Melbourne researchers lead funding to improve the health of Australians

September 14 / 144

Professor Margaret Kelaher, Tim Nayton from Medibank, Dr Catherine Milte from Deakin, Managing Director of Medibank George Savvides, and Pippa Nicolson
Professor Margaret Kelaher, Tim Nayton from Medibank, Dr Catherine Milte from Deakin, Managing Director of Medibank George Savvides, and Pippa Nicolson

University researchers have benefited from the first round of funding by the new Medibank Health Research Fund, aimed at improving the health of Australians.

The University of Melbourne received more than $878,000 for four of the nine research projects supported by the Research Fund.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor James McCluskey said the grants recognised the quality and depth of health research at Melbourne.

“These grants will enable our researchers to work on improving the health and well-being of all Australians,” Professor McCluskey said.

The Research Fund’s focus is the treatment and prevention of serious health conditions affecting an increasing number of Australians.

Associate Professor Margaret Kelaher, from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, will receive $669,455 over three years to explore how to improve the impact of Australian public performance reporting on the quality of care in private and public hospitals.

Professor Anthony Scott from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research has been awarded $47,735 to investigate how to improve the cost efficiency of hospitals while also improving the quality of hospital care.

Professor Kim Bennell from the University’s Physiotherapy Department will receive $29,000 per year for three years to fund a PhD scholar, Pippa Nicolson, to identify strategies that will help patients with osteoarthritis participate in exercise.

Additionally for the University’s Physiotherapy Department, Associate Professor Rana Hinman and her research team will receive $25,000 per year for three years (subject to securing NHMRC funding throught the Partnership project scheme) to test the effectiveness of telephone-based exercise advice, called ‘Phone Physios’, for improving pain and function in people with knee osteoarthritis.

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