The Rudd Government will provide $21 million for the first-ever nationwide Partnership for Better Health Grants.
Partnerships for Better Health Grants will help researchers to work directly with health organisations so that research results can be better tailored to real world situations.
These new types of grants will help ensure the outcomes of research can be applied immediately to health care practice and policy, helping governments and communities that are seeking to implement effective, innovative and proven strategies.
Partners bring financial support to the projects as well as access to expertise in their own areas.
The $21 million of grants will be provided through the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia's peak funding body for health and medical research.
The announcement comes as the Prime Minister and the Acting Minister for Health Justine Elliot visited Royal Hobart Hospital for a roundtable with local health professionals, to consult on the report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.
The 27 unique projects include:
Improving health and wellbeing in the workplace - $856,250 - Associate Professor Alison Venn of the Menzies Research Institute will work with the Tasmanian State Service to investigate better ways of promoting good health, preventing chronic disease and improving productivity (via the Healthy@Work program).
Towards a national sports safety strategy - $796,990 - Professor Caroline Finch of the University of Ballarat will work with the Australian Football League, NSW Sporting Injuries Committee and others to develop and introduce a sports safety package into community football clubs to reduce injury and improve policy and practice.
Reducing salt in the Australian diet - $799,242 - this project brings together government, industry and scientists, under the supervision of Professor Bruce Neal from the University of Sydney, with the goal of reducing Australians' salt intake. Prof Neal's team will do this by measuring salt in the diet, identifying the main foods it comes from and determining ways to reduce it. The Government funding will be supplemented by funding and in-kind support from partners including NSW Health and the Australian Food and Grocery Council.
Improving primary health care for Indigenous peoples - $1.569 million - this partnership of Indigenous health services, universities and the Qld, WA, SA and NT governments explores what leads to variation in Aboriginal health care services with the aim of strengthening the quality of health care to Indigenous Australians. Professor Ross Bailie of the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin will carry out this important research.
Reducing impulsive behaviour in repeat violent offenders - $1.291 million - Associate Professor Tony Butler of the Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia, working with forensic health groups in NSW, has been funded to investigate whether using Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs, generally used to treat depression) can reduce repeat violent offending by reducing impulsive aggression.
Linking place to metabolic syndrome - $290,000 - Professor Mark Daniel of the University of South Australia leads this collaboration involving the SA Health Department and community partners in identifying features of residential areas related to metabolic syndrome (a combination of medical problems including obesity that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes). The project will use NHMRC funding to provide input to urban planning and public health policies.
Reducing hospital infections through better hand hygiene - $500,000 - Associate Professor Nicholas Graves at the Queensland University of Technology will work with a number of state and territory health departments and other health organisations to evaluate the impact of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative on reducing healthcare-associated infections in hospitals.
Full details of all Partnerships for Better Health Grants can be found at www.nhmrc.gov.au