Associate Professor Kirsty Foster leads the Education Cross Cutting Theme for Sydney Health Partners. Below she outlines what her team is trying to achieve, and how their work can help to ensure the outcomes of health and medical research are translated into the health system - to improve the health of the community.
Why are you undertaking this work?
Our strategic goal is to develop and implement educational strategies which promote the translation of research into practice. Put simply the aim of our work is to ensure that the outcomes of health and medical research reach patients and people in the community – as quickly as possible.
What activities are you working on?
The Education Theme has three main areas of activity over the next few years.
The first is to foster a vibrant culture of learning and education that supports the translation of best practice evidence from Sydney Health Partners’ thematic streams into policy and clinical care. Research has to be seen as a part of high quality care.
The second is to implement educational approaches to build capacity for research translation throughout the Partnership, to increase the ability of clinicians to use the results of research in their practice.
And we are also working to support the engagement of primary health care networks to ensure translational research benefits the health of the communities we serve.
Who are you trying to help?
Our educational strategies are aiming to directly help researchers, clinicians, and students, but our goal is to impact the overall health of our communities.
How does being part of a collaborative partnership like Sydney Health Partners help you to achieve more than you would be able to individually?
For us the strategic advantage of being involved with Sydney Health Partners is the opportunity to coordinate and streamline educational activity across our three local health districts partners – the Sydney, Northern Sydney and Western Sydney Local Health Districts – to help create a culture that embraces research translation. Being part of Sydney Health Partners also helps us to build capacity among researchers in translational science.
What potential do you see for scaling up the results of your research? How can it reach more people in the health system?
One of our priorities in the Education stream is to share knowledge about education and training strategies that have worked in one location, and try them in other partner sites. While there are differences between local health districts, there are also similarities in our workforces and the people we serve. So scaling up educational strategies that increase the pace at which research is translated into practice will help improve the health outcomes of our community.