Research grants awarded to EGHS staff

Two East Grampians Health Service staff have been awarded research grants through the Western Alliance Supporting Translation of Research in Rural and Regional Setting (STaRR) Program.

After a tight and competitive process, Maree Fraser and Jake Romein will join researchers from Grampians Health and Barwon Health in receiving STaRR Emerging Researcher Grants.

Western Alliance is committed to building research in western Victoria and supporting the translation of research findings into healthcare.

Central to this commitment is the STaRR program, which builds health practitioners’ research and research translation skills, and supports STaRR participants to put their research skills into practice in a translation-focused research project.

Maree Fraser, a registered nurse and Clinical Governance Coordinator at EGHS, has received a STaRR Emerging Researcher Seed Grant of $5000 to explore a community-based strategy to increase the completion of Advance Care Directives.

Ms Fraser said an Advance Care Plan/Directive is a tool that allows people to document their future health care wishes, which is then referred to if the consumer is unable to speak for themselves.

“We would like to increase completion of ACDs in the primary care setting. The aim of this project is to co-design an intervention which will contribute towards increasing the number of ACDs completed by people over the age of 75 years in the Ararat region,” Ms Fraser said.

“So far it is in very early stages. We have completed a narrative review of current literature to identify an intervention that has worked overseas. This is in the form of an SMS containing educational information about ACD. We plan to explore the factors that may influence the implementation and uptake of this intervention in the Australian context.”

Jake Romein, exercise physiologist at EGHS, has received a $5000 STaRR Emerging Researcher Translation Grant to develop a toolkit to support the scaling of a modified sport program for older adults in rural areas.

“Essentially, we will be using the experiences that we gained by implementing a modified sports program in Ararat, to develop a toolkit that is designed to help other rural areas successfully implement a modified sports program in their community,” Mr Romein said.

“We intend to work with Rural North West Health in Warracknabeal to provide them with an early version of the toolkit, and then use their feedback of using the toolkit in practice to further refine the toolkit.

“If successful, we are hoping to then make the toolkit publicly accessible for other rural/regional areas to use.”

Western Alliance Academic Health Science Centre is comprised of 12 member organisations located across the Barwon/Southwest and Grampians regions of western Victoria. Members include six public health services, three private hospitals, a primary health network and two universities.

Through a program of training, education, funding and advocacy, Western Alliance supports its members to improve the health of their communities through research-based and evidence-informed health care.

EGHS staff who have received research grants through Western Alliance, Maree Fraser and Jake Romein