Western District Health Service

Overview of research at WDHS

WDHS supports and encourages clinical and health services research, and is committed to the ethical and systematic gathering of information for use in decision-making and improvement of health care.  Through the National Centre for Farmer Health, WDHS supports high quality research that is making a difference in farmers lives.  WDHS also fosters applied research in the rural clinical environment that supports clinical practice and health outcomes for rural communities.  As an organisation, we get involved with research that fits our strategic objective of transforming rural health and creating healthy communities.  

Current and recent research projects at WDHS

  • Genr8Change: Prevention strategies for childhood obesity. Prof. Steve Allender et al. (Deakin University) with WDHS, University of Southern California; Curtin University; University of Auckland; Primary Care Partnership, Hamilton.
  • Evaluation of a workplace intervention in a primary healthcare setting in regional Victoria. Dr. Kristy Bolton, Penny Fraser, Prof. Steve Allender (Deakin University), Prof. Susan Brumby (National Centre for Farmer Health and WDHS)
  • ‘Communicate’ and ‘Manage’: Microcredentials program. Development of an evidence-based program to inform employee wellbeing. WDHS, South West TAFE, Foundation for Young Australians (funded by the Dept. of Education and Training)
  • Mental health at the COVID-19 frontline. A/Prof. Muhammad Aziz Rahman and Prof. Susan Brumby with WDHS, South West Healthcare, Deakin University and Federation University (funded by Western Alliance)
  • COVID-19 Pandemic Community Wellbeing Survey. Brigid Kelly, WDHS
  • Partnered Pharmacist Medication Charting (PPMC) at WDHS: A qualitative study. Mr. Dayo Ayorinde, WDHS, and Dr. Louise Greenstock, Western Alliance and WDHS
  • Investigating and improving clinical handover procedures. Aisling Cunningham, WDHS *STaRR Emerging Researcher
  • Evaluating the Oedema Management Program. Yvette Morton, WDHS
  • Primary Producer Knowledge Network (including the Campfire Platform). Dr. Alison Kennedy, National Centre for Farmer Health with Deakin University, Griffith University, University of South Australia and the University of New England (funded by The Victorian Government’s WorkSafe WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund)

WDHS is an active research site in:

  • Value in Care: Optimising surveillance COLonoscopy. Melbourne Academic Centre for Health; Monash Partners; Western Alliance – WDHS Site Nurse Champion.  Julie Schultz, WDHS
  • A feasibility study of RESET (Resuming Employment after Stroke: Enhancement through Telecoordination) – Deakin University (funded by IMPACT, Deakin University, and the Stroke Foundation, Australia). Principal Investigator: Dr Alyna Turner. Site Investigators: Sarah Baker, WDHS, and Dr Alison Kennedy, National Centre for Farmer Health

Opportunities for research collaboration with WDHS

  • Health services research
  • Improvements in health care delivery
  • Research that focuses on collaboration and teamwork
  • Innovations for rural clinical environments
  • Research that fosters better rural health outcomes
  • Building research capacity and capability of rural health services staff


For more information go to the Western District Health Service website.