Clinical Research

Research and Innovation at Northeast Health Wangaratta

We undertake research generated by our own local research questions with local researchers in addition to collaborative work with a variety of partner organisations in broader multi-site state-wide, national and international studies.

Our key research partner is The University of Melbourne, Department of Rural Health through the Rural Health Academic Network (RHAN) program. The RHAN program specifically aims to build research capability and capacity in partner regional and rural health services.

University Department of Rural Health – Research.pdf
Rural Health Academic Network (RHAN).pdf

Research Team

The research team at Northeast Health consists of;

Rural Health Academic Network (RHAN) Coordinator

Director of Education and Research

Research Development and Governance Officer

Dr Anita Star
Anita has extensive experience in research project management and has supervised the health research projects of Honours and Master level students.  Anita is committed to leadership in healthcare through research and in her work, sharing that knowledge with clinicians and translating research into clinical practice.   Anita can be contacted to discuss any aspect of research project development, research methodology training, statistical support, student projects or ethics at NHW.

Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) Secretariat

Ms Simone Sammon
Simone is an Administration Support Officer with the Education and Research unit; she provides secretariat support to the NHW Human Research Ethics Committee and the NHW Research Committee.

Phone: +61 (03) 5722 5149


Ms Julie Day
Julie is a highly skilled medical librarian who can assist with literature searches and provide training in accessing online resources.  The Library provides information to support the clinical, research and continuing education needs of staff and students of NHW and affiliated health professionals throughout the region.

Phone: +61 (03) 5722 5286

Prospective Researchers

Prior to commencing any research project at Northeast Health Wangaratta, the project must be discussed with our Research Development and Governance Officer prior to submission. This will aid the researcher to determine the feasibility aspects of the study and what level of Ethics application is required.

Applications can be made online via Ethical Review Manager (ERM) and be accompanied by a completed Research Governance Review Form.pdf.

Northeast Health Wangaratta is a signatory to the National Mutual Acceptance Scheme.

We have a fully constituted Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) which adheres to the recommendations of the national guidelines on ethical research:

The Chairperson of our HREC is Dr Roger Barker and the committee meets bi-monthly. The Education and Research Unit have deadlines for submission of research project applications for review by the NHW HREC.

Submission Date 2019

Meeting Date 2019

26th March 9th April
28th May 11th June
30th July 13th August
24th September 8th October
26th November 10th December

New Research and Ethics Policy.pdf
Human Research Ethics Committee.pdf
Human Research Ethics Committee – Complaints.pdf

Simone Sammon
HREC Secretariat
Phone: +61 (03) 5722 5149

Community Participation

Northeast Health is committed to involving our community in the ideas, planning and implementation of our research. Community members can request to join our Community Advisory Committee by contacting;
Michelle Butler
Community Advisory Committee
Phone: +61 (03) 5722 5482

Community Advisory Committee.pdf
Model Framework for Community Participation in Research.pdf

Current Research Activity 2018/19

Aged Care

  • Turning and Positioning in Aged Care Study (Dr Suzanne Kapp) (NHW HREC 199)
  • Chronic Care Connections (Kristen Glenister) (NHW HREC 198)

Allied Health

  • ICEAGE: Incidence of Complications following Emergency Abdominal surgery: Get Exercising (Ianthe Boden, Kate Sullivan, Claire Hackett, Brooke Winzer, Rebecca Lane, Melissa McKinnon, Iain Robertson) (NHW HREC 185)
  • The role function and impact on non-traditional allied health roles on practitioner service and patient outcomes in regional and rural areas of Victoria (Dr Catherine Cosgrove) (NHW HREC 213)
  • End PJ Paralysis: Preventing functional decline in hospitalised people (Kym Loechel)


  • Can the use of a silicon adjunct decrease leak and improve pre-oxygenation in healthy individuals? (Dr Adam Levin, Dr P Hebbard) (NHW HREC 200)

Antimicrobial Stewardship

  • Appropriate Antibiotic Prescribing for AAB in a Regional Health Service (Mr Salwan Al-Saour, Mr Jeff Van) (NHW HREC 202)
  • Audit on Piperacillin and Tazobactum in a regional Health Service (Ms Morgan Gibson, Mr Jeff Van) (NHW HREC 203)

Advanced Care Planning Care

  • National Advanced Care Planning Study (Dr Rasa Ruseckaite, Monash University, Ms Michelle Judd Hume RICS)

Cancer Care

  • Patient experiences of care (Hume RICS) (NHW HREC 197)

Chronic ill Health

  • Palliative care for patients with COPD (Dr Natasha Smallwood, Dr Andreas Baisch, Ms Jenny Johns)
  • Victorian Stroke Telemedicine (VST) (Dr Les Bolitho, Ms Lisa Peters)
  • Managing Chronic Disease in Wangaratta and Benalla: Improving the patient journey through Primary and Hospital Care (Ms Tessa Archbold, Ms Meagan, Tharratt, Dr Helen Haines, Dr Kristen Glenister)
  • Chronic Care Connections Project (COPD): Evaluation of a new model of COPD care and allied health education program at Northeast Health Wangaratta. (Ms Tessa Archbold, Ms Meagan, Tharratt, Dr Helen Haines, Dr Kristen Glenister)

Emergency Care

  • Ketamine use in the NHW Emergency Department (Ms Lucy Grant, Dr De Witt Oosthuizen, Mr Jeff Van Dr Helen Haines) (NHW HREC 195)
  • Use of Ketamine by Paramedics  in agitated Patients ( Dr De Witt Osthuizen) (NHW HREC 206)
  • Towards Improving Medicine Safety in ED (Mr Jeffrey Van) (NHW HREC 207)

