A Burnet public well being researcher has been awarded a prestigious scholarship, which is able to permit him to pursue additional research and hepatitis C analysis in the USA.
Burnet Viral Hepatitis Group Analysis Assistant, Dr Ned Latham, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, which he’ll use to undertake a Grasp of Public Well being at Columbia College in New York Metropolis.
Dr Latham stated he was thrilled on the prospect of with the ability to research in the USA and additional his curiosity in addressing hepatitis C and different infectious illnesses in Australia and overseas.
“I’m delighted to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and I really feel like I’m in esteemed firm when a number of the wonderful work that different Fulbright Students have gone on to do,” Dr Latham stated.
“Previous to COVID-19, hepatitis C induced extra American deaths yearly than the mixed complete of the opposite 60 infectious illnesses reported to the CDC,” he stated.
Dr Latham is hopeful that the work he and colleagues at Burnet have achieved on hepatitis C notification information will result in a collaboration with public well being groups in New York, to assist discover ‘lacking’ individuals who could not even concentrate on their hepatitis C an infection.
“The primary factor I’ve been engaged on not too long ago was a venture exploring the moral, sensible and authorized points related to utilizing hepatitis C notification information to attempt to discover individuals who haven’t been handled but and join them to care.
“The well being division in New York Metropolis has achieved world-leading work on this area,” he stated.
Burnet Deputy Director (Packages), Professor Margaret Hellard AM stated Dr Latham’s mind and private qualities made a constructive impression on Burnet colleagues from the outset.
“I used to be delighted to help his Fulbright utility and to listen to he was profitable,” Professor Hellard stated.
“From when he began as an Honours scholar, it was clear that he was an distinctive expertise with an actual curiosity in public well being, to enhance outcomes for the poor and susceptible.”
“Ned has values according to Burnet’s ethos and mission.”
Longstanding curiosity in public well being
Dr Latham stated the systems-level considering knowledgeable by a person-centred ethos was what initially drew him to public well being, which he observed in qualitative interviews he performed with affected communities on speedy point-of-care hepatitis C assessments.
“There’s justifiably a number of pleasure with new applied sciences and fashions of care, but it surely’s additionally completely important to meaningfully have interaction with folks and affected communities in design and implementation of those improvements, proper from the start,” he stated.
Professor Hellard stated this venture, undertaken in Dr Latham’s Honours yr was distinctive and supplied world-first information.
“That work was impactful in offering insights into roll out that point-of-care testing in Australia and globally,” she stated.
Dr Latham paid tribute to a few of his Burnet colleagues and mentors from the Viral Hepatitis Elimination Group, together with Professor Hellard, Affiliate Professor Joseph Doyle, Professor Mark Stoové and Dr Alisa Pedrana, for his or her mentorship and for accommodating him juggling his work and research at Burnet with medical work at Alfred Well being, and most not too long ago work on the Division of Well being.
COVID-19 and the Division of Well being
Since November 2020, Dr Latham been working as a Principal Public Well being Medical Officer within the COVID-19 Case, Contact and Outbreak Administration division of Victoria’s Division of Well being.
“I’m a part of the group that manages circumstances in workplaces, mass transit and ports of entry. The position gives help and recommendation to the contact tracers,” Dr Latham stated.
He stated working on this position had affirmed the worth of a person-centred strategy to public well being.
“Working for the Division of Well being throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the complexities of caring for people whereas additionally working inside bigger programs. I believe the expertise has actually strengthened that I wish to change into a public well being doctor.”
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