Wednesday, 7 December 2016

More SPHPM grant wins from the Heart Foundation

Earlier in the week we blogged about SPHPM’s Dr Janet Bray and Dr Carol Hodgson being awarded Future Leader Fellowships from the Heart Foundation; and in this blog entry we detail and congratulate  Associate Professors Lisa Moran and Ben Smith for their Heart Foundation funding wins. This caps off a successful period in grant wins for the School, with nearly $17m in NHMRC funding also announced this week.

A total of 36 fellowships, 11 scholarships and 43 grants were offered in the Heart Foundation’s 2017 research grants, totalling $16.9 million.

“Heart disease remains the single biggest killer of all Australians and for the first time since 2008 the mortality rate has risen. Heart disease was also an associated cause of death for a further 16,000 Australians in 2014. The problem of heart disease is far from ‘solved’, although research such as that funded by these grants will help make significant inroads,” Adjunct Professor John Kelly (AM), Heart Foundation National CEO said.

Associate Professor Moran from the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) was awarded a Future Leader Fellowship for her research focusing on optimising weight management in women of reproductive age.

Associate Professor Moran said her research will focus on the optimal assessment and management of obesity in reproductive-aged women during pregnancy and with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

This research will assess the effect of lifestyle interventions in women with PCOS and during pregnancy on weight management and cardiovascular and diabetes risk during and post-pregnancy. I will develop effective lifestyle interventions with reduced attrition, clinically meaningful changes in weight and cardiometablic risk, and successfully implement these into a variety of clinical settings through my research,” Associate Professor Moran said.

Associate Professor Smith is the recipient of a Vanguard Grant to further his research that examines improving GP and patient partnerships for blood pressure (BP) management in primary care through the use of smartphone technology.

He said progress in tackling the public health challenge of high BP requires widespread adoption of the National Heart Foundation (NHF) Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension, including diagnosis, lifestyle advice, drug treatment and follow-up.

General practice is at the forefront of these efforts, but it is consistently found that the care delivered to patients with high BP does not include the range of recommended lifestyle interventions. To address this need, this project aims to develop and pilot test an intervention model that integrates GP delivered care with personalised information and follow-up delivered by smartphones,” Associate Professor Smith said.

“These grant wins from the Heart Foundation show the importance and calibre of the research taking place at SPHPM,” Professor John McNeil, Head of SPHPM said.

“These dynamic public health projects, as with Dr Bray and Dr Hodgson’s research, have the capacity to make incredibly positive change for both individuals and the health care system as a whole. I congratulate and thank you for the contribution you are making.”

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