The University of Newcastle, Australia

UON researcher takes out Research Australia Award

Thursday, 6 November 2014

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

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

Laureate Professor Sanson-Fisher is committed to improving health outcomes for vulnerable population groups, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. With colleagues, Sanson-Fisher completed the largest trial in smoking cessation programs for pregnant Aboriginal women and is currently undertaking an evaluation of the Chronic Care Service Enhancements Program across NSW Aboriginal Medical Services. 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.  He has also led two of the largest cluster randomised community trials in cancer control and reducing alcohol harm. Sanson-Fisher is committed to improving doctor-patient communication regarding treatment choices, life expectancy and end-of-life care. His contribution to the international adoption of guidelines for breaking bad news to cancer patients and development of the Supportive Care Needs Survey led to a NHMRC Partnership grant examining preferences for end-of-life care. Recently, Sanson-Fisher has driven initiatives focused on bridging the evidence-practice gap through translational research.

The 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.

"…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."

Presented for the first time in 2014, the Research Australia NSW Government Health Services Research Award is for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the 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.

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