The QPS Newsroom is the place to find out more about:

  • the latest news from the Centre for Quality and Patient Safety (QPS)
  • QPS research projects
  • QPS events
  • our researchers and research students

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Awards and Achievements

  • A/Prof Melissa Bloomer and Ms Laura Brooks have been appointed to the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses End of Life Advisory Panel
  • Congratulations to Alfred Deakin Prof Alison Hutchinson on being selected as an honoree of the Sigma Theta Tau’s International Nurse Researcher Congress in July.
  • Ms Monica Schoch (PhD candidate) was awarded two very prestigious awards at the renal society of Australasia conference:
    • RSA Education Excellence Award 2021 “as recognition by her peers as an educator who performs to a high standard to uphold the virtue of quality care for people with kidney disease.”
    • The RSA Award 2021 “In recognition of an RSA member who exemplifies the values and mission of the Renal Society of Australasia in the advancement of care for people with kidney disease, having made an outstanding contribution and commitment to the RSA and renal community at a local, national and/or international level.”

Associate Professor Melissa Bloomer

Associate Professor Bloomer has a background in acute and critical care nursing, and for the last eleven years has built a program of research focusing on palliative care and end-of-life care provision across the lifespan with population groups from neonates to older people. Her work primarily relates to inpatient settings including intensive care, acute care and subacute care; with a focus on exploring end-of-life communication and care planning, decision-making, family involvement and quality indicators for care at the end of life. Melissa also has particular interest in end-of-life care for vulnerable populations such as those with intellectual disability, the ‘oldest-old’, people with dementia and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who may be marginalised in mainstream care.

Melissa has held the role of Deputy Chair for the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) End-of-Life Policy Chapter since 2017, through which the goal is to influence the national policy reform agenda. Through this role, she has had significant involvement in the development and evaluation of implementation for the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) legislation in Victoria and Western Australia, evaluation of mandatory VAD education programs for participating practitioners, and produced a national position statement to guide nurses on their role and responsibilities for VAD. She has also co-led the development of several other evidence-based publications related to nurse-led models of palliative care, achieving quality palliative care in Australia and most recently optimising person- and family-centred end-of-life care during COVID-19.

Dr Sharon Kramer

Dr Kramer is an early career researcher and postdoctoral fellow at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health. She started her career as a physiotherapist. She has also worked for Cochrane Collaboration and is an expert in systematic review methodology.  Her research is focussed on systematically developing exercise-based interventions for stroke recovery and improve outcomes for stroke survivors. Additionally, Sharon is interested in designing effective early phased trial methods which can be applied to systematically develop effective neurorehabilitation interventions. In today’s presentation she will talk about the two project she is currently working on:

1. The development of a novel early trial method to determine safety and exercise intensity for early stroke survivors and 2. Using value focussed thinking to explore experiences of stroke survivors and clinicians with exercise for stroke.

Dr Renee Fiolet

Dr Renee Fiolet is a lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery who recently completed her PhD. Her study involved drawing on community-based participatory research methods with an Indigenous community to explore the barriers Indigenous peoples face when seeking help for family violence. A co-design approach was then used to develop an online family violence resource that can facilitate healing through connection to culture, community, and country.

Dr Jane Willcox

Dr Jane Willcox is a Senior Research Fellow within the Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research at the Epworth HealthCare Partnership. Jane has worked for more than 20 years in clinical dietetics and public health including positions at the Alfred, International Diabetes Institute (Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute) and Life Be In It. She undertook her PhD at Deakin University and post-doctoral studies at La Trobe University. Her research interests include health services research, digital health delivery and maternal health. ​Jane holds adjunct research fellow positions with the School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport at La Trobe University, the National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland.

In other news

Professor Caroline Homer AO has been announced as the new Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council. Caroline will be the first nurse/midwife in this role which is a very important milestone for nursing and midwifery research. Caroline was the School’s visiting Keynote presenter at Research Week this year and is also an Honorary Professor in the School.


