Cutting-edge research facilities are now in place on the Mornington Peninsula after the official opening of the Ngarnga Centre – Ideas, Innovation and Learning, at Frankston Hospital today.
Representatives from Peninsula Health and Monash University were joined by the Minister for Health and Aged Care and Member for Flinders, Greg Hunt, and the Member for Dunkley, Peta Murphy to open the Ngarnga Centre. The multi-million dollar centre is a joint venture with Monash University which includes a $2 million contribution from the Commonwealth Government for a component of the National Centre for Healthy Ageing.
Peninsula Health’s Chief Executive, Felicity Topp, said the opening is a locally and nationally significant milestone.
“This is a pivotal moment in the development of Peninsula Health, our partnership with Monash University and the further progression of the Frankston health precinct,” said Ms Topp.
“By creating a state-of-the-art environment for our clinicians, researchers and students, we are significantly expanding our research profile,” said Ms Topp. “This construction enables us to provide exceptional facilities to enhance the capabilities of our current teams, and educate the next generation of healthcare professionals.”
“Our clear focus is to improve health outcomes by enabling translational research across both Peninsula Health and Monash University and through the National Centre for Healthy Ageing.”
A component of the National Centre for Healthy Ageing, the Healthy Ageing Data Platform, is housed within the Ngarnga Centre – Ideas, Innovation and Learning, while the majority of the remaining facilities for the Centre will be based at Monash University’s Peninsula campus.
Professor Christina Mitchell, Dean, Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University said “since 2020, there has been substantial progress in developing a secure and rich Healthy Ageing Data Platform. NCHA researchers now have access to big data to provide population-level insights into pressing issues regarding healthy ageing for our communities. It links various large sources of health data to support the NCHA in developing solutions for these issues.”
The opening of the Ngarnga Centre – Ideas, Innovation and Learning coincides with three new projects totalling $450,000 being funded in Round Two of the National Centre for Healthy Ageing’s Living Labs program. The Living Labs program brings together multidisciplinary teams to tackle the most complex problems. Research grants focus on improvements in mental health, ageing and aged care, rehabilitation and independent living and addiction for our ageing population. The program creates novel integrated care models and drive improvements in the way people seek out and access care. As the number and proportion of older Australians is projected to be 22 per cent of the Australian population by 2057 (8.8 million), access to good integrated health care is essential for their wellbeing.
“These three projects focus on new models of care that will explore ways of individualising patient values and preferences into care planning and elevating the healthcare experience for dementia patients and people living with homelessness” said Professor Mitchell.
“We congratulate the successful candidates and thank the Commonwealth Government for their support,” added Professor Mitchell. “This was all made possible through the Commonwealth’s Community Health and Hospital Program grant awarded to us in 2019.”
“The NCHA is a nationally significant initiative, and I am looking forward to working with the research teams and the Commonwealth to drive new efforts for the health and wellbeing of all Australians,” said Professor Velandai Srikanth, Director of the National Centre for Healthy Ageing.
“Projects such as these newly funded initiatives that seek to improve, innovate and integrate health care models towards healthier ageing, are likely to have national and international impact, and should be lauded and supported,” added Professor Srikanth.
Construction of the new Academic and Research Centre was managed by Australian construction group, Built, following a competitive tender process.
Built National Director Ross Walker said “We’re proud to have been given the opportunity to work with Peninsula Health and Monash University to construct this exciting new health research facility. The whole project team collaborated to deliver the project ahead of programme and on budget thanks to a proactive and positive approach from the client and consultant teams.”
“Our team thoroughly enjoyed the whole process from design to completion and will be watching with great interest to see the outcomes of the research that is about to take place in this new facility. We wish Peninsula Health and Monash University luck in their endeavours and look forward to the opportunity to work together again in the future.”