A joint collaboration between Waikato District Health Board and the universities of Auckland and Waikato will provide a research framework to promote and support healthy ageing in the Waikato.
The Prime Minister’s chief science advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman launched the Institute of Healthy Ageing in Hamilton today saying it was an exciting new “first of its kind” development by Waikato DHB’s Older Persons and Rehabilitation service.
The work of the institute will cover five themes with each theme having a clinical and academic leader. They are:
- mental health and older people
- older people in the community
- workforce development
- best practice in clinical care.
Waikato DHB deputy chair Sally Christie said she was thrilled to be part of a launch of a research institute rather than to open another building.
“It is time to turn our eyes to a future where we have purpose built buildings in which we can care for our patients and involve ourselves in research to make the quality of their lives that much better,” she said.
The institute will link with local, national and international academic and research institutions to facilitate research initiatives and the sharing of research information and to support the ongoing development of evidence based clinical and management best practice.
“We all know we have an ageing population with the proportion of New Zealanders aged between 65 years and over projected to grow from 11 per cent of the total population in 1991 to 21 per cent by 2031,” said Mrs Christie.
“Older New Zealanders are valued members of our families, communities and society. The institute exists to facilitate the sharing of research and clinical expertise and the development of research initiatives,” she said.
Older Persons and Rehabilitation group manager Barbara Garbutt said there would be no additional costs to Waikato DHB nor to any other involved organisations. The institute would apply for research grants and encouraged members of the public to donate to its work through the Waikato Health Trust , Waikato DHB’s charitable trust.
“Dissemination of research findings and information will come about through the sponsoring of and presentations at seminars and conferences, research journal, publications, engagement with local media, etc,” she said.
“Having a vibrant research institute based in Hamilton will assist the DHB to attract high quality staff,” she said.
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