Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Monash Partners

 Background: Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre is a collaboration between clinical care providers (public and private), Monash University, and health research institutes and was recognised by the NHMRC in 2015 as one of four internationally leading Centres in Australia. Established in 2011, founding members are Alfred Health, Monash Health, Monash University, Cabrini Health, Epworth Healthcare, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Burnet Institute, and Hudson Institute of Medical Research. In September 2016, Peninsula Health and Eastern Health joined Monash Partners, extending its coverage to 3.5M Australians (15% of the population). We catalyse, facilitate and enable integration of research, education and health care, building partnerships to accelerate the pace, scale and impact of research and innovation to deliver tangible health benefit. Our vision is “to measurably enhance the health of the communities we serve.”

Monash Partners provides a non-competitive collaborative space, transcending traditional silos across public, community, primary care, ambulatory and acute services and across the translational research continuum from benchtop to public health and policy, creating a systems platform to improve health.

Progress on priorities emerging from our theme and discipline strategic plans includes:

  • Expanding our partnerships: Importantly we are beginning engagement with Primary Health Networks and regional partners around collaborative opportunities.
  • Revitalising and supporting Theme and Disciplines: optimising partner engagement in the executives, revising and revitalising leadership, providing administrative support, organising collaborative forums and contributing to a Monash Partners retreat to review groupings and structure and progress strategic priorities and planning.
  • Streamlining Research Ethics and Governance: a Council nominated multi-organisational, multidisciplinary working group is co-developing and implementing a model to streamline and harmonise ethics and governance review across the Partner organisations to create efficiencies of scale through the sharing of best practice, resources and processes. Supported by a project officer, funded by the Partners, the group is chaired by Professor Paul Myles and is working in collaboration with the NHMRC and Victorian Government.
  • Accredited Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training: all Monash Partners staff have access to accredited ICH GCP training, at no individual charge, at the AMREP and MHTP campuses. Refresher GCP training is also available, and a suite of training is being developed for clinical staff to build capacity in clinical research and healthcare improvement. This training program is provided by Monash University and funded by the Partners.
  • Building a culture of research: implementing a coordinated range of initiatives to build a strong research culture in our partner health services by increasing awareness and engagement with patients, the community and health professionals. We are adapting and implementing strategies proven effective internationally in this endeavor, which is funded by the Partners and coordinated by Ms Cheryl-Ann Hawkins.
  • Data driven health care improvement and research: a multi-organisational, multidisciplinary Data forum has been held with all key stakeholders and an Executive is being finalised. They will focus on improving data quality, harmonisation and linkage to optimise and align population health and drive health care improvement. This initiative is being led by Assoc Professor Jim Buttery and Professor John McNeil with representation from all partners.
  • Engaging and integrating with primary care and community health: the primary and community health discipline, led by Professor Grant Russell, is forming an executive, to be chaired by Professor Leon Piterman. The executive will bring together key stakeholders in primary care and provide an opportunity for enhanced primary care collaboration, integration, innovation, communication and leadership.
  • A problem focused collaboration in falls prevention: a multi-organisational, multidisciplinary workshop has been held, an Executive, chaired by Professor Terry Haines, has been formed. Working groups have been established to maps falls prevention guidelines/practices/models of care across the Partners, examine disinvestment in the current falls risk assessment tool, and explore opportunities for patient/family and caregiver engagement in falls prevention activities.
  • Health care innovation and systems improvement: Monash University has appointed a newly funded Professor of Health Care Improvement, Professor Rick Iedema and his team, with formal partnerships with Warwick University in the UK. This initiative will link to the relevant disciplines in Monash Partners to co-develop a range of capacity building education programs in this area for staff across the partnership.
  • Catalysing and facilitating integration of early translational research into clinical and population health practice and research: a lead has been appointed to facilitate and enable inter digitation of early translational research into later phases of translational research, informed by successful models internationally. A committee will be formed shortly.
  • Building a National Alliance of AHSCs: Monash Partners is taking a leadership role in collaborating nationally through an Alliance of Academic Health Science Centres to provide a platform to drive better health outcomes.
  • Communication: A communications lead is soon to be appointed and will update the website and provide regular Monash Partner updates. We are also working with the NHMRC to highlight key collaborative success stories and would be keen to hear from anyone.

Proposed activities next on the agenda:

  • Public, patient and community involvement: we are progressing a range of strategies around public and patient involvement (PPI) to enable greater engagement, to catalyse co-design, and build capacity for stakeholder engagement for researchers, clinicians and for patients and the community.
  • Education program: This work is just starting and will progress over the next 12 months in collaboration with Monash University and the Partners.

Key contact details:

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