Chief investigators

Professor Sandy Middleton (PhD)

Sandy Middleton is Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Research Institute, St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney) and Australian Catholic University. Professor Middleton has obtained 71 grants totalling over $22M. She is the lead investigator on the NHMRC-funded T3 Trial: Triage, Treatment and Transfer of patients with stroke in the emergency departments. Professor Middleton also led the landmark NHMRC-funded QASC cluster trial demonstrating decreased death and dependency following implementation of protocols to manage fever, hyperglycaemia and swallowing post-stroke, winning multiple international awards. Subsequently, she successfully translated this intervention into all 36 NSW stroke units, winning the 2014 NSW Premier's Public Sector Award for Improving Performance and Accountability, and the 2014 NSW Health Nursing and Midwifery Excellence in Innovation Research – the highest NSW accolade for a nurse researcher. She has also been inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honor Society of Nursing Researcher Hall of Fame. Professor Middleton is a Ministerial appointment to the NHMRC Research Committee and has published in multiple international peer review journals including Lancet, Stroke, Implementation Science, and International Journal of Stroke.

Professor Chris Levi (PhD)

Over the past 15 years, Professor Chris Levi has established one of Australia’s leading stroke research groups. His overarching research vision has been the translation of experimental stroke therapies into the clinical domain. This builds on a career objective to provide health care professionals with greater knowledge, better tools and more effective strategies to treat and prevent stroke. A key attribute has been his focus on developing research ideas and directions that are ‘grounded’ in clinical relevance. This focus and determination has led to his appointment as Director, Clinical Research and Translation for the Hunter New England Local Health District and recently the Execute Director of the Sydney Partnership for Health Education Research & Enterprise - SPHERE.

Professor Mark Fitzgerald (PhD)

Professor Mark Fitzgerald is Director of the National Trauma Research Institute and Director of Trauma Services at The Alfred. Professor Fitzgerald’s research themes include trauma systems improvement, error reduction and standardisation of resuscitation care. He has a 20 year track record as a researcher and principal investigator - with programs in China, India and Saudi Arabia.

Professor Julie Considine (PhD)

Julie holds a joint Professorial appointment at Deakin University and Eastern Health, one of Victoria’s largest health services and is nationally and internationally recognised as a leader in emergency care. Julie has held clinical, education and research roles in emergency nursing for over two decades and has a particular interest in improving patient safety by increasing use of research evidence in practice, optimising clinical decision-making and ensuring effective models of service delivery. Julie has over 120 publications in the peer reviewed literature and has attracted over $5M in research and project funding. She is a Fellow of the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia and Australian College of Nursing, and Deputy Editor of the Australasian Emergency Nursing.

Dr Jeremy Grimshaw (PhD)

Dr Jeremy Grimshaw is a Senior Scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Full Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Health Knowledge Transfer and Uptake and a CIHR Foundation grant on Promoting Implementation of Evidence Based Care. His research focuses on the evaluation of interventions to disseminate and implement evidence-based practice.

Professor Cate D’Este (PhD)

Professor Cate D’Este is Chair in Biostatistics, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University and has a Conjoint Professorial Appointment, University of Newcastle. Professor D’Este has been involved in the design and analysis of a wide array of research projects in population health, covering a variety of study designs and methods such as cross-sectional studies and surveys, cohort studies, audits, analysis of routinely collected administrative health data and disease register data (including linked data), and experimental designs such as individual and cluster randomised controlled trials.

Professor Richard Gerraty (PhD)

Professor Richard Gerraty is a neurologist and stroke physician in Melbourne. He has had a long involvement in stroke research including treatment and secondary prevention trials, policy development and implementation as a member of the Victorian Stroke Clinical Network, and recently as one of the neurologists making thrombolysis available to all of the state through the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine network.

Professor Wah Cheung (PhD)

Professor Cheung is the Director of Diabetes & Endocrinology at Westmead Hospital. He is a former President of the Australian Diabetes Society and Chairperson of the National Association of Diabetes Centres. He has a specific research and clinical interest in the consequences and management of hyperglycaemia in critical illness, including stroke and myocardial infarction.

Associate Professor Dominic Cadilhac (PhD)

Associate Professor Cadilhac is the Head of Public Health: Stroke Division, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. She also heads the Translational Public Health and Evaluation Division, Stroke and Ageing Research within the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University. She is an expert in health services research related to stroke, particularly in the areas of economic evaluation and program evaluation. She has a clinical background in nursing. Associate Professor Cadilhac has over 125 journal publications and has contributed to 7 practice guidelines. She is best known for establishing the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry and the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine program.

