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Rural Health

Rural Health Research Team

A/Prof Janani Pinidiyapathirage

Janani Pinidiyapathirage is an Associate Professor and Research Lead of the Griffith University Rural Program. She is an accomplished research leader capable of building multidisciplinary teams to promote rural health and education. She has a clinical background as a public health physician and rural health research experience across a broad range of topics including prevention of skin cancer among rural Australians to exploring chronic disease risk factors in rural populations in Sri Lanka. Her current research focuses on chronic disease prevention and management in rural populations and finding effective solutions to rural workforce issues.   

Dr William MacAskill

William MacAskill lives in a rural Queensland town and has lived-experience as a rural health consumer. Based at the clinical training facility at Dalby Hospital, William acts as a liaison between the community and the academia to identify and address health disparities in rural communities. William is committed to ensuring that rural research benefits rural communities and is currently leading the design of several research projects aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of rural Australians.   

A/Prof Brendan Carrigan

Brendan Carrigan is an Associate Professor and Medical Lead of the Year 3 Longlook program. He was elected as the Queensland Representative to the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine council in 2020 and serves as the current Council Chair. He has held other significant roles representing the rural health sector including membership of the Prevocational Medical Accreditation Queensland Accreditation Committee, National Clinical Evidence Taskforce Guideline Leadership Group and Living Evidence in Australian Pregnancy and Postnatal Care Steering Committee. Brendan has broad research interests across rural medical education and clinical care.

Adjunct A/Prof Megan O’Shannessy

Megan O’Shannessy is the Chief Executive Officer of Rural Medical Education Australia and an Adjunct Associate Professor of the Griffith University School of Medicine and Dentistry Rural Clinical School.  She holds Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Bachelor of Nursing degrees and is a registered nurse and midwife.  Megan has over 25 years clinical and leadership experience in rural health as Director of Nursing of Thargomindah (1990–1992), Dirranbandi (1992–1995), St George (1995–2001) and Warwick (2001–2013) Hospitals. She was the District Manager of Southern Downs Health Service District from 2007-2008.  Her research interests are focussed on the rural workforce.


Aspire2Health and COVID-19: the impact of the pandemic on outcomes from an outreach program to increase high school student interest in rural health careers.

MacAskill W, Fallon T, Cotter N, Purea P.

Managing behavioural and developmental paediatric conditions in rural outpatient clinics: An insight to the challenge ahead.

Kardell LD, Lee J, Pinidiyapathirage J, Brumpton K.

Video capsule endoscopy in patients with iron deficiency anaemia: experience at a regional Australian service.

Furner M, Nagel R, Pinidiyapathirage J.

Current research

Does on-site Computed Tomography matter? A cross-sectional study of stroke patients’ door-to-scan-time in rural hospitals.

Nicholas Arnold, Kathryn Gough, Brendan Carrigan, William MacAskill.
Grant funding: Internal.
Status: Under Review.
Project team: RuralMedEd, Griffith University

Appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing for patients with sepsis in Rural Hospital Emergency Departments.

Heffernan AJ, Smedley A, Stickley T, Oomen S, Carrigan B, Heffernan R, Woodall H, Pinidiyapathirage J, Brumpton K.
Grant funding: Internal.
Status: Under Review.
Project team: RuralMedEd, Griffith University

Recent trends in preferencing and accepting Queensland medical intern positions in non-metropolitan hospