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Professors-in-residence scheme launched


Steve Spinks
15 January 2014
The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) and Southern Cross University (SCU) have entered into a unique arrangement following the appointment of Kathleen Fahy, as Professor of Midwifery at The Tweed Hospital and Murwillumbah District Hospital.

In a first for regional NSW Hospitals and Universities, Professor Kathleen Fahy, Head of Midwifery at SCU and Head of the Gold Coast campus, will take on the honorary position for two days per week, based at The Tweed Hospital from mid-January.

The appointment was announced today by NNSW LHD Chief Executive, Chris Crawford and SCU Vice Chancellor, Peter Lee. The arrangement has been made possible through the support of SCU’s School of Health and Human Sciences.

Mr Crawford said, “NNSW LHD Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Annette Symes and the Dean of Health, Professor Iain Graham, have been working together in order to provide opportunities to develop research and practice improvement projects for the nursing and midwifery throughout the Northern NSW Local Health District and we are delighted that this is being achieved.”

“Professor Fahy is the first Professor to be established under this strategic directive. She is eager to get to work with the midwives and staff in the birthing centres and her first priority will be to lead these projects,” Ms Symes said.

“I want to be able to integrate with the maternity staff so that I am easily accessible to discuss midwifery practice concerns. My role will include presenting workshops and seminars. Additionally, I want to support staff to initiate and participate in practice improvement projects,” Professor Fahy said.

Professor Iain Graham, Head of the School of Health and Human Sciences said, “It is an exciting development for the University and the move is part of establishing a Professors-in-Residence scheme.”

“The aim of the scheme is to support the integration of health practice, research and education in order to improve patient care outcomes. The Professors-in-Residence scheme is a concept that is well established in the United Kingdom and United States. The scheme enhances the existing Health Clinics that are available to the public on both the Gold Coast and Lismore campus of SCU.”

“We are grateful to the NNSW LHD for its cooperation, particularly Annette Symes and her team from the Nursing and Midwifery Directorate,” Professor Graham said.

Ann Schefe, Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Tweed and Murwillumbah Hospitals, is very supportive of the initiative, “I am looking forward to working alongside Professor Fahy to help promote integration of midwifery practice with an aim of enhancing outcomes for our patients and to strengthen our collaborative practices with Southern Cross University.”

Photo: Professor Kathleen Fahy.