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Professorial Inaugural Lecture - Professor Sarah Larkins

When Aug 25, 2015
from 05:30 PM to 07:30 PM
Where Rydges Southbank, Palmer St, Townsville
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Sarah Larkins Inaugural Lecture

Traditional medical education produces a mal-distributed health workforce, poorly equipped to respond to growing health disparities in an aging  population.  Unacceptable inequity in access to health care and health outcomes amongst Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and rural and remote populations remains. Starting with a premise of social justice, responsive medical schools need to understand the health needs of the communities they serve, produce graduates with the knowledge, attitudes and skills to address these priority health needs and work collaboratively to strengthen health systems.  This presentation highlights three key essential features on the journey to responsive health systems:  a fit for purpose health  workforce; a nuanced understanding of priority health needs; and processes for involving communities in needs-based health service planning.  Strategies, research and evidence of impact will be shared from James Cook University College of Medicine and Dentistry and from our partner schools internationally in the Training for Health Equity Network (THEnet).  These strategies are applicable as we seek to expand our engagement in the health systems of near tropical neighbours

About our Presenter:

Dr Sarah Larkins is an academic general practitioner and Associate Dean, Research in the College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University.  Sarah has particular skills and experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research and health services and workforce research and is an internationally recognised expert in social accountability in health professional education. Sarah is also Co-Director of the Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening, a centre of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine. To date, Sarah has more than almost 60 peer reviewed journal articles and well over $3m in grant funding, including three current NHMRC grants.  She currently supervises 14 students at HDR level (12 internal and 2 external) and 5 Honours students. Sarah's particular focus is on collaborating to improve equity in health care services for underserved populations, particularly rural, remote, Indigenous and tropical populations, and on training a health workforce with appropriate knowledge, attitudes and skills for this purpose.  She is a current Director, Townsville Mackay Medicare Local (TMML) and member of the World Health Organisation Technical Working Group on Health Workforce Education Assessment Tools.

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