U C R Hn o r t h coast
PO Box 3074 Lismore NSW 2480
in this issue .... EDUCATION RESEARCH COMMUNITY
It gives me great pleasure to introduce this issue of our UCRH news to you. This is an expanded
newsletter celebrating 10 years of achievement. These achievements began with people who worked
2 New Education Leaders very hard with government to set up the Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health
(NRUDRH). Some of these need to be acknowledged including Professor John Beard, who now works
2 Student News overseas, Liz Rummery, Malcolm Marshall and Chris Crawford, to name a few.
Their foresight and energy and the battles they fought were instrumental in where we are now.
The NRUDRH, which recently became a part of the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) had
3 A 10 Year History a small beginning and has grown substantially with active involvement from local politicians,
local government and our clinical colleagues. Sydney University in partnership with Southern
Cross University and the North Coast Area Health Service (now the Northern NSW Local Health
4 UCRH Facilities District) provided the initial foundation group and funding from the Commonwealth enabled our
establishment. The UCRH now includes a more recent long stay medical education program and the
partner universities who join us in this program at the UCRH are the Universities of Wollongong and
5 UCRH Staff Western Sydney.
This issue contains an overview of these achievements and celebrates a decade of effort and
6 Publications, Grants success. It reflects not only the pioneers that began this endeavour but others as well. We need
to acknowledge staff who have worked in the Centre subsequently, such as Dr Sue Page. Sue was
and PHD Students instrumental in setting the foundation for medical education in the UCRH which is now a major
component of our education work.
6 Educational and My best wishes to you all for the next decade.
6 Innovation for Researchers strengthen as well as hotel accommodation for two visits to
Aboriginal Employment Philadelphia.
in Health The UCRH chronic disease research team has Local Health Board
submitted an application for a $2.5m APHCRI Director of the University Centre for Rural
Centre of Research Excellence grant funded by Health, Prof Lesley Barclay and Clinical Sub-
7 PHC RED Writers DoHA, addressing avoidable hospitalisation Dean, Dr Austin Curtin have been appointed
Awards amongst people with chronic conditions. to the Northern NSW Local Health District
In developing the application the team Governing Board.
collaborated closely with new and existing International Contribution
7 Student Research partners including: several Local Health Districts, Prof Lesley Barclay will deliver a plenary
NSW Ambulance Service, NSW Health, Southern speech at the International Conference on Allied
8 Low Intensity Mental Cross University, The University of Newcastle and Health Sciences held in Malaysia in July 2011.
other organisations affiliated with the National
Health Workshops Rural Health Alliance.
Entitled “The role of the midwife as a key to safe
effective maternity care and how this role can
Beck award win be employed in rural and remote areas of low
8 UCRH Features Assoc Prof James Bennett-Levy has accepted income countries”.
International the prestigious invitation to be a 2012 Beck •
Presenters at CBT
Institute scholar at the Beck Institute for
Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Philadelphia. ˜
˜ been invited to speak
Dr Shawn Wilson has
Only five Beck Institute scholarships are at the American Indian College Fund Research
awarded each year.The recipients receive free Retreat, August 18-20, Denver, Colorado on
tuition and weekly supervision for six months, indigenous research methods.
New Education Leaders After visiting the midden site at The Pass Mental Health Speciality Days
Introducing our new leaders for the which is thousands of years old, the students In conjunction with the Lismore Base
education program, Dr Ellen McGirr met up with Uncle Pete and Debra and a Hospital Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol
(Academic) and Assoc Prof John Graham smoking ceremony was conducted for the Units the UCRH hosted a two-day seminar in
(Clinical) who share the role of UCRH Deputy group. The students then split into two groups May - a Mental Health Extravaganza.
Director Education. of male and female. The males going off to
The program featured mental health
Dr Ellen McGirr joined the UCRH team in do men’s business and the women being
taught the intricate art of traditional weaving professors from the University of Sydney,
March this year. University of Western Sydney and University of
Ellen works two days per week for the UCRH practices. One student commented “I think
the cultural walk was a wonderful way to Wollongong who send medical students to the
and continues in her clinical practice as a
Rheumatologist the rest of the week. introduce these concepts, which try as we north coast for their psychiatry rotations.
