In response to COVID-19, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation has announced a $250,000 grant to Alfred Health’s Department of Infectious Diseases located at Alfred Hospital.
The grant will support research to understand the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable people in communities such as older people usually living in aged residential care and people with compromised immune systems.
The research will provide evidence and advice that will inform how best to look after people with COVID-19 and improve the public health response to the virus.
Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Catherine Brown OAM said the Foundation was aware of the urgent need to fund medial research with a treatment focus at this crucial time.
“This grant will support Alfred Health’s research to inform the healthcare response to vulnerable and unwell people during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr Brown.
The Alfred’s Department of Infectious Diseases is one of the largest and most comprehensive infectious disease clinical services in Australia.
Dr Brown said they are in an excellent position to translate medical research into clinical practice and we are very pleased to support Alfred Health during this health crisis.”
The Foundation has provided this grant to ensure the most disadvantaged and vulnerable communities that are at risk for severe diseases are a priority in the healthcare response during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The research will have a positive impact upon the treatment of patients from groups such as older people living in residential care and wider community, people with HIV, people with compromised immune systems, as well as other serious health issues,” added Dr Brown.
The grant will also support an extension of studies already underway to understand outcomes for people admitted to hospital with influenza.
The Foundation’s grant is supporting the collection of additional data on people with COVID-19 infection to rapidly understand how this is affecting the health system.
As a result, the Alfred’s Department of Infectious Diseases will be able to provide more detailed data to public health units to improve the public health response to COVID-19 and advise how best to deploy interventions such as flu vaccine programs and infection prevention interventions in the community.
The Alfred’s Department of Infectious Diseases Head of Clinical Research Unit and Infectious Diseases Physician Dr James McMahon said, “This grant will allow us to rapidly conduct research on COVID-19 at the beginning of the epidemic in Australia. The forward thinking of Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to support these projects means they can begin immediately to try and understand how we can improve outcomes for people with COVID-19.”
Findings from the study will have immediate clinical application at the Alfred and will be shared nationally and internationally so that other health organisations can increase their capacity to respond to COVID-19.