Brett Mitchell in sim lab

Industry invests in Brett

Friday, September 23, 2022
Brenton Stacey
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Brenton Stacey

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Brenton is Avondale University’s Public Relations and Philanthropy Officer. He brings to the role experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities.

Our health to benefit from international support of nursing academic

A grant from a global infection prevention technology company will further support a nationally-recognised Avondale academic awarded for research into healthcare-acquired infections.

GAMA Healthcare’s collaboration with Professor Brett Mitchell will help fund research into cleaning practices and skin antisepsis. With a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council and an award from the federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, it brings to $2 million the funding Brett has received this year.

The quality of Brett’s research is one thing, says Suzie Hammouche, chief executive officer of GAMA in Australia. The follow-up is another. “Brett uses methods like cost-effectiveness studies to support the implementation of interventions he investigates. This practice will see his findings transfer into changes in our sector.”

Brett is the only Australian-based academic with whom GAMA collaborates over the long term. The “incredible” support “means I have the ability to progress projects that will have a real and sustained impact on patients and health services.”

Even better than the investment in research is the understanding from industry of its value. “Our purpose in helping prevent infections is to save and improve lives,” says Susie, “so research that ensures we have the necessary interventions to make patients and healthcare workers safer is fundamental.”

This commitment to innovation “makes GAMA an ideal partner for Avondale, given our longstanding commitment to applying research-informed solutions to real-world health and wellbeing challenges,” says Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Kerri-Lee Krause. The partnership comes at an important time, too, she adds, “as preventing infections becomes an urgent priority in a post-COVID world.”

One in 10 patients—or 165,000 people a year—are likely to get an infection they did not have before going into an Australian hospital. Despite the increase in morbidity, mortality and antimicrobial resistance—not to mention length of stay—strategies to prevent healthcare-associated infections are informed by low-quality evidence. So, as our Professor of Health Services Research and Nursing, Brett’s focus has been on increasing patient safety by finding better ways to reduce infections. “Making life a little bit better is not only good for the patient but also for the community because we can increase hospital capacity, freeing up beds for elective surgery.”

A Fellow of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control and the Australian College of Nursing, Brett is a member of the National COVID Evidence Taskforce Leadership Group. He is editor-in-chief of international peer reviewed journal Infection, Disease and Health and a former chair of a National Health and Medical Research Council committee revising national infection control guidelines for Australian hospitals.

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