Caregivers announced as inaugural candidates of fellowship

St John of God Health Care has today announced four clinicians as the successful candidates of a new fellowship.

23 Jun 2022

SJGHC media University of Notre Dame candidates 

 The inaugural St John of God Health Care Clinical and Research Fellowship, in partnership with the University of Notre Dame Australia, enables selected allied health, nursing and midwifery caregivers working for the organisation to study a Master of Philosophy, part-time, over a three-year period, while remaining on full pay and receiving necessary leave and support to complete their studies.

The successful candidates and their chosen topics are:

  • Amy Ekin – Senior Dietitian, St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital
    • Topic: Does routine oral nutrition supplementation provided to geriatric fracture patients aged 65 years and over, reduce length of stay and improve functional status?
  • Emily Bennett – Senior Dietitian, St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals
    • Topic: Nutrition in patients receiving non-invasive ventilation - does oral intake increase as respiratory support decreases – is it enough?
  • Karen Sheehan – Occupational Therapist, St John of God Geelong Hospital
    • Topic: Explore the PDQ-39 (PROM) results from our Parkinson's Early Intervention (Blue) group to identify dimensions with best and worst change results. Are these results accurately reflecting therapist perceptions of change? If not, is an alternate PROM more effective? Do these results indicate areas requiring improved intervention?
  • Soumaia Lowery – Quality Officer and Registered Nurse, St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals
    • Topic: Delirium screening in an acute hospital setting: a study to identify the challenges and barriers facing health care professionals performing routine delirium assessments

St John of God Health Care Group Director Workforce Carla Bonev said the successful candidates were carefully selected out of a pool of exceptional applicants.

“Amy, Emily, Karen and Soumaia demonstrated their commitment and dedication to both their research and making strong and positive contributions to the life of St John of God Health Care,” she said.

“The Fellowship is one of the ways we are recognising and rewarding performance excellence, supporting career development and professional growth and helping foster a positive and satisfying work culture.”

Ms Bonev said the Fellowship, which was designed to remove some of the barriers that might otherwise prevent our clinical caregivers from undertaking further study, forms part of the organisation’s strategy to attract and retain exceptional caregivers.

“Our clinical caregivers play a valuable role in our organisation and it’s important we invest in and support them to advance their careers,” she said.

“The Fellowship aims to develop excellence in patient care, a strategic focus of ours, while also strengthening our commitment to clinical research and showcasing St John of God Health Care as a leader in health care through publications in journal articles.

“We look forward to seeing the research outcomes that come from this as well as supporting more caregivers through this fellowship in the future.”

Notre Dame’s national Head of the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Health Sciences and Physiotherapy Professor Karen Clark-Burg said the University was very pleased to be partnering with St John of God Health Care, and looked forward to welcoming the successful candidates in the very near future.

“As research students, they will be working at the leading edge of their professions, helping to grow our knowledge and understanding in ways that could improve health outcomes for the entire community,” Professor Clark-Burg said.

“Our expert staff are very much looking forward to supporting them on that journey over the next 18 months to help them achieve their goals.”

The successful candidates will start their studies through Notre Dame in August.

Image: top: Karen Sheehan (Geelong), right: Amy Ekin (Mt Lawley), bottom right: Soumaia Lowery (Midland), bottom left: Emily Bennett (Midland)


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