Sydney Health Partners has celebrated the contribution of Dr Teresa Anderson AM to the development of the Partnership by presenting her with a unique Service Award at its Annual Forum.

Dr Anderson, who has been appointed to head NSW Health’s Single Digital Patient Record project, served on the board of SHP since its inception.

Executive Director, Professor Don Nutbeam, told the Annual Forum that Dr Anderson had been a great supporter of Sydney Health Partners and the Research Translation Centre model since it was first proposed in 2014.

“Teresa was deeply involved in writing the original application to the National Health and Medical Research Council which resulted in Sydney Health Partners’ accreditation,” he said.

“As Chief Executive of Sydney Local Health District she always advocated for Sydney Health Partners and provided us with material support. The development and success of the partnership is a testament to her vision and resolve.”

The Service Award was a highlight of the Annual Forum which attracted a record 165 clinicians, researchers and health service leaders from across the partnership and beyond.

Held at the University of Sydney, the Annual Forum featured keynote speeches by the Chair of the Australian Universities Accord higher education review, Professor Mary O’Kane AC, and the Deputy Secretary for Clinical Innovation and Research at NSW Health, Adjunct Professor Jean-Frédéric Levesque.

(L-R) Professor Roger Reddel AO, Graeme Loy, Professor Mary O'Kane AC, Dr Teresa Anderson, Professor Don Nutbeam AO, Cathryn Cox and Professor Philip O’Connell

Professor Levesque spoke about the current review of the NSW strategy for health and medical research. He described the outcomes from an extensive process of consultation across the different health and medical research sectors in NSW and highlighted the strong, consistent support for greater focus on research translation as well as the challenge of supporting the development of the next generation of clinician researchers.

Professor O’Kane said the higher education review had revealed that Universities are responsible for a surprisingly large amount of Australia’s research and development but that far too little of that was being translated into tangible outcomes with economic, health and social impact for Australia.

“In research we need more focus on articulating the problem we are trying solve, before we try to solve it” she said.

Two discussion panels tackled what needs to be done to better support translational research and strengthen research translation.

The President of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Professor Louise Baur AM, said that “unless we get the culture right, we can’t embed research translation in our health system.”

“At the moment its somewhat disjointed and we need a more research-skilled and enabled workforce.”

Professor of Community Paediatrics at The University of Sydney, Professor Sue Woolfenden, reminded us that to support research translation “we need to ask research questions about things that really matter to patients and the community”

Similarly, the Director of the Children’s Medical Research Institute, Professor Roger Reddel, said that “in order to get real-world outcomes from research, we have to start with the end in mind.”

The Annual Forum also featured the presentation of the Annual Early Career Research Awards. The awards attracted a record number of nominations and for the first time two of the five awards were presented to dual winners, after judges were unable to split them on scores.

Professor Don Nutbeam AO (5th from left) congratulates Annual Award winners 2024, from left: Dr Alyssa Milton, Dr Anita van Zwieten (accepting for Dr Nicole Scholes-Robertson), Clinical Associate Professor Mark Dennis, Dr Audrey P. Wang, Dr Danielle Muscat, Dr Emma Charters and Dr Alan Ma.

Congratulations to the 2024 Annual Award winners:

Award for Clinical Trial Excellence

Clinical Associate Professor Mark Dennis

Award for Consumer Involvement in Health Research

Dr Nicole Scholes-Robertson

Award for Researcher-Clinician Collaboration Across the SHP Partnership

Dr Audrey P. Wang

Award for Translational Research  Addressing a Health Priority

Dr Danielle Muscat

Dr Alyssa Milton

Award for Using Research to Change Health Practice

Dr Alan Ma

Award for Using Research to Change Health Practice

Dr Emma Charters

The Annual Forum 2024 Highlights

The Annual Forum 2024 in Pictures