The University of Newcastle, Australia

Health behaviour researcher honoured

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Internationally-renowned cancer care and health behaviour researcher, Laureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher AO, has won the inaugural Research Australia NSW Government Health Services Research Award.

L/Prof Sanson-Fisher

Laureate Professor Sanson-Fisher was presented with the prestigious honour on Wednesday night at the 2014 Research Australia Awards Dinner, in recognition of his significant contributions to the areas of health promotion, health service evaluation and chronic disease control.

An internationally-recognised leader in health behaviour research, Laureate Professor Sanson-Fisher is an advocate of patient-focused healthcare delivery, particularly for vulnerable population groups including members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Laureate Professor Sanson-Fisher and his colleagues recently completed the largest trial in smoking cessation programs for pregnant Aboriginal women. He also led two of the largest cluster randomised community trials in cancer control and reducing alcohol harm.

He is focused on improving health screening at the provider and community level, and was one of the first behavioural scientists to argue for, and demonstrate a commitment to, evidence-based practice in health promotion and cancer control. 

Laureate Professor Sanson-Fisher, who is also Director of the University's Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour and a program leader for the Hunter Medical Research Institute's Public Health program, said he was honoured to receive the accolade and wished to recognise the support he has received in carrying out his research.

"Thanks to my colleagues and in particular patients and community members who gave up their time, contributed their expertise and so willingly contribute in a variety of ways to our research endeavours. Without them our research would not be possible," he said.

Presented for the first time in 2014, the Research Australia NSW Government Health Services Research Award is for an individual researcher who has made an outstanding contribution to their field, provided research leadership, undertaken research that has led to a significant improvement in healthcare, and/or has championed the development of the health services research field.

HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.

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