Researchers

Assoc Prof Meera Agar

MBBS, M Pall Care, FRACP, FAChPM
Director Palliative Care, Braeside Hospital

Research Interests: Palliative care

Dr Meera Agar is the Clinical Director of a large inpatient palliative care unit; and consultant physician in Palliative Medicine in Sydney, New South Wales; and has academic appointments with Flinders University and University of New South Wales (coordinates under-graduate teaching in palliative care for Sydney South West Clinical School).

Meera has built and led a collaborative research team over the last three years, with significant expertise in developing clinical research in challenging and under-studied clinical areas in Palliative Care; with outcomes easily translatable into palliative care practice.


Dr Andrew Broadbent

BMedSc, MBChB, MHM, FRACP FAChPM
Director Palliative Care, Health and Hospitals North

Research Interests: Palliaitve care systems, palliative lymphoedema, pharmacology


Dr Jenny Broadbent

DSW (USYD), BSW (Hons) (UNSW)
Senior Social Worker, Greenwich Hospital

Research Interests: Life limiting illnesses, death and dying, palliative care, spirituality, carers, children and young people.


Assoc Prof Josephine Clayton

MBBS (Hons) PhD FRACP FAChPM
Staff Specialist Palliative Care, Greenwich Hospital

Josephine is a Palliative Care Physician for HammondCare’s Palliative and Supportive Care Service, based at Greenwich and Royal North Shore Hospitals. She is also Associate Professor of Palliative Care, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. Josephine is a busy clinician as well as contributing to HammondCare’s research and education programs.

Josephine is passionate about research and education that may enhance the palliative and supportive care of patients and their families facing an advanced progressive life limiting illness. She was awarded her PhD in doctor/patient communication in Palliative Medicine in 2005. She now leads a research program regarding communication about palliative care and end-of-life issues, including the development and evaluation of interventions for improving health professional/patient/family communication. She has a strong interest in teaching communication skills relevant to the care of patients with life limiting illnesses.

Josephine’s research has been published in leading international journals in palliative care and oncology, and widely translated into clinical practice. Her other research interests include: finding ways to optimize psychosocial and spiritual care, health system research to improve end –of-life care and physical symptom control.


Aileen Collier

Bsc (Hons) Nursing, PGDip Palliative Care, Dundee UK
Doctoral Candidate, Centre for Health Communication

Research interests: Palliative Care


Gerry Dixon RN

CNC and Coordinator North Beaches Palliative Community Care Service

Research interests: Palliative Care


Jenny Downes BSW

Social Worker, Braeside Hospital

Research Interests: Palliative Care


Meredith Gresham

B.App.Sci.O.T. (Syd. Uni.) Dip Arts Mus. (Qld. Cons.) A. Mus.A.
Meredith Gresham is an Occupational Therapist and HammondCare’s Research Manager.

She has worked in many facets of aged and dementia care over 25 years. Previously, Meredith was project officer for Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists investigating the management and accommodation of people with severely and persistently challenging behaviour in NSW residential aged care facilities. Meredith wrote the project report and from this, developed the NSW Health policy in the area of aged care and mental health partnerships for the management of this group.

She has been involved in the education and support of carers of people with dementia, residential and community care staff and undergraduate Occupational Therapy students both in Australia and overseas and is a frequent presenter at national and international forums.

Meredith has a particular interest in modifying environments and activities to assist people living with dementia to participate in meaningful life activity.


Catriona Lorang

BA, M. Rehab. Couns, PhD and MAPS
Psychologist, Southwood, Residential Aged Care Facility

Research Interests: Palliative care and dementia care

Dr. Catriona Lorang is a psychologist who has been working with the Special Care Unit at Southwood, HammondCare for 2 years. She has a PhD in the areas of depression and anxiety, and a Master of Rehabilitation Counselling. Catriona has also worked in pain management in spinal cord injuries as well as with families of missing persons.

Working as a psychologist at HammondCare includes providing support for staff and family members as well as for the residents of the Special Care Unit (Linden Cottage) and throughout Southwood. Catriona also offers support to the wider community of HammondCare Village.


Dr Melanie Lovell

MBBS PhD FRACP FAchPM
Staff Specialist, Palliative Care, Greenwich Hospital

Research Interests: Palliative care, cancer pain, clinical trials, spirituality

Dr Lovell is a Palliative Medicine physician with HammondCare at Greenwich Hospital and the Mater in Sydney. She is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at Sydney Medical School. She was awarded her PhD in 2009. She has led the national team, with support from ImPaCCT (the NSW Palliative Care trials group) to develop and pilot test the National Cancer Pain Management guideline housed on the Cancer Council Australia website. This has involved a rigorous research program both in evaluation of the evidence, survey of the national need, and piloting of the guideline. The National Breast Cancer Foundation have recently granted funding to undertake a randomised controlled trial of the guideline and implementation strategies to improve uptake of the guideline recommendations.

Other research interests include clinical trials in palliative care and spirituality. She is on the Trials Management Committee of the Palliative Care Clinical Trials Collaborative (PaCCSC) and ImPaCCT and is Site Investigator at Greenwich for clinical trials investigating better ways to assess and manage symptoms experienced by people with advanced disease.


Ron Smith

BSci Psychology, University of Florida (2007), PhD Candidate, University of Sydney (2011)
Data Analyst, Palliative Care Research Projects, Braeside Hospital

Research Interests: Dementia Care, Psycho-social interventions, environmental quality, end of life care

Ron Smith is the Data Analyst for the Integrated Care Pathway and Case Conferencing projects at the Palliative Care Research Office at Braeside Hospital. He has conducted research at HammondCare since 2007 and has tutored Health Science and Research Methods units at the University of Sydney.

Ron is currently completing his PhD thesis on improving the well-being of people with dementia in residential aged care facilities. He has monitored activity and distress levels during the resident transition from Sinclair Home to the new Southwood dementia cottages, assessed the quality of design in aged care facilities across New South Wales using the Environmental Audit Tool (EAT), and assisted with the investigation of gaps between research and practice in new dementia-specific facility designs. He is currently measuring the effects of Video Simulated Presence on assistance with basic care tasks and social reassurance in dementia residents.

In the future, Ron is interested in further research on dementia and physical environment, BPSD, engagement in activity, depression, direct observation, and palliative care.


Edite Tang

Bach of App. Science (Physiotherapy)
Senior Palliative Care Physiotherapist, Braeside

Research interests: Palliative Care; Lymphoedema

Last updated 24 March 2011