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Sax Institute

The Sax Institute is a national leader in promoting the use of research evidence in health policy. It aims to be the bridge between researchers and health decision makers, giving each the tools to work more closely together to benefit all Australians.

New Partner Investigator

In 2020, (following Mark Bartlett’s departure in 2019), Tina Navin Cristina, Sax Institute’s Data and Analytics Manager, informally represented the Sax Institute in the first half of 2020 where she helped enable the knowledge exchange between ACEMS and the Sax Institute at the ACEMS COVID-19 workshop. Tina went on maternity leave and is expected to return mid-2021 and is to be added as a Partner Investigator at that time, representing the Sax Institute until the end of the Centre.

ACEMS welcomed a new Partner Investigator, Dr Kerrin Bleicher from the Sax Institute in October 2020. Kerrin is the Manager of Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study, in its Research Assets Division.

The discussion of COVID-19 related research, and opportunities, continued post-workshop in follow-up discussions between members of ACEMS and the Sax Institute.

ACEMS COVID-19 Workshop

ACEMS hosted a half-day COVID-19 research workshop in June to facilitate knowledge exchange across research, government, and industry, and new research priorities.  

The Sax Institute participated in the workshop and delivered two presentations. Cindy Peng, Manager of Decision Analytics, presented work by Danielle Currie on new analytics to support decision making. She presented Sax Institute’s dynamic simulation modelling which is being used to answer policy questions during the pandemic. This includes an aggregate system dynamics model of community transmission, a hybrid model of discrete event and an agent‐based model of hospital resources and patient flow.

Kerrin Bleicher, presented on a new data asset to enable research into the medium and longer term impacts of COVID-19. She discussed the new 45 and Up COVID-19 Survey, of interest to researchers and policy makers. The survey data will enable research on the impact of the outbreak, on health, wellbeing, financial stress, behavioural and lifestyle activities, in addition to issues encountered with accessing healthcare and services. When linked to past and future administrative health data, it will enable research to identify medium and long term outcomes, and inform future responses to pandemics. It was developed with input from experts across Australia and will be sent to 86,000 participants mid-2020. A number of ACEMS researchers have conducted research using the 45 and Up Study data.

Guest Presentation by Laura Boyle

ACEMS Research Fellow Laura Boyle was invited to present to the Sax Institute’s Decision Analytics team’s technical capacity meeting in October on the topic of healthcare modelling. Laura’s work has included tracking data from hospital emergency departments in Adelaide to study the impact of COVID-19 on hospital visits. Learn more about Laura’s work.

ACEMS 2020 Virtual Annual Retreat

The Sax Institute attended ACEMS 2020 Virtual Annual Retreat day for industry guests, and delivered presentations as part of the afternoon Industry session. Watch the Sax Institute’s and other ACEMS industry guests’ presentations here.

Opportunties for 2021

ACEMS and Sax Institute have been exploring a number of opportunities and funding sources to support proposed research harnessing the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up survey data, being the largest cohort study in the Southern Hemisphere.

ACEMS Associate Investigator Susanna Cramb has proposed a new research project entitled “Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk among women following hypertension in pregnancy: inequities and impact”.  Grant funding opportunities have been explored, including with assistance from the Sax Institute. If there’s an opportunity to fund this project, the project team intends to proceed harnessing the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up study data.