Dr David Farlow
Executive Director Research and Innovation, Mackay Hospital and Health Service.
Associate Professor and Clinical Dean, Mackay Clinical School,
James Cook University School of Medicine and Dentistry.
MBBS DRANZCOG FACRRM GAICD
David first arrived in the MHHS in 1984. David was Executive Director Clinical Services for MHHS from 2007-2015. Prior to that, he provided a broad range clinical service and leadership roles within the Whitsunday Health Service.
He reduced direct patient care over the last 5 years and now has no hands on clinical practice. After taking a 12 month sabbatical in New Zealand with his family in 2015, he moved into a joint role between MHHS focusing on Education and Research development in building the Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation. His conjoint role also includes Clinical Dean role at James Cook University.
His expertise and experience includes undertaking a range of investigations, Service reviews and consultancies for QH. His community achievements include an Australia Day Shire Award in 2008 for his outstanding contribution to the community and a Queensland Health Leadership in Health Services Award in 2007.
David has an Associate Professorial role with James Cook University School of Medicine and Dentistry. In addition to his executive, clinical and community work, David is foremost a family man who enjoys fishing and golfing.
Professor Clare Heal
Professorial Research Advisor for MIRI and Promotional chair, Discipline of General Practice and Rural Medicine, James Cook University (JCU)
MBChB, DRANZCOG, DipGUMed, FRACGP, MPHTM, PhD
Clare is a Professorial Research Advisor to MIRI providing expertise and guidance across a broad range of research fields. Clare is also the Promotional Chair in the department of General Practice and Rural Medicine for James Cook University (JCU) School of Medicine and Dentistry Rural Clinical School in Mackay.
She is principle author of a Cochrane review on topical antibiotic prophylaxis which was published in November 2016. She continues to be active in clinical and academic general practice. She is a member of the editorial advisory group for the British Medical Journal, and the RACGP National Research Committee.
She currently supervises four honours students and two PhD students and has had fourteen successful honours completions, and one PhD completion. She has published more than 50 peer reviewed journal articles.
Assoc Prof Gunther Paul
Principal Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine AITHM/ MIRI
BSc MSc PhD
MIRI is very happy to announce the appointment of Gunther Paul to our Principal Research Fellow OH&S role. Gunther, originally from Germany, has moved to Mackay from Brisbane to take up the role, funded by the Australia Research Council through the AITHM.
Officially engaged through JCU/ AITHM, Gunther will be an integral part of the development of the black lung/ respiratory OHS centre of excellence within MIRI.
Gunther’s academic work has focused on interdisciplinary collaboration at the interface of medicine, public health, engineering and safety. Gunther has worked across private industry, universities and across Germany, France and Australia including:
- leadership positions in Automotive R&D and Innovation for 10 years (Ford, Faurecia, Daimler)
- Universities in various senior research and teaching roles for 15 years (TU Darmstadt, Uni-GH Essen, UniSA, QUT, JCU)
- Over 100 publications across topics in Ergonomics and Occupational Health
- Graduated 200 postgraduate students
- Editor-in-Chief, International Journal Human Factors Modelling and Simulation
Clinical Trials Manager MIRI
After completing medicine at the University of Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, Karen practiced in Rural and Regional Hospitals serving the most vulnerable communities.
After years of clinical experience, Karen returned to the School of Medicine and Dentistry at University of Stellenbosch to an academic position of Senior Lecturer and Anatomy educator for pre- and postgraduate students for 10 years.
In 2010 her family moved to Australia. Here Karen was appointed as Senior Lecturer at JCU School of Medicine and Dentistry; recently accepting the position of Clinical Trials Manager at Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation.
Karen is leading a designated clinical trials unit for MIRI which is trialling clinical innovations with the potential for translation into practice that can improve patient outcomes and enhance our ability to provide high quality care for our communities.
Dr. Alison Pighills
Principal Research Fellow – Research Capacity Development MIRI
Adjunct Associate Professor James Cook University
Associate Professor Alison Pighills is Principal Research Fellow in Research Capacity Development, for Queensland Health, with an adjunct appointment with James Cook University.
In 2005 Alison was awarded a national fellowship to undertake a PhD at the University of York, UK, which she completed in 2008. She conducted a randomised controlled trial (RCT), involving 238 participants, to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of environmental assessment and modification to prevent falls in older people. She was awarded the University of York K M Stott prize for the best PhD thesis in 2008. Alison is currently a co-investigator on a multi-centre RCT in the UK, which aims to recruit 1300 participants and replicates her PhD research, on a larger scale. This research was awarded $1,600,000 funding by the UK National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) in 2016.
