Centre for Health Equity Newsletter - February 2024

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Letter from the Director

Prof Richard Chenhall

Professor Richard Chenhall

Dear CHE colleagues and friends

2024 is already off to a flying start! With the new year comes fresh plans for the Centre for Health Equity. We find ourselves in an exciting period of reimagining how the centre may unite researchers, public health organisations, students and the broader community to engage in health equity.

To kick off the year we will be re-launching the ‘Centre for Health Equity Bulletin’, an e-newsletter highlighting the latest CHE-supported projects and health equity news. For further CHE updates keep an eye on the website. If you are not already a member, you can request to join our CHE Teams channel.

Watch this space!

If you have any news items, publications, courses or events you would like publicised through our newsletter please contact che-enquiry@unimelb.edu.au. We would love to hear from our collaborators across the Faculty and beyond.

Centre for Health Equity News

Future Key Priorities in Health Equity Event

Centre for Health Equity Event Future Key Priorities in Health Equity Event

Thank you to all who joined us for the CHE event, ‘Future Key Priorities in Health Equity’ on December 14. It was a great opportunity to come together, connect with fellow researchers and colleagues, and catch up on the latest in health equity.

The first session kicked off with presentations from Incubator Grant recipients, showcasing an array of excellent equity-focused work supported by the scheme. We then heard 13 rapid-fire elevator pitches, each presenting big ideas at the intersection of prevention and health equity in under 3 minutes! We were lucky enough to have guest panelists Prof Kathryn Bowen, Prof Louise Harms, A/Prof Michelle Jongenelis, Ms Michelle Murray, Prof Nancy Baxter and Prof Rob Moodie, moderated by Prof Richard Chenhall, providing invaluable feedback. The audience then voted on their top pitches.

A huge congratulations to all presenters, we hope to be able to provide opportunities for further development of the pitches into 2024. Recordings of a selection of the elevator pitches can be viewed on our website.

Launch of new undergraduate subject in the Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences ‘Ethics and Equity in Health and Medicine’

A new subject will be available to Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences students in 2024, ‘Ethics and Equity in Health and Medicine’. Run by A/Prof Karen Block from the Gender and Women’s Health Unit and A/Prof Rosalind McDougall from the Health and Society unit the subject is designed to develop skills around ethical understanding and addressing social equity. Students will learn about ethics and equity within the health sector and the power of health workers to shift inequities entrenched into health systems and policies.

Upcoming Events

RMIT Social Equity Research Centre Inaugural Oration

20 February 2024

Join in on the World Day of Social Justice 2024 for the official Social Equity Research Centre launch and inaugural oration, delivered by Hang Vo, Chief Executive Officer of the Sacred Heart Mission.

Established in 2023, the Social Equity Research Centre (SERC) is dedicated to conducting transformative research that advances social equity outcomes. SERC’s mission extends beyond informing policy decisions to effecting tangible changes in real-world practices.

More information can be found here.

Hot House at ANU: Looking forward to 2024 Webinar

22 February 2024

Hothouse at ANU will be hosting a series of webinars discussing the intersections between climate change, inequity, and human health. The focus is on actions that enable transformative change away from the harmful consumptogenic system to systems that promote good health, social equity and environmental wellbeing.

In this webinar, Dr Nick Frank, Dr Megan Arthur and Prof Sharon Friel from the Planetary Health Equity Hothouse will discuss the big policy and business challenges for planetary health equity. Specifically they will explore issues related to the political economy, financialisation, and governance coherence.

More information can be found here.

2024 Center for Child Health Equity and Outcomes Research’s Communities Aiming to Reach Equity Summit: Standing Against Structural Racism

2-3 April 2024

Join the 2nd annual Center for Child Health Equity and Outcomes Research’s Communities Aiming to Reach Equity Summit. In 2024, the theme will be Standing Against Structural Racism, with a focus on highlighting the state of research and practice around addressing structural racism and its impact on the community and clinical settings. This year attendees will have the opportunity to engage with researchers, local and national partners and community members.

More information can be found here.

PC4 Ca-PRI 2024 Conference

17-19 April 2024

The 2024 Ca-PRI Cancer in Primary Care Conference is coming to Melbourne, Australia, bringing together leading clinicians and researchers from across the globe.

