Welcome from Head of Department

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the festive season newsletter!

As the end of the year comes close it is a time for reflection on the 2021 successes, challenges, and future of where we want to be in 2022.

2021 started with promise of better times but around mid-way the pandemic again brought challenges for all Victorians as we entered prolonged periods of lockdown. As such many of our staff have not been properly on campus for almost 2 years. I am very proud of our academic and professional support staff and students for once again adapting to the complexities of conducting research, teaching and learning in the online world. We are also very proud of our Victorian Research and Education Network (VicREN) who are any of you in a general practice that train our medical students on their clinical placement and/or who research with us.  We thank the general practices taking our medical students and participating in our research – with all of you assisting us we can inspire more medical students to enter general practice, and our research can make advances in primary care practice for the benefit of the community’s health.

In this edition we are excited to congratulate Prof Jane Gunn on her appointment as the 18th Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences; Jane is the First woman and first GP in this role, and also our esteemed former Head of Department of General Practice.

Congratulations also to Prof Victoria Palmer who has been appointed to Professor of Primary Care Mental Health and Co-Design. Professor Palmer heads the new ALIVE National Centre for mental health research translation in primary care.

Also we celebrate: Dr Jonathan Kaufman’s Chancellor’s prize for his PhD on diagnostic processes for children’s urinary tract infections; an additional 8 PhD students who have successfully been awarded their PhD; and A/Prof Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis’s successful Targeted Translation Research Accelerator program grant for development of technology to facilitate detection and management of chronic disease; and an MDHS Deans prize for our Public Health Advisory Group service to the university.

We welcome new staff to the department as well Dr Zoe Wainer - Deputy Secretary Public Health in the Victorian Department of Health as Honorary Enterprise Professor of the Department of General Practice.

Hope you enjoy reading this and other news from our Department.

I wish you all a happy and safe festive holiday season and look forward to working with you all in 2022.

Best regards

Professor Lena Sanci