World-leading centre for rehabilitation and disability research opens

Experts in rehabilitation from the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) have joined forces with Griffith University researchers to improve the outcomes for people with long-term disabling conditions including spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and persistent pain.

Launched today by the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick, The Hopkins Centre – Research for Rehabilitation and Resilience brings together almost 150 senior clinicians and researchers from Metro South Health and Griffith University, to produce impactful research in disability and rehabilitation.

“Rehabilitation is an essential part of a person’s healthcare journey and should be seen as an essential component of an integrated health system,” Mr Dick said.

“The distinguishing feature of the Queensland health system is that it never gives up—not on people, not on the conditions that afflict them, not on finding better ways to treat them.

“The Hopkins Centre will make an important contribution to that tradition, and the partnership it formalises between Metro South Health and Griffith University will promote and support world’s best practice research in rehabilitation and disability here in Queensland.”

The Hopkins Centre is based at Logan Campus, Griffith University and the PAH but will have a Queensland-wide focus.

PAH Medical Chair Division of Rehabilitation and Deputy Director of The Hopkins Centre, Professor Timothy Geraghty, said researchers and clinicians from MSH and Griffith University had been working together for more than 20 years, conducting high-quality research and evaluation that translated directly into practice.

“Our partnership has resulted in some really innovative services that meet the needs of people with chronic disabilities,” Professor Geraghty said.

“After all of these years, we’re now able to open a centre of research that unites clinicians, local, national and international researchers and research groups, and industry partners into a coherent strategic entity.”

Professor Geraghty said the Centre was named after renowned rehabilitation medicine physician Dr Paul Hopkins AO.

“Dr Hopkins contribution to rehabilitation medicine and the rehabilitation and disability sectors was immense and there can be no more appropriate person after whom to name for our new Centre,” he said.

Director of The Hopkins Centre Professor Elizabeth Kendall from Griffith Menzies Health Institute Queensland said the Centre would focus on developing effective disability and rehabilitation practices, services and systems that were responsive to the needs of people with disability and high-quality outcomes.

“Our mission is to find better solutions to complex systemic challenges through interdisciplinary collaborative and responsive research. We want research to be embedded in practice and informed by people with disability,” she said.

The research undertaken by the Centre would include the translation of new practices and technologies into services that enhanced the experience of the people with disability who use those services.

“We want to build the capability of the rehabilitation and disability workforce and investigate the types of environments that can improve outcomes,” Professor Kendall said.

“Most importantly, our research will uphold the dignity of the people with disability through respectful language and methods and recognition of how important it is to draw on experiential knowledge of those who deal with disability every day.”

Tags: Long-term Disabling Conditions, Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Persistent Pain, Minister For Health And Ambulance Services Cameron Dick, The Hopkins Centre

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