Meet the people behind the Institute. See who they are, where they’ve come from and the work they do with the Institute today.
Professor Colette Browning
Qualifications: BSc (Hons) (Monash), MSc (Monash), PhD (La Trobe)
Telephone: 03 9536 5356
Professor Colette Browning is an Honorary Professor at Peking University, an Adjunct Professor at Monash University and Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society. She is recognised as a national and international leader in psychology and health with a special focus on healthy ageing, behavioural and social factors in health and ageing, quality of life, chronic disease management and consumer involvement in health care decision-making. She has been awarded grants to the value of $15 million including Australian Research Council and NHMRC grants and has published over 190 journal articles, book chapter and books.
Her work is internationally focused and she holds various senior positions in Chinese institutions including Deputy Director (Research) of the International Primary Health Care Institute. Professor Browning is currently working on a range of innovative research translation activities with the Chinese Ministry of Health including providing advice about primary care reform, chronic disease management and aged care.
Position: Research Officer
Qualifications: BAppSci (Physiotherapy) (Uniube), MBA (Holmes Institute), MAppSc (La Trobe)
Telephone: 03 9536 5360
Lorenna Aguiar is a Research Officer at the RDNS Institute. She holds a Bachelor degree in Physiotherapy, Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Applied Science by research. Lorenna has vast experience working in hospitals, universities and community care practices involving rehabilitation and aged care. She has successfully completed a research project at La Trobe University evaluating therapeutic interventions for people with Parkinson’s disease. Lorenna has presented at international conferences and published peer-reviewed papers in international journals in the field of Gerontology. Her research interest comprises chronic disease management, healthy ageing, new technologies for health service improvement and the translation of research into practice. At the RDNS Institute, Lorenna is involved in the Telehealth project which will enable more people to have access to the best quality service provided by RDNS.
Position: Research Officer
Qualifications: B.Nutrition & Dietetics/B.AppSc (Health Science), Current PhD Candidate
Telephone: 03 9536 5243
Anna Chapman is a Research Officer in the RDNS Institute and is a current PhD candidate in the School of Primary Health Care at Monash University where she is investigating the efficacy of health coaching for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in China. She is a qualified dietician and has a comprehensive understanding of management of T2DM and the psychological interventions utilised in the management of T2DM.
Anna’s research portfolio contains a number of studies implemented at both the population and primary care level addressing diabetes prevention; population health monitoring; and delivery of evidence based practice. She is also skilled at training health professionals and project staff in the use and adherence to study protocols, in particular outcome assessment.
Dr Marissa Dickins
Position: Research Fellow
Qualifications: BA (Hons), PhD (Monash)
Telephone: 0419 872 887
Dr Marissa Dickins is a Research Fellow and early career researcher in the RDNS Institute. Marissa has worked in a number of different research areas during her research career, from obesity and cancer to gambling, public health and ageing. Marissa has a particular research interest in health-related stigma and the use of technology to navigate the response to health and its associated issues.
Marissa has presented at both national and international conferences and published her research in a number of international research journals. She is currently working with Dr Dianne Goeman on a project examining the concepts of risk and choice in the care of people with dementia.
Position: Library Manager
Qualifications: BBus (Information Management), Assoc Dip Soc Sci (Library Technician), Dip FLM, Cert IV AWT
Telephone: 03 9536 5249
A highly regarded Library Manager with 25 years hands on experience in the health sector, Jane has a strong track record in the delivery of information services relevant to all staff at RDNS sites throughout Australia. Through the provision of training, up to date delivery systems and prompt response mechanisms, along with the harnessing of new technologies and ideas, Jane has developed a service that meets and will continue to meet the ongoing changing information needs of end users.
As well as managing the Library and information service, Jane is responsible for the vast RDNS historical collection.
Jane has also been heavily involved in the Victorian Health Library sector for many years including holding the leadership positions of President (2008-2013), Secretary (2000-2007) and Conference Convenor (2003-2008) of Health Libraries Inc, a professional association providing support and professional development to those who work within the sector.
Jane is a member of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).
Dr Joanne Enticott
Position: Senior Research Fellow and Chief Biostatistician
Qualification : PhD (Uni of Melb), MSc (Research), BSci (Mathematics)
Dr Joanne Enticott is a translational healthcare research design specialist and biostatistician. Research to improve outcomes for vulnerable populations including older people is her priority. Joanne’s research is focused on mental health epidemiology and conducting policy relevant research with an aim to create effective, equitable and affordable health services. Joanne is an early career researcher whose strong biostatistical skillset and policy relevant research is enhancing numerous projects within the RDNS Institute and with collaborative partners in government and Monash University.
