Jennifer Thompson is the Operations Manager of the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre (CDPC) at the University of Sydney, Australia where she oversees, for the Director, Professor Susan Kurrle, all operational, research, and reporting for the Centre and the thirty-two research projects and their teams supported through the Centre.
Jennifer holds a Bachelors degree in Science (Human Biology); is completing a Masters degree in Health Policy and is passionate about the need for evidence-based research that can lead to real improvements in health and healthcare. Jennifer has experience working in and managing pharmaceutical clinical trials, collaborative group research, academic research. She understands clinical research site and operations management from both a sponsor and site perspective.
Jennifer is also passionate about ensuring the voice of the consumer is heard at all stages of research. She sat on the Steering Committee for a young people’s research advisory group at The Children’s Hospital at Sydney, Kids Research Institute in Sydney Australia and accompanied that group’s inaugural youth representative to the 2015 International Children’s Advisory Network (iCAN) Launch and Research Summit in Washington, D.C.
In her position at the CDPC Jennifer continues to advocate for consumers and works very closely with the Dementia Australia Consumer Network Lead and others to ensure the consumer voice (people with dementia or their carers) informs all CDPC research Activities and outputs.operational, research, and reporting for the Centre and the thirty-two research projects and their teams supported through the Centre.
Australian Research Innovation: a unique research centre model bridging knowledge gaps to improve the lives of people with dementia
The Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre (CDPC) at the University of Sydney model offers a new narrative of prioritised research support for bridging the globally challenging knowledge and practice gap to create implementable research outcomes. The CDPC brings together: consumers who are people with dementia and/or their carers who volunteer through the Australian peak national body Dementia Australia; three Australian residential aged-care providers – Brightwater Care Group, Hammondcare, Helping Hand Aged Care; researchers; and clinicians. All come together under the CDPC vision to improve the lives of people with dementia.
With the impact of cognitive and associated functional decline pathologies affecting not only the individual, but also their family and community , there is a global need for evidence-based research that enables changed practices and policies for improving care for people with dementia and associated functional decline.
This presentation highlights five CDPC research Activities: Creation of the Australian Clinical Guidelines for Dementia , and an accompanying Consumer Companion Guide ; Evaluation of Financial Institution Policies and Practices and its resulting training resource for bank staff ; Evaluation of Quality of Care Received in Long-Term Care Facilities and development of the Consumer Choice Index-Six Dimension instrument (CCI-6D) ; and both Implementing and Embedding Inter-Professional Learning, Education, and Practice Across the Aged Care Sector and the National Advance Care Planning project, with their developed online resources . Non-traditional outputs that featured in the above referenced projects are consumer information booklets, quality of life evaluation tools, and training resources and these examples illustrate how translation of research outcomes into implementation is enabled through collaboration, planning, and development of non-traditional research outputs in conjunction with traditional academic articles.
The CDPC exists under the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnerships for Better Health Initiative and between 2014 and 2017; the CDPC supported thirty-two CDPC research projects across a wide range of prioritised research areas. These areas have included supported decision-making, the role of key workers for people with dementia and their carers, supporting and caring for residential aged-care staff, quality use of medicines, and modelling for evaluation of cost effectiveness of aged-care.
All CDPC research teams work under eight Centre themes: service model options; pathways and navigation; planning for later life; attitude and culture; clinical guidelines development; functional decline; medication management; and workforce development and education. These themes all focus on positively affecting the lives of people with dementia and associated functional decline.