Australia's most prestigious hospitals, researchers and universities unite (02/11)
20 February, 2011
Nine of the country's top medical research institutes and healthcare providers, including Children's Cancer Institute Australia, have come together to form Australia's first Academic Health Sciences Centre.
The AHSC will be located in the same precinct at the Randwick Hospitals campus.
"We've just signed a collaboration agreement which will effectively bring together three major teaching hospitals, four research institutes and two universities, co-located on one campus,” says Peter Joseph, chair of the group that created the AHSC.
“This is the first step in a major change to the way health research, teaching and treatment are carried out in this country. The enthusiasm, energy and ownership of the concept by all of these groups is very encouraging.”
The Centre will integrate and harness the research, education, training and clinical expertise of each partner with the aim of maximising health outcomes for patients and the community.
“We are delighted to be a part of the Academic Health Sciences Centre and look forward to collaborating with our colleagues to enhance our translational research programs, which are so critical in working towards saving the lives of all kids with cancer,” says Professor Michelle Haber AM, Executive Director of Children's Cancer Institute Australia.
The institutions involved are:
- Children's Cancer Institute Australia
- Prince of Wales Hospital
- Royal Hospital for Women
- Sydney Children's Hospitals, Randwick
- Neuroscience Research Australia
- Black Dog Institute
- Eastern Heart Clinic
- UNSW Medicine
- UTS Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health
“The AHSC will unite the three areas critical to improving outcomes for patients and the community,” says Professor Robyn Ward, Director of Prince of Wales Hospital Clinical School.
“With the creation of the AHSC we are embarking on a journey whereby all employees are part of a Centre which uncompromisingly pursues excellence: top to bottom, side to side,” says Professor Terry Campbell, Deputy Dean of the University of NSW's Faculty of Medicine.
“It means a new way of thinking in healthcare- a structured cohesive effort never before seen on such a scale in this country.”
“The Centre takes advantage of a location, Randwick, where three major hospitals and four medical research institutes co-exist with a university medical school and biological sciences facilities,” says Peter Joseph, who also chairs the board of the Black Dog Institute.
“The Academic Health Sciences Centre will encourage a cultural shift in all areas of scientific and medical practice as it introduces new ways of approaching and solving medical problems.”
Similar partnerships have been established successfully in North America and the UK, says Professor Ward.
"We saw the way that the healthcare and research fraternities confronted the HIV epidemic. With researchers, educators, clinicians and the community coming together, what was once a death sentence was transformed into a chronic disease. We intend to do the same across the medical spectrum.”
“Finding answers and advancing them to the clinic and applying them to patients must become a smoother, faster process,” says Professor Campbell.
“By speeding up and filling the gaps between the laboratory 'bench to bedside' and 'bedside to population' approach, it can transform the way medicine is practised in this country for the benefit of all. Ultimately it translates to better and more efficient healthcare," he says.
PR & Communications, Children's Cancer Institute Australia
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