Dr Rinky Giri and Dr Neville Tan are the recipients of the inaugural Arlene Wake Fellowship, who are set to receive funds to pursue further research studies in the area of chronic disease.

Clinician-scientists Rinky and Neville gave compelling presentations that demonstrated a strong commitment to building their research expertise to address some of the most pressing health problems facing the people of Melbourne’s west.

Rinky is an Endocrinology Fellow and a Research Fellow at the Centre of Digital Innovation and Transformation of Health. Her research will focus on a smartphone and internet-based interactive glucose management system for women with gestational diabetes mellitus in pregnancy. This research is another important development in improving maternal and foetal outcomes for our population.

Neville is an advanced physician trainee who has been a long-term medical staff member at Western Health. Neville’s research is on pericoronary fat and cardiometabolic health, and he will be exploring the role of CT imaging in early detection of cardiovascular risk. It’s another area of research where we have potential to make a big difference to health outcomes for our community.

The fellowship has been made possible by a generous donation and is named in honour of Dr Arlene Wake, who served for many years as Western Health’s Chief Medical Officer and Executive and was instrumental in the genesis of the Western Centre for Health Research and Education (WCHRE) and Western Health Chronic Disease Alliance. Arlene has remained a passionate supporter of Western Health, its staff and the people of the west, especially those afflicted by some of Australia’s highest rates of chronic disease.

Congratulations must also go to Dr Oliver Daly and team, the inaugural winners of the Women for Western Health Giving Circle Grant.

Amongst a very competitive field and four impressive finalists, Oliver’s pitch for anorectal studies diagnostic equipment to support the birth trauma service was a deserved winner. Members of the Giving Circle, who voted to determine the grant recipient, were moved by a former patient’s experience of birth trauma. The new equipment will help more than 150 women each year who experience complications from a traumatic birth.

Congratulations all. Thank you as always to our generous donors and the Western Health Foundation team for making these opportunities possible but thanks especially to the innovation and commitment amongst our staff who are always striving to support our community.

Russell Harrison (Western Health CEO)