Professor David Story appointed Head of the Department of Critical Care

Message from Professor John Prins, Head of the Melbourne Medical School

June 17th 2021

I’m pleased to share the news that Professor David Story has been appointed the inaugural
Head of the Department of Critical Care in the Melbourne Medical School.

David is Professor and Foundation Chair of Anaesthesia at the University of Melbourne; and Head of the University Department of Critical Care. He is a member of the Council of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA), Deputy Chair of the ANZCA Research Committee, and the Chair of the ANZCA Safety and Quality Committee. His main research interest is clinically and cost-effective approaches to reduce perioperative risk, complications, disability, and mortality. He also does translational work in acid-base disorders; and is a consumer investigator in diabetes care. David is a Staff Anaesthetist at the Austin Hospital where he provides perioperative care for most procedural specialties including liver transplantation.

As the Head of the Department of Critical Care, David’s remit is to advance excellence and impact for the three key disciplines that manage high-risk and critically-ill children and adults: anaesthesia, emergency medicine and intensive care. Under his stewardship, the department seeks to lead in policy and practice to improve the safety and quality of clinical care across the patient journey through internationally recognised, integrated academic research, education and engagement in the care of patients before, during and after their hospital stay.

David will continue to work together with Professor Rinaldo Bellomo (Professor of Intensive Care) and Professor George Braitberg (Professor of Emergency Medicine) to integrate the three key disciplines and to harness the expertise of a large network of specialists involved in clinical practice, research and education at more than 20 University-affiliated hospitals. He, Rinaldo and George are great champions of critical care and its medical, nursing and allied health specialists, all of whom have been under such pressure due to COVID-19. I’m looking forward to seeing how the department will help revolutionise critical care in Australia and internationally over the coming years.

Please join me in congratulating David.

Best regards,

Professor John Prins
Head of the Melbourne Medical School

Message from Professor David Story, Inaugural Head of Department

I am very pleased to be appointed as the inaugural Head of Department of Critical Care (DoCC) in the Melbourne Medical School and I thank Professor Rinaldo Bellomo for acting in the role over the past 6 months. DoCC is one of the few University departments anywhere in the world that embraces all three critical care specialties:  anaesthesia, emergency medicine, and intensive care medicine. DoCC covers over 20 hospitals affiliated with the University and has over 150 honorary staff members.

The need for DoCC stems from the unfortunate fact that many high-risk, deteriorating, and critically ill patients have poor outcomes. Collectively these patients have a broad range of problems from trauma to children with sepsis to mental health to severe co-morbidity before surgery to complex pain syndromes; to name a few. Both preventing and managing health care crises is a key common feature of the three critical care specialties.

Through research, education, engagement and direct clinical care, DoCC will improve individual patient journeys, public health, cost effectiveness, and workforce well-being. Our Department collaborates across academic, political, government, and community sectors including nurses, allied health practitioners, scientists, leaders, and of course patients and the broader public.

The academic history of critical care at the University of Melbourne extends back over 120 years to Dr Embley’s landmark 1902 article on death during chloroform anaesthesia. While there have been many subsequent great strides in critical care education, research, and clinical care in the University of Melbourne environment, DoCC represents a big step in creating an internationally recognised centre of excellence for integrated academic critical care.

Professor David Story, Chair of Anaesthesia and Inaugural Head of Department