May 27, 2021
AHSRI celebrates a decade of health services research excellence and impact
Research institute committed to improving health outcomes individually and system wide
The University of Wollongong’s Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI) will celebrate its 10th anniversary at an event on UOW’s Innovation Campus on Friday 28 May.
AHSRI has a critical role in improving health outcomes for consumers, supporting service providers to explore innovative ways of delivering high-quality care, and stimulating innovative policy development and health system change.
The impact that AHSRI makes is evident in its recent work in the area of aged care reform.
AHSRI was actively engaged by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, and directly influenced several key recommendations in the Commission’s final report, including increasing staffing levels in residential aged care, the introduction of a five-star rating system, and the introduction of a case-mix funding system such as the Australian National Aged Care Classification.
AHSRI Director Professor Kathy Eagar said success came from not only giving health leaders access to quality research, but also closely collaborating with those leaders and the industry to address real-world problems and achieve evidence-based and policy-driven outcomes.
“The impact we’ve managed to have, in terms of better health services for Australians and fairer access to these services, has only been possible through collaboration,” Professor Eagar said.
“We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us over the years, going back to 1993 when we started out as the Centre for Health Service Development. That of course includes the contributions of our staff, the Board and UOW more broadly.
“But our success has also depended on the support of countless people and organisations we work with, from staff on hospital floors, to CEOs of health, aged care and disability organisations, and the consumers that use their services.
“My heartfelt thanks goes out to them all.”
AHSRI Deputy Director Associate Professor Rob Gordon said the Institute’s focus was on research that translates to improvements in practice and system-wide changes, with tangible benefits to society.
“Doing work that makes a real difference is vitally important to us and our success, it is what sustains us,” Professor Gordon said.
UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia Davidson congratulated AHSRI for its accomplishments over the past 10 years.
“AHSRI has a commendable record of conducting rigorous, well-designed research that has helped improve the management of health and community services across Australia, leading to better patient outcomes,” Professor Davidson said.
“This has been conducted under an ethos of achieving greater equity in resource distribution, fairer access to services, and better continuity within and across the health and community care sectors.
“Congratulations to Professor Eagar and the AHSRI team on reaching this landmark, and for all they have achieved over the past 10 years.”
Ms Margot Mains, CEO of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD), also congratulated AHSRI on the milestone.
“The work the institute and its six centres are doing is so important, they have developed such strong and productive partnerships across the sector, including with ISLHD, and this is resulting in innovative and powerful research that can benefit our local community,” Ms Mains said.
“They are also contributing significantly to service development and quality improvement at the national and international level, particularly in areas like rehabilitation, palliative care and chronic pain.”
Emeritus Professor John Glynn, former Executive Dean of UOW’s Sydney Business School and long-term AHSRI board member and supporter, reflected on the institute’s success and looked ahead to the future.
“AHSRI has done phenomenally well,” Professor Glynn said.
“They’ve had so many great achievements over 10 years across the whole spectrum of health systems; from the challenges faced by access to acute care through to managing people with lifelong disabilities and health and social needs associated with ageing.
“AHSRI has a wonderful team of people, and I hope that the next 10 years are just as fruitful.”
AHSRI was established at UOW in 2011 bringing together several research centres and is part of the Faculty of Business and Law.
The six research centres are: Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre, Centre for Health Research Illawarra Shoalhaven Population, Centre for Health Service Development, Electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration, Ngarruwan Ngadju: First Peoples Health and Wellbeing Research Centre, and the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration.
Pictured above: AHSRI Director Professor Kathy Eagar, Business Manager Elizabeth Cuthbert and Deputy Director Associate Professor Rob Gordon.