Uni health researchers take out top honours

Professor Guy Maddern

Professor Guy Maddern
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Friday, 25 June 2010

Australia's premier health organisation has awarded University of Adelaide surgeon Professor Guy Maddern the top health care prize for 2010.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) Excellence in Health Care Award was presented to Professor Maddern at the association's annual conference in Sydney recently.

The award is given to an individual who has made "a significant contribution to improving health or health care in Australia".

AMA President Dr Andrew Pesce described Professor Maddern as "a surgeon who has developed an outstanding reputation as an educator and surgical trainer".

"Professor Maddern has shown a commitment to integrating patient care, research and education in his role as Professor of Surgery at the University of Adelaide," Dr Pesce said.

"This has led to the development of innovative teaching models and research endeavours within the Department of General Surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which Professor Maddern heads.

"He has also contributed his vast experience in research to improving public health and has shown a willingness to work with all groups to address and develop innovative solutions to health sector challenges."

The AMA has also awarded the University of Adelaide two national prizes for its research into point-of-care testing in general practice.

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences Professor Justin Beilby has led a team that has won the AMA Victoria Stawell Prize for medical research for a study comparing point-of-care testing with pathology testing. The team also involved staff from Flinders University.

This research found that point-of-care testing (blood tests in a doctor's surgery) led to the same, or better, medication adherence compared with having test results provided by a pathology laboratory.

The research took four years to complete and included 5000 patients, 53 GPs and general practices across Victoria, NSW and South Australia, and in urban and rural locations.

"We showed that point-of-care testing improved medication compliance by 5%. If the same percentage of patients with chronic illnesses were to improve their medication compliance, the benefits for the system would be substantial," Professor Beilby said.

An associated paper on the study co-authored by staff from the Discipline of General Practice has won the $10,000 Medical Journal of Australia prize for the best research article published in 2009.

Professor Beilby says the awards reflect the outstanding expertise within the Medical School, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2010.


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