The 2024 theme is Equity, Policy, and Transforming Care. From prevention to palliative care, the conference will explore how primary care researchers and health professionals can contribute to improved outcomes in cancer care.

More information can be found here.

World Health Summit Regional Meeting 2024

The World Health Summit Regional Meeting 2024 hosted by Monash University will focus on the future health of people across the Asia Pacific, exploring how science, innovation and policy can unite to address our region’s most critical health challenges.

More information can be found here.


The 2024 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Conference (NATSIEHC24) will be held on Nipaluna country (Hobart, Tasmania).

The theme for NATSIEHC24 is Our Vision in Action, representing the next phase in the growing evolution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in eye health.

More information can be found here.

Diversity and Inclusion Dates Coming Up This Next Month

As published by Diversity and Inclusion Council Australia.

Sunday 18 – Saturday 24 February: Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week
Tuesday 20 February: World Day of Social Justice
Wednesday 21 February: International Mother Language Day
Friday 1 March: Zero Discrimination Day
Friday 1 March: International Wheelchair Day
Saturday 2 March: Sydney Mardi Gras Parade
Friday 8 March: International Women’s Day (IWD)

Staff Interests

Melbourne Ideas Support program (MIGS)

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences are pleased to announce they are offering a comprehensive support program to assist academics with application development through information seminars targeted to the scheme and a buddy support program.

The Melbourne Ideas Support program kicks off in February with two NHMRC Ideas Grants seminars detailed below.

(1) Crafting your Research Proposal and Budget for the NHMRC Ideas Grants Scheme (register here)

(2) Crafting the Innovation, Significance and Capability statements for your NHMRC Ideas Grant Application (register here).

Please visit the Melbourne Ideas Support Program webpage for more information.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to complete an NOI as soon as possible. This will ensure they are included in all communications relevant to this scheme.

Questions in relation to the MIGS program should be directed to mdhs-grants@unimelb.edu.au.

Articles of Interest

Australia’s national health reforms must improve health equity and prioritise prevention


The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) is calling on the Federal Government to use its national health reform agenda to prioritise preventive care to make Australia healthier and ensure no patient is left behind.

In a submission to a key review of practice incentives, which is part of the national health reform agenda, the RACGP said there are significant opportunities to boost prevention and reform the system to meet patient needs in every community.

Read more.

Contributor: Navigating Health Equity in 2024: The Evolution of Accountability, Part 1

Elizabeth Oyekan and Maureen Hennessey

Payers, health systems, and health professionals will experience expanded accountability for performance in closing health disparity gaps in 2024. With advances in public health research, many modern health challenges have been attributed to how social and ecological factors, commonly referred to as social determinants of health (SDOH), can influence health outcomes. To measure the progress in achieving health equity, health disparities are used as a metric to further understand the health ecosystem and the complex dynamics that influence health.

The year 2024 will be the first full year in which health systems will be held accountable by The Joint Commission (TJC) for performance on their National Patient Safety Goal to improve health care equity.

Read more.

Health Equity Investments Likely To Rise In 2024, New Report Reveals

Deb Gordon

Health equity has steadily gained focus within the healthcare industry, from racial and ethnic health disparities to gender imbalances in healthcare costs. The business case, as well as the moral imperative, for reducing health inequities is increasingly clear.

A new survey conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions with nearly 200 C-suite executives and health equity leaders in the health and life sciences industries suggests that the focus on improving health equity isn’t going anywhere.

Read more.

Hacking health equity: Strategies for 2024 and beyond

Fred Bazzoli
Health Data Management

Social determinants of health provide insight into health disparities; are digital solutions a possible solution to level the field in healthcare?

There’s been a decade of evidence accumulated about the importance of social factors in affecting care outcomes. Both providers and payers have mounds of evidence showing that different economic circumstances cause variations in outcomes for those in different socioeconomic groups.

It’s important to level the playing field, especially as the country tries to deal with reining in overall healthcare spending. It’s widely known that those who can’t access healthcare on a consistent basis are more likely to suffer acute illnesses, chronic conditions and complications, which are more difficult to manage and constrain overall costs.

Read more.