The Health News – 13 November 2015

Overview:
• Dr John Greenwood cares for 450 acute burns patients each year, has developed a biodegradable skin graft substitution, and has now been honoured as South Australia’s 2016 Australian of the Year. Dr Greenwood practises as a plastic surgeon and medical director at the Adult Burns Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

• Northeast Health Wangaratta will increase its efforts to attract state and federal funding to meet increasing demand for its services. Northeast Health CEO Margaret Bennett said the service had an annual operating turnover last financial year of almost $114 million, leading to a budget deficit of $347,000.

• University of Canberra research has suggested Australia’s rates of childhood obesity could be turned around with just small changes to lifestyle. The study indicated steps such as cutting out one small chocolate bar and doing 15 minutes of exercise a day could more than halve the rates of overweight or obese children.

News on Health Professional Radio.  Today is the 13th November 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.  Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-12/sa-2016-australian-of-the-year-dr-john-greenwood/6934776

Dr John Greenwood cares for 450 acute burns patients each year, has developed a biodegradable skin graft substitution, and has now been honoured as South Australia’s 2016 Australian of the Year.

Dr Greenwood told 891 ABC Adelaide‘s Mornings program he was flattered by the nomination but left almost speechless by the award.

“You look at someone [like me] who is a jobbing surgeon and think, ‘that’s not going to be me’,” he said.

“It was completely unexpected.”

Dr Greenwood practises as a plastic surgeon and medical director at the Adult Burns Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

He covers an area of about 2.4 million kilometres, tending to patients in South Australia, the Northern Territory, western New South Wales and western Victoria.

Lancashire-born Dr Greenwood first studied medicine at the University of Manchester in 1985.

He specialised in chronic wounds management and in 2001 began working at the Royal Adelaide Hospital as the director of the Adult Burns Unit.

In 2002 Dr Greenwood led the burns unit in Darwin which treated 67 patients in the aftermath of the Bali terrorist bombing.

Dr Greenwood personally attended 47 of the patients in a marathon 36-hour shift.

In 2008 he became an associate professor at the University of Adelaide’s School of Medicine.

Following on from his work in Darwin, Dr Greenwood began developing a range of biodegradable skin graft alternatives with the CSIRO at the Skin Engineering Laboratory in Adelaide.

He is currently working on two products to help burns victims — an expandable covering for the surgical wound after a burn is removed, and a cultured skin graft.

Human trials began on Dr Greenwood’s grafts in 2012 on patients with pressure sores.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-12/wangaratta-health-service-facing-increasing-demand/6933760

Northeast Health Wangaratta will increase its efforts to attract state and federal funding to meet increasing demand for its services.

The release of its annual report this week has revealed a significant increase in the number of patients being treated in areas including general admissions and emergency.

Northeast Health CEO Margaret Bennett said the service had an annual operating turnover last financial year of almost $114 million, leading to a budget deficit of $347,000.

“We had an increase of 16.2 per cent in terms of our admitted patients, that was up to 17,614 patients and our emergency department is very busy which was a 4.3 [%] increase on the previous year, so this is what is driving the pressure on our beds,” she said.

Ms Bennett said the service had worked with the Department of Health and Human Services on a $22 million capital works plan to support the service into the future.

She said lobbying of political leaders was now underway to attract funding.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-12/canberra-researchers-uncover-ways-to-fight-childhood-obesity/6933506

University of Canberra research has suggested Australia’s rates of childhood obesity could be turned around with just small changes to lifestyle.

The study indicated steps such as cutting out one small chocolate bar and doing 15 minutes of exercise a day could more than halve the rates of overweight or obese children.

The findings were based on a sample of more than 30,000 school children over the past 15 years.

Professor Tom Cochrane said one in four Australian children were overweight or obese.

He said the team wanted to find out what it would take to reverse the decline in the physical fitness of young people.

“We were surprised by the answer: just a small daily dietary restriction equivalent to just one treat-size bar of chocolate and about 15 minutes extra of moderate physical activity per day,” Professor Cochrane said.

“By our estimates, those relatively small changes could cut the current 25 per cent prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity to 9 per cent in around 15 to 18 months.”

Former marathon champion Rob de Castella founded the health promotion charity SmartStart that collected the data for the study.

He said there were many factors contributing to the rise in childhood obesity.