December Newsletter
Accelerating the translation of Research findings into Action to ensure scientific evidence can positively Impact the health of South Australians.

Under the guidance of our Board of Partners, Health Translation SA (HTSA) has continued to make significant progress towards achieving our goal of accelerating the translation of research into better health outcomes for South Australians in 2021. The projects and initiatives highlighted below demonstrate the breadth of our work and the important role we play in driving collaborative efforts to address health issues, as well as health service and system problems.

HTSA’s Flagship Program, First 1000 Days of Life, has gone from strength to strength this year with the project team working with SA Pathology to refine the guidance for women with a sufficient omega-3 test result. Find out more about the impact this project is having at a state and national level in our 'Feature Stories' section this month.
Regular meetings have occurred with the SA MRFF Working Group,with members having the opportunity to hear from a range of guest speakers on topics of interest, as well as out-of-session presentations to keep them informed of current funding opportunities. The Group has also provided significant input into the development of the short promotional video, featured below, to encourage SA researchers to apply for MRFF funding. Please feel free to share this among your Networks!

The CALHN Prehab Project, which aims to address the clinical need to minimise avoidable post-operative complications, has made significant progress over the past few months. Extensive work has been undertaken by HTSA to embed the principles of implementation science within the project, with consumer and GP engagement activities contributing to a co-design model that addresses identified barriers. The Project has now received Hospital Research Foundation funding to develop the digitally enabled PreHab pathway and discussions are underway to extend HTSA involvement in the project.  
HTSA has continued to support several national Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA) capacity building initiatives. Of note during 2021 is the establishment of the AHRA Women's Health Research, Translation and Impact Network (WHRTN) which aims to advance research and translation in 9 areas identified as priorities to improve women’s health. HTSA has led the evaluation across these priority areas and coordinated an open call inviting nominations to the SA WHRTN Steering Committee. The Committee met for the first time in September and is helping to define the program of work over the next 12 months.
There are also some important activities already in train for 2022. We are working with the Primary / Acute Care Interface Project Steering Committee to commence a campaign to have the 'Connected Care Project' funded. We have recently employed a Technical Business Analyst to work in collaboration with Digital Health SA to understand how the CogStack data extraction and analysis application framework could be of value to the state. We are also leading the Health Studies National Data Asset Program (HeSANDA) to support the sharing and re-use of health research data.
I would also like to say thank you to Senior Project Officer, Jenni Carr, who is leaving the HTSA team at the end of December. Since commencing in 2018, Jenni has been an integral part of the HTSA team, with responsibility for enabling all of our governance and strategy processes. Her energy and good humour will be greatly missed and we wish her all the best for the future!
On behalf of the HTSA Board of Partners, I would like to wish you all a safe and happy festive season and we look forward to another year of impactful research in 2022!

Wendy Keech, CEO

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

World-first omega-3 screening program may prevent premature babies

Ground-breaking South Australian research into fish oil diet supplements for pregnant women has resulted in new Australian Pregnancy Care Guidelines (APCG) and may help to halt rising rates of premature births around the world.

The project, led by SAHMRI Deputy Director and Women and Kids Theme Leader Professor Maria Makrides, conducted a research review of almost 20,000 single baby pregnancies and found that taking omega-3 supplements reduced the overall risk of a preterm birth by 11 per cent.

It also found the supplements reduced the risk of a baby arriving before 34 weeks of pregnancy by 42 per cent.

As part of HTSA’s First 1000 Days Flagship Program, the project team combined the evidence of the research review with the results from their clinical trial of 5000 pregnant women – the largest omega-3 supplementation study ever undertaken – to inform transformative clinical care guidelines and practices.

Read the full story here

Photo: Dr Rhiannon Smith and patient who is pregnant
This story is one in a suite of stories now available on the AHRA website to showcase the role Translation Centres have played in supporting translational research across Australia. 

To read all of the fantastic stories, visit the AHRA 

Consumers, community members and professionals share their insights at our recent Consumer and Community Engagement Summit

On Thursday 18 November, HTSA, in partnership with the SAHMRI Registries Community of Practice, was delighted to welcome more than 40 consumers, community members, researchers and health professionals to the 2021 Consumer and Community Engagement Summit.

The Summit provided an opportunity to bring community members and research professionals together to learn about strategies for effective community engagement in research, listen to consumer stories, and share perspectives on how to improve engagement in all stages of the health research life-cycle.

