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8th March 2022 Endometriosis

$1 million to advance women’s health

$1m womens grants

The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Group is proud to announce more than $1 million to advance care and research into women’s health.

Seven grants have been awarded in areas including preeclampsia, support for Indigenous mothers, gestational diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and support for female veterans. Ensuring women get the best care in remote areas is also a feature of the successful projects.

THRF Group CEO Paul Flynn said researchers had been invited to make submissions in a range of healthcare areas identified in the Australian Government’s National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030.

“These grants will help advance our understanding of women’s health issues and conditions, improve their care, and change processes or policy to ensure better outcomes for women regardless of where they live or their background,” Paul said.

“Improving the health and wellbeing of women and their families is a huge area of interest for our supporters, which also helps give our children the best start for a bright and healthy future.

“We wish to extend a huge thank you to our generous donors, fundraisers and ticket buyers in the Hospital Research Foundation Home Lottery for enabling these grants.”

The successful projects include:

Dr Lisa Nicholas – gestational diabetes in Indigenous women
The University of Adelaide | SAHMRI
This study will improve understanding of why Aboriginal girls are more prone to youth-onset obesity and Type 2 diabetes than non-Aboriginal girls, and if this disparity is exacerbated in children of mothers who developed diabetes during pregnancy. The knowledge gained will bring us closer to identifying individuals most at risk of these conditions, therefore providing opportunities for earlier intervention strategies.

Dr Amy Wyatt – preeclampsia
Flinders University
Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication that affects thousands of women and infants each year in Australia. Early intervention can reduce the impacts of preeclampsia but more accurate strategies for identifying women at risk are needed. This study will investigate whether a pregnancy zone protein (PZP) is an early pregnancy biomarker for preeclampsia and associated pregnancy complications.

Professor Robyn Clark – heart disease
Flinders University | SAHMRI
Rehabilitation from cardiovascular disease is important to help reduce re-hospitalisation and deaths, and research has shown that women are more likely to participate in their rehabilitation if it is home-based and online. This project will focus on the CREW model of care (Cardiac Rehabilitation Especially for Women) which aims to improve rehabilitation attendance and clinical outcomes for women, especially those living in rural and remote areas.

Dr Duy Phu Tran – preeclampsia
University of South Australia | Future Industries Institute
This project aims to develop technology that can provide rapid and accurate testing for preeclampsia biomarkers within a rural setting, to provide health practitioners with insights to better manage suspected preterm preeclampsia. Implementing this test in routine prenatal care will improve pregnancy outcomes and quality of life for women living in rural Australia.

Associate Professor Shilpa Jesudason – kidney disease and pregnancy
The University of Adelaide | SAHMRI | Central Adelaide Local Health Network
The Kidney Mums Project aims to transform the experiences and outcomes of women living with kidney disease who wish to achieve motherhood. The Kidney Mums toolkit will be developed to support women and their clinicians to navigate decisions about pregnancy and deliver best-practice care for positive maternal and foetal outcomes.

Professor Billie Bonevski – support for Indigenous new mothers
Flinders University
This project aims to improve Indigenous women’s health during the early child-rearing years, through the cultural adaptation of a mobile-health (mHealth) tool for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies. The mHealth intervention has been developed in NSW, so it is important to undertake cultural adaption for the unique needs of South Australian Aboriginal communities.

Professor Sharon Lawn – veteran’s health
Flinders University | SA Health
Most Australians perceive veterans as male, however many women also serve and they are often extremely visible and marginalised in this dominant masculine culture of military service. Yet, when they leave the military, they are largely invisible and can have significant struggles transitioning to civilian life. This research seeks to better understand women veterans’ experiences to help inform mental health support.