Ellen returned to Lismore in 1984 as a might cannot ever be accurately passed on in OSCE Exams
VMO Consultant Rheumatologist at Lismore the class room or lecture hall”. On May 20th we ran OSCE (Practical) exams
Base Hospital. Ellen has strong links with Just what the doctor ordered for our Wollongong students. We used the
community practitioners across the Northern In May Dr Jane Barker, Academic Southern Cross University student clinic for
Rivers and is a passionate advocate for Coordinator at the UCRH facilitated a Wellness this purpose. It was a relaxed but professional
local services for improving chronic care Day for the long term medical students from setting. It is gratifying to know that all our
management. all our universities who are based Lismore,
students passed their final year OSCE.
Ellen brings to the UCRH academic Grafton and Murwillumbah. This was in part
experience in clinical curricula, having worked a celebration of the end of the UWS and Uni Careers Expo
part-time at Bond University over the last four Wollongong students’ year with UCRH, but Grafton Student Coordination team
years in development and early establishment also to highlight the importance of self-care participated in a very successful ‘Careers
of the Bond medical program. for those working in the medical profession. Expo’ on June 16. The day was organised by
Ellen’s priorities at the UCRH are to “Medicine is an exciting and dynamic Grafton Student Coordinator Jane Nichols with
negotiate better alignment of the different profession which will take you to all corners funding for the event being received from the
university programs and ensure that local of the globe in many different roles. Medicine UCRH.
clinician teachers are appreciated and is also tough, demanding high standards and
Information was provided on all health
supported with their teaching. dedication. As a profession we have a higher
rate of mood disorders, drug and alcohol use professions. Thank you to the medical, nursing
Assoc Prof and Sub-Dean, Dr Graham
established the first independent vascular and suicide than do other professions” said and physiotherapy students who assisted and
surgical service in the area in 1992. He is Dr Barker. The day involved presentations encouraged interested students to pursue
actively involved in the medical life of the from Hilton Koppe - a Senior Medical Educator careers in health.
for North Coast GP Training who lectures
community serving from 2000-2002 as Chair
nationally and internationally fostering
of the Medical Staff Council of Lismore Base
Hospital and 2010 as the Executive Medical wellness amongst medical practitioners. Plaster workshop
Director. He remains an active supporter of the Jem Mills - Mental Health Academic at the There are currently six University of
medical staff activities. UCRH spoke on self compassion and mind Wollongong students busily preparing for
Dr Graham has had a long interest in the wellness, Peter Siefkin - a Psychiatry Registrar exams as well as completing their integrated
area of surgical (specifically rural) workforce at Lismore Base Hospital spoke on dealing community placements in general practice,
and was for seven years until 2008 on the with difficult emotional situations and Marcia Grafton and Coffs Base Hospital Emergency
Council of the Royal Australasian College Owen - Co-partner of Activ Living, who Departments and hospital and community
of Surgeons representing the rural interest. delivers workshops on the importance of body
He is a Foundation Instructor and Director awareness to develop self-care.
Last week Dr Anil Thakur conducted a
of the RACS’s Early Management of Severe Career in Medicine or Allied Health plaster workshop in the skills laboratory where
Trauma Course and chairs that College’s Ethics In May the UCRH hosted its annual high
students could refine their practical plaster
Committee. school careers day aimed at year 12 school
Dr Graham joined the UCRH team in 2010 as skills. The Grafton skills laboratory was recently
students from the area who had a genuine
Clinical Sub Dean for the University of Western interest in a career in medicine or allied health. refurbished with support from the UCRH.
Sydney. In early 2011 this appointment was Over 60 students and careers advisors attended.
complimented with the position of Deputy The UCRH was buzzing with small group
Director Education (Clinical) to the UCRH. activities, eg suturing workshops, packing
pharmacy Webster packs, ECG recording,
Student News spirometery and recording observations.
Lismore Plateau Enrichment Program
Cultural Awareness The UCRH recently supported the primary
On lucky Friday the May 13 long stay school Plateau Enrichment Program. This
University of Sydney and University of program is designed to provide some
Western Sydney students attended a Cultural extension activities for Stage 3 (Year 5 and 6)
Awareness Walk led by Delta Kaye, an students in the Alstonville High School feeder
Aboriginal Educator from the Bundjalung at area.
Byron Bay (Arakwal People). Twenty-five students from Eltham, Murwillumbah
Tregeagle, Teven-Tintenbar, Wollongbar, Rous Murwillumbah campus is currently
and Alstonville primary schools attended the
undertaking substantial refurbishments to its
UCRH and engaged in a day of fun activities
around careers in hospital catering, the
NSW Ambulance Service and physiotherapy. Changes will include a lecture theatre that
These students also had the opportunity will seat 60 people and a Clinical Unit for Skills
to participate in some fun hands-on first & Simulation (CUSS). Education workshops and
aid activities that were led by our medical sessions in the new facilities are expected to
students. commence at the end of July 2011.