Interactive discussions at the Summit highlighted new opportunities to bring the voice of consumers and community members into research projects, as well as providing feedback on learning needs for future training opportunities and events.

"The interaction, the activities, and the knowledge gained throughout was amazing. Well done team!" - Attendee. 

HTSA will now collate and analyse the insights gleaned from the day, along with the evaluation survey This will be shared in a Summit Report in early 2022.

Thank you to all the consumers, community members and professionals who presented on the day, as well as those who attended. We greatly appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experiences with us!
We look forward to continuing to work with our community members and consumer representatives in 2022 to;
  • Build the skills of consumers, researchers and professionals;
  • Promote the value of consumer engagement in research; and
  • Increase the quality and quantity of consumer engagement in research across our partner organisations.

Our newest team member exploring Natural Language Processing opportunities for South Australia

Originally from Bangalore (India), Namrata Nath is currently pursuing a PhD at The University of South Australia under Dr. Ivan Lee and Associate Professor Sang-Heon Lee. Her PhD project is looking into the use of Artificial Intelligence to predict patient phenotypes - the set of medical conditions a patient may experience or progress towards - in Intensive Care Units. Since ICU patient records typically have lots of text data such as lab reports, discharge summaries etc. she has dabbled in what is known as ‘natural language processing’ (NLP) of clinical text.
NLP is the science that seeks to develop the way computers interact with and process human generated text (using predictive and classification algorithms), so that it can be consumed like numeric data. Simply put, it is the intersection of linguistics and computer science.  
A substantial portion of Electronic Health Records in hospital settings are made up of textual data – applying NLP to this data allows for conveniences like automatic International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding of patient records, phenotyping and predicting patients’ hospital courses, easier cohort selection for clinical trial and the ability to search patient records for suspected adverse events arising from a new drug.
Given Namrata’s expertise in this area, she has recently joined the HTSA team as a part-time Technical Business Analyst. She will work closely with HTSA and Digital Health SA over the next 5 months to undertake a review of CogStack - an application framework that was developed to enable clinicians and non-programmer users to extract information from unstructured data (text data). Her focus will be on exploring the value versus the risk of using the Framework within South Australia, and how it could potentially interface with existing Data Analytics Platforms within Digital Health SA.
We welcome Namrata to the team and look forward to her sharing her insights with us over the coming months.

Supporting researchers to embrace Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) funding opportunities in South Australia

Together with members of the SA MRFF Working Group, HTSA has produced a short promotional video about the MRFF. 
Learn more about the unique features of the MRFF scheme, the collaborative efforts of South Australia's MRFF Working Group and who to contact for more information.

To access other helpful resources, and the list of local MRFF Research Support Leads, visit the HTSA website 

...and that's a wrap on November's Spotlight Series!

Throughout November we shared resources, webinars and training opportunities to raise awareness and understanding of Implementation Science; what it is, who can do it and how to start.

Thank you to all of the wonderful presenters who shared their knowledge and learnings via our four webinars:
  1. Implementation Science: An Introduction
  2. Perspectives of Implementation Science in Changing Contexts
  3. Applying Implementation Science in Policy & Practice
  4. Implementation Science in South Australia; What Now and What Next? 
If you missed them, all of the webinar recordings, and other helpful resources, can be accessed via our website here.

Alternatively you can contact Annelise Morris via email: 

Stay tuned for more "Spotlight Series" in the future! 

Photo by Luis Morera on Unsplash.

Accessing your COVID-19 vaccination certificate
Please remember that anyone attending a meeting at SAHMRI after 1 January 2022 must have had their first vaccination. As of 31 January 2022, anyone attending a SAHMRI facility must be fully vaccinated. 

If you don’t have a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination certificate, 
please visit this Department of Health webpage
 here for instructions about how to access it.
Thank you again for your ongoing cooperation in helping protect our team, the people we work with at SAHMRI and the broader community.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash.

Have your say! How to improve consumer engagement to create better health care for South Australians

Our partners, the Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health, are joining with South Australian health consumers to reflect and determine how to improve consumer engagement, to create better health care for South Australians.

The Forum details include:
Date: 14 December 2021
Time: 10am - 2:30pm
Location: Adelaide Pavilion

Hear from guest speakers, Sarah Brown (CEO of Purple House) and Associate Professor Christine Dennis (Flinders University Rural and Remote Health SA, College of Medicine and Public Health). 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in panel discussion and workshops discussing the following topics:
  • What is meaningful Consumer Engagement and how do we measure it? 
  • What could the future of Consumer Engagement look like beyond 2021? 
If you are a consumer or consumer representative, if you work with consumers or are interested in consumer engagement, this event is an opportunity to participate in the conversation.