Awards and Achievements

Congratulations to Dr Anna Ugalde on being awarded the  Young Tall Poppy Award 2020 aimed to recognise  the achievements of Australia’s outstanding young scientific researchers.


Congratulations to Professor Andrea Driscoll on being inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame for 2020.


Congratulations to Associate Professor Melissa Bloomer on being awarded the  European Association for Palliative Care Researcher award 2020 in the  Post-doctoral category. Read Melissa’s interview on Contextualising constraints to improve palliative care in acute care


Professor Trisha Dunning’s tremendous contribution to the Nursing Profession has been honoured with an inaugural Diabetes Victoria Trish Dunning  Research Scholarship, supporting nursing PhD focused research on diabetes  related projects. More information under in the ‘Study with us’ tab.

In other news

  • Honorary Professor Caroline Homer was named as the most highly cited midwife globally from papers published in the past five years in the top 20 journals in the field of pregnancy and childbirth. Read about it in The Australian.
  • Dr Stèphane Bouchoucha and Associate Professor Melissa Bloomer have worked on a new Position Statement, now endorsed by the Australian College of Critical care Nurses (ACCCN) and the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control (ACIPC), and titled “Facilitating next-of-kin presence for patients dying from COVID-19 in the ICU”. This is an important piece of work promoted nationally as it provides specific guidance for critical care nurses and unit teams.
  • Professor Bodil Rasmussen has been honoured with the title of ‘Professor in Nursing and Diabetes’ by the University of Southern Denmark, Department of Clinical Research and Steno Diabetes Odense.
  • Dr Grainne Lowe has been appointed as a Visiting lecturer/Assistant Professor at the University College Dublin from 1st April 2020 – 31st March 2025
  • Associate Professor Pat Nicholson has been elected by the Australian College of Perioperative Nurses (ACORN) Board to Chair the Research Work Stream Team for the ACORN Standards of Perioperative Nursing ‘Roadmap to National Recognition’ project. This project is designed to help ACORN continue to set and improve the standards of perioperative nursing care in all hospitals across Australia.

Journal article awards

Media Engagement

The Centre for Quality and Patient Safety (QPS) & the School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONM) Combined Research Forum

Ditte Høgsgaard PhD, RN

University of Southern Denmark/Region Zeeland Denmark

Dr Ditte Høgsgaard is a registered nurse and postdoctoral researcher from Denmark. Ditte is visiting the Deakin University Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research from 20th January to 14th February, 2020. Her research is focused on the collaboration and coordination of care between health professionals in hospital and community settings when older patients are discharged from hospital to home care. Her research involves health professionals, patients and relatives.

During her visit to Melbourne, Ditte will be facilitating workshops with health professionals to explore the Australian perspective of collaboration and coordination of care between the hospital and community settings. At the workshop she will also present her research on care for older patients with chronic conditions when they are discharged from hospital to home care.


Ms Stephanie Chappel

Ms Stephanie Chappel has recently submitted her PhD thesis within the School of Exercise and Sport Science at Deakin University. Her background is in Exercise and Sports Science with a completed honours project in investigating firefighters’ physical activity levels across consecutive shifts. On completion of honours, her research interests moved towards nurses’ physical activity levels, and in 2017 published a systematic review on nurses’ occupational physical activity levels, which has been widely cited in literature leading to the development of her thesis project.

Ms Chappel’s thesis aimed to investigate emergency nurses’ physical activity levels, but more specifically their physical activity within-shifts across consecutive shift rotations, and across the work day (both leisure time and occupational physical activity).