A Brief History with links to a number of internationally respected centres of excellence
The Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health allied with the University of Sydney. This is a very exciting time for our
(NRUDRH) opened in mid 2002. Our first office space was a cooperative region and I invite you to be a part of it with us.
arrangement with the Northern Rivers Area Health Service (NRAHS), (Professor John Beard - Head of Department)
sharing reception and offices within the Population Health and What have we achieved?
Planning Unit at 31 Uralba Street. Moving to new premises was a major Evidence of our rapid growth is illustrated by the table below
event in the establishment phase of the NRUDRH. indicating student numbers and clinical placement weeks from
Staffing the NRUDRH commenced with the secondment in March inception to the end of 2010.
2002 of Professor John Beard – as Head of Department. John was
In 2009 it became evident that the running of two parallel
Director of Population Health and Planning and continued his
government contracts independently to manage all our education and
connection with the NRAHS as the Public Health Officer. Dr Kim
other work was confusing and inefficient. A review of our structure was
Webber was then appointed as Director of Rural Health Programs, and
Hudson Birden as Manager of Public Health Research and Education. undertaken in order to rationalise operations, maximise efficient use of
In November 2002 the appointment of two full-time administrative resources and to provide clear accountability and responsibilities.
staff completed the staffing for the establishment phase. It must be Led by the Director, and in consultation with the collaborating
acknowledged that the NRAHS Population Health and Planning unit universities, the health service and the Department of Health and
provided research staff Dr Geoff Morgan and Dr Megan Passey, and the Aging, a new structure under the banner of the University Centre
CREST support staff who were also seconded to the NRUDRH. for Rural Health (North Coast) came into existence. The benefits of
The following shows a snapshot of how quickly we have grown operating under this new structure have been evident with cohesive
and how the UCRH has established itself, as an innovative and programming, leadership and improved administrative efficiencies.
dynamic leader in education and research linked to expanding and Valuable support from our key stakeholders helped us achieve our goals
strengthening health workforce. in late 2010.
The UCRH now combines another Commonwealth program, funding Looking Forward - Future expansions
long-stay medical students, alongside our other students on short term This month (July 2011) has seen the UCRH in collaboration with
the Northern New South Wales Local Health District awarded
Our beginning – 2002-2003 further funding from Health Workforce Australia to provide student
(Excerpt from 2003 autumn newsletter) accommodation (20 beds) and clinical education facilities at Ballina
Welcome to the first newsletter of the Northern Rivers University Hospital. A refurbishment of accommodation in both Grafton and
Department of Rural Health, a Department of the University of Sydney run Murwillumbah will provide an additional 10 beds at each site for
in collaboration with Southern Cross University. We are based in northern student accommodation; and funding to upgrade the recently acquired
New South Wales and are funded by the Commonwealth Department of
blood bank site at 63-65 Uralba Street Lismore into a clinical education
Health and Ageing with two main aims: to improve the recruitment and
centre has been secured. This will include a clinical simulation lab and
retention of clinicians in rural areas, and to enhance innovative service
development, particularly in public health. Our research activities are teaching facility incorporating student coordination and education
also supported by the Northern Rivers Area Health Service. One of our offices and a common area for students. Further to this there is
key strategies is to support student placements within the region, and to recurrent funding to support clinical and support staff salaries which
provide a positive experience of rural health that will encourage them will assist in the provision of clinical supervision and teaching.
to practice in rural areas once they have graduated. This program is for We will continue to actively explore opportunities and innovative
students of all disciplines and from all universities. Another strategy is to collaborations across the region to build and improve on the quality
help local health services and clinicians to develop and evaluate innovative of clinical education programs, research projects and professional
models of care, and to foster world class health research in the Northern education we offer to improve health workforce retention and the
Rivers region. We are making great progress here and have already won a delivery of health services to the rural and remote communities that
number of prestigious grants. The NRUDRH also provides local clinicians rely on them.