To register for the event, click

Do you have research expertise that could help inform a single state-wide model of care for tertiary child protection services? 

SA Health’s new Chief Child Protection Officer (CCPO) role was created in May 2021 in response to recommendations made by ZED Management Consulting in its report ‘State-wide Service Model for Tertiary Child Protection Services’ (the ZED report). The ZED report sets out a pathway to enable SA Health’s three Child Protection Services (CPS), operated by the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN), Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) and Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN), to co-design a single state-wide model of care.
Ms Catherine Turnbull has recently been appointed to the CCPO role and part of her remit is to lead the process to co-design a single state-wide model of care.
It is vital that the new model of care is based on the best available data and informed by contemporary research and evidence. As such, Ms Turnbull is keen to reach out to South Australia’s tertiary education and research sectors, both to establish networks of academics for consultation purposes, as well as commissioning discreet research projects on areas where a lack of evidence/data has been identified.
An early example of such a topic is the removal of children at birth. It appears there is inconsistent practice in SA’s public hospitals when it is identified that a child needs to be removed. In addition, Aboriginal families are significantly over-represented in the number of families that have children removed at birth. It is therefore very important that research into this area be undertaken, so that any recommended service reforms may be based on the best available evidence.
If you are interested in learning more, or being part of this program of work, please contact:

Photo by Filip Kowalski on Unsplash.

Have your say! What should a dementia care pathway look like for Australian's?

Our partner, Flinders University have combined efforts with a range of Universities across Australia to conduct a survey to find our what people think an Australian dementia care pathway should look like?

The pathway will document the role of GPs, specialists and other services and how they work together to support people with dementia. 

The survey is open to people with dementia, carers and health professionals, and should only take 15-40 minutes of your time. Submissions close Friday, 31 December 2021. 

Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash.
>> Take the survey now >>

New Implementation Science Resource Directory 

Our interstate colleagues at the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH) have developed a FREE online directory of implementation science tools and resources for students, clinicians and researchers to make it easier to find resources that support efforts to improve routine practice and care.

The new MACH Implementation Science Resource Directory conveniently brings together diverse digital tools and resources into a central location to support health implementation efforts by beginners and experts.

In the directory you’ll find:
  • Planning tools and templates 
  • Theories, models and frameworks 
  • Step-by-step guides to implementation research and practice 
  • Academic papers 
  • Webinars
...and more!

To access the directory, visit the MACH website here.

Learn more about the current and emerging themes within digital health across Australia

The Australian Digital Health Agency invites you to hear what Australians want for the future of digital health.

More than 7,500 Australians completed the National Digital Health Strategy survey, and this is your chance to get the insights, feedback and real-time data from it. Hosted by Cathy Ford, the live and interactive webinar will highlight current and emerging themes within digital health. 

There will be a Q&A session, and opportunity to provide further feedback on the emerging areas via live polls. Six session times are available between 30 November and 02 December.
>> Register now >>
Current MRFF Grant Opportunities:
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant 
  • Glioblastoma Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment (GBM AGILE) Clinical Trial Grant 
  • International Clinical Trials 
  • Chronic Musculoskeletal Conditions in Children and Adolescents Grant 
  • Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Grant 
  • Genomics Health Futures Mission Grant 
  • Cardiovascular Health Grant
  • Primary Health Care Research Grant 
  • Stem Cell Therapies Grant
  • Research Data Infrastructure Grant
  • Research into Hearing Health: Evidence-based Support Services
For a list of all MRFF grant opportunities from January 2021, click here.

Other Grant Opportunities:
  • National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation: Alzheimer's Disease Grant
  • Diabetes SA: Research Grants Program
  • HCF Research Foundation: Translational Research Grant EOI 
>> View funding opportunities >>

  • Accelerating Commercialisation Information Sessions - Multiple dates available
  • SAHLN Community Chats - Multiple dates available
  • PRAXIS: Good Clinical Practice Online Module (Exclusive Offer)
>> View all upcoming events and training >>

Connect with us in the links below

Copyright © 2021 Health Translation SA

For any queries please contact:
Jenni Carr, Senior Project Officer
P 08 8128 4380

Postal address:
PO Box 11060
Adelaide SA 5001

Our staff team location:
South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)
North Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000

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