Professor Mark Shephard and Professor Jonathan Craig celebrating Mark’s outstanding contribution to the field of point-of-care testing at the 10th Anniversary of the Flinders University International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing.
25 Years for Professor Mark Shephard in the field of Point-of-Care Testing and celebration of the Flinders University International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing’s 10th Anniversary
In 1995, without guaranteed employment or funding, Mark Shephard made a ‘brave’ decision to leave his medical scientist career to explore whether point-of-care testing (POCT) could be translated from the laboratory to the field. Many thought it could not be done. But Mark had spent many months travelling Australian deserts and had observed high chronic disease burden and poor access to routine health services faced by those living in these remote communities. He suspected that POCT had an important application in alleviating healthcare inequity.
His innovative ideas and bold actions proved successful. Fast forward 25 years, to 110+ peer-reviewed publications, $40+ million of program funding, a textbook guiding global point-of-care testing, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and 20+ staff in a globally designated WHO Collaborating Centre research centre. Mark has been recognised nationally and internationally as a pioneer and leader in the field of POCT, with his leadership in research providing a sound evidence base for the clinical, cost and cultural effectiveness of POCT in rural and remote communities nationally and globally. Current POCT networks managed by the International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing include those for acute, chronic and infectious disease, including emergency outbreak response programs for Syphilis and COVID-19, with a strong focus on community-led, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Recently, Mark was joined by past and current staff to celebrate his outstanding 25-year contribution to the field of POCT and the 10th anniversary of the International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing with acknowledgement by CMPH VPED, Professor Jonathan Craig.