Student Placement Numbers 2002-2010
UCRH Facilities The newly built 60 seat lecture theatre was named after Liz Rummery
The Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health (NRUDRH) in recognition of her efforts in securing the original Commonwealth
commenced its life sharing the facilities generously provided by the funding that established the UDRH. These teaching facilities have
Population Health Unit within the Northern Rivers Area Health Service in added value to professional education enabling us to offer educational
2002.Having secured Commonwealth Funding, the NRUDRH was able to activities for health professionals across the area.
acquire its current facilities at 61 Uralba Street in 2002. Major financial With teaching facilities and office spaces now fully functional, the
support and infrastructure assistance from the Northern Rivers Area
major limiting factor identified, which restricted growth in clinical
Health Service, and to a lesser but equally valuable degree contributions
from the University of Sydney and Southern Cross University, enabled us placement numbers, was the ability to accommodate students.
to achieve what we have today.
It was with great excitement the NRUDRH staff were able to occupy
their own premises in March 2003 and operate as a stand alone
organisation. These facilities consisted of a small teaching space
(pictured below) and office space. At this stage no university owned
student accommodation was available. The health service continued
to provide support by enabling our students to utilise 19 beds of
accommodation in Crawford House.
The photos below show the original University House facilities in Lismore.
Photos on the right show the new entrance to University House and the
interior of the 60 seat lecture theatre.
With continued support from the Commonwealth we were able
to acquire additional student accommodation. In 2008 we secured 9
Dibbs Street, a large Uniting Church Manse, and converted it into a 10
bed bedroom facility. We also acquired 67 Uralba St which increased
our bed numbers by four to achieve a total accommodation capacity
of 22 beds in Lismore. The NCAHS continues to support us by making
available the 19 beds within Crawford House and we remain grateful for
The strategic leadership of Professor John Beard was reflected in his
negotiations to purchase the Blood Bank site and building very early on
in 2003. During July 2011 occupancy of this facility for clinical teaching,
student coordination and multidisciplinary use will commence.
The NRUDRH took a big step towards becoming fully functional, The UCRH currently provides accommodation for 22 students in
not only for our ever increasing student body but also in relation to Lismore (with a further 19 through Lismore Base Hospital), nine at
the professional development of other health professionals, when the Murwillumbah and 10 at Grafton with further funding just received to
Commonwealth provided $2.4m in funding to enable the unit to fully accommodate another 10 students at each of the distant sites.
develop its teaching facilities and office space. For the first time we were We are supported in the provision of accommodation by our partner
able to offer 8 beds for student accommodation in Lismore. Funding universities with both Wollongong and Western Sydney sourcing and
also supported the refurbishment of sites at Murwillumbah and Grafton.
funding long stay accommodation for their medical students. Further
The new Lismore facilities were opened in 2007 and provided a 60
seat tiered lecture theatre and a separate problem based learning area to this University of Western Sydney has purpose built accommodation
along with a substantial foyer area for larger educational workshops close to the Lismore hospital precinct which will facilitate 20 long stay
and training activities. An additional six office spaces were provided medical students; this will help alleviate the shortage of appropriate
downstairs and a small internet café style space for student use. accommodation to support growth in clinical placements in Lismore.
Over the years, as funding has increased either through successful grant applications or additional rural government program funding, the need
for additional staff at the UCRH has grown.
The initial staffing profile of the NRUDRH consisted of five staff in academic and administrative roles.
The UCRH currently has 66 staff and a number of casual tutors employed in conjunction with its collaborating partners. Forty four of these staff
are academic or clinical education staff and 22 are administrative staff.
In addition we have contractual relationships with 25 General Practices and four Aboriginal Medical Services who provide excellent supervision
and clinical environments for our students, as do supervisory and clinical staff and units within the Health Services’ hospital and community sites.
We also receive continued support at the community level from a number of Allied Health and Pharmacy professionals without whom we could
not operate so successfully.
The following tables reflect the current staffing profile by funding source, classification and function:
Our major challenge is staffing iniatitives and continuing our grant success or Commonwealth or State funds that provide salaries for staff. For
example our Commonwealth PHCRED funding will cease at the end of this year. Our capacity to attract and retain excellent staff is extraordinary
given the liabilities of contract based funding. We are trying to ensure, where this is valuable, that our teaching and research staff undertake joint
appointments. This enables them to keep clinical and professional skills at high levels and to make a contribution to services.
