Welcome from Head of Department

Welcome to the festive season newsletter!

As the end of the year comes close it is a time for reflection on the 2019 successes, challenges, and future of where we want to be in 2020!

I am very proud of our academic and professional support staff and students. They are extremely dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of people in community through primary care. We are also very proud of our Victorian Research and Education Network (VicREN) who are many of you reading this newsletter! You drive best teaching and research from general practice and community settings.

You will find in our newsletter some exciting news. Dr. Jo-Anne Manksi-Nankervis has been promoted to Associate Professor and only four years after her PhD. This is a remarkable achievement, along with her Professor Peter Mudge Medal which acknowledges work to advance the discipline of general practice and research that has the most potential to influence the daily work of Australia’s GPs.  It was established in recognition of Professor Mudge’s work and advocacy in the field of general practice and is especially poignant, as we honour the memory of Professor Peter Mudge who recently passed away.

Professor Kelsey Hegarty and Dr. Laura Tarzia both were awarded the prestigious Dame Kate Campbell Award for contribution to our Faculty through outstanding research in abuse and violence prevention in our local community and the world stage. Dr Ruby Biezen was awarded an Early Career Researcher award from University and Dr Rita McMorrow an Australian Rotary Club Enid Beatrice Farmer PhD scholarship in diabetes and cardiometabolic research. Sibel Saya received a 2019 Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Picchi Award for Excellence in Cancer Research and a W.P. Greene scholarship top-up. Mr Peter Nguyen was awarded the Margaret and Irene Stewardson Fund PhD Scholarship.

We recognise the promotion of Dr. Malcolm Clark, a long-term member of VicREN in both teaching and research, to Clinical Associate Professor. A/Prof Douglas Boyle was appointed academic convener for the University campus digital innovation capability, Dr Caroline Johnson was awarded the 2019 RACGP Victorian GP of the Year Award and Dr Roisin Bhamjee was awarded the 2019 RACGP Foundation Charles Bridges-Webb Memorial Award. Our Honorary Professors John Murtagh (Emeritus) and Neil Spike, received Australia day Honours for services to general practice education and standards and training respectively.

We also acknowledge the Primary Care Committee of the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH) which is Co-Chaired with me by Dr Mukesh Haikerwal. Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal is also the Primary Care representative on the Board of the MACH. MACH is the coming together of universities, hospitals, research institutes and primary care to translate research innovation into practice to improve health outcomes and effectiveness of health care. The CEO of MACH is Professor Sir John Savill who is extremely supportive of primary care and its central role in promoting and managing health and reducing hospital admissions.

We also launched The Professor Doris Young Visiting Professorship made possible through the generous support of our first Head of Department of General Practice at The University of Melbourne, Doris Young. This professorship enabled a visit from A/Professors Noah Ivers and Karen Tu from the Department of Family and Community Medicine in Toronto who exchanged their expertise in implementation science and digital improvements in primary health care.

This year we also moved location to 780 Elizabeth Street Parkville and launched our Data for Decisions research network and the Future health Today Research platform. We welcomed Dr Stephen Duckett as an Honorary Enterprise Professor with our Department.

There are many more activities that I will leave for the actual newsletter.

All of us here at the University of Melbourne Department of General Practice would like to thank you all for your involvement and interest in working with us in 2019 and we look forward to sharing 2020 with you.

I wish you all a happy and safe festive holiday season.

Best regards

Professor Lena Sanci