AAAPC News - July 2019

25 Jul 2019 2:00 PM | Lynsey Brown (Administrator)

AAAPC 2019 Annual Research Conference

July 12-13 saw 161 delegates from Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada gather in Adelaide for the inaugural AAAPC Annual Research Conference. There were 72 oral presentations and 53 poster presentations showcasing a wide range of quality multidisciplinary primary care research. The keynote sessions were dynamic thought-provokers, including the first ever Dangerous Ideas and Great Debate sessions. It was a wonderful time to meet and make new friends amongst an encouraging and enthusiastic community of researchers.

Congratulations again to Conference Prize Winners Dr Amy Bestman (AJPH Best Paper), Dr Katelyn Barnes (Best Poster) and Dr Hok Lim (Best Poster) who were recognised at the closing ceremony of the conference.

Special thanks again to Dr Liz Sturgiss and the AAAPC Conference Committee, including Prof Nigel Stocks and the hosting group. Thanks also to conference sponsors CSIRO Publishing and PC4.

Don't forget to lock August 14-15 2020 away in your calendars for the AAAPC Annual Research Conference next year on the Gold Coast!


2019 Bridges-Webb Medal Winner

A huge congratulations to Professor Elizabeth Halcomb who was awarded the prestigious Bridges-Webb Medal for 2019 at the conference dinner. It is a well deserved recognition of Liz's internationally significant academic primary care research contribution and leadership, particularly in her work around primary care nursing. The award was presented by last year's winner Professor Ngaire Kerse. Congratulations again Liz!


2019 AAAPC Annual General Meeting

The constitution was changed at the Annual General Meeting held during the conference and Chairs of the Working Groups were added to new AAAPC Executive Committee

The next step will be building up the membership of the different Working Groups - stay tuned for more information coming soon about how you can be involved!



Grant Russell and the paper 'Primary health care access for vulnerable communities: Uncovering the balance between supply and demand' was selected by a panel of 3 senior primary care academics as the 2019 AAAPC Distinguished Paper to be presented at the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) Annual Meeting in Toronto, November 2019.  Warmest congratulations to Grant and his co-authors.


Help bring Prof Chris del Mar home from hospital

Chris was following one of his before-work passions when, in February 2019, during an early morning surf at Miami beach on the Gold Coast, he sustained a very high level spinal cord injury.

After spending over 3 months in intensive care in a Brisbane hospital, Chris has recently moved into the hospital’s spinal rehabilitation unit. Some of the priorities are to arrange home modifications and equipment, and make arrangements for the ongoing care that he’ll need, so that he can return home as soon as possible.

Chris’ equipment needs range from the mundane (e.g. hospital bed), to those which will enable him to participate in life and the community (e.g. powered wheelchair, modified vehicle, and various specialised communication and IT devices).

Chris is in the very unusual and unfortunate situation that he is not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (due to the age cut-off), or any other insurance coverage. This means that he will not receive any funding for the considerable home modifications which are necessary for him to leave hospital. He will receive limited government assistance for only some of the equipment that he needs.

The path to adjustment to a new way of being is difficult. Any contributions will facilitate Chris’ discharge home and help to enhance his quality of life. Your support is most gratefully received.

This is the link to the gofundme page for Chris.

Kind regards


Associate Professor Jane Smith

Head of General Practice Discipline

Bond University


Welcome to New AAAPC Members

Vera Costa - Monash University

As a trained Psychology researcher, and an experienced mental health clinician, I have a strong expertise and passion in mental health, application and evaluation of evidence-based treatments for depression and anxiety disorders across the life span, and translation and impact of research findings in clinical practice.

I hold an academic position within the Department of General Practice at Monash University supporting the implementation of a large NHMRC Partnership Grant to help GPs adhere to a work-related Mental health guideline. IMPRovE is a stepped-wedged cluster randomised and pragmatic trial aiming at fostering high-quality GP behaviour towards patients with work related mental health conditions, using academic detailing, resource provision and support through a community of practice.

I am also a Research Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology, I manage a team of research assistants and clinicians in the implementation of a NHMRC Project Grant that evaluates a novel intervention designed to assist newly admitted aged care residents adjust to their new environment, through the introduction of tailored strategies to meet their psychological needs.

My research output includes 11 peer-reviewed publications, multiple conference presentations and ongoing collaborations with national and international multi-center and multi-disciplinary research teams in Australia and the UK.

My research interests are on primary care mental health clinical research, socio-cognitive, and behavioral change interventions that promote quality of life, healthy ageing, and evidence-based clinical practice.


We warmly welcome all new members to AAAPC - if you would like your bio to be published in the monthly newsletter, please email

This is a great way to build networks within our community. 


Until next month,

Dr Melinda Choy, AAAPC Editor

Quick note from your new editor: Hi! I am a new GP fellow and keen early career academic based in Canberra. I know I have big shoes to fill after Liz Sturgiss' wonderful work but I am looking forward to learning lots as I go. See you next month in your inbox!



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