Publications; Grants and Excellence Committee. All are actively involved Building an Aboriginal and Torres Strait
within the research stream teams. Islander Mental Health Toolkit Through
PhD students In 2010 the UCRH received $522,603 from Action Research and Formal Training in
The NRUDRH initially attracted three grants research grants. Further funding of $440,000 CBT
after only a year’s operation which bode well was received to support Pharmacy, Primary This project aims to develop a therapeutic
for the future of the rural health research, Health Care Research Education Development toolkit that will improve outcomes for
a priority for the Department. These were and Australian Rural Health Research
awarded by ARC, NSW Health infrastructure Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples
Collaboration programs. undergoing counselling. The process has
and the Commonwealth Department of Health
and Ageing. Educational and provided an evidence-based opinion about
the suitability of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural
One was an Australian Research Council Professional Development Therapy) Mental Health Program for Aboriginal
funded project for almost $500,000 over a
three-year period to investigate links between events and/or Torres Strait Islander clients. The
the environment and health using advanced Initially the NRUDRH provided a facility for toolkit will start with CBT as CBT has a strong
techniques in spatial epidemiology. Dr Geoff NRAHS Grand rounds to meet weekly and the evidence base for its effectiveness with non-
Morgan and Professor John Beard worked University of Sydney Medical School video Aboriginal Australians. The therapeutic toolkit
with investigators from the University of conferenced weekly lectures for students on is being developed by five qualified and
Adelaide and industry partners including the placements. experienced Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait
One of the results that has been particularly Islander counsellors. The counsellors have been
Commonwealth and NSW Departments of
pleasing with the expansion of the UCRH provided with ten days of formal training in
Health and the Northern Rivers Area Health
facilities has been our ability to facilitate CBT, delivered in three blocks from September
Service. A second grant was a Commonwealth
an expanding number of education and
funded investigation into rural general 2010 to March 2011. They are incorporating
professional development events to support
practice which was led by Dr Kim Webber. rural clinicians from all health disciplines. aspects of their learning into their existing
As recognition of this early research success This can be evidenced by the number of counselling practice and gauging its
we were successful in receiving NSW Health events and total participants who have effectiveness and suitability with their clients.
Infrastructure support with colleagues in made use of our facilities. During 2010 the As part of the action research process, the
Broken Hill, Moree and Orange. This funding Lismore, Murwillumbah and Grafton sites in counsellors were brought together at regular
established the Australian Rural Health collaboration with various external parties intervals for focus group discussions around
Research Collaboration (ARHRC) and this provided 11,220 hours of training and support the suitability of the CBT techniques with
collaboration is still current with funding being for students, rural health professionals and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients.
reallocated again in 2010. communities either by leading workshops or Indigenous Literacy program - Stepping
Over the period 2003-2011 UCRH providing the facilities to enable the training Stones to Nursing
researchers have undertaken significant roles to be undertaken. Video conferencing and This was a pre-nursing course run by UCRH
in 10 ARC funded grants and six NHMRC other technologies have allowed us to support staff during 2007. The course was designed
funded grants. Our participation in these and reach a much expanded audience and to prepare students with the necessary
grants has either been as the administrating has allowed us to provide educational
knowledge and skills to gain entry to a
institution or with roles of Chief Investigator opportunities for the more rural and remote
nursing course at TAFE. The course was set
(CI). Currently our staff lead or participate as members of health workforce.
All visiting academics are given the out in three broad areas: communication skills;
CIs in five Category 1 grants. We have current
opportunity to deliver a lecture or workshop Aboriginal studies; and calculations in nursing
funding applications in with NHMRC, ARC and
APHCRI. based on their specialty or discipline. These practice. Students completed exercises that
Our current research efforts now operate lectures or workshops along with those required comprehension of concepts, and use
under five streams of research: offered via the Primary Health Care – Research of problem solving skills relevant to various
• Environmental Health Education and Development (PHD-RED) nursing situations. The course was constructed
• Mental Health program are widely promoted and open to in user-friendly language to encourage
• Child and Maternal Health anyone interested in participating. frequent interaction by students. Ninety
• Chronic Disease In addition, on a bi-annual basis the UCRH, percent of the students successfully completed
• Aboriginal Health mostly through its Murwillumbah site, the course.
