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Clinical trials unit opens on the
A new clinical trials unit has opened on the Sunshine Coast to give patients
access to new therapies which could potentially offer better outcomes
The unit opened at Sunshine Coast University
Private Hospital and is already being
considered for several trials including an
international renal study.
Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital
CEO Oliver Steele said: “There has been an
enormous amount of investment in health care
on the Sunshine Coast and it is uplifting to see
the region is maturing in that respect. With
that in mind, growing the capacity for medical
research and clinical trials is a natural fit.”
The new unit is part of the Ramsay Hospital
Research Foundation’s clinical trials network,
which now has 14 of these sites located
So far there has been interest to conduct trials
in oncology, haematology, cardiovascular
health and renal medicine but the research
site will be open to all therapeutic areas.
Clinical trials coordinator Dr Amanda Williams
said: “It gives patients the opportunity to
access emerging treatments that they often
wouldn’t be able to access otherwise, which
may benefit their health condition or quality
There has also been strong interest from
clinicians who work inside the hospital.
“From a hospital perspective it will help
us attract and obtain clinicians who have
an interest and a passion for research,”
Mr Steele said.
Dr Williams has completed her PhD in
musculoskeletal health and has worked on
clinical trials in behavioural science in the
“I really like the idea of contributing to the
process of getting new treatments out to
patients that can improve their health care,”
Dr Williams said.
All clinical trials run from the unit will undergo
ethical review by a National Health and
Medical Research Council accredited ethics
committee and potential clinical trial patients
must give informed consent to participate.
Scholarship offerings for Ramsay
employees across Australia
Ramsay Australia’s National Scholarship Program is providing
financial assistance to employees who wish to expand their
knowledge and skills by engaging in professional development
Twice a year, staff can apply for a scholarship
towards professional development at an
individual or team scholarship level.
Melissa Kennelly, who coordinates Mildura
Base Hospital’s FaPMI Program (which stands
for ‘families where a parent has a mental
health illness’), used her scholarship to attend
a conference in Oslo, Norway.
“The conference was very much targeted
towards my field of work and provided
the opportunity to network with other
researchers, share ideas and experience new
cultures,” Ms Kennelly said.
National Manager for Learning and
Workforce Programs Karina Kiely said: “These
scholarships have provided employees with
the financial assistance to advance their
knowledge and skills across both clinical and
non-clinical areas of the business, and we are
both thankful and proud of the commitment
and eagerness displayed by all applicants
to ultimately benefit our patients and the
departments in which they work.”
also have the benefit of
accessing many discounted courses through
the organisation’s partnerships with various
universities and TAFEs across Australia.
During 2018, 250 employees nationwide
enrolled in one of the University of Tasmania
postgraduate online courses, which are
designed to challenge, develop and extend
professional and clinical practice skills.
These partner scholarships cover between
50–100% of the course fees with eligible
applicants also being able to apply for HECS
assistance for the remaining 25–50% not
covered by the scholarship.
“The total value of scholarships received
through the University of Tasmania
partnership was close to 1 million dollars in
2018 which is just phenomenal,” Ms Kiely said.
Employees who wish to find out more
about opportunities for professional
development can contact