Research to help Aboriginal patients with stroke or brain injury

While stroke or traumatic brain injury can occur up to four times more frequently for Aboriginal people, they are under-represented in accessing rehabilitation services. 

Aboriginal health reserach project 

6 September 2018 

To assist with this St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals is working in partnership with researchers, the Stroke Foundation, community health services and hospitals across Western Australia in a research project called Healing Right Way.

 The project is led by Professor Beth Armstrong from Edith Cowan University with a team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal researchers from Edith Cowan University’s Speech Pathology team, the University of Western Australia, the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health, the University of Notre Dame, Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, University of Technology Sydney and Monash University.

Professor Armstrong said the project aims to improve access to culturally appropriate rehabilitation services for Aboriginal people and improve health outcomes after stroke and traumatic brain injury.

“We thank St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals for their involvement with Healing Right Way,” she said.

“The hospital actually recruited the first person onto the project.”

Key caregivers involved in the project from St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals include Aboriginal Health Coordinator Kerri Colegate, Dr Tim Bates, Speech Pathologist Meaghan McAllister and Research Nurse Lynda Southwell. 

The project will employ Aboriginal brain injury coordinators to work with brain injury survivors and their families providing advocacy, education and service liaison during a patient’s hospital stay and after discharge.

Staff involved in the care of patients with brain injury at the participating hospitals will take part in in enhanced cultural security training, which will focus on providing culturally secure care and rehabilitation to Aboriginal brain injury survivors and their families.

The project is being funded by the National Medical Research Council over the next four years.

National Stroke Week is being held from 3 to 9 September 2018 to raise awareness of stroke and its associated risk factors.

Every ten minutes a person in Australia will have a stroke.  

For more information about the Healing Right Way project, contact Project Manager Meaghan McAllister on (08) 6304 5468 or

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