Deb Loxton: Championing women’s health

What motivated the establishment of the Women’s Health Research, Translation and Impact Network (WHRTN)?

WHRTN was established to bring together researchers, clinicians, and consumers who are interested in translating research findings into policy and practice. WHRTN also promotes and supports women working in women’s health research. 

What led to your involvement with WHRTN?

I am one of two NSW Regional Health Partners (NSWRHP) representatives on the WHRTN Steering Committee. I was nominated by NSWRHP as a founding member of WHRTN and have been heavily involved in its development. I was the first Deputy Chair and second Chair of the Steering Committee, and I was the inaugural Chair of the Research Committee

Can you share some of WHRTN’s success stories?

WHRTN has funded women’s health research forums across Australia, including the forum held at HMRI in 2022. We have developed a mentorship program called the Emerging Leader Fellowship (or ELF) and provided 36 grants to support EMCRs in their research. We have also developed an innovative coproduction grant and research process, and funded nine research projects under this scheme.  Most recently we have launched The Hub, which provides resources for researchers working in women’s health research: Learn more about The Hub https://www.womenshealthnetwork.org.au/hub

Are there any emerging opportunities that the WHRTN is excited about?

We are excited to be restarting the ELF program. This program offers one EMCR from each AHRA centre the opportunity to work closely with senior researchers in women’s health and participate in a well-respected mentor program. Most of us are currently working on our coproduction research, which is exciting. Coproduction involves working with consumers on an equal footing to ensure representation at every level of the research, from inception to dissemination of results. It is an exciting method to work with, and a real joy to be working so closely with consumers.

All of our initiatives are on our website, which is the best place to find out when different opportunities become available: https://www.womenshealthnetwork.org.au/about

What’s an interesting or unexpected fact that others might not know about you?

I love traveling to new places and exploring old buildings.