has organised successful conferences that Walking through Research
In 2010 UCRH researchers generated: target aspects of clinical training particularly Walking through Research is an introductory
• 34 articles published, 33 of which were pertinent for local clinicians and health research training course aimed at Aboriginal
peer reviewed publications workers. and Torres Strait Islander community based
• 4 book chapters and reports
• 2 edited books Innovation for Aboriginal research assistants. It “walks” participants
through an overview of research using
• 5 key note addresses Employment in Health Indigenous knowledge in a culturally safe
• 5 staff invited to speak at both The following programs highlight some of learning environment. This course has been
international and national conferences and the innovative activities we have successfully run successfully for several years and was last
• 11 conferences presentations published in run over past years:
proceedings. conducted as a week-long residential at Sydney
Career Link Pharmacy Program University with 7 participants from NSW, WA,
The output described above is evidence of This innovative project, a collaboration of NT and Qld in September of 2010.
the success of our research program locally, the UCRH, NSW Department of Education
nationally and internationally. In this year and Training, North Coast Institute of TAFE
Indigenous Support Program
we are participating with Canadian scholars and Connect, commenced 13 Aboriginal Year During 2009 the UCRH introduced a
in rural health research. In addition the 10 and 11 secondary students in a Pharmacy program to support indigenous trainees;
rationalisation of our program into the above assistant traineeship employment placements to provide a supportive environment for
streams has allowed us to coordinate and more in early 2010. The program offers the students developing administrative skills while at the
effectively supervise PhD students, who now the opportunity to complete Certificate II in same time formally completing certificate level
number 16. Thirteen of these students have Pharmacy whilst also completing their Higher coursework through TAFE.
their primary supervisors from within the UCRH School Certificate. These students will then This program has been successful with two
whilst a further three staff are supported in have the opportunity to use their qualification trainees completing their units of study at
their candidature. Three PhD students are on in a community pharmacy or to continue on to certificate level. One of the trainees has now
NHMRC scholarships with another supported further studies in Pharmacy. Ten of the 13 have been appointed as a staff member of the
full time by scholarship by the Clinical completed 18 months of the program. UCRH.
PHC RED writer’s awards Judy’s project, groups of four, targeting disparity and its
This month, five writer’s awards were ‘Complementary impact on health status. Early experience with
announced as part of the UCRH Primary Health therapies in these projects has shown that such research,
Care Research, Evaluation and Development primary health while necessarily being modest in scope
(PHC RED) program, which is funded by the care: A pilot and abbreviated in time, can still produce
Commonwealth Government Department of scoping study’, worthwhile results.
Health and Ageing. These grants are to assist investigates One project undertaken by a UoW student
people writing for peer reviewed publication the uptake of reviewed the performance of the NCAHS
on topics related to primary health care complementary flu clinics set up during the pandemic of
research and/or evaluation. therapies in 2009. Results of this project are now in press
mainstream with the NSW Health Bulletin. Another UoW
Congratulations to Dr Jo Longman, Sagun
primary health care. Despite extensive project examined whether the Medicare
Pyakurel, Dr Judy Singer, Malinda Steenkamp
research into the prevalence of Item 709 “healthy kids check” was considered
and Dr Shawn Wilson. complementary therapies in general
And congratulations to two awardees from useful by local GPs, finding that it was not. A
practice, there is minimal research exploring survey of patients at GP practices that teach
last year whose papers have been published: complementary therapies in other primary
Liz Rix: Schutze H, Rix EF, Laws R, Passey M, medical students through parallel consulting
health care settings. This study forms stage is identifying such patients’ comfort levels with
Fanaian M, Harris MF. How feasible are lifestyle one of a project to create a practical guide
modification programs for disease prevention having a student present.
for organisations who have implemented, or A group project undertaken by the first
in general practice? Australian Journal of are intending to implement, complementary
Primary Care. In press. cohort of UWS students evaluated sources of
therapies programs as part of their service information that local parents rely on in their
Judy Singer: Singer J, Adams J. The place delivery.
of Complementary Therapies in an integrated decision on whether or not to immunise their
model of refugee health care: counsellors’ Student Research children. They found that doctors were the
and refugee clients’ perspectives. Journal of As part of the requirement of their most used and most useful source of such
Refugee Studies. 2011;24(2):351-75. placement at UCRH, medical students from information. Another UWS project sought
the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and to determine whether regional residents
New RDP clinician University of Wollongong (UoW) Schools aged 45-53 were aware of the Medicare Item
Dr Judy Singer is our new Research of medicine must design and carry out a 717 free health check-up available to them.
Development Clinician (RDP). This program research project. UoW students are required Students surveyed 102 locals, and found that
supports a clinician while they conduct a to formulate a project that has a population the vast majority (84%) were unaware of it, but
primary health research project, mentored by health focus and work individually, while having learned of it through the survey, 85%
senior researchers. UWS students undertake their projects in of these were now interested in getting it.
