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St John of God Health Care appoints new Director of Research

St John of God Health Care has appointed highly respected clinical researcher Professor Steve Webb as its new Director of Research.

18 Oct 2022

St John of God Health Care Director of Research Dr Steve Webb

Professor Webb comes into the role after working for more than 16 years’ as an Intensive Care Physician at St John of God Subiaco Hospital. He was previously Director of Clinical Trials at the hospital and remains a Professor of Critical Care Research at Monash University.

Over his 35-year career as a physician and researcher, Professor Webb has held a number of clinical and research-based roles, been a lead investigator on global clinical trials and has chaired, directed and been a former chair of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group and is the current chair of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance, which is the peak-body for Australia’s clinical trials networks.

Professor Webb said he was excited about creating and implementing programs and frameworks to expand and facilitate high impact research across St John of God Health Care in his new role.

“St John of God Health Care has long viewed its Mission to patients extends beyond providing bedside care, but also contributing to research and the evidence base that can improve patient care and treatments within our hospital, but also globally,” Professor Webb said.

“The organisation has always made an impressive contribution to research, however, it was identified that central guidance and coordination would make our research effective and more quickly translated across all of our hospitals and services.

“Having this organisation-wide oversight will enable us to setup our own programs of research, facilitate participation in more commercial and partner-driven trials, have caregivers and specialists contribute to studies and generate evidence to guide better outcomes for our patients.”

St John of God Health Care Group Director Medical and Clinical Governance Dr Steve Bolsin congratulated Professor Webb on his appointment to the newly created role. 

“Professor Webb’s extensive experience in research and clinical trials makes him well-equipped for the role, and his focus on patient outcomes through research means we’ll be able to continue improving the care we provide,” Dr Bolsin said.

“Professor Webb will lead, develop and implement research and innovation strategies aligned with our strategic plan and facilitate clinical and health services research in all specialties and healthcare professions.

“His role will be responsible for overseeing the employment and development of the new Group research office and will be a focal point for strong philanthropic and community engagement in research.

“Research has always played an important role at St John of God Health Care and this appointment highlights our commitment to upholding our reputation for providing excellent patient and client care.” 

The Director of Research role was established to drive St John of God Health Care’s participation in research, and enable more patients to access cutting edge care.

“One of the barriers to better medical research is that its evolved predominantly out of universities and medical research institutes, not out of hospitals, which is where the patients are that can participate in and benefit from that research,” Professor Webb said.

“With this increased focus on research, I believe we can make St John of God Health Care one of the premier academic institutions in the country with respect to the quality and the impact of the evidence that we generate to improve patient outcomes.

“I think we can better serve our patients and increase our efficiency and productivity as an organisation, which allows us to meet our broader objectives with respect to our Mission.”

Among his plans, Professor Webb hopes to introduce some of his learnings from his involvement as the global leader of REMAP-CAP, an ongoing clinical trial which has identified effective treatment options for patients with severe COVID-19 infection.

The trial is a new type of trial design and is more efficient than previous trials, generating the same amount of evidence in two years than other trials in five to 10 years. 

“REMAP-CAP has been extraordinary with respect to the evidence that it’s generated around outcomes for patients with COVID-19, with a significant number of lives saved,” Professor Webb said.

“It’s a type of trial that I’m keen to see adopted at St John of God Health Care. I’ve got a hope that this and the work I do alongside caregivers will be transformative.”

Professor Webb started in his role on 3 October 2022 and will continue his research, clinical and teaching roles at St John of God Subiaco Hospital and Monash University.

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