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PA Health Symposium Wrap

27 August 2021

For the first time in its 60-year history, the 2021 Princess Alexandra Hospital Health Symposium hosted the four-day program entirely online.

More than 70 speakers presented in 19 sessions over the course of the event via Zoom which saw attendees dial in from their home or office throughout various parts of the country.

“Who would have anticipated, 60 years ago, that it was possible to pull together some of the greatest minds in health research, advance treatments and celebrate innovations – all in the midst of a global pandemic from the relative safety of our own space,” said Acting PA Hospital Executive Director, Adrianne Belchamber.

 “This year’s program, themed Embracing diversity in healthcare, opened the conversation into the outworking of the social environment on our clinical space and how we have - and how we must - diversify our service for the increasing diversity of our community.”

The Metro South Health region is the most culturally diverse area in Queensland, with over 28 per cent of the population born overseas and 41 per cent whose first language isn’t English.

Dr Bridie O’Donnell, this year’s Kurt Aaron Orator, touched on this through her insight into the myth of Merit and a challenging view on diversity in recruitment. Her experience covers the clinical environment, sports, as well as event and campaign management with a keen perspective on privilege. 

Some highlights from the four-day event included Matthew Ames’ presentation Finding the path to a full life with no arms or legs where he discussed his lived experience of overcoming significant adversity to live his life to the fullest.

There was also the interesting panel discussion with Professor Elizabeth Ward, Ruth Cox and consumers discussing the important role of consumers in healthcare research.

The program delved into the futuristic medicine with Dr Michael Wagels. Dr Jeannette Young spoke of becoming an accidental ‘rockstar’ of the COVID era and what we can look forward to post-pandemic. A highlight of this session was the panel discussion on the possibility of augmented and virtual reality in the surgery space, as well as what is next for 3D printing and organoids.

The Program concluded with an insightful perspective on transgender healthcare as well as the very moving and eye-opening session chaired by Sue Cumming into coercive control. It was an honour and privilege to have Hannah Clarke’s parents, Lloyd and Sue, speak openly about their lived experience with Hannah’s story of domestic and family violence.

Sessions will be available to rewatch via the PAH Health Symposium 2021 site.

Last updated 27 August 2021
Last reviewed 27 August 2021

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