Wednesday 7 December, 2022
As 2022 draws to a close, we reflect on the year’s challenges, changes and achievements.
When communities faced major flooding and the COVID-19 Omicron peak early in the year, research led by frontline clinicians was impacted as patient care was understandably prioritised.
With some public hospitals forced to cease research activity entirely, EMF adapted its programs to support the needs of emergency healthcare clinicians.
Applications to the EMF annual grant rounds increased despite ongoing pressure on clinician-researchers and the hospital system – $1.25m was awarded to 21 research projects, including eight Emerge grants. The Emerge grant scheme was launched in 2021 for emergency clinicians new to research.
The Trauma Care in Regional, Rural and Remote Queensland, supported by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), awarded grants to two research projects during its first grant round, with more to follow.
EMF also partnered with Queensland Health for a special research program focused on finding innovative solutions for Improving Patient Flow in Queensland Hospitals.
A whole-of-system study was launched first to establish the magnitude of factors leading to challenges with emergency access in Queensland public hospitals, followed by a competitive Special Funding Round.
Board Chair Dr Kim Hansen said EMF is proud to be flexible, agile and supportive in response to the ongoing uncertainty and demands affecting the hospital and health system.
“We’ve broadened the research we support and, just as importantly, the clinician-researchers we support now come from diverse groups,” said Dr Hansen.
“This extends from large, established, multidisciplinary research institutions in Queensland’s largest hospitals to passionate individuals in unique settings such as rural emergency department nurses, remote doctors, nurse practitioners, allied health practitioners, paramedics and retrieval clinicians.”
EMF also welcomed new faces in 2022 and farewelled two valued Board members, Dr Andrew Spiller and Cathy Montesin. Both will continue their vital roles on the Research Committee and Finance Risk & Audit Committee (FRAC) respectively.
Two new EMF Board directors were welcomed, Mr Jon Tyers and A/Prof Luke Lawton, while Dr James Hughes joined the Research Committee.
The EMF team grew and underwent personnel changes, with Beth Chapman stepping down from the General Manager role.
Dr Angie Nguyen Vu took the reigns as General Manager, following four years as Research Manager, while Beth remains actively involved with EMF as Company Secretary and Financial Controller.
As General Manager, Dr Nguyen Vu leads the team and works closely with the Board, while also continuing to oversee EMF research grants programs in her capacity as Research Manager.
Dr Nguyen Vu and Dr Hansen both look forward to leading EMF in the year ahead.
“I’m really excited to work with a changing leadership team in 2023 as we bring on an increasingly diverse Board of Directors,” said Dr Hansen.
Dr Hansen advocates the importance of research to the future of the health system, made possible with ongoing funding support from Queensland Health.
“Research underpins all of this so that resources such as time, staff, equipment and emergency department beds are utilised in the best way possible. Without research we are walking in the dark and we cannot move forward confidently.”