HMRI launches Ambassador Network to strengthen community ties and foster medical research

HMRI launches Ambassador Network to strengthen community ties and foster medical research

The Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) has announced the launch of the HMRI Ambassador Network.

This new initiative will honour and harness the continued support of the many dedicated business, community, and research leaders who have significantly contributed to HMRI’s growth and success over the past 25 years.

As Australia’s largest regional medical research institute, HMRI has been at the forefront of medical breakthroughs for over a quarter of a century. The community’s commitment to supporting health and medical research has been crucial in helping realise HMRI’s vision of creating the healthiest million people for the planet.

The HMRI Foundation, driven by community leaders from across various fields, spearheads fundraising for health and medical research projects.

In 1998 the HMRI Foundation was key in support of marketing and other community-orientated fundraising opportunities, today the HMRI office has grown significantly with a staff of almost 100 professionals who now have day-to- day carriage of the Institute’s strategic objectives.

The HMRI Foundation has raised millions in funding for HMRI from events such as the HMRI Ball, Art Exhibitions, Lunches, and more. The HMRI Foundation has pivoted to provide support in other key areas.

HMRI Chair, Kyle Loades said the HMRI has played an important role in the history of Australian medical research.

“From day one, our community has partnered with HMRI, playing a vital role in our growth into Australia’s largest regional medical research institute. The dedication of business, community, and research leaders over the past 25 years has been invaluable, and we’re thrilled to keep these proud advocates as part of our family,” he said.

The HMRI Foundation has seen growth, particularly with the establishment of the Sydney Foundation in 2018, enabling Sydney-based Hunter expats to engage and fund research projects at HMRI. However, maintaining these valuable links beyond committee or board tenures is essential.

Kristie Atkins, well known former Novocastrian, HMRI Board Member and Chair of the Foundation, was the instigator of the Ambassador Network.

“I am so excited to launch the HMRI Ambassador Network, recognising that the business, community, and research leaders who have helped build HMRI into a world-class institute continue to have a deep and ongoing connection with us,” Kristie said.

“So many of those who have been involved over many years, want to be able to continue; but with board and foundation tenures limited, we have lost a lot of expertise over the years.”

The HMRI Ambassador Network will be chaired by well-known businessperson and Newcastle Foundation Deputy Chair, Scott Walkom, who shares Kristie’s excitement.

“As a past board member, I am overjoyed to not only have the opportunity to welcome back into the fold fellow past board directors, Foundation members, and exceptional service awardees but to Chair the group is so humbling,” Scott said.

“HMRI has always been exceptional at listening to the community, and I am looking forward to hearing the thoughts of our ambassadors and understanding how we have grown since those early days and what it is we need to do in 2024.”

Members of the HMRI Ambassador Network will play a pivotal role in maintaining and expanding HMRI’s connections within the community, helping HMRI’s in house teams to build real and lasting relationships; essential transforming the health and wellbeing of the community.

The launch of the HMRI Ambassador Network marks a significant step forward in leveraging the expertise and influence of past leaders to support HMRI’s mission of improving health outcomes through innovative medical research.

IMAGE: HMRI Ambassador Network Chair, Scott Walkom, HMRI Board Member and Chair of the Foundation, Kristie Atkins and HMRI Chair, Kyle Loades (left-right).

Hunter Medical Research Institute

The Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) is a translational research institute. Since 1998, its pioneering partnership with the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Local Health District has delivered key translational health and medical research and technology closely aligned to community health needs.

Throughout Newcastle and the Hunter, more than 1200 clinical and biomedical researchers and support staff are employed across seven HMRI Research Programs, striving to prevent, cure and treat a diverse range of serious illnesses by translating research findings made in the laboratory and through advanced imaging techniques, into real health treatments and preventative strategies for the community.

HMRI provides vital funding and facilities to fuel research, but the heart and soul of the Institute are people, the researchers, the generous donors and supporters, the committed volunteers, and the patients who participate in trials and ultimately benefit from the research results.

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