Vanessa Wilson, Physiotherapist at Western Health, has been awarded the 2019 BankVic Allied Health Research grant at the recent Western Health Research and Best Care Conference for her work to manage blood glucose levels for diabetes patients in a rehabilitation setting.
With the quality of applications extremely high, it was judged that Vanessa's project had the most potential to make a significant impact on Best Care at Western Health.
Wanting to translate current evidence into practice, her research project arose from the growing number of patients with diabetes being admitted across Western Health sites. Statistics from National Diabetes Services Scheme shows that the western suburbs of Melbourne have significantly higher rates of diabetes compared to the rest of Melbourne.
For individuals with diabetes, exercise can lower blood glucose levels putting them at risk of hypoglycaemia. It was found that patients undergoing rehabilitation at Western Health were not self-managing their blood glucose levels routinely pre or post exercise putting them at a higher risk of an adverse event. The aim of Vanessa's research is to introduce a range of tools to identify those patients most at risk and to implement self-management practices.
"This project has been a team effort and is an extension of earlier work undertaken by my colleagues. It was an honour to be recognised for our work," said Vanessa.
"Being involved in the Research and Best Care conference was a great opportunity to share knowledge and experience on a variety of topics and presentations from a range of disciplines."
"The $5,000 grant from BankVic will allow for us to dedicate our time to finalise the project, publish and share the findings."
Western Health Research and Best Care Conference is an annual event highlighting and showcasing research and best care across Western Health and its partners.
This year's conference saw over 150 Abstract submissions across a wide range of disciplines. A total of 19 sessions were held over five days with an attendance of close to 1,000 staff attending across the week. The Allied Health division had a total of 14 Abstract submissions and 80 attendees at their respective sessions.
As the Award Sponsor, BankVic were invited to participate in the selection of the winning submission.
"Vanessa's submission and presentation was exceptional," says Nick Tseros, Head of Strategic Partnerships at BankVic.
"To be part of the selection process and see all the amazing, passionate and super caring staff was truly humbling. To think I would have the opportunity to contribute to an outcome on Best Care research is an honour."
"Vanessa's research addresses a serious issue effecting lots of different communities. The ability to screen patients for the potential to self-manage their glucose levels and implement guidelines to empower them to self-manage their blood glucose allows people to take ownership.
"This project I feel would make a significant Impact not only on the Western community but all communities who look to adopt this research and guidelines as best practice."