Joanne was selected for the 2016 Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank by the Australian Academy of Science. In 2014 Joanne was awarded the APHCRI/ICES International Visiting Fellowship enabling her to have a policy immersion research experience at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, Canada. Joanne was awarded the 2013 Advancing Women’s Research Success Award from the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University.
Position: Research Liaison
Qualifications: BA (Interior Design), Dip Bus (Management)
Successful research is more than the project itself; it is the culmination of planning, organisation, collaboration, translation and dissemination. Harnessing key messages from evidence based research is the basis to translating results into strategy and driving change. My interest lies in communicating our projects and their findings in order to influence change in the policy and regulatory environment. Being part of the framework in a team of professionals who show such obvious passion and enthusiasm for their areas of expertise is a privilege.
Position: Research Officer
Qualifications: BSci (Psychology) (Hons), BArts/BSci
Telephone: 03 8530 8148
Georgina Johnstone is a Research Officer at the RDNS Institute and has an Honours degree in Psychology. She previously held the position of Research Assistant at the Cabrini-Monash Department of Medicine within the Cabrini Institute, where she worked on a number of projects focusing on End-of-Life and elderly care. In particular, she was involved in an audit of hospital deaths, examination of MET calls in over 80s using the SPICT, and the development of a delirium awareness intervention for nursing staff aimed at increasing knowledge, recognition and documentation.At the RDNS Institute she is involved in a number of projects relating to Veterans’ Mental Health, diabetic foot education, and diversity in aged care.
Dr Cik Yin (Cikie) Lee
Position: Research Fellow
Qualifications: BPharm (Hons), PhD in Pharmacy Practice (Monash)
Telephone: 03 9536 5373
Dr Cik (Cikie) Lee recently graduated with a PhD in Pharmacy Practice (2012) at Monash University Center for Medicine Use and Safety in Melbourne. She is currently working as a Research Fellow at Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Institute in Melbourne. She is currently working with Dr Christine Beanland (Senior Research Fellow) on research projects focusing on medicines management at RDNS Institute. She also holds an affiliate appointment with Monash University Center for Medicine Use and Safety. She is also currently practising as a community pharmacist in Melbourne.
Cikie has worked on several different research projects throughout her Honours, PhD and post-doctoral research work. These projects were related to medication use in older population residing in retirement villages and supported residential services, safe medication management in community, community aged care workforce in medication management, electronic prescribing and medication management in residential aged care, and drug use evaluation in hospital. She has also published a number of papers in various Australian and international health care journals.
Dr Judy Lowthian
Position: Principal Research Fellow
Qualifications: PhD, MPH, BAppSc(SpPath)
Tel: 03 9536 5269
Judy is Principal Research Fellow in the RDNS Institute and a Senior Research fellow at Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. She holds an honorary appointment with Alfred Health.
Her research is underpinned by a clinical background in speech pathology rehabilitation and health service management in Australia and the UK. Her specific interest is health services research designed to improve the quality and safety of care for older patients, and the coordination and integration of services during transition to and from hospital.
Areas of published scholarship include: epidemiological and intervention studies in pre-hospital and emergency care, evaluation studies of primary care and acute hospital programs, and medication safety in older patients.
In the past five years, Judy has been the recipient of numerous competitive grants and prizes/awards. One of her doctoral thesis manuscripts “The challenges of population ageing: accelerating demand for emergency ambulance services by older patients, 1995-2015”, was awarded the AMA (Vic) Sir Richard Stawell Memorial Prize, for an article ‘on a medical subject of clinical significance’ published in the Medical Journal of Australia. She serves on national and international committees that focus on improving geriatric emergency care.
Current research projects include: HOspitals and patients WoRking in Unity (HOW R U?), Safe Elderly Emergency Discharge (SEED), Elderly ED Re-attendance (EEDRa), and Reducing older patients’ avoidable presentations for emergency care treatment (REDIRECT).
