The Fellowship Program is a collaborative partnership between the Foundation and The Rural Clinical School of WA (RCSWA) that supports well-designed and supervised research projects among rural based medical students. The program, kindly supported by Apex Radiology, ensures that quality health research benefits people living in country areas. Following the recommendation of RCSWA, the Lishman Health Foundation awarded a $5000 fellowship to Katherine Middleton from RCSWA Broome and Brett Patterson from RCSWA Albany.
The baseline prevalence of impetigo and scabies in the Kimberley is unknown. Katherine’s study seeks to determine the size of the problem before an intervention trial commences. Skin infections in Indigenous children are among the highest in the world, with 1 in 2 infected with skin sores and 1 in 3 with scabies at any one time. These infections have long term consequences, include post-streptococcal glomerular nephritis, chronic kidney disease, and rheumatic heart disease. This study is part of the larger SToP trial, a collaboration involving Telethon Kids Institute, WA Country Health Service and Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services, aiming to reduce the prevalence of skin sores by 50% in 4 years.
Brett’s project focuses on refining an existing method of assessing the individualised cardiovascular disease risk in the elderly female population. Recent research at the Medical Research Foundation, Royal Perth Hospital, by Dr Joshua Lewis and his team has shown calcification of the abdominal aorta is associated with heart disease and all cause-mortality in older women. Using a radiographic data set from CaIFOS, the Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome Study, the location of aortic calcification will be correlated with long term risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Brett will be reviewing the radiographic records of 1000 patients for his project.