Tell us about your project.

Catherine Grant: One of the biggest barriers we face in being able to provide truly integrated care is the interface between hospital and primary care. This is particularly concerning for those patients living with chronic and complex conditions, where siloed care can have significant negative impacts on healthcare outcomes.  My project, “ACTIVATE: A Co-design projecT for care Integration – Viable Actions for Engagement” uses co-design to determine how we can best address this problem; to facilitate better patient care and health outcomes through bridging this gap between hospitals and primary care.

Why is Catherine’s project, and Health Services Research in general, important to Western Health and how will it improve the delivery of healthcare?

A/Prof Harin Karunajeewa: We are delighted that Catherine is to be our inaugural MacHSR fellow at Western Health. Our vision here at Western is to be a centre for excellence in Health Services Research, meaning that we have a particular strategic imperative to develop capability around robust, scientific approaches to designing, implementing and evaluating novel models of care, especially as these relate to the complex care needs of Australia’s modern healthcare population. Catherine is a future healthcare leader at Western Health, who works very much at the coalface of operational service planning: exactly where Health Services Research skills will be most valuable in driving evidence-based improvements in our clinical service.

As an experienced physiotherapist, Catherine’s opportunities from the MacHSR program will augment an already thriving and productive research environment that exists within our Allied Health service. Catherine’s work as a MacHSR fellow will also build especially on Western Health’s world-leading work in the application of “patient-led co-design” that will bring consumers directly into the process of designing new models of care that better meet their complex needs when navigating their healthcare journey as it shifts between acute hospital- and primary- or community-based care.