Local kids’ health researchers honoured at HCRF Awards

Oct 30 2020

The region’s health and medical researchers making a difference to the lives of local kids and their families, and research supporters, were honoured at the Hunter Children’s Research Foundation’s (HCRF) annual awards night on Thursday October 29.

Four researchers took out Community Acknowledgement of Research Excellence (CARE) awards. Two researchers were each given a $30,000 grant to support their research projects. 

2020 HCRF CARE Award winners

  • Newcastle Permanent Research Mentorship Award – Dr Sally Fitzpatrick (mental health)
  • JSA Group Achievement in Research Award – Dr Matt Dun (cancer)
  • nib Encouragement in Research Award – Dr Narelle Eather (physical activity)
  • Wests Group Achievement in Quality Improvement Award - Dr Felicity Park and the John Hunter Hospital Maternal-Fetal Medicine Team (fetal medicine)

2020 HCRF grant recipients

  • Dr Bronwyn Berthon - How do fruit and vegetables improve lung function in childhood asthma?
  • Dr Matt Dun - Targeting NAPDH oxidases enzymes to improve the treatment of high-risk paediatric leukaemias

HCRF chair Janelle Shakespeare also paid tribute to local businesses and individuals who contribute to HCRF as members of the ReaCH 200 group. Since 2002, the group has raised more than $286,000. Several ReaCH 200 members were recognised for reaching milestones.

  • Sandra & Peter Jackson and Graph Building (15 years)
  • The Anastasiou family and NBN Television (10 years)
  • First Creek Wines (5 years)

“Despite not being able to hold our annual fundraising events, due to Covid-19, HCRF supporters have raised $60,000 to support the research grants” Mrs Shakespeare said.

The funds we raise go directly to fund children’s research in areas such as asthma, cancer, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and sleep disorders – illnesses that can affect any family at any time,” she said.

This year’s awards were virtual, live-streamed via Facebook.

HCRF was founded in 1996 to raise funds for research into children’s terminal and debilitating illnesses. This includes funding for essential research equipment, research support staff and research grants for new and ongoing research. It is affiliated with HNEkidshealth – Children, Young People and Families.

To support HCRF go to https://hmri.org.au/hunter-childrens-research-foundation

* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health, and the community.