Progress amid a pandemic

A message from the Executive Dean (Faculty of Health Sciences), Professor Michelle Campbell:

This has been a very challenging year, with ACU having to navigate new ways of working in response to the impact of COVID-19 on both staff and students.

I would like to acknowledge the amazing effort and enormous amount of work that staff across the university, and particularly in the Faculty of Health Sciences, have put into our ‘digital uplift’ and adoption of blended learning strategies to enrich the student learning experience, so ensuring that our students are able to progress in their studies.

Below are some highlights from the Faculty of Health Sciences during 2020.

COVID 4 NURSES
In April, the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine was asked by the Department of Human Services in Victoria to develop a comprehensive educational program that would support nurses working with patients in a COVID-19 environment. The school developed the COVID 4 NURSES program with funding provided by DHHS.

This program was designed to build knowledge and confidence in the practice, processes and management of COVID-19 for nurses, and to develop their skills in managing the protective practices and patient care when working within an environment where individuals present with COVID-19. Since the program started in July, 977 participants have enrolled to date.
Telehealth advances in speech pathology
COVID-19 impacted our students in many ways, one of these being that placements were frequently cancelled or suspended during periods of lockdown. Speech pathology staff strengthened their online capabilities in order to develop and offer placement opportunities for our students via telehealth, with services being provided to clients from local areas and as far away as Darwin and Broken Hill. Not only did this provide our students with the placement experience necessary for their studies, it also aligned with ACU’s mission by providing much-needed speech pathology services to regional and remote communities, as well as to the disadvantaged and marginalised.
New research centres

In June, the faculty welcomed two new research centres in our School of Behavioural and Health Sciences:

  • The Research Centre for Sports Performance, Recovery, Injury and New Technologies (SPRINT), led by Dr David Opar. SPRINT will advance knowledge in the areas of performance, recovery and injury in the sporting domain, using established and emergent laboratory and applied research techniques.
  • The Healthy Brain and Mind Research Centre (HBMRC), led by Professor John Gleeson. HBMRC will bring together three strands of research excellence in mental health, addiction neuroscience, and disability and development.
Farewell

2020 also marks my final year with ACU as I will be retiring at the end of the year. I have thoroughly enjoyed my decades at the university and wish to thank all my colleagues, both past and present, for your collegiality and friendship.


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