Funds for advancing women’s health

Managing heart disease and improving the health of pregnant women, female veterans and Indigenous mothers will be the focus of four Flinders University projects that have recently been funded by The Hospital Research Foundation Group.

The researchers will share more than $500,000 dollars, with the grant round aimed at advancing research into women’s health.

The four successful projects are:

Dr Amy Wyatt, College of Medicine and Public Health – preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication that affects thousands of women and infants each year in Australia. Early intervention can reduce the impacts of preeclampsia, but more accurate strategies for identifying women at risk are needed. This study will investigate whether a pregnancy zone protein (PZP) is an early pregnancy biomarker for preeclampsia and associated pregnancy complications.

Professor Robyn Clark, College of Nursing and Health Sciences and SAHMRI – heart disease

Rehabilitation from cardiovascular disease is important to help reduce re-hospitalisation and deaths, and research has shown that women are more likely to participate in their rehabilitation if it is home-based and online. This project will focus on the CREW model of care (Cardiac Rehabilitation Especially for Women) which aims to improve rehabilitation attendance and clinical outcomes for women, especially those living in rural and remote areas.

Professor Billie Bonevski, College of Medicine and Public Health – support for Indigenous new mothers

This project aims to improve Indigenous women’s health during the early child-rearing years, through the cultural adaptation of a mobile-health (mHealth) tool for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies. The mHealth intervention has been developed in NSW, so it is important to undertake cultural adaptation for the unique needs of South Australian Aboriginal communities.

Professor Sharon Lawn, College of Medicine and Public Health and SA Health – veteran’s health

Most Australians perceive veterans as male, however many women also serve and they are often extremely visible and marginalised within the dominant masculine culture of military service. However, when they leave the military, they are largely invisible and can have significant struggles transitioning to civilian life, with higher suicide rates than male veterans. This research seeks to better understand women veterans’ experiences, to help inform mental health support.


Dr Amy Wyatt, Professor Robyn Clark, Professor Billie Bonevski and Professor Sharon Lawn

THRF Group CEO Paul Flynn says researchers had been invited to make submissions in a range of healthcare areas identified in the Australian Government’s National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030.

“These grants will help advance our understanding of women’s health issues and conditions, improve their care, and change processes or policy to ensure better outcomes for women regardless of where they live or their background,” says Mr Flynn.

“Improving the health and wellbeing of women and their families is a huge area of interest for our supporters, which also helps give our children the best start for a bright and healthy future.

“We wish to extend a huge thank you to our generous donors, fundraisers and ticket buyers in the Hospital Research Foundation Home Lottery for enabling these grants.”

Seven THRF grants were awarded across South Australia. More information can be found here:

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College of Medicine and Public Health College of Nursing and Health Sciences