Associate Professor Liz McInnes (PhD)

Associate Professor Elizabeth McInnes is the Deputy Director of the Nursing Research Institute a joint initiative between St Vincents and Mater Health Sydney and the Australian Catholic University. Associate Professor McInnes’s research interests are in implementation research in the acute care setting and systematic reviews.

Ms Claire Quinn

Clare Quinn is the Manager of the Speech Pathology Department at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick NSW, and is currently the non-medical Co-Chair of the ACI Stroke Network. She has spent the majority of her clinical career working with stroke patients, beginning at the Prince Henry Hospital as a new graduate on one of the first Acute Stroke Units in NSW. This experience allowed her to see patients in an acute setting and follow them through their rehabilitation to discharge. Clare was a lead in the formulation of the Stroke Dysphagia Framework, which was the beginning of the ASSIST swallow screen.

Mr Greg Cadigan

Greg completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree in 1999 at Queensland University of Technology Brisbane. After graduating Greg spent 3 years in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) neurosurgical ward before spending a number of years in the RBWH’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit. Greg moved into a role as Stroke Research Clinician responsible for managing acute and secondary prevention clinical trials and providing support to the Neurologist for all acute stroke admissions through the RBWH Emergency Department. Greg is currently the Queensland Health Statewide Stroke Clinical Network Manager responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing strategic and state-wide initiatives specific to clinical practice improvement and health care delivery systems for stroke care.

Professor Jeanette Ward (PhD)

Professor Jeanette Ward MBBS MHPEd PhD FAFPHM FCHSM FAICD is a stalwart advocate for evidence-based health care from the level of macro health policy decisions and operational management through to frontline service delivery. She is internationally recognised for her leadership in implementation science and its application as an executive and public health physician. Since September 2013, Jeanette has worked in the Kimberley region in a strategic role to strengthen public health and primary care systems in this remote and challenging but rewarding setting.

Mark Longworth

Mark Longworth completed his General Nurse training at Manning Rural Referral Hospital in 1978. He subsequently was employed in clinical and nursing management positions for Hunter New England Local Health District until his appointment as the manager of the Agency of Clinical Innovation Stroke Network in 2003. Mark was the manager of the network until 2016 and oversaw the statewide development of Acute Stroke Units, Acute Thrombolytic Centers and Rural Stroke Services. Mark was involved in stroke research and was instrumental in the success of the Statewide Stroke Clinical Variation Program which is linked to the NSW Stroke Clinical Audit Process. Mark retired in July 2016 and in January 2017 was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to community health through assisting people affected by stroke.

Professor Patrick McElduff

Professor Patrick McElduff has been a statistician for over 20 years and until recently was the Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Newcastle. He has been an author on approximately 200 peer-reviewed publications most of which were in international journals including the BMJ, Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine. He has worked in a range of areas including public health, disease registers and clinical trial units both in Australia and in the UK.

Associate investigators

Ms Simeon Dale (BAHons)

Simeon Dale is a registered nurse employed as a Clinical Research Fellow at the Nursing Research Institute, Australian Catholic University and St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney). She has 18 years clinical experience in critical care nursing specialising in Neuroscience in three countries. Simeon was the trial manager for the T3 trial. She has been a member of the Nursing Working Group updating the 2017 Acute Stroke Clinical Guidelines and is a member of the steering committee for the Acute Stroke Nurses Education Network (ASNEN). Simeon has published in multiple international peer review journals including Lancet, Stroke, Implementation Science, and International Journal of Stroke.

Ms Sonia Denisenko

Sonia Denisenko has been the Manager of the Victorian Stroke Clinical Network for the last nine years. She has a clinical background in neurological physiotherapy and was the lecturer in this speciality at La Trobe University for five years. Sonia has experience as the National Chair of the Australian Physiotherapy Association Neurology special interest group, has co-authored numerous publications and is an associate investigator on a range of successful research grants in stroke. She has held posts as a project manager in stroke improvement projects in the UK, and at the Florey Institute of Neurosciences and Mental Health.

Dr Verena Schadewaldt (PhD)

Verena is a health researcher with research interests in advanced nursing roles, stroke care, implementation science and mixed methods research. Verena is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Nursing Research Institute, where she has been co-ordinating data collection and conducting data analyses of the T3 trial. She completed her PhD on collaborative practice models of nurse practitioners and medical practitioners in primary healthcare in 2015 at the Australian Catholic University. She is also a Registered Nurse and, prior to starting her research career, has worked in the areas of neurosurgical intensive care, cardiology and gastro-enterology.

Dr Louise Craig (PhD)

Louise has a clinical background in Physiotherapy and worked as a researcher for the University of Glasgow studying and applying health technology assessment related methodologies in a number of clinical areas, mainly stroke. Louise has also worked for a major funder of healthcare research in the UK. She currently holds a Senior Research Fellow Post with the Australian Catholic University.

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