Allied Health kickstart funds for researchers

Front row left to right: WSLHD Allied Health director Jacqueline Dominish, Westmead Hospital clinical dietician Veronica Mok, Cumberland Hospital psychologist Logan Harvey, Blacktown Hospital dietician Sarah Driscoll, Professor of Allied Health Vicki Flood. Back row left to right: Westmead Hospital physiotherapists Dragana Ceprnja and Katherine Maka with speech pathologist Jessica Tam.

Six staff from Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) have each received a $5,000 grant to undertake new research in collaboration with researchers from the University of Sydney. 

The funds will be used for a variety of allied health led projects from helping people with lower back pain to investigating a new diet regime to reduce constipation among people with Parkinson’s disease.

WSLHD Professor of Allied Health, Vicki Flood said it’s important for our clinician researchers to develop and innovate new information and new models of care which support patients and the communities of Western Sydney.

“These projects have high potential for translation into practice to improve health outcomes for a range of people such as people with Parkinson’s Disease, mental health and people with lower back pain,” Professor Flood said.

The recipients of the grants are from a variety of disciplines from across the district including pharmacy, physiotherapy, nutrition and dietetics, speech pathology and psychology.

WSLHD Allied Health director Jacqueline Dominish, Westmead Hospital physiotherapist Dragana Ceprnja, speech pathologist Kirsty Nive and Professor of Allied Health Vicki Flood.

Congratulations to the following recipients:

Dragana Ceprnja – Health educator and senior physiotherapist at Westmead Hospital for her research into ‘The Get Healthy Coaching Service’ as a discharge pathway for people with chronic low back pain: effectiveness and acceptability.

Sarah Driscoll – Senior Metabolic dietician at Blacktown Hospital for her research into the effect of activity monitors on physical activity and health related outcomes in adults attending a public bariatric program.

Logan Harvey – Clinical psychologist at Cumberland Hospital and PhD student for her research into a pilot trial of group therapy for substance use disorders and comorbid mental health problems.

Hannah Kim – Pharmacist at Westmead Hospital and Postdoctoral Research Associate for her research into saliva-based assay development and clinical validation of voriconazole.

Veronica Mok – Clinical dietician at Westmead Hospital for her research into the effectiveness of a standardised bowel regime to manage constipation in Parkinson’s Disease patients.

Jessica Tam – Speech pathologist and Alison Battin Head of the Speech Pathology department at Westmead Hospital for their research into an innovative approach to speech pathology service delivery via a student-led clinic model.

The funds are provided by WSLHD, Research and Education Network, Faculty of Health Sciences and the University of Sydney.

Allied Health Research kickstarter grants supports research activities led by allied health clinicians.  Allied Health is made up of 23 disciplines including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, social work, nutrition and dietetics and psychology.  For more information about Allied Health click here.

For further information about the Allied Health Research projects contact