The Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand (HSRAANZ) is focused on promoting the role of HSR in delivering effective, efficient and sustainable health systems on both sides of the Tasman. This newsletter provides a snapshot of our recent, and planned activities.
Our main event is our biennial conference, which was held over 3 days (Nov 1-3) on the Gold Coast in 2017. Nearly 300 delegates attended HSRAANZ 17, with high level representation from Federal and State health departments, a reflection that HSR is finally on the Government’s radar.
Early career researchers (ECR’s) were well catered for, with many networking and learning experiences on offer, including pre-conference workshops and breakfast sessions. Once again the 3 Minute Thesis competition was a great hit and a new electronic format poster with 3-minute talk also showcased the HSR talent pool. Members identifying as emerging researchers are encouraged to connect with our ECR Group by contacting the co-ordinators Braden Te Ao (New Zealand) and Tilley Pain (Australia)
The Indigenous Yarning circle was a new approach to our regular Indigenous pre-conference workshop and delegates, alongside our Indigenous themed concurrent and plenary sessions. The Association aims to buld on these activities through our Indigenous Researchers Group, which is led by Kirsten Smiler (Victoria University, Wellington).
We closed the event with a Shark Tank plenary session. Four Sharks, including chief executives from the health system and a consumer organisation and the Commonwealth lead for the MRFF received pitches from four teams to invest in real-world health service innovations.
For the conference highlights view the conference ‘Storifys’ and snapshot videos on the HSRAANZ website.
Looking forward to the 2019 New-Zealand-based conference in Auckland, the conference convenor Laura Wilinson-Meyer is already looking for her organising committee and new and seasoned HSRAANZ members are invited to volunteer. This is a great way to gain experience planning a major scientific conference and to get involved in your Association. Do contact her with ideas and expressions of interest – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrations and Dissemination
Our HSRAANZ Awards Program, celebrating the best HSR, continues to grow and at the Conference Welcome Reception we announced the winners of our Distinguished Investigators and Best HSR Papers Awards. In April 2018 we will call for nominations for our impact and best papers awards on policy and practice.
We are looking forward to featuring the best papers from the conference in a special edition of the Journal of Health Organization and Management. Past President Jackie Cumming is also leading a publication project, focussing on HSR in Australia and New Zealand.
Our webinar series has continued to grow in 2017, with nine webinars hosted this year. These interactive webinars are a great way to share and discuss your research with colleagues beyond your state borders and can be viewed after the event here. Keep an eye out for upcoming webinars and please send us ideas for webinar topics and speakers.
Raising the profile of HSR
A new tradition in non-conference years is to take HSR to Canberra for our AGM. In 2016 we held a one-day event in Canberra showcasing high quality, impactful HSR and launching commissioned research into the state and potential of HSR in Australia and New Zealand. Results from the survey are supporting the advocacy role of the Association.
In Australia during 2017, our advocacy focus has been on the MRFF, in particular the 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”. In addition to conference activities around the MRFF, we worked with the Department to set-up a round table discussion focused on the UK’s National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) programme involving one of our keynote speakers, Professor Judith Smith.
We are also working with Professor Helena Teede, Chair of the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA, an alliance of NHMRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres) to discuss how the Association and the Alliance might work together in this regard.
HSR is also a key priority of the New Zealand Health Research Strategy 2017-2027 and the Association is engaging with the new Government to support the growth of capacity in HSR in New Zealand.
The larger our membership base, the greater our ability to advocate for HSR in Australia and New Zealand and so we encourage existing members to renew your memberships and potential members to join the Association, and to be active within the Association. The Association is a member-led organisation and we look to involve our corporate and non-corporate members as much as possible. Membership options are available on our website or you can discuss them with our Executive Officer.
Wishing you all a happy Christmas and successful New Year
President, on behalf of the Executive Committee of the HSRAANZ