Sydney Health Partners Expands Clinical Academic Group Program
Sydney Health Partners has expanded its Clinical Academic Group (CAG) program with appointment of five additional groups.
The new CAGs have been chosen through a rigorous assessment process and final recommendations ratified by the Board of Sydney Health Partners.
The appointments bring the number of CAGs to 11 - a near doubling of SHP's commitment to the program.
Like the existing CAGs, the new Groups will serve as a focal point for Sydney Health Partners’ research translation activities in areas that align with priorities of its health service partners.
Each CAG is supported by a ten-strong leadership team, drawn from across the Partnership. The teams bring together people with diverse clinical, academic and administrative expertise and at different stages in their research careers.
Two of the new CAGs - Diabetes and Obesity, and Sleep Health - address increasingly important causes of ill-health.
Co-chairs of the Diabetes and Obesity CAG, Professor Louise Baur and Professor Stephen Twigg, say their appointment is exciting for several reasons.
“It unifies diabetes and obesity translation initiatives across our different sites, providing a platform for collaborative research across the lifespan,” said Professor Twigg.
“Secondly, it more formally brings early and mid-career researchers together with senior researchers, encouraging mentorship and development. And it will enable us to engage consumers more directly with an equity focus, which is important because we are particularly interested in looking at fairness of healthcare delivery”.
The health needs of specific populations will be addressed by new CAGS for Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health, and Child and Adolescent Health.
Co-chairs of the Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health CAG, Professor Adrienne Gordon and Professor Dharmintra Pasupathy, say their group’s focus will be on reducing unwanted variations and improving outcomes in the care for women and babies before, during and following pregnancy.
“Becoming a CAG supports this intention by allowing us to harness a range of incredible talent, expertise and commitment across the different CAGs and the University of Sydney,” said Professor Pasupathy.
Co-chairs of the Child and Adolescent Health CAG, Professor Russell Dale and Clinical Professor Sue Woolfenden, say their group aims to address inequities in child and adolescent health.
“We will do this by critically evaluating and addressing the needs for children and adolescents in a collaboration between clinicians, researchers, and members of the community,” said Professor Woolfenden. “The CAG will enable rapid and sustainable translation of evidence to inform clinical practice and thus improve health outcomes.”
The fifth CAG addresses the rapidly emerging field of Genomics and Precision Medicine.
Co-chairs, Professor Robyn Jamieson and Associate Professor Yemima Berman, believe that by working with doctors and other professionals from multiple areas of medicine, their group can support more genetic and precision medicine diagnoses and solutions.
“Being a whole new area of medicine compared with established fields, our CAG aims to develop a framework for broad implementations across NSW and Australia to make genetic testing and genetic therapies more available and accessible, including to regional areas,” said Professor Jamieson.
Executive Director of Sydney Health Partners, Professor Don Nutbeam, says the expansion of the program will build on the initial success of the CAGs appointed last year.
“The first round of our CAG program demonstrated we can bring together cross-disciplinary teams to focus on a clinical problem, clinical discipline, or health population in an area of importance to the health services. “But there were some areas of clinical concern not addressed in round 1, and with these additional CAG appointments we’ve gone some way towards addressing that.”
The Groups will also build capacity for research translation, especially among early and mid-career clinician researchers.
CAG Program Manager, Andria Ratchford, says each CAG will also receive seed funding to develop a collaborative research translation project for an externally funded grant application.
“We look forward to working with these new groups to provide support to establish and grow their networks, as well as provide opportunities for training to enhance or strengthen their capabilities in research translation,” she said.
Sydney Health Partners has also recognised the Child Neurodevelopment and Mental Health group as a Developmental CAG.
Led by Professor Adam Guastella and Associate Professor Natalie Silove, the group will be supported with seed funding to support its development and outreach across the Partnership, before being reviewed for full CAG status next year.
New Clinical Academic Groups
Child and Adolescent Health
Chairs: Professor Russell Dale (Sydney Children's Hospital Network - Children's Hospital at Westmead; University of Sydney) and Clinical Professor Sue Woolfenden (Sydney Local Health District - Sydney Institute for Women, Children and their Families; University of Sydney)
Diabetes and Obesity
Chairs: Professor Stephen Twigg (Sydney Local Health District - Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; University of Sydney) and Professor Louise Baur (Sydney Children's Hospital Network - Children's Hospital at Westmead; University of Sydney)
Genomics and Precision Medicine Partnerships
Chairs: Professor Robyn Jamieson (Sydney Children's Hospital Network; University of Sydney) and Associate Professor Yemima Berman (Northern Sydney Local Health District - RNSH)
Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health
Chairs: Professor Dharmintra Pasupathy (Western Sydney Local Health District; University of Sydney) and Professor Adrienne Gordon (Sydney Local Health District - RPA; University of Sydney)
Chairs: Professor Brendon Yee (Sydney Local Health District - RPA; University of Sydney) and Dr Sheila Sivam (Sydney Local Health District - RPA)
Sydney Health Partners' Clinical Academic Groups 2021
The groups join the existing groups selected in 2021:
- Geriatric Medicine
- Perioperative Care of Surgical Patients
- Sydney Cancer Partners
- Sydney Musculoskeletal
- Virtual Care