RBWH Foundation Grant Round 2 announced

04 Jul 2024

A revolutionary trial of an ultra-fast genetic test, capable of diagnosing serious viral, bacterial and fungal infections within 8 hours, is among $500,000 in RBWH Foundation research and patient care grants announced this week.

The ‘Right First Time’ whole genome sequencing project, led by Associate Professor Krispin Hajkowicz, could accelerate treatment and reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in intensive care.

“In the RBWH Intensive Care Unit (ICU), minutes save lives when severe infections threaten,” said Associate Professor Hajkowicz.

“For more than 100 years, infection diagnosis relied on traditional microscopy and culture, a process that can take 3-5 days.

“This study will trial the use of a groundbreaking ultra-rapid whole genome sequencing (nGS) platform that has already been proven to be effective in pilot studies in diagnosing viral, bacterial and fungal infections in less than 8 hours, to pave the way for full implementation at RBWH ICU.”

In announcing the awards, RBWH Foundation CEO Simone Garske paid tribute to the passion and dedication of clinicians dedicated to improving patient outcomes at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) and the Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS).

Ms Garske also applauded the extraordinary generosity of supporters which recently helped RBWH Foundation Giving Day raise an historic $750,000.

“The RBWH Foundation knows how difficult times are for so many people and on Giving Day, when I spoke to members of our community who weren't in a position to give, they still wanted to express their goodwill and gratitude to the Foundation and Hospital staff,” said Ms Garske.

The recipients of the RBWH Foundation Grant Round 2 are:


Dr Emma Seed
Women’s and Newborn Services | RBWH

OptiMising induction of labour care. Low-dose, oral misoprostol versus standard care [OptiMise]: A feasibility study. Research to investigate if low doses of a new drug can improve and make childbirth better and safer for mother and baby amid rising rates of labour induction and caesarean sections.

Gill Noreiks
Women’s and Newborn Services | RBWH

Humidification management options for infants delivered extremely premature: when and why? A randomised controlled trial. A comparison of three methods of humidification cessation in incubators to determine the best approach to increase care for premature babies. 

Associate Professor Helen Healy
Kidney Health Service | RBWH

PROgnostic MicroRNA biomarkers for Acute Kidney Injury progression (PROM-AKI). Developing a simple urine test to reduce acute kidney injury and predict recovery outcomes in patients with sudden kidney problems.

Dr Karen Davies
HeIDI and STARS            

Digital Evaluation and Implementation of the Medication Administration Evaluation and Feedback Tool (MAEFT) at STARS. Observing nurses’ use of the electronic medication system to improve safety and provide feedback on best practice at STARS.

Associate Professor Krispin Hajkowicz
HeIDI | RBWH          

Right First Time – Ultra-Rapid Infection Diagnosis for Critically Ill Patients in RBWH ICU. Testing a new ultra-fast genetic test to diagnose infectious within 8 hours, accelerating treatment and reducing unnecessary antibiotic use in ICU.

Dr Michelle Cottrell
Physiotherapy | RBWH

Codesigning multi-disciplinary musculoskeletal care to better match patients’ needs and preferences. Redesigning non-surgical care to achieve greater outcomes for patients with bone and muscle issues.

Dr Peter Window
Physiotherapy | RBWH

Cognitive-behavioural therapy-informed virtual reality in persistent low back pain: a feasibility randomised controlled trial. Testing the effectiveness of a virtual reality program combined with pain education and mindfulness to reduce pain and fear of movement.

Patient Care

Angela O’Malia
Social Work | RBWH

“Discharge with Dignity”: Supporting the dignity and recovery of patients at the RBWH Emergency Department affected by sexual assault, domestic violence, and homelessness, through the provision of appropriate clothing.

Brooke Wadsworth
Physiotherapy | STARS          

Dignity at STARS clothing program: This program provides STARS emergency patients suitable day clothes and toiletries to maintain their dignity and enhance rehabilitation participation.

Catherine Ryan
Safety and Quality | RBWH

‘What Matters to You?’: Interdisciplinary Teams Co-Creating Personalised Goals of Care. Training RBWH staff to ask patients ‘What Matters to You’ and including their personalised goals in their care plan to improve patient experiences and quality care. 

Karen Lee-Steere
Internal Medicine and Aged Care | RBWH  

Patient Centred Therapy Dogs: A Joint RBWH and Mental Health Funding Application supported by RBWH Patient Friendly Working Group. An expansion of the Therapy Dogs Program to benefit over 10,000 patients, caregivers, and staff, across over 20 wards, boosting patient wellbeing and staff morale.

Karina Charles
HeIDI | RBWH     

Co-designing patient-centric solutions: revolutionising intravascular catheter care practices for patients and families at RBWH. Enhancing the comfort and wellbeing of patients with invasive care by collaborating with patients, caregivers, and clinicians to address associated challenges.  

Kate Dickson
Critical Care and Clinical Support | RBWH

Supporting Access to Healthcare for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Patients. Removing financial barriers for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander outpatients to improve their access to necessary healthcare.