1+1= A Healthy Start to Life (NHMRC: 422503)
The 1+1 = A Healthy Start to Life Project: completed; interventions are in train and the Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation
Targeting the year before and the year after evaluation is underway. A cost study protocol Council. Recently 5 papers were presented at
birth in Aboriginal children in remote areas for the Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) has the International Confederation of Midwives
is a three stage baseline, intervention and been developed and data collection for this is (ICM) 29th Triennial Congress in Durban, South
post-intervention study designed to improve progressing. Africa on 19 - 23 June.
maternal and infant health for remote dwelling An Honours student has graduated and two This year and next year our work is around
Aboriginal families in Maningrida and Wadeye. PhD students are on track to complete around evaluation and we are accelerating our
This study is funded by the National Health the end of this year. Another PhD student has reporting through publications. We will also
and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), enrolled to conduct the evaluation of MGP and revisit a sample of remote clinic data to see
the Northern Territory (NT) Research and is expecting to finish in 2012. if there is a difference from 2007/8 when
Innovation Board and the Helen and Bori We have now published two book chapters, the baseline data was collected. We will also
Liberman Family. five peer-reviewed articles and more are under undertake a comparison of current care
Baseline maternal infant health data; review and in train. We have presented our (practice) with protocols to see if this has
ethnographic data collection and analysis work in 20 different international and national improved and continue reporting data through
on infant health study in Community 2 are conferences and completed a report for Prime our NT networks and publications.
Breastfeeding: by their own breastfeeding experiences. Lesley recently published paper (Parker et al. Environ
proposed that the professional role is subtle, Health Perspect 2011(119):1023–1028) or
watchful monitoring in the background that contact Geoff Morgan at the UCRH.
Professor Lesley Barclay travelled around
enhances confidence and reinforces developing Satellites track bushfires and dust storms
Australia in March 2011 as a speaker for the
capacity. Extreme air pollution events due to bushfire
Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA).
There were four speakers, two of whom were International study on birth weight and air smoke and dust storms are expected to
international speakers from the US and UNICEF, pollution increase as a consequence of climate change,
Dr Alison Steube and Dr David Clark. Lesley was The UCRH is participating in an International yet research into the health impacts of such
joined by local colleague Dr Foteini Hassiotou Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy exposures is limited by the availability of
who works in Perth on the physiology of infant Outcomes (ICAPPO) to understand how accurate exposure data. A recent paper in
feeding. There were hundreds of dedicated differences in research methods contribute to collaboration with the UCRH retrospectively
breastfeeding counsellors, lactation consultants, variations in findings about the effects of air identified the cause of extreme air pollution
midwives and physicians in the audiences that pollution on birth weight. The ICAPPO study events using a range of information sources
ranged from Hobart, Melbourne, Canberra to includes 14 research groups (including UCRH) and found satellite imagery to be the most
Brisbane. from nine different countries. Despite using useful tool for identifying bushfire and dust air
Lesley spoke about the increasing common methodology, differences in results pollution events. The results of this study will
professionalization of breastfeeding and rigid between cities persisted, with six research support a multicentre analysis of the health
implementation of rules and how this appears groups reporting statistically significant adverse effects of vegetation fire smoke and dust
to be undermining breastfeeding mothers. associations (including UCRH’s Sydney analysis). pollution in Australia. For more information
Recent research and thinking suggests A more detailed meta-analysis is underway and see recently published paper (Johnston et al. J
mothers should find their way gently; guided this may uncover reasons for the differences Air Waste Manage Assoc 2011(61):390–398) or
by the baby and supported by women skilled across locations. For more information see contact Geoff Morgan at the UCRH.
Lismore Campus Phone 02 6620 7570 Fax 02 6620 7270
Murwillumbah Campus Phone 02 6672 0290 Fax 02 6672 0295
Grafton Campus Phone 02 6640 2482 Fax 02 6640 2499
Wednesday afternoon seminars (4th Wednesday, 3.45 - 4.45pm)
Ur tCcR sH research seminars
n o h o a t Series – Aug-Nov 2011
Date Presenter Topic
24th August Assoc Prof Geoff Morgan Understanding frequent hospitalisations of
4-5 pm Director of Research UCRH, Northern NSW LHD older people with chronic disease
28th September Dr Jenn Johnston Preliminary findings from a double blind,
4-5 pm Trial Coordinator, Central Clinical School, randomised control trial of lithium carbonate
University of Sydney for the management of cannabis withdrawal
23rd November Professor Iain Graham Revisiting Florence Nightingale and her vision
4-5 pm Head of School, Health and Human Sciences, for patient-centred care
Southern Cross University
WHERE: UCRH 61 Uralba Street, Lismore.
