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SLHD Innovation and Research Symposium

Sydney Local Health District now hosts an annual innovation and research symposium to showcase the work of our clinicians, researchers and staff and foster new collaborations.


SLHD Innovation and Research Symposium 2014

Is real innovation one big step or a series of small steps?

Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) and Sydney Research hosted its second annual Innovation and Research Symposium from the 15th - 17th May 2014 with this year's theme question - Is real innovation one big step or a series of small steps?
The first day of the symposium offered a number of interactive site visits to Sydney Research partners, allowing attendees to gain a better understanding of the myriad of research and outcomes being achieved at each site. Visits included tours to:

  • The George Institute
  • The Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
  • The Heart Research Institute
  • The National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC) Clinical Trials Centre
  • Woolcock Institute
  • Brain Mind & Research Institute (BMRI)

More than 500 delegates attended the second day of the symposium at Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh bringing about some of the finest innovation and research speakers from across SLHD and its affiliated research institutions. Key note speakers included Immunologist and Australian of the Year (2000) Sir Gustav Nossal and Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of Sydney Dr Michael Spence.

SLHD's innovation challenge, The Pitch, was presented by Dr Teresa Anderson marking another pioneering event in SLHD's history. The Pitch empowers all staff to 'pitch' their innovative idea to gain backing- no matter how big or small - to improve our health system, better the patient experience, enhance delivery of healthcare and minimise waste.

An intriguing discussion was also led by Dr Teresa Anderson which explored the topic of "Small Acts of Kindness - Patient Centred Care" following the screening of this moving video (of the same name), showing how the small acts of kindness make a difference to our patient and staff's days. The discussion reiterated the need for patient and family centred approaches in healthcare delivery and communication within our ever changing healthcare system.

SLHD has recently launched its own Patient and Family Centred Care project with a vision to keep the patient, their family and carer(s) at the centre of the care we provide and to ensure their emotional support, their physical comfort and the coordination and delivery of their care is of the highest possible standard.

A variety of breakout sessions showcased the latest work and breakthroughs of more than 30 of the District's leading clinicians, experts and researchers in surgery, cancer treatments, clinical trials and research. Presentation themes included:

  • Innovation or breakthrough in clinical specialties
  • Early Intervention for whole of life
  • Clinical trials
  • Bench to field work
  • Cutting edge cancer treatment
  • Comprehensive and expansive approach to surgery

A cocktail party ended the night with an opportunity for networking and sharing of knowledge.

The symposium concluded with a 'Sydney Ideas Forum' hosted by Sydney Research and SLHD which explored the topic 'Managing your disease: what the latest research tells us'. A selection of medical and health science researchers summarised and shared their latest research, and explored as a panel how individuals can be empowered to manage their disease and make the best decisions possible. The event was chaired by Professor Warwick Britton, Bosch Professor of Medicine and Professor of Immunology Sydney Medical School and Associate Professor Donna Waters, Associate Dean (Research), Sydney Nursing School.

For more information on the SLHD Innovation and Research Symposium 2014 please visit

Symposium Videos

Symposium Photos

May 2014 - Innovation and Research Symposium

May 2014 - Innovation and Research Symposium


SLHD Innovation Symposium 2013

Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) invests significantly in supporting innovation across its facilities and health services and is dedicated to achieving positive patient outcomes through innovative changes and maximising service improvement.

The Concord Medical Education Centre opened its doors to the inaugural SLHD Innovations Symposium on the 2nd May 2013. The symposium proved to be a refreshing and pioneering event in SLHD's history.

More than 160 participants, including clinical and non-clinical managers, board members, nurses, doctors and allied health staff were welcomed by Dr Teresa Anderson CE SLHD, to this event which aimed to showcase a variety of clinical innovations, service redesign, research projects and fresh ideas from across SLHD.

The event hosted a range of high quality presentations and keynote speakers including:

  • Chief Cancer Officer and Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Institute NSW - Professor David Currow
  • General Manager, Planning and Funding of New Zealand's Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) - Carolyn Gullery
  • Director of Clinical Program Design and Implementation at the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) - Raj Verma
  • Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care representative - Nicola Dunbar
  • Performance Monitoring, Casemix and Innovation Unit Manager - Charles Farah.

New Zealand's CDHB identified a number of issues, common to the challenges in the Australian setting; an increasing ageing population, a diminishing and ageing workforce, an increase in healthcare demand and a rise in waiting times to access services. Three strategic goals have been set to address this:

  • People taking greater responsibility for their own health;
  • People staying well in their own homes and community for longer; and
  • People receiving timely and appropriate complex care.

Charles Farah demonstrated the SLHD Targeted Activity Reporting System (STARS), proving that closing the gap between traditional Business Intelligence (BI) solutions and standalone reporting applications is achievable. Mr Farah described STARS as a "flexible approach to exploit business discovery and data visualisation in increasingly forward thinking ways."

Professor David Currow offered a thought provoking discussion on clinical variation and outcomes in cancer surgery, highlighted through analysis of the extensive database at the Cancer Institute, NSW. He facilitated discussion on the issue of improving cancer outcomes by improving the systems through which cancer care is delivered.

Nicola Dunbar gave emphasis to patient-centred care and achieving safety and quality through innovation. Raj Verma explained the need for innovation throughout the state, the growing pressures in health and the initiatives the ACI has embarked on to promote better health outcomes and increase capacity and capability.

The day proved to re-invigorate the strong spirit of innovation across the SLHD, with an 'On the Couch' session that discussed innovation & optimising patient care. It also provided the opportunity to introduce the SLHD Innovations Group which aims to provide adequate support and guidance for all innovations and projects whilst ensuring successful projects are recognised, shared and implemented throughout the facilities in SLHD.

Attendees were given the opportunity to select from 12 interactive breakout sessions encompassing patient-centred care presentations:

  • Cardiometabolic Health in Psychosis
  • The CPC Project: Supporting Innovation through Design and Infrastructure
  • The Real Cost of Fasting
  • Where is obesity going?
  • Multi-gene mutation profiling to guide cancer therapy
  • Preventing HIV treatment failure
  • A Collaborative Approach to Tuberculosis Control
  • LEAN Thinking in the Haematology Ambulatory Care Unit
  • Reducing dialysis mortality, line by line
  • Ward 5 East: Strengthening communication lines between multidisciplinary team members
  • Preeclampsia: a brave new world
  • Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA) Innovations

The symposium was followed by drinks and canap├ęs with Professor David Celermajer and Professor Derek Hart presenting the 'Great discussion on Innovation'.

Symposium Photos

Innovations Symposium 2013

Innovations Symposium 2013