April report for Epidemiology for Policy and Practice

7 April 2021

Good News

  • Congratulations to Dr Katie Thurber and her partner for welcoming their new baby

Keynote and invited presentations

  • Jason Agostino and his team continues to liaise with the Heart Foundation regarding the next update to national absolute CVD risk guidelines. They were invited to present to the Absolute CVD Risk Guideline Expert Steering Group on their strategy to ensure guidelines are appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Outreach and engagement

  • Raymond Lovett and Raglan Maddox were invited to present at the 16th Implementation Plan Working Group (IPAG) on March 11 at the Department of Health on MK Study tobacco use analysis and findings and MK Study trauma and racism analysis and findings. 
  • Raymond Lovett facilitated a Mayi Kuwayu workshop with Ebenezer Aboriginal Corporation in Perth and Raymond, Jan, Leonie, Makayla traveling to Cairns next week to work with communities in NQ and the Torres Strait, testing the revamped Mayi Kuwayu survey format.
  • Jason Agostino and the CVD team are arranging a workshop at the ANU on “racism and clinical algorithms” to discuss the use of Indigenous status, ethnicity and race in clinical algorithms. The workshop will draw on people from a wide range of disciplines. 
  • Raglan Maddox and Shavaun Wells visited WA where they met with the WA Aboriginal Tobacco Control Strategic Leadership Team to discuss TIS work and progress, as well as the WA TIS teams to provide support with completing the TIS tool.
  • CVD team have been speaking with a selection of experts from across ANU, inviting them to participate in the first racism and clinical algorithm workshop. These include academics from the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program, ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, ANU Medical School.
  • The CVD risk communication toolkit has been included in the NPS Medicine Wise Good Medicine Better Health Program – which aims to improve quality use of medicines within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  The Heart Foundation also included links to the toolkit on their webpage on Absolute CVD risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • The ANU team contributed to work led by NACCHO and RACGP seeking to improve health assessment templates.  This included advocating for enhancement of templates to have a more patient-centred focus and inclusion of absolute CVD risk assessment and management as part of routine health assessments. The templates have been endorsed by NACCHO and the RACGP and are now published on the Department of Health website also. https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mbsprimarycare_ATSI_MBSitem715

Media releases/interest     

  • The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and affiliates have profiled Associate Professor Kamalini Lokuge and her work on the frontline assisting governments with Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Cathy Day did an hour-long broadcast on 2XX on Sunday 7 March, on the Fuzzy Logic program.
  •  Jason Agostino has been supporting the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and has been interviewed for a number of news items, including this interview with ‘The Mission’ https://www.rrr.org.au/on-demand/segments/the-mission-dr-jason-agostino-plans-for-vaccine-rollout-to-first-nation-communties

New staff

  • Welcome to Mai Nguyen. Mai is currently completing studies in Biostatistics at USYD and will be working as an RA supporting Objective 1 work on updating the CVD risk algorithm.

Papers published

  • Lokuge K, Banks E, Davis S, Roberts L, Street T, O'Donovan D, Caleo G, Glass K Exit strategies: optimising feasible surveillance for detection, elimination and ongoing prevention of COVID-19 community transmission. BMC Medicine (2021)

Papers accepted

  • Bin Sayeed M, Joshy G, Paige E, Banks E, Korda R Cardiovascular disease subtypes, physical disability and workforce participation: a cross-sectional study of 163,562 middle-aged Australians PLoS One (2021)

Baenziger O, Ford L, Yazidjoglou A, Joshy G, Banks E E-cigarette use and combustible tobacco cigarette smoking uptake among non-smokers, including relapse in former smokers: umbrella review, systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open (2021)