Through the establishment of the HNECCMNC Research Hub (underpinned by the NSW Health Hub Strategy), the NSW Regional Health Partners already have a mature, functional and collaborative governance structure established through a Memorandum of Understanding.
The current Executive Council has already developed productive interaction that supports new ways of working together, has developed a budget through partner contributions, and has set new priorities to drive and support cross-Centre projects and effective research translation.
The existing governance structure can now undergo rapid transition to govern the new NHMRC CIRH, with the planned addition of a Translation Committee and Translation Partners, as described in the diagram below.
A Centre Director will be appointed to the Council to assist taking the partnership to the next level financially and operationally.
The NHMRC CIRH governance structures will provide –
- Continuation in the growth of cross-institutional, cross-Centre, strategic priority-driven research addressing the major health challenges in regional Australia.
- Further development and scale-up of a sustainable model to maximise collaboration, bringing together healthcare providers, health managers, pre-clinical and clinical researchers, and a wide group of Translation Partners around strategic and large-scale cross-Centre projects underpinned by the established infrastructure and support platforms.
- Education and training programs to facilitate staff training in research and evidence based care across the continuum, from the undergraduate to the senior clinical staff member. Possibly unique to our region, the education and training programs are purpose-designed to build and maintain a regional health workforce.
- Via our Clinician Initiated Priority Research Program, the “embedding” of research and clinical quality activities in all clinical units across the CIRH.
The Centre Governance structure comprises:
The proposed Executive Council comprises Senior Executive Leaders of the healthcare partner organisations, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors of Research & Innovation from partner Universities and the Executive Director of HMRI. An independent chair (to be appointed) will Chair the Council. The Executive Council provides the priority setting, “top down” direction and upholds the values of the partnership and our fundamental commitment to improving the health of the population we serve through effectively harnessing innovative research, education and policy initiatives. The Council also invites representation from the NSW Office for Health & Medical Research, NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and NHMRC.
The Executive Council will formalise existing relationships among key researchers and clinical groups to form a Translation Committee. Membership of this committee will comprise research leaders in implementation science, clinical and population health research and key leaders from within the Healthy Regional Communities and Major Translational Research Programs. The Committee will also include representation from the Enabling & Support Platforms and Clinician Leaders from the LHDs and PHN Clinical Councils. The Translation Committee will become the strategy development group, working with the Director to propose new major cross-Centre initiatives to the Executive Council for consideration and for funding support.
Program and Platform Leadership
The Programs and the Enabling and Support Platforms have established co-leadership structures that bring together preclinical researchers, clinical academics and clinicians. The program themes align with the Hub Partners’ existing structures (Research Centres, Clinical Networks and Streams) achieving synergy in research, clinical care and administration.
The Centre has established a group of “translation partners” who work with Centre partners to broaden the potential impact in research translation. Is it envisaged that Translation Partners will be in a position to join the Centre as financial contributors and full partners. The translation partners include:
- GP Synergy
- CSIRO, which has three centres in our region (Newcastle, Narrabri, Armidale)
- Australian Rural Health Research Collaboration (ARHRC)
- NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet
- Hunter Post Graduate Medical Institute
- Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District
- University of Wollongong
- North West Primary Health Network
- Apollo Medical Imaging
- Medfield Sweden
The principles that underpin the governance of the NSW Regional Health Partners will continue to guide further development as the Hub transitions to an NHMRC Centre for Innovation in Regional Health.