Keen researchers have had the chance to learn from Queensland’s leading professionals in ethics and integrity.
Last week Townsville HHS Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) Chair, Dr Nikola Stepanov and Manager of the Townsville Research Education, Support and Administration (TRESA) Unit, Sue Jenkins-Marsh, visited to provide advice on how to enhance the quality of research being undertaken in the Mackay HHS. Dr Stepanov is also the Queensland Integrity Commissioner.
Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation (MIRI) Executive Sponsor Dr David Farlow said having visitors of this calibre helps MIRI provide support through stronger networks with such diverse and extensive expertise.
“Nikola and Sue have really given a lot of support to us since MIRI’s launch in June and in this visit we learned so much about misconduct, authorship, consent and other ethical research considerations,” he said.
“It is fantastic to see people like Nikola and Sue taking an interest in MIRI and noticing us as one of Queensland’s emerging translation research and innovation centres.”
Dr Stepanov said research is incredibly important to hospitals and health services and without it we don’t have the ability to grow and move forward in our services to our communities.
“Around fifty percent of current clinical practice across the world is either outdated; or is not based on evidence at all,” Dr Stepanov said.
“Without research how will we be able to advance in what we do for our patients and offer them the best possible care?”
Dr Stepanov has an extensive background in ethics, with particular expertise resolving contentious ethical conflicts, i.e. where there are grave risks to the community, agency, or individuals.
“I feel very honoured to serve the people of Queensland, and I am fortunate to be in a position to be able to continue on at Townsville Hospital and Health Service as well,” she said.
“Research really is a privilege and not an entitlement and we must see it this way. It’s important to remember that we are all here for the patient and that is what the ethics process is all about.”