New Health Institute seeks better systems of health

Improving Health and Wellbeing

The Institute for Healthcare Transformation is set to position Deakin University as the premier Australian centre for health systems research, and a leader in health reform.

At a time when health systems across the world are under significant pressure from the increasing burden of chronic disease and an ageing population, Deakin University is establishing its fifth research institute, the Institute for Healthcare Transformation.

The new Institute will deliver cutting edge health systems research, nationally and internationally, with the goal of positioning Deakin University as the premier Victorian and Australian centre for health systems research, and a leader in health reform.

This outward facing, collaborative initiative will leverage the University’s research strengths in health, building the scale and scope to support world-class health systems research, eHealth and health innovation.

The new Institute will link researchers from diverse disciplines with a common focus on health by establishing multi-disciplinary collaborative approaches both within Deakin and across external organisations.

New and existing partnerships with government, NGOs, industry and the community sector will further enhance the impact of our research.

“Deakin is well placed to play a significant role in major reforms likely to affect health over the next decade, both in Australia and overseas,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO. “This research will help to optimise outcomes, reduce costs and maintain equity.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Peter Hodgson noted that the Institute is a natural step for Deakin.

“We have seen huge progress in our health research over the past decade. The Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) has become a world-leader and is now home to over 60 researchers, including four highly cited researchers,” Professor Hodgson said.

“Our public health-focussed Strategic Research Centres are making similar strides, with Deakin public health recently ranked within the world’s top 100 by the 2017 Shanghai Global Ranking of Academic Subjects. Deakin researchers recently received two major awards from the Council of Academic Public Health Institutions in Australia (CAPHIA).”

The new Institute will draw on the core expertise of two key Faculty of Health Strategic Research Centres, the Centre for Population Health Research (CPHR) and the Centre for Quality and Patient Safety (QPS), along with other Faculty of Health research groups.

It will also align with the Faculty of Science, Engineering and the Built Environment, and the newly-announced ARC Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living that will be based at Deakin.

Ms Rebecca Bartel has joined Deakin as Executive Lead of the new Institute, after several years as Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Healthcare Research (ACHR). Initially, she will be responsible for setting up the necessary governance and operational processes, as well as strategic business and communication plans.

“Health systems globally are under significant pressure, driven by demographic, social and technological change. Health system research plays a critical role by helping identify affordable models of care and innovative approaches to better prevent, diagnose and manage disease,” Ms Bartel said.

“I am very impressed by the talent at Deakin University. This new Institute will provide an exciting and unique opportunity to harness that talent, drawing in experts from diverse disciplines, to tackle the ‘wicked’ and challenging issues plaguing health, disability and ageing.”
Executive Lead Rebecca Bartel
Executive Lead Rebecca Bartel

“Innovations emerge when great thinkers from diverse fields work together. Something magic happens when experts in health collaborate with experts in other fields like information technology, data, environmental studies, law, design and engineering.”

Ms Bartel has extensive experience as a senior executive and strategist in the health, ageing and disability sectors, both corporate and not-for-profit, and has been managing director of a specialist health and science communications agency for over a decade.

She is a founder of the Australian chapter of Death Over Dinner, an organisation that promotes end-of-life care conversations and, in 2014, was awarded the Office of Women’s Affair’s Victorian Women’s Governance Scholarship.

The Faculty is in the process of appointing a Director for the Institute.

Published by Deakin Research on 10 August 2017.