Grampians Health shines a light on trailblazing researchers in regional Victoria on International Clinical Trials Day

Friday 17 May 2024
Grampians Health Chief Medical Officer Professor Matthew Hadfield Grampians Health Chief Medical Officer Professor Matthew Hadfield

May 20 is International Clinical Trials Day, and it is widely recognised as the day the first clinical trial was conducted in 1747 by James Lind on the HMS Salisbury of how to prevent scurvy.

Clinical trials are an important part of the advancement of medical research and treatment helping patients find the best treatment for them, now and into the future. Clinical trials researchers are at the forefront of medical breakthroughs and this year's Clinical Trials Day theme "They are the trailblazers among us" emphasises their role at the leading edge of medicine.  

"Our clinical researchers are all trailblazers in their fields," Grampians Health Chief Medical Officer Professor Matthew Hadfield said. "They're committed to bringing the best to patient care, always looking for better and more effective ways of helping treat patients across the various and intricate fields of medicine." 

Grampians Health has run over 150 clinical trials, a significant amount for a regional centre, and currently has over 100 clinical trials actively running across disciplines including allied health, anaesthetics, cardiology, emergency, haematology, infectious diseases, intensive care medicine, neurology, nursing, obstetrics and gynaecology, oncology, paediatrics, and surgery. 

"I think we're very privileged to be able to run clinical trials in regional and rural settings at Grampians Health. We're one of very few clinical trial centres outside of a metropolitan area and our team is dedicated to bringing clinical trials closer to home for a lot of people, removing the barrier of travel time and cost which many people face with the majority of clinical trials running out of Melbourne centres. Quality care close to home is one of our core values and we're proud that we can include clinical trials in this promise," Professor Hadfield said. 

While clinical trials are an important part of patient care, very few are carried out in rural and regional areas. This means fewer rural and regional patients are represented in clinical trials data. Of over 1669 cancer clinical trials in Victoria, only 10 per cent were conducted in regional Victoria. Of over 6000 cancer clinical trials patients, only 25 per cent were from regional or rural areas and 75 per cent of those patients were taking part in trials in metropolitan Melbourne. 

Clinical research is fundamental to enhancing healthcare at Grampians Health with a focus firmly on effective patient care and improved health outcomes for the community. 

With well-established partnerships across the industry and specialist research organisations, Grampians Health is the largest clinical research organisation in western Victoria and is home to renowned and respected trial teams with over 50 years of combined study coordinator experience. 

"Clinical trials are such an important part of clinical treatment. I'm proud of all our clinicians undertaking this important work. I'm looking forward to seeing our clinical research team continue to grow and flourish, while bringing important research to regional Victoria and ensuring regional and rural patient data is represented in clinical research," said Professor Hadfield. 

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