• 04 DEC 18
    • 0

    President’s Report to the 2018 HSRAANZ Annual General Meeting

     

    Welcome to the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand – it is a pleasure to be here and I would like to thank you all for attending the meeting.

     

    I hope you have all had a productive and happy year since the last AGM.

     

    Following on from the 2017 Conference, and as part of our goal of promoting the best HSR, a sub-group of members have been putting together a special edition of the Journal of Health Organization and Management that will feature the best papers from the conference and should be available in the new year.   Thanks to Suzanne Robinson for her efforts.

     

    Work also commenced in 2017 on a new Association publication highlighting the achievements of HSR, led by past president Professor Jackie Cumming.

     

    You will recall that the key findings of our commissioned research through Newcastle University into the state and potential of HSR in Australia and New Zealand were shared during the 2017 Conference.  A resulting manuscript was recently accepted for publication the Australian Health Review.  I would like to thank the team at Newcastle University and in particular Liz Fradgley for their persistence in getting this work published.

     

    In an effort to raise the profile of HSR among NZ researchers our Vice-President Laura Wilkinson-Meyers is following up on the “State of HSR” project, analysing the collected data from a NZ perspective and canvasing funded health services researchers in the university, public sector and private sectors on who is doing what HSR in NZ through a documentary analysis. This should also help create a database of contacts in the lead up to the 2019 Auckland Conference.

     

    In Australia, in 2018 the focus of our advocacy has continued to be around the Australian Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and its Advisory Board’s call to “determine the feasibility of establishing a national institute focused on health services, and public and preventive health research to facilitate evidence-based and cost-effective healthcare”.

     

    We have continued to engage with the Commonwealth government and the Australia Health Research Alliance (AHRA) (comprising the NHMRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres) to promote the value of funding high-quality health services research through the MRFF.  In August the Association made a response to the independent Australian Medical Research Advisory Board national consultation to inform the development of the second set of MRFF Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities (Priorities) for 2018-2020. (Read the HSRAANZ response here.)  The revised Priorities included some positives, such as the need for more clinical fellowships and comparative effectiveness research, though it was disappointing that the concept of a National Institute fell off the list and there was no mention of the need for more capacity for non-clinical HSR. We will continue to advocate for these issues through our engagement with the AHRA.

     

    During 2018 we have also been maintaining our activities to enable members to engage, interact and share their research.  Our webinar series has continued, overcoming the geographic diversity of our membership.  We have hosted 10 webinars so far this year.  All have been well attended and the videos are available on the past events page of our website. We now have an extensive webinar library.  Of particular note in April, members of the Executive Committee presented an introductory webinar on the role of HSR with respect to health policy and clinical practice.

     

    These interactive webinars are a great way, along with the HSR Blog to share and discuss your research with colleagues beyond your state borders.  We aim to continue the webinars next year so please send us suggestions for topics and speakers for the series or submit an abstract yourself.

     

    As part of our efforts to celebrate the best HSR we have continued to run our Awards and Prizes.   This year we sought nominations for the best scientific papers and the HSR Impact award which celebrates research which has had a significant impact on policy and practice.  In 2019 we will be calling for nominations for the best scientific papers and the Distinguished Investigator Awards.

     

    This year our work for early career researchers has focused around out mentoring program.  The Association has matched 15 mentees and mentors as part of its annual mentoring program.  To support the program we have established a LinkedIn mentoring group and have run 2 mentoring webinars.  A call for 2019 mentees will open in May/June 2019 and we are always looking for nominations from members who are keen to give back to HSR by being a HSRAANZ mentor.  Mentor Application Form.

     

    The latter part of the year has seen us working towards today’s highly successful PROMS and PREMS Forum.  A big thanks to the convenors Rachael Moreton and Tilley Pain. An Indigenous travel scholarship was awarded to Tamara Butler.

     

    In coming to the end of 2018 and looking forward to 2019, I would very much like to thank all our members and our corporate groups for supporting the Association.  I would like to thank the other members of the Executive Committee for their hard work in helping to further develop the Association.  I would particularly like to thank my vice-president Laura Wilkinson-Meyers, treasurer Rachel Morton and secretary Kim Dalziel who have provided great support. Last and definitely not least, I would like to thank the Associations Executive Officer, Sarah Green, for her continuous support and enthusiasm, without which the Association would not be half the Association that it is.

    Jonathan Karnon, President

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