Collaborative research partnerships

Our partners

Impactful research outcomes require strong and strategic research partnerships. The SRM Research and Evaluation team is committed to developing excellent networks across our region, and to working collaboratively with stakeholders to address the local issues that impact on the health outcomes in the communities we operate within. Detailed below are several collaborative partnerships which, since 2023, are already contributing to research outcomes for our School and our local rural communities:

Western Health Research Network (WHRN)

The Western Health Research Network was established in 2013 with the aim of strengthening emerging health research partnerships across Western NSW. It is considered the peak body for health research conducted in Western NSW and is a collaboration between universities, Local Health Districts, Primary Health Care Providers, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and non-government organisations. Two current members of the SRM Research and Evaluation team joined WHRN on its commencement in 2011 and have been active contributors ever since. Dr Catherine Keniry, SRM Director Research and Evaluation, was elected Co-Chair of WHRN in December 2023. This collaboration provides extensive opportunities for collaboration throughout Western NSW.

Murray-Darling Medicals Schools Network (MDMSN)

The Murray–Darling Medical Schools Network consists of 5 rurally based university medical school programs in New South Wales and Victoria, including CSU’s SRM. It is part of the ‘Stronger Rural Health Strategy’ initiative.

The SRM meets regularly with our MDMSN colleagues and undertake a range of research activities aimed at understanding the practice intentions of medical students and how they change throughout their medical degree.

Rural Health Research Institute (RHRI)

The Rural Health Research Institute was established by Charles Sturt University to conduct research that addresses the rural health gap in communities across regional and remote Australia, as well as internationally. The Institute provides a critical pillar of research infrastructure to CSU to enhance the existing health and the SRM’s medicine programs. Like the SRM, RHRI’s focus on research excellence and collaboration with community ensures that the outcomes of the research undertaken can achieve sustainable and translational change. Of the RHRI existing programs, the SRM is currently aligned with the following:

  • Address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health inequity, contributing to Close the Gap aspirations.
  • Improve health and medical service delivery in regional cities, rural towns and remote community.
  • Boost rural, consumer-driven health and medical research capability and capacity.
  • Enhance clinical research capacity.

Western NSW Drug and Alcohol Research Hub

In May 2023, a joint initiative was established, driven by the CSU SRM, and including representatives from the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD), The Rural Health Research Institute, Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) and University of NSW (UNSW). Drug and Alcohol use across Western NSW is higher than in other regions, and as detailed in the Western PHN Drug and Alcohol Needs Assessment (PDF) 'there are significant challenges for people in WNSW PHN accessing drug and alcohol services’. The aim of the Hub is to concentrate efforts in Drug and Alcohol research across the Western NSW region. Whilst only in its infancy, this Research Hub has been successful in two Expressions of Interest for Rural Health Research initiative (RHRI) funding:

  1. Evaluation of the depot buprenorphine program in Bourke – barriers and enablers to success.
  2. Substance treatment research capacity building in rural and remote NSW.

The projects commenced in October 2023, and are due for completion by 2025.

Local Health Districts (LHDs)

The SRM has connections with all LHDs within the communities in which our clinical schools are based. As a medical school we work with our LHD partners to deliver our medical curriculum to our students. These LHDs include:

We are developing collaborations with research leads and research active and interested clinicians, to identify the specific research needs of each local medical community.

In June 2023 we commenced a research project with Murrumbidgee LHD. This project aims to determine the practice of thiamine prescription in the Emergency Department (via audit), compliance with the MLHD Guidelines, and development of a training program of ED staff.

Primary Healthcare Network

As their role is coordination of primary health care in their regions, PHNs are a critical partner for the SRM research team and will enable collaborative research at grass roots levels.

As PHNs assess the needs of their community, they are a prime partner for SRM to enable research that is relevant and translational to be undertaken. We are actively engaging with PHNs across our footprint and developing collaborative research projects to benefit each local community.