Presentations are video-conferenced free to Ballina, Broken Hill, Casino, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, A collaboration of the University
of Sydney, University of Western
Maclean, Moree, Murwillumbah, Port Macquarie & Tweed Heads. Sydney, University of Wollongong
and Southern Cross University
This seminar series is supported by the UCRH PHCRED program, which is funded by the Australian supported by the Australian
Government Department of Health and Ageing. Government Department of Health
and Ageing and the North Coast
Contact: Aimmee or Deborah on 66 207 570 or Deborah.Donoghue@ucrh.edu.au Area Health Service
Low Intensity Mental Health local community, to fellow health professionals the UK, Marjon Nadort, a top schema therapy
and to State and Federal governments,. This researcher/trainer from Holland, and Dr Ann
Interventions workshop involvement has included:
The UCRH was recently bowled over by the Hackmann, one of the UK’s most celebrated
massive local interest in a workshop promoting • Being commissioned by beyondblue to CBT clinician/researchers.
Low Intensity Mental Health Interventions. The undertake the first Australian low intensity The Lighthouse Week (August 15-19) with
workshop in March 2011 was originally set to feasibility study, and designing and convening Ann Hackmann and James Bennett-Levy will
be held in the UCRH lecture theatre but quickly national beyondblue workshops
introduce work from their new book, The
had to be moved to a much larger venue when • Numerous presentations at conferences
for GPs, psychologists and other health Oxford Guide to Imagery in Cognitive Therapy,
more than three times the expected numbers
professionals nationally and internationally promising to be a highlight.
of participants registered to attend. In the end
ninety people from a wide variety of mental • Lead editing the ‘ Oxford Guide to Low New Book by James Bennett-Levy
health organisations all over our region flowed Intensity CBT Interventions’ James’ long awaited book, The Oxford Guide
into the Lismore Workers Club to hear experts • Successful grant applications to research to Imagery in Cognitive Therapy, has just been
Assoc Prof Nick Titov, Assoc Prof Tricia Nagel, low intensity interventions
and Dr Dan Ewald present alongside our own The ‘Mental Health Made Easy’ workshop Co-written with Ann Hackmann and Emily
Assoc Prof James Bennett-Levy and Mental in March 2011 was not only well attended,
Holmes of the Department of Psychiatry,
Health Academic Jem Mills. The day was participants also highly regarded its value. The
expertly facilitated by Kath Fisher with help success of the workshop paves the way for Oxford University, it is a radical book which
from UCRH’s Dr Shawn Wilson. the UCRH to continue efforts to work with key establishes imagery interventions as a new
The crowd heard how Low Intensity Mental partners such as the Northern Rivers General frontier for evidence-based therapies.
Health Interventions promise to radically Practice Network to bring this valuable In his foreword, A T Beck, the founder of
increase access in our rural communities to resource to our region, for the benefit of cognitive therapy,
evidence based, effective methods for dealing thousands of people experiencing depression describes the text
with common mental health problems such and anxiety. as a “timely and
as mild to moderate depression and anxiety.
The prime method of delivery is ‘guided self- UCRH Features International essential guide
help’ with assistance from a psychological Presenters at CBT Training to understanding
support worker using internet based programs This year, CBT training at the UCRH the important
or books. The interventions can be delivered continues to prove extremely popular. concepts and
remotely by phone, email or SMS. Since the The June 2011 workshop of the popular ideas in the field
therapeutic expertise is in the materials introductory program Essential Skills for CBT of imagery”.
themselves a lower level of therapeutic was full six weeks in advance, so an extra The book is due
expertise is required than for traditional one to unscheduled workshop has been added for
to be launched
one therapy. September 12-15, 2011.
The University Centre for Rural Health and Also, this year, we have brought top after Ann and
Northern Rivers General Practice Network have international trainers to the North Coast, James’ workshop
been actively working for the past three years Professor David Richards, who has led the on Imagery in
to promote low intensity interventions to the introduction of low intensity CBT services in Byron Bay on August 16, 2011.