Colac Area Health

About Colac Area Health

Colac Area Health meets the needs of more than 30,000 people in the Corangamite, Colac Otway, and Surf Coast shires. It is a unique, integrated health service, situated in the foothills of the scenic Otway Ranges and close to the Surf Coast. We achieve consistently high results as measured by externally driven accreditation reviews.

Colac Area Health (CAH) is a research-active health service and understands that research plays a vital role in informing clinical practice to the benefit of the overall health of patients, staff and the surrounding community. Our vison is to continue growing our research work to facilitate ongoing improvements in the care and health of our community. CAH is committed to building a strong organisational research culture and fostering external research partnerships. The organisation is committed to supporting staff in developing, implementing and translating their research within the resources of the organisation.

The Colac Area Health Research Unit was formed in 2020 under the leadership of the Colac Area Health Executive Team and Research Unit Director Dr Laura Alston.

Since its formation, the Research Unit has been successful in securing competitive research funding and collaborating with health service and academic partners across Victoria and beyond. CAH staff have been supported to undertake research training and complete research projects in a wide range of areas, including malnutrition, dysphagia management, aged care, pharmacy, child health, surgery and family violence. These projects have resulted in improvements to practice within our service, as well as leading to result published in health and scientific journals.

Current research projects – led by CAH

  • The Health Service CARE Intervention study: Investigating health services as change agents in rural food environments
  • The CReW study (COVID-19 and Regional Health Staff Wellbeing): A state-wide study investigating the wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 on staff at rural & regional health services

Current research projects – externally led

  • COVIDSurg: An international collaboration investigating outcomes of surgery in COVID-19
  • Generation Victoria (‘Gen V’): All babies born in Victoria and their parents/guardians are invited to join a world-first research program on child and family health

CAH is keen to work in partnership with other Western Alliance member organisations in translational research focussed on improving the health experience of our rural communities. 

To collaborate or find out more about research at Colac Area Health, please contact Dr Michael Field, Western Alliance Research Translation Coordinator, on or 0408 322 154.

For more information visit Colac Area Health’s website.