At the Combined Research Forum she presented her work titled, “Emergency nurses’ physical activity at work and during their leisure time


Dr Vidanka Vasilevski

Dr Vidanka Vasilevski completed her PhD in Neuropsychology in 2010 with expertise in cognitive effects of child maltreatment; social, emotional and cognitive development and child mental health promotion and prevention initiatives. Her work on the national KidsMatter mental health Initiative (now rebranded as ‘be you’) delivered in the education sector continues to have a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of children and families involved in schools and early childhood settings. Evaluation of the initiative showed significant improvements in children’s mental health, particularly for those already experiencing mental health problems.

More recently as a research fellow, Vidanka is developing a track record in pregnancy and women’s health, with a focus on maternity care provision and the prevention of pregnancy complications and improvement of infant health outcomes. This work is being conducted in collaboration with Western Health.


Dr Adam Searby

Dr Adam Searby completed his PhD in 2018 examining dual diagnosis (co-occurring mental illness and alcohol/other drug use) in older adults. He later commenced at the School and Deakin in March 2020.

He has worked clinically in mental health and alcohol and other drug nursing roles. Adam has recently become president of the Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA), the peak professional organisation for alcohol and other drug nurses in Australia and New Zealand. His recent research includes State of the Workforce: 2020, a project ‘mapping’ the alcohol and other drug-nursing workforce.

2018 News

Awards and Achievements

A proud moment for QPS

The Deakin School of Nursing & Midwifery, QPS and our key health service partnerships were awarded the Business Higher Education Round Table (BEHRT) award for outstanding collaboration in higher education and training for 2019 for developing best practice in contemporary patient care and safety at a presentation in Brisbane.

The partnership network established in 1996 with Epworth Health has since expanded to include five more Victorian health services working alongside the teaching and research teams working alongside the research teams at QPS and School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Read more about it here.

What's happened in 2018?

The Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research (QPS) was established in 2009 to conduct high-quality health services research, with a focus on knowledge translation in relation to clinical care, quality and patient safety. 2018 has been an exceptional year for the Centre with 3 nationally competitive and prestigious grants being awarded to members. Congratulations to the following researchers:

Dr Joan Ostaszkiewicz
Translating Research in Practice (TRIP)
Fellowship funded by the Medical Research Future Fund

Translating dignity principles into practice in aged
care homes

Associate Professor Bernice Redley
Translating Research in Practice (TRIP) Fellowship
funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council

Implementing best evidence for nurse led strategies to prevent harms common to older people in acute hosp

Dr Philip Russo
Early Career Fellowship funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council

Improved detection of infections following surgery for meaningful reporting

Fellowship awarded to Dr Phillip Russo

Dr Phillip Russo, an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Deakin University Centre for Quality and Patient Safety and Alfred Health partnership, has been awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship titled: Improved detection of infections following surgery for meaningful public reporting.

During the fellowship, Dr Russo aims to i) establish an efficient and simplified method to identify infections in patients following surgery and ii) develop a process for this information to be reported publicly. It is expected that this method will require fewer resources and result in more robust, accurate and meaningful data. By doing so, stakeholders, including consumers will have more meaningful infection data, and hospitals can target valuable resources on preventing infections rather than collecting data. This study will inform the planning of national healthcare-associated infection (HAI) surveillance activities and large scale public reporting of HAI data.

The Centre for Quality and Patient Safety (QPS) & the School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONM) Combined Research Forum

Centennial Professor Pat Stone

Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Philip Russo

Healthcare Associated Infections was the theme of the first QPS School Combined Research Forum held at Deakin University in Burwood on the 23rd of February, 2018. Centennial Professor Pat Stone from Columbia University discussed the results of a national survey on Infection Prevention in USA Aged Care Facilities.

Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Philip Russo followed by speaking on an upcoming research project on ‘Improved Detection of Infections Following Surgery for Meaningful Public Reporting’.

Dr Philip Russo was awarded an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Deakin University in 2017. In 2016, he completed his PhD titled 'Evidence based recommendations for national healthcare associated infection surveillance'. His postdoctoral work is in the field of exploring efficient methods to identify Healthcare Associated Infections.