CPC Westmead: from launch to strategic plan

17 May 2017

Western Sydney’s medical research needs are serviced by the new Charles Perkins Centre Westmead, improving patient outcomes for those with type 1 diabetes and heart conditions.

Launching the Centre in Westmead

The Charles Perkins Centre Westmead was officially launched in May 2016, with an event held at the Westmead Insitute for Medical Research. The event highlighted some of the current research being conducted to strengthen services and improve outcomes for patients with cardio-metabolic and related conditions in Western Sydney, with insightful presentations from a number of clinicians and researchers within the Westmead Hub, including Charles Perkins Centre Westmead Academic Co-directors Professor Maria Craig and Professor Clara Chow, and an address from Charles Perkins Centre Academic Director Professor Steve Simpson.

The event brought together over 80 delegates from a wide range of faculties and departments, both within the Westmead Precinct and beyond, but all with the shared goal of improving outcomes for people with cardio-metabolic disease and related conditions in Western Sydney. NSW MP for Parramatta, Geoff Lee, addressed the audience on the day, reinforcing the importance of the Charles Perkins Centre Westmead initiative to the Western Sydney community, in improving health service delivery to the population.

Strategic plan and aims of CPC Westmead

In January 2017 Professor Maria Craig and Professor Clara Chow began working with the recently appointed project officer Helen Splarn to develop a strategic plan for CPC Westmead that covers January 2017 to December 2018.

It is anticipated that activities will continue beyond 2018 when a revised plan will be implemented to build on the successes of 2017 and 2018. This will include development of CPC Westmead research presentations that link with the CPC Tuesday meetings; increasing project nodes and interdisciplinary collaboration, support for early and mid-career researchers, continuing education for advanced trainees and GPs, and increased interaction with community organisations and CPC members.

The overarching goal of CPC Westmead is to build productive collaborations that can translate research into practice, to address major health issues affecting the population of Greater Western Sydney and beyond.

CPC Westmead aims to develop, strengthen and support collaboration, education and community initiatives through expanding and integrating research in cardio metabolic disease at the Westmead Hub. This will include the wider University of Sydney Medical School and Division of Medicine, the Westmead Precinct, the Western Sydney LHD (including doctors, health professionals and health service providers), and the wider community of greater Western Sydney (GWS) and beyond.

The CPC Westmead Hub will actively form an anchor and a focus for collaborative research and educational activities, to achieve an enduring framework in the Westmead Precinct and GWS. The Hub is located within the Westmead Precinct at the Western Sydney Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) and is in close proximity to the Westmead Precinct.

Currently the Precinct has nearly 900 staff and affiliates, 300 research students and services 2.5m patient visits per year. The University intends to invest in and expand its footprint at the Westmead campus between now and 2020.

CPC Westmead is focusing on developing its membership by raising awareness within the Westmead Precinct through holding regular events, developing the EMRC initiative, promoting the CPC Summer Scholarships and supporting researchers in their collaborations as they work towards establishing CPC research project nodes.

Hitting the ground running

CPC Westmead held its first event on 6 April with a live stream from the CPC Hub to the Westmead Children’s hospital. Three further presentations from the WIMR building to be live-streamed to the CPC Hub as part of the CPC Tuesday lunchtime series have been organized for 6 June, 18 July and 1 August. A CPC Westmead Research/networking day is also being planned for September 2017.