Dr Claudia Meyer
Position: Research Fellow
Qualifications: BASc (Physiotherapy) (La Trobe), Cert Hydrotherapy (Uni Melb), Masters of Public Health (Uni Melb), PhD (La Trobe)
Telephone: 03 8530 8105
Dr Claudia Meyer is a Research Fellow in the RDNS Institute. She recently completed her PhD in the School of Health Communication and Participation at La Trobe University, where she now holds an Honorary position. Her thesis explored the translation of falls prevention knowledge for people with dementia, their caregivers and community care health professionals. Claudia’s research interests lie in the translation of research into practice and policy, with a strong focus on health equity and the fundamental rights to health. Co-design of research with consumers, healthcare professionals and decision-makers is at the core of her work, with a continuing focus on integrated care for falls prevention in the community sector.
Claudia regularly disseminates her work through: peer-reviewed publications (n=15); national/international conferences (n>20); workshops for community care workers; carer support groups; community groups; and webinars/seminars. She is an active member in gerontology spheres being a current Board Director of the Australian Association of Gerontology and the Student President of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG), both of which facilitate translation in practice/policy nationally and internationally.
Dr Rajna Ogrin
Position: Senior Research Fellow; Assistant Professor, School of Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario; Lecturer, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University
Qualifications: BSc, BPod(Hons), PhD
Telephone: 03 9536 5245
Rajna initially trained as a clinical podiatrist, and has worked across the majority of health sectors: community health, hospital and private settings. Early in this role, she identified gaps in clinical practice and patient care, particularly in people with diabetes and foot complications. This led her to complete a PhD on prevention of foot problems in people with diabetes, and accelerate healing of older people with venous leg ulcers using electrical stimulation through the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne. This work was funded by two National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants.
In 2008, Dr. Ogrin was awarded a Post Doctoral fellowship from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation to research electrical stimulation effect on pressure ulcers at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. In 2009, she was awarded a Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Health Force Ontario funding and successfully developed, implemented and evaluated an interprofessional diabetes foot ulcer team, providing community based, patient-centred management of people with diabetes in Canada. Rajna is leading the Centre of Wound Management and her research interests include: evidence-based wound care; sensory nerve function in healing; wound healing physiology; and translating research into clinical practice – with a focus on wounds and diabetes.
Position: Research Officer
Qualifications: BAppSc (Ex&SpSc) (Hons)
Telephone: 03 9536 5244
Emma Renehan is a Research Officer at the RDNS Institute. She previously held the position of Research Assistant at the National Ageing Research Institute. Emma holds an honours degree in Applied Science – Exercise and Sport Science at Deakin University. Emma has worked on various research projects throughout her professional career including a multi-site, randomised controlled trial funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council looking at whether physical activity could decrease the rate of cognitive decline among people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease.
Emma has presented at national conferences and has published in her areas of research interest in Australian and International health care journals. Her research interests include healthy ageing, health promotion including physical activity, carer support, person-centred care and care for people living with dementia. Currently Emma is working on a number of innovative projects within the Dementia, Mental Health and Ageing research stream at the RDNS Institute.
Position: Research Officer
Qualifications: BBiomedSci (Hons), Grad Cert Hum Nutr
Phone: 0447 642 854
Toni is a Research Officer at the RDNS Institute and holds an Honours degree in Biomedical Science. Prior to coming to the Institute in 2016, Toni spent six years coordinating clinical studies at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, in the areas of severe obesity and cardiovascular risk. Here she developed a strong appreciation for the complexity of chronic health conditions, and of the need for researchers to focus on both prevention and treatments for people already living with a chronic condition, such as obesity or diabetes. She has published and presented at conferences in the areas of clinical obesity and bariatric surgery. Toni has also completed a Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition and has a keen interest in the effects of diet on chronic disease prevention and management. Toni now assists on a number of studies focused on improving treatment for older people with diabetes, and is enjoying working directly with healthcare providers within RDNS and across other health services to trial new models of care.
Position: Institute Executive Officer
Telephone: 03 9536 5322
With a solid foundation in administration, Catherine has over 30 years experience and sound skills in organisation, time management, communication and leading teams. Joining RDNS in 2001, Catherine has furthered her skills of data programming and systems development to administer a Registered Training Organisation and facilitate curriculum development.
In 2012 Catherine took the position of Research Support Officer bringing her strengths in organisation, depth of knowledge regarding the business and publishing skills to support the research team. Catherine’s skills and responsibilities have increased as the RDNS Institute has continued to expand, requiring adaptation of Catherine’s role. A new position was created for her as the Institute Executive Officer. In this role, Catherine provides support to the Director of the Institute and has responsibility for the office management of the Institute. This includes policy development, budget management and advice on processes to the research team. In addition, Catherine is secretary to the RDNS Human Research Ethics Committee.