Christina is a registered nurse and an expert on ageing, family carers and caregiving, and health services research. Christina holds a conjoint research academic appointment at Northern NSW Local Health District, leading the strategic development of patient care and health services research across 12 hospitals. Christina is a leading international researcher on building capacity and capability among family carers of older people with complex chronic disease, and social prescribing programs.
Christina has a proven track record in supporting healthcare professionals to conduct research at an individual and multi-professional collaborative level, and translate research findings into practice and high quality accessible services that support better health outcomes. Christina has a national and international research profile, with over 80 peer reviewed articles, government submissions and reports. Aggar has received over 7 million in research funding. In the last 5 years, $4.9 million ($0.7 million as CIA) in grant funding, including an NHMRC Partnership Grant (2020/GNT2005403) and a MRFF (2022/MRF2017845), 2020 Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) and 2019 Queensland Government Study Grant.
An important feature of Christina’s research work has been leading and working closely with peak organisations (Carers NSW, Australian Primary Healthcare Association) and industry (FEROS, ICARE), consumers, academics and clinicians to improve patient care by supporting workforce development. This has led to Southern Cross University’s first interprofessional education (IPE) clinical placement opportunity in international and rural remote facilities. Christina’s research findings have also supported recommendations to the Productivity Commission Inquiry “Caring for Older Australians” the National Carer Recognition Framework and the introduction of the Carer Recognition Act and the release of a National Carers Strategy.
Christina is involved in community engagement through various committees including Gold Coast University Hospital Research Grant, NNSW Local Health District Ethics Committee and NNSW Local Health District End of Life Committee. Christina has held external Board and Advisory memberships including the Qld & NNSW Regional Health Collaborative on which she was co-lead on the Healthy Communities Group 2019; NSW Mental Health Nursing Research Collaborative 2018; Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC): Citizens Engagement Advisor Panel (CEAC) 2012 – 2016; Carers NSW Board member 2008-2016; the Ministerial Carers Summit-NSW Carers’ Strategy- NSW Health 2014-5. Christina is a guest reviewer for a number of journals, including Collegian, Nurse Education Today and Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Christina currently supports 4 PhD and 6 Masters students, 5 as primary supervisor. She encourages students, early career researchers and clinicians to publish early. In the last 2 years, Christina has successfully supported more than 40 new projects several attracting external funding.
Christina has extensive teaching, and curriculum review and development experience in undergraduate and postgraduate programs including, the first Australian:
- Primary Health Care Transition program for new graduate nurses
- Community Health Care Transition program for new graduate nurses
- Masters Primary Health Care program
- Postgraduate program for internationally qualified nurses seeking Australian registration.
Christina’s work with international nurses and undergraduate programs continues to grow. The establishment of several key collaborations have resulted in sustainable and ongoing curricula research nexus, including a digital mobile program to support nurses’ leadership skills