Message from the CEO
An important role of Health Translation SA (HTSA) is to activate cooperation and collaboration between researchers, health services and consumers to address key healthcare challenges in our community. In response to COVID-19, Health Translation SA has undertaken a range of coordinating activities to ensure that the South Australian COVID-19 response is well informed, effective and efficient. We are also actively working with our partners and industry to identify and maximise the opportunities arising in SA as a result of COVID-19.
As a research translation advocate it has been very exciting to see what South Australia can achieve when people and resources across various sectors work together to solve a problem. It is my great hope that we continue to break down silos and adopt a multi-sectoral and collaborative approach to address other healthcare challenges in South Australia.
As we adopt new ways of working and social distancing we want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank frontline health workers, essential workers and researchers.
SA COVID-19 Evidence Reviews
HTSA worked with SAHMRI, SA Health and the Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health to establish a rapid evidence review taskforce to help inform the planning and decision making of the SA COVID-19 Taskforce and the Chief Public Health Officer. The rapid synthesis of COVID-19 evidence into ‘Evidence Reviews’ is coordinated by Professor Caroline Miller at SAHMRI, in response to specific questions from the SA COVID-19 Taskforce on a daily basis.
Assembling this highly skilled team in a time critical manner, demonstrates the value of an organisation such as Health Translation SA which straddles the research/health system interface.
The SA COVID-19 Coordinating Group for Innovation, Research and Development was convened by the SA Government to respond rapidly and agilely to the COVID-19 outbreak. Their objective is to collate, synthesise, prioritise and enable research and innovation initiatives to effectively and efficiently manage the COVID-19 outbreak in South Australia.
CEO of Health Translation SA, Ms Wendy Keech is a member of this group and as priority projects emerge is working with key stakeholders to mobilise the right expertise to address the issues especially when it includes the university sector.
HTSA co-facilitated a ‘Contact Tracing Think Tank’ with the Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health (CEIH) on behalf of SACCGIRD that brought together thought-leaders, researchers, and industry experts to identify solutions to enhance the process of contact tracing without reducing its integrity.
A number of innovative solutions were presented which will be incorporated into a report for consideration by the COVID-19 Coordinating Group. Importantly the session provided an opportunity to reflect and consider South Australia’s contact tracing response to date and acknowledge the important contribution of our contact tracers to our success in tackling the pandemic in SA.
SA COVID-19 Research Register
Throughout 2020 HTSA worked with our health, research and industry partners to map all COVID-19projects, ranging from basic science, clinical trials and health service research to data projects, predictive modelling, medical technology and drug/vaccine discovery. The purpose being to:
- capture and promote COVID-19 research projects taking place in SA
- support coordination and collaboration between researchers, institutions, health services and industry
- reduce duplication of research
- maximise impact of COVID-19 research
- position SA for upcoming COVID-19 funding opportunities.
- To list or update projects please email Ecushla.firstname.lastname@example.org
Involving Consumers in COVID-19 Research
Engaging consumers in projects linked to the COVID-19 response is crucial to better understand the reality and needs of those using the healthcare system and to accelerate the translation of these rapid projects into practice.
If you are leading a COVID-19 project and need help getting connected with consumers, contact Agustina, our Consumer Engagement Senior Project Officer at email@example.com or visit the Community Engagement in Research Toolkit.
If you are a consumer and would like to be involved in the COVID-19 response, please visit the Community Interest Register.
The HTSA Data Fellows continue to work with researchers, clinicians and data analytics experts to undertake analyses that can rapidly inform Health Service workforce planning and to help predict the impact of COVID-19 on the broader health system.
Their statistical modelling work has contributed to the decisions taken by SA Health in the management of the State COVID-19 response.
In addition, plots of COVID-19 ICU, hospital admission and mortality rates from overseas and Australian states based on actual data, and adjusted for the age profile of SA have been shared at an international conference.
Resources & Useful Information
- SPHERE-NSW Health Multicultural Fact Sheets on COVID-19
- Therapeutic Innovation Australia: Pipeline Accelerator COVID-19
- COVID-19 Research Database
- Australia’s COVID-19 Expert Database
- FAQs: the effect of the COVID-19 health emergency on NHMRC grant processes
- Aboriginal Health Research Ethics Committee (AHREC) Communique to the Research Community – 6th April 2020
- Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA) Press Release – 5th April 2020
- NHMRC COVID-19 Impacts