Maternity Care

  • Uptake and Success rates before and after implementation of dedicated VBAC program in a secondary rural obstetric centre (Dr Mairead Butler, Dr Laurel Bennett, Dr Helen Haines)
  • Type 1 Diabetes: pregnant and living rural (Dr Robert Krones) (NHW HREC 212)
  • Caseload Midwifery Group Practice in Rural Australia Setting. An interview study of the group practice midwives at Northeast Health (Prof Ingegerd Hildingsson) (NHW HREC 214)


  • Total Shoulder Arthroplasty. The way of the Future. Head to head with patient-specific instrumentation. (Dr Richard Zhang) (NHW HREC 210)


  • Education Learning in Rural Clinical Environment (Dr Loraine Walker) (NHW HREC 208)
  • Impact by Education Pharmacist employed by education (Mr Jeffrey Van) (NHW HREC 204)

Recent publications/presentations from local authors

Dissemination of research findings is an important part of the research process, passing on the benefits to other researchers, professional practitioners and the wider community. National Health and Medical Research Council, 2007


Hebbard P. Transversus Abdominis Plane Blocks. InAtlas of Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia 2019 Jan 1 (pp. 267-276). Elsevier.

Dowsett J, Humphreys R, Krones R. Normal Blood Glucose and High Blood Ketones in a Critically Unwell Patient with T1DM Post-Bariatric Surgery: a Case of Euglycemic Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Obes Surg. 2019 Jan;29(1):347-349


Kealey, J ‘Digital ECG: An ECG reporting service for management of chest pain & acute coronary syndromes in the Hume Region, Northeast Victoria’, presented to Successes and Failures in Telehealth, Darwin, 22-24 September 2018

Kealey, J ‘Measuring ROI of Telehealth to Improve Health Outcomes and Connectivity in Remote and Rural Areas’, presented to Victorian Healthcare Week 2018 – Digital Health, Melbourne 20-21 August 2018

Kealey, J ‘Unpacking a patient centred journey – opportunities for improved access to health care using telehealth’ presented to 5th Annual Whole of Health Strategies to Improve Patient Flow Conference, Melbourne, 27-28 June 2018

Mathewson, A ‘The Benefits of Heart Beat, a community drumming program for neurological rehabilitation’ presented to The Benefits of Heart Beat, a community drumming program for neurological rehabilitation, Melbourne, 2018

M Butler, H Haines, G Haines, L Bennett 2018. Vaginal Birth after Caesarean-Call the Midwife? 2018. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 58, 27-28

I Hildingsson, C Rubertsson, A Karlström, H Haines. 2018. Exploring the Fear of Birth Scale in a mixed population of women of childbearing age—A Swedish pilot study. Women and Birth 31 (5), 407-413

Smallwood N, Ross L, Taverner J, John J, Baisch A, Irving L, Philip J.A Palliative Approach is Adopted for Many Patients Dying in Hospital with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Volume 15, 2018 – Issue 5

Wong, J. W., Lai, F. W. and Wilson, I. (2018), Subclavian vein thrombosis with internal jugular vein extension in an Australian rules football player. Medical Journal of Australia, 209: 335-336

Collyer, Archibald; Bourke, Siobhan and Temple-Smith, Meredith. General practitioners’ perspectives on promoting sexual health to young men [online]. Australian Journal of General Practice, Vol. 47, No. 6, Jun 2018: 376-381

Li R, Dooreemeah D, Cichowitz A. The Post Partum Uterus–A Rare Cause of Mechanical Large Bowel Obstruction. Austin J Surg. 2018;5(1):1122.

Peng, C. , Chubb, D. , Thomson, B. N. and Miller, F. J. (2018), A case of spontaneous bile leak. ANZ J Surg, 88: E458-E459

E Rondung, E Ternström, I Hildingsson, HM Haines, Ö Sundin, J Ekdahl. 2018. Comparing Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy With Standard Care for Women With Fear of Birth: Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR mental health 5 (3)

Lau SC, Keith PPA.Patient-specific instrumentation for total shoulder arthroplasty: not as accurate as it would seem. Journal Of Shoulder And Elbow Surgery. 2018;27(1):90-5.

Papachristos, Howard T, Thomson BN, Thomas PR. Predicting post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitis using the 4-h serum lipase level. ANZ J Surg. 2018 Jan;88(1-2):82-86. doi: 10.1111/ans.13665. Epub 2016 Jul 25.

Hebbard, P, Andrew I. T. Hebbard, A.I.T, Tomka, J, Richard Appleyard, R. Ultrasound‐Guided Microinvasive Carpal Tunnel Release Using a Novel Retractable Needle‐Mounted Blade: A Cadaveric Study. Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine Volume 37, Issue 7. July 201

I Boden, K Sullivan, C Hackett, B Winzer, R Lane, M McKinnon and I Robertson. ICEAGE (Incidence of Complications following Emergency Abdominal surgery: Get Exercising): study protocol of a pragmatic, multicentre, randomised controlled trial testing physiotherapy for the prevention of complications and improved physical recovery after emergency abdominal surgery. World Journal of Emergency Surgery (2018) 13:29.

Hildingsson, I., Rubertsson, C., Karlström, A., & Haines, H. (2018). Caseload midwifery for women with fear of birth is a feasible option. Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, 16, 50-55.

Haines, H., Hildingsson, I., Rubertsson, C., & Karlström, A. (2018). Emotional well-being and the importance for women with fear of birth to have a known midwife at birth. Journal of Psychology and Mental Health.

Hildingsson, I., Karlström, A., Rubertsson, C., & Haines, H. (2018). Women with fear of childbirth might benefit from having a known midwife during labour. Women and Birth. doi:10.1016/j.wombi.2018.04.014