Rural health research rewarded 

A DECADE of hard work by the Greater Green Triangle University department of rural health (GGT UDRH) has been rewarded.

The GGT UDRH has been named one of Australia’s most productive research organisations and comes behind only the University of Melbourne and the University of Melbourne department of general practice in the 2012 Road Map of Australian Primary Care Research (ROAR).

The university, which operates in partnership with Deakin and Flinders universities, has offices in Warrnambool, Hamilton, Mt Gambier and Burwood.

The department’s director, Professor James Dunbar, was named as having the most research outputs in Australia.

Prof Dunbar said the GGT UDRH’s achievements over the past decade were amazing. 

“All other names in the productive researcher and organisation lists come from well-established universities,” he said. 

“To be recognised alongside universities that have been in existence for 150 years is a great acknowledgement of what we have been able to achieve over the past decade.”

The department’s centre of research excellence occupies third position on the table. The GGT UDRH has been active in diabetes prevention research and cardiovascular risk factors 

Prof Dunbar said GGT UDRH had also benefited from its links with the National Public Health Institute of Finland. 

“Three things led to our success,” he said. 

“First, we consulted widely with the local health community in early 2002 and developed strategies with them. The main point was to reduce the excessive amount of death and disease due to heart disease and diabetes in rural Australia. 

“Second, the Finns got us off to a great start with international-standard research and third, we have stuck to the strategy for the last 10 years.”

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