Alison’s recent research history includes a RCT and patient and staff qualitative studies to examine the clinical effectiveness and staff / patient perceptions of professional skill sharing. Alison has been using a professional skill sharing and delegation model of care (the Calderdale Framework) for over 7 years and became the first ever Calderdale Framework practitioner in 2012. As such, she is able to train clinicians to facilitate professional skill sharing in their organisations. This involves competency based training of clinicians to enable them to deliver care involving tasks which cross traditional professional boundaries.
Alison worked for the UK National Health Service (NHS) Executive as a Senior Manager, awarding fellowships, research project funding and monitoring research governance. She also worked at a national level in the UK, managing seven NHS research fellowship schemes at the doctoral, post-doctoral and career scientist levels for the NIHR. These fellowships were for allied health professionals (AHPs), medical staff, nurses, information scientists and complementary therapists. Alison developed the Nursing and Allied Health Professions Awards, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Award Scheme and Information Scientist Awards on behalf of the UK Department of Health.
Alison has worked clinically in the UK as an occupational therapist (OT) and latterly as director of therapy services. She has been the OT advisor on international programs and networks, and has been an invited presenter at national and international conferences.
Alison’s main areas of interest are:
- Randomised controlled trials
- Falls prevention
- Rural and remote models of care and integration of primary and secondary care
- Research capacity development
Partnerships and Development Manager
Bernadette’s core purpose is to lead MIRI business development activities, encompassing both strategic and operational activity, with a particular emphasis on the growth of the organisation and self-sustainability of MIRI into the future.
Bernadette comes from an extensive leadership background spanning a diverse range of senior management roles in social enterprise, not for profit, government and corporate sectors including Australian Hearing, The Smith Family, the federal Department of Family and Community Services, as well as educational institutions such as CQU, Victoria University and TAFE. Bernadette is a local of the Mackay region and holds several qualifications including most recently a Master of Education in Adult Education & Leadership.
Research Governance and Grants Officer
After completing a Bachelor of Business (HRM) degree, Carley worked within private industry predominantly in mining and engineering based companies. Carley has worked at Mackay Base Hospital for close to 3 years, working within Family Division and then moving across to Digital Hospital Program for 12 months before joining the MIRI Team.
Carley is the Research Governance Officer and will be able to support and assist with regards to research applications and governance. Carley has completed Research Governance and Ethics training with Townsville Hospital and Health Service and has great knowledge of processes and procedures involving Research Projects.
Clinical Trials Nurse
After completing a Bachelors in Nursing Science in Townsville, Alex returned to Mackay to commence a post-graduate year working six month rotations through both the Surgical and Medical departments. In 2011 he commenced work in the Perioperative department, specialising in anaesthetics and recovery. He has since completed a Masters in Nursing (Advanced Clinical Practice) and found the research components to be both the most challenging and interesting. With a keen interest in participating within the research process, Alex recognises the importance his care can have in improving the lives of the patients within his care.
Alex joins MIRI as a Clinical Trials Nurse which involves recruiting and working with trial participants, their families and the broader healthcare team, with a focus on clinical care. The varied research studies in which he is involved allows him to have a number of patients on a study at any one time. The life of a clinical trials nurse requires balancing a whole range of diverse responsibilities, often acting as an educator, advocate, caregiver, decision maker, secretary, counsellor and pack horse – sometimes all at once. Alex is also furthering his capacity in the field of research, undertaking a Higher Degree in research this year, with his focus on antimicrobial stewardship in the rural and regional healthcare setting. Alex also works as a sessional instructor with James Cook University, teaching translational science to postgraduate students, and clinical skills to undergraduate nursing students.
Research and Clinical Trials Officer
Having studied a Bachelor of Music, Kirsty-Lynn travelled through Europe and worked as a Medical Secretary for two Cardiothoracic Surgeons in London at St George’s Hospital. On her return to Australia she decided to further her career in the medical field and worked as the Administration Manager and Patient Educator for a Skin Cancer Clinic in Mackay.
Kirsty-Lynn has worked at Mackay Base Hospital for just over 2 years and during this time has excelled in both Medical Administration and as a Trainer/Educator for the implementation of ieMR.
Outside of work, Kirsty-Lynn enjoys music and art, having won art awards and performed in various productions within the community.
Communications and Support Officer
Nikki has a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and a strong administration and office management background. She spent the early years of her career working at Transport for London while travelling through Europe. On her return to Australia Nikki worked in advertising and design agency settings before making a home in Mackay.
Her role is to assist with communications management and support in the operational management of business functions of the MIRI team.