As the new $1.76b Gold Coast University Hospital prepares to open its doors to thecommunity this Saturday (28 September), Griffith also prepares to partneralongside in a vast range of collaborative initiatives.

Having opened its primary health care, research and teaching facility, the Griffith HealthCentre in July this year, the university is already successfully operating an expanded range of clinical services and a wealth of new student opportunities which focus onChronic Disease Management, Sports Health and Mental Health.

This currently includes the Griffith Health Clinics which comprise dentistry;physiotherapy/rehabilitation; exercise physiology; psychology and dietetics.

Over 170 collaborative activities

Now the university is embarking on over 170 collaborative activities with the Gold CoastHealth Service in a bid to improve health care outcomes for patients.

These activities range from extensive research collaborations with the university’sGriffith Health Institute, to expanding student study placements and innovative teaching and learning initiatives.

“The Griffith Health Institute is the Gold Coast University Hospital’s major researchpartner, engaging in active, state-of-the-art research collaboration and research training,” says acting director of the Griffith Health Institute Professor David Shum. “Co-location ofthe hospital with the Griffith Health Institute at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus is fantastic.

The research studies that we have in place with the Gold Coast University Hospitalrecognise the essential benefits of patient-centred and translational research.

“The collaborative grants we have in place with the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation offerresearchers from both institutions the opportunity to join forces, develop a collaborative relationship and tap into the unique environment where researchers, health professionalsand patients are connected — three vital components to effective and progressive health research.”

Research studies are many and diverse and include areas such as treatment forpaediatric Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), identifying the genes responsible forcolorectal cancer and developing strategies for medical staff to ensure care during ahospital relocation.

Meanwhile, the university has a large number of student placements planned at the newhospital, ranging from but not limited to, nursing and midwifery, speech pathology and occupational therapy (due to begin at Griffith in 2014), to psychology and nutrition anddietetics.

Unprecedented opportunities for improving health care outcomes

“The Gold Coast University Hospital brings unprecedented opportunities for improvedhealth care outcomes for patients through innovative training in the clinical environment for students,” says Professor Nick Buys, Dean of Teaching and Learning and Director of the Health Institute for the Development of Education and Scholarship (Health IDEAS).

“With the introduction of new degree programs, opportunities for continuing educationand the Faculty’s Inter-professional Learning Framework that underpins professional training, the linkages with the new hospital are critically important to develop and growthese areas into the future.”