A bright red plastic heart with a stethoscope on a light blue background. Photo: iStock

UOW, Western Sydney Local Health District launch new Centre for Chronic and Complex Care Research

UOW, Western Sydney Local Health District launch new Centre for Chronic and Complex Care Research

New research partnership to improve patient outcomes for range of conditions, including heart failure, atrial fibrillation and stroke

The University of Wollongong (UOW) and Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) will work together to improve the lives of people living with chronic and complex health conditions under a new research partnership announced today (Monday, 5 June).

Under a new research partnership, UOW and WSLHD will collaborate on key areas of research and practice to provide insights into and identify ways to improve patient outcomes, particularly for those with chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, dementia, and frailty.

Professor Caleb Ferguson, Associate Head of the School of Nursing at UOW and Academic Director of the Centre for Chronic and Complex Care Research, will be based at Blacktown Hospital, alongside Dr Julee McDonagh (Senior Research Fellow), Dr Sabine Allida (Research Fellow), Reejamol John (Honorary Fellow and Nurse Specialist), and Scott William (Project Officer).

As Academic Director of the Centre, Professor Ferguson said he was delighted to be partnering with WSLHD to provide collaborative research that will translate to improved outcomes for the people of Western Sydney and beyond.

“Chronic and complex health conditions are increasing as our population ages, as the needs of these patients can be challenging and multifaceted. Managing these health conditions requires a range of multi-disciplinary care and nursing is well-placed to coordinate new models of care to ensure our patients are receiving the support and care that they need,” Professor Ferguson said.

“This new partnership provides WSLHD and UOW with an exciting opportunity to enhance nursing leadership in the development and delivery of research into chronic and complex care. Our sustainable programs of research are aligned to the strategic and operational needs of both organisations and promote innovation in nursing research across the partnership.”

The partnership will provide an opportunity for clinicians and researchers to work together to undertake and support research that has a measurable impact on patient outcomes and models of care.

WSLHD and UOW will work together to enable research across the two organisations, including opportunities for clinicians, honours students, and postgraduate research students to engage in this important area of research.

Professor Mark McLean, WSLHD Director of Research, expressed great enthusiasm for the new collaboration with UOW. 

“Development of a skilled academic workforce in nursing is an important goal for WSLHD.  This partnership with UOW will enhance our ability to deliver optimum care to patients and to use precious healthcare resources in the best possible way,” Professor McLean said.

Professor David Currow, UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Health and Sustainable Futures), welcomed the partnership between the University and the WSLHD. He said providing access to world-class health research and services was fundamental to the University’s commitment to creating happy and healthy communities for people of all ages.

“The new Centre for Chronic and Complex Care Research will have a real impact on the lives of those who struggle with these health conditions, which can be debilitating and all-consuming, not just for the patients but for their loved ones, too.

“I am proud of the work that is already underway in this vital area of nursing and health research and look forward to seeing the societal changes that will stem from this brilliant new collaboration between two organisations that are committed to creating a healthy future for the residents of Western Sydney and surrounding communities.”

UOW is committed to addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a shared blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for everyone. The Centre for Chronic and Complex Care project addresses Sustainable Development Goal 3, Good Health and Wellbeing, which ensures healthy lives and promotes wellbeing for all ages.