In November last year, SAHMRI celebrated its fifth anniversary in our building. Having grown from its earliest days into a thriving research community of more than 450 staff and 300 additional partners, we believed it was time to create a new structure which better reflected our research and translational strengths. It was also important to better reflect our vision for the future of health and medical research, and the health care system, to create and deliver optimised, precision health care solutions for all Australians, across their life course, with a spotlight on greater living.
The restructure was multifaceted, identifying a need for:
- The creation of a clear, concise narrative that reflects the strengths of the research at SAHMRI.
Improved visibility of:
- The next generation of research leaders, including a gender equity impact assessment (GEIA).
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Leaders.
- Our commitment to health translation and impact, through practice, policy and commercialisation.
- The replacement of outgoing research leader Professor Stephen Nicholls to a national leadership position at Monash University.
Leadership worked to create a research organisational structure which they believed would promote collaboration, success and which had longevity, and which was aligned with our vision for the future of health. Following extensive consultation, across multiple SAHMRI sites, we worked with SAHMRI staff and partners to hone the language for theme names. Key to this process was scientific integrity (names which resonated with peers and colleagues), accessible language for the public and a sense of belonging for the staff.
In addition to achieving gender equity at the Deputy Director Level, we are proud that the new structure gives visibility to the next generation of research leadership here at SAHMRI, and that eight of the 17 research programs are led by women. In addition to this, five of the 17 research programs have Aboriginal leadership.
Professor Derek Chew accepted the position as Heart and Vascular Health Program Leader, and co-leader of the Lifelong Health Theme. Derek is a clinical and interventional cardiologist as well as a clinical trialist and outcomes researcher in cardiovascular medicine. He completed a Masters of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, with formal training in epidemiology, trial design, biostatistics, clinical trials and cost-effectiveness analysis. His current appointment is Professor of Cardiology Flinders University and is the Network Director of Cardiology for the Southern Adelaide Health Local Heath Network. He has national and international roles in chest pain/ACS evidence generation, assimilation and translation.
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