Prestigious honour for health-care champion

Nov 6 2014

Internationally-renowned cancer care and health behaviour researcher, Laureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher AO, has taken out the inaugural Research Australia NSW Government Health Services Research Award.

Laureate Professor Sanson-Fisher was presented with the prestigious honour last night at the 2014 Research Australia Awards Dinner, for his significant contributions to the areas of health promotion, health service evaluation and chronic disease control.

An internationally recognised leader in health behaviour research, Laureate Professor Sanson-Fisher is an advocate of patient focused healthcare delivery, particularly for vulnerable population groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Laureate Professor Sanson-Fisher and his colleagues recently completed the largest trial in smoking cessation programs for pregnant Aboriginal women. He also led two of the largest cluster randomised community trials in cancer control and reducing alcohol harm.

He is focused on improving health screening at the provider and community level, and was one of the first behavioural scientists to argue for, and demonstrate a commitment to, evidence-based practice in health promotion and cancer control.

The Director of the University’s Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, and a program leader for the Hunter Medical Research Institute’s Public Health program said he was honoured to receive the accolade.

“Thanks to my colleagues and in particular patients and community members who gave up their time, contributed their expertise and so willingly contribute in a variety of ways to our research endeavours. Without them our research would not be possible,” he said.

Presented for the first time in 2014, the Research Australia NSW Government Health Services Research Award is for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field, provided research leadership, undertaken research that has led to a significant improvement in healthcare, and/or has championed the development of the health services research field.

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