formal celebration is a highlight of the Foundation’s calendar that really emphasises the importance of funding local medical research now and into the future.


“This annual event is a special occasion that will be attended by key donors and supporters, together with leading clinicians, researchers and health executives from across our Tasmanian community.


“The evening will feature presentations by current researchers, both emerging and highly-skilled, who will showcase how their vital work contributes to the wellbeing of our community state-wide, as well as some heartfelt words from a benefactor and her family’s philanthropic motivations, and a special keynote address from Mr John McLeod, arguably the nation’s leading commentator on the topic of ‘giving’.


“John McLeod will talk about the changing face of giving, with particular focus given to trends and opportunities for the medical research sector. He will touch on the philanthropic sector and its role as a source of significant funding into local medical research, and share valuable insight to those seeking to fuel future studies through this form of support. I’m sure guests will find this to be an inspiring highlight of the event.  As the author of the Australian Financial Review’s annual ‘Philanthropy 50’, and several seminal pieces including the Support Report and the Cause Report, we’re delighted to share John’s wisdom with the Tasmanian community ,” Ms Francis said.


Dr Julie Campbell will be presenting on her current RHHRF 2019 Project Grant study titled “Cost-effectiveness of the RHH’s Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic” and said she felt privileged to be able to undertake research with her team that will no doubt impact the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians for years to come.


“Against a background Tasmania’s high prevalence of smoking, elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels, physical inactivity and obesity, it’s sad to note that our state has one of the highest rates of cardiovascular disease in the country.  This highlights the value of the RHH’s Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic as an integrated and streamlined model of patient care that assesses Tasmanians with first onset chest pain in a far more effective way".


"Tasmania is leading the way in this area with RHH Staff Cardiologist, Dr Andrew Black's team treating over 3000 patients in one of Australia's first RACPCs since establishment in June 2014. Through this study, one of the world’s largest investigations into this form of coordinated care, we have already found that the RHH's RACPC has proven to be timely, safe and effective at identifying and appropriately following up on patient cardiac risk factors.


"The next phase of the evaluation of the RHH's RACPC is the health economic evaluation of the clinic. This investigation, funded by the RHH Research Foundation, enables a multidisciplinary research team of cardiologists and health economics researchers to establish the cost-effectiveness or even cost-savings of the clinic for the benefit of the Tasmanian community.


“Importantly, this further evaluation of the RACPC also includes the assessment of quality of life factors for Tasmanians who have attended the clinic and preliminary evidence suggests that positive outcomes for Tasmania's RACPC recipients have increased considerably.


"The aim of the RHHRF supported research team is to establish value for money for this better model of patient care to inform policy and decision makers about the benefits of expanding this model of patient care state-wide and nationally," Dr Campbell said.


The evening will also feature a special presentation from the Chief Investigator for the Foundation’s most recent Major Project Grant 2019-21, Dr Michelle Kilpatrick, who will outline the importance of her team’s three-year study that affects the future health of Tasmanian mothers and their babies.


“Dr Kilpatrick’s study is urgently needed and we are delighted to invest almost $0.5m into this investigation which is designed to support the youngest generation of new Tasmanians.  We are proud to work with a community that understands the benefits of generosity, noting that through gifts provided to the RHH Research Foundation, we currently have in excess of $1m in funded studies currently underway across our state,” said Ms Francis.


You can find a cmplete ist of the 2019 Grant Recipients HERE!


* Dr Julie Campbell and Dr Michelle Kilpatrick are both researchers from the Menzies Institute of Medical Research at the University of Tasmania.