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2012 Health Awards Announced  

Awards imageOn May 3, the Bupa Health Foundation (BHF) announced the eight recipients of its 2012 Health Awards that were selected from more than 544 applications.

(Left to right) Mr John Conde AO, Chairman, Bupa Health Foundation, with award recipients Carol Bennett and Stephen Murby from Consumers Health Forum of Australia.


  • Professor Ian Frazer, University of QLD - Infection and immunity in squamous skin cancer
  • Associate Professor Adam Guastella, Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney – Investigating oxytocins to improve social difficulties in patients with autism
  • Professor Gavin Andrews, CRUfAD, University of NSW at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney – How to be brave: program to prevent anxiety and depression
  • Professor Robyn Guymer, Centre for Eye Research Australia - Nanosecond laser to prevent vision loss from age-related macular degeneration
  • Associate Professor Jacqueline Close, University of NSW - A national approach to improving outcomes for people with a hip fracture
  • Associate Professor Julie Pascoe, Deakin University - Maternal Vitamin D in pregnancy and childhood growth
  • Professor Paul Zimmet, Baker IDI - Addressing the Growing Burden of Sleep Apnoea – A Screening Pathway
  • Ms Carol Bennett, Consumers Health Forum of Australia - Consumers and informed consent

Speaking at the 2012 Health Awards, Dr Christine Bennett, Chair of the BHF Steering Committee, commented "BHF invests in initiatives and partners that have the potential to make a real difference to improving Australian health and healthcare."

BrainyApp update 

mobile imageBrainyApp, the world’s first dementia risk reduction app, has been downloaded 180,000 times since its launch in November 2011.

The result of a partnership between Alzheimer’s Australia and the Bupa Health Foundation, BrainyApp’s rapid success indicates that Australians are eager for information and strategies to improve their brain health.

“It is fantastic that Australians want to make active lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of developing dementia,” said Glenn Rees, Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer’s Australia.


Raising the alarm on salt 

salt imageStroke risk could be cut by 25 per cent if Australians switched to lower salt foods, guests heard at a recent event in Sydney to mark World Salt Awareness Week.

Hosted by The George Institute for Global Health, Bupa’s partner in the innovative and hugely popular FoodSwitch smart phone app, the March 28 event was opened by The Hon. Kevin J Humphries, NSW Minister for Healthy Lifestyles, and was attended by around 100 representatives of the food and catering industries, health professionals, food critics and academics.

At the event, The George Institute launched its report Reducing salt: preventing stroke that revealed Australians consume on average 8 to 10 grams of salt a day, more than double the recommended amount.

"Excess salt in our diet greatly increases our risk of suffering from high blood pressure and stroke," explained Professor Bruce Neal, Senior Director at The George Institute and Chairman of the Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health (AWASH). "Most salt is hidden in processed and fast foods so that even people who don't add salt are still eating far more salt than is good for them."

Also speaking at the event, Dr Stan Goldstein, Bupa’s Head of Clinical Advisory, said, “This is a public health issue that is just not being heard. Most Australians are still unaware that they can significantly lower their risk of potential catastrophes in their lives like heart attack and stroke simply by switching to healthier lower salt equivalent products.

“The FoodSwitch app represents a starting point in an exciting collaboration with The George Institute to help improve the eating habits of Australians.”

Improving veterans’ health and care 

cocktail lunch imageAn estimated 17,000 war veterans and war widows living with chronic disease are expected to benefit from an innovative new program aimed at helping them improve their conditions and reduce hospital admissions through better co-ordinated care.

Ian Campbell PSM, DVA’s Secretary, launches the CVC Program at the ADMA National Conference, while Brett Comer, BHD General Manager (in background) looks on.

The Australian Disease Management Association’s National Conference (ADMA) in Canberra in September 2011 was seen as the perfect platform for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to launch its Co-ordinated Veterans’ Care (CVC) Program. A distinguishing feature of the CVC Program is the dedicated care team approach, where the veteran, their GP and a practice nurse work together to plan and manage the co-ordination of care.

As a CVC primary service provider, Bupa Health Dialog (BHD) will play an integral role in the program by identifying those Gold Card veterans most at-risk and then inviting and encouraging them to take part. BHD is also managing the CVC Program Provider Helpline that will provide ongoing support and advice for providers and their practice staff.

BHD’s General Manager, Brett Comer, said, “We are delighted to be a part of this pioneering initiative, which has the potential to improve the lives and wellbeing of thousands of Australian veterans and war widows.”