An expanded Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and the Hunter Valley Research Foundation (HVRF) was signed earlier this week to confirm agreed arrangements for the two iconic research organisations to collaborate more closely to benefit the health of the Hunter community and the nation.
HVRF CEO Dr Brent Jenkins said the HVRF first negotiated a MoU with HMRI in 2010, to create a shared Health Research Economist role, which was filled by Professor Chris Doran.
HVRF's former Director of Research, A/Professor Andrew Searles, and research fellow Dr Rod Ling, have since joined the health research economics team.
“Our updated MoU marks a new level of cooperation between HMRI and HVRF,” he said.
“While our previous collaboration was specific to the health economics area, our new arrangement broadens the potential areas of interest in which we are able to interact.”
The Hunter Valley Research Foundation, while better known in the community for its economic and social research, has a strong health-related research arm, which is conducting high-quality and well-regarded research at the national level.
“I am keen to raise awareness of our outstanding health research capabilities,” he continued.
“We are involved in conducting large, complex health studies at the Australian population level for multiple clients, including universities, government departments, the Cancer Institute and the Cancer Council. Our new arrangement with HMRI will enhance our capabilities to make a real impact on the health issues of the Hunter population.”
The Foundation is an associated member of Hunter Medicare Local and its research is supported by the Hunter New England Health Service and the University of Newcastle.
The new HVRF/HMRI model will allow for a Foundation researcher to be located in the HMRI building one day per week. Dr Clare Hogue, from the HVRF's health research team, will assist on joint projects with HMRI and be available to consult HMRI researchers about HVRF health research capabilities.