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Sydney Innovation and Research Symposium

Care in the community at the heart of healthcare.

SydneyConnect Video: Highlights: Care in our Community Forum, Clinical Trials Showcase and The Big Idea – part of Innovation Week 2022 (Day 4)

Navigating healthcare in partnership with communities in Sydney Local Health District was the focus of the Care in the Community Forum that opened the District's two-day Innovation and Research Symposium, held during Innovation Week 2022.

The Forum was an opportunity to reflect on the District's pandemic response and the lessons learnt about navigating healthcare in partnership with its communities.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff for what they have done for our communities during our COVID response. We were stronger together," Dr Teresa Anderson, the District's Chief Executive, said in a message read to the Forum.

A community-led panel discussed how the District collaborated to deliver tailored responses for its culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Aboriginal communities, the homeless or people at risk of homelessness, older people and those living with disability.

"My community would like to say thank you for all the help that was provided," Yasmeen Fatyma, from the Burmese Rohingyan Community Association, said.

Lisa Parcsi, the District's Director of Integration and Partnerships told the Forum, "It's great to hear that we're on the right track. We need to continue to listen to the community and listen to what they need," she said.

At the Clinical Trials Showcase, experts shared their insights about the District's clinical trials, treatments and cures.

During the Showcase, the winners of the Excellence in Clinical Trials were named with RPA respiratory staff specialist Associate Professor Lauren Troy awarded the Clinical Trial of the Year for a world-first investigation into a new technique for performing lung biopsies.

Senior pharmacist Romana Cecchele, from RPA's Investigational Drugs Unit, won the Excellence in Clinical Trial Support Award.

She leads the Unit, which facilitates trials across the RPA campus and was recognised for managing a growing workload, staff education, and for offering expertise to stakeholders.

The recipients of the Sydney Research Awards and Scholarships were also announced.

At the staff commercialisation challenge The Big Idea, Dr Joe Dusseldorp won $45,000 in pre-seed funding for his anti-spasticity micro-implant which aims to help patients living with muscle spasticity, like cerebral palsy, to regain muscle tone and control.

Dr Dusseldorp is a specialist plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Chris O'Brien Lifehouse.

He was one of five finalists who competed for the pre-seed funding, plus $25,000 in professional services from IDE Group.

Dr Samson Dowland, a lecturer in Anatomy and Histology at The University of Sydney School of Medical Sciences, won The People's Choice Award for his idea to develop a new non-hormonal contraceptive to revolutionise women's reproductive health.

He won $5,000 worth of IDE's services.