Issue 13, June 2017 Subscribe to our newsletter 

Robotic technology in the bank 

Construction on the NSW Health Statewide Biobank has reached a major milestone with the installation of state-of-the-art robotic equipment.

The $12million biobank will be the first and largest of its kind in Australia and will use large-scale automated technology to store and process millions of human bio-specimens for modern medical research. 

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Perinatal post-mortem service to help hundreds of families 

Baby loss and stillbirth affects hundreds of NSW families each year.

It’s important these families are supported and have the opportunity to understand the reasons for their loss.

That’s why NSW Health Pathology and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead are working together to improve access to expert perinatal post-mortem examinations and support.

It's just another example of our drive to deliver extensive services that help create better health and justice systems. 

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Our research and innovation incubator 

Our Newcastle-based microbiology scientists are trialling state-of-the-art robotic equipment used to help diagnose infections caused by bacteria.

“This is about advancing the way we diagnose disease, improve patient care and create efficiencies across our statewide microbiology services,” said Newcastle-based microbiology scientist Catherine Wright.

“With patient specimens processed, incubated, photographed and analysed using the latest automated equipment, pathologists can dedicate more time to analysing and reporting patient results.” 

Chief Pathologist Roger Wilson said we need to keep abreast of emerging technologies to help ensure we continue delivering smarter, better services

“The Newcastle trial will help inform decisions about future microbiology investments and ensure we continue to offer gold standard diagnostics for our clinical partners and patients,” Professor Wilson explained. 

“It’s just one of many innovative research projects being led by our pathologists and scientists. 

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Prof Dominic Dwyer appointed as Director of Public Health 

Exciting changes are taking shape as we continue the transition to our new organisational structure. 

Professor Dominic Dwyer has been appointed as NSW Health Pathology’s first-ever Director of Public Health. He will take up this new position from 1 July 2017.

Public Health is one of the value adds we bring to the health system.  Having a dedicated director overseeing this area reflects the importance we place on our role in protecting the health of our communities.

Dominic will work with our pathology teams and the public health teams in our Forensic & Analytical Science Service to ensure our services are best practice, well-coordinated and meet the needs of patients, our customers and the broader health system.

Dominic is a medical virologist, an infectious diseases physician and served as Director of our Pathology West network for many years. 

He undertook postgraduate research in HIV at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and has helped state and national governments in planning for pandemic influenza and emerging infections.

He worked with the World Health Organisation during the SARS outbreak in Beijing, with the Australian Government to help respond to an avian influenza outbreak in Vietnam, and with the University of Sydney on HIV initiatives in Malaysia and the Sudan.

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More than 200 collection centres now open for business

Pathology tests are even easier for residents of Lismore, West Gosford and Yamba, with new collection centres now open.

Our newest collection centres are designed with convenience in mind – with spacious, modern rooms and easy access, particularly for patients with mobility issues.

With over 16 years’ experience, Kayna Skelly (our collection technician in West Gosford) said the services on offer involve much more than simply taking blood. 

“This can be an anxious time for some patients, which is why we aim to provide the best care we can,” Kayna said. “We also have many regular patients, so it’s common to develop a really caring bond with people and a sincere desire to help them in their health care journey.

“A great example of this is our Bob (pictured), who has been a patient for years. He’s made a great recovery and is actually in training to climb to the base camp of Mount Everest early next year,” she said.

After being diagnosed with leukaemia and undergoing many months of treatment, Bob asked what he could do to give something back.

“Blood, we always need blood,” was the reply, so he created Bob’s Blood Angels to encourage people to donate blood.

Bob will trek to Mt Everest in early 2018. When he reaches base camp he’ll shout out all the names of the donors in Bob’s Blood Angels group in an effort to raise awareness.

Kayna said she is extremely honoured to have been a partner in Bob's patient care by playing a role in his recovery, and wishes him the very best in the future.

Visit here to find your nearest NSW Health Pathology collection centre.

New edition of Compass out now

Download the latest edition to learn about new robotic biobanking technoloyg, our perinatal post-mortem service, the new resarch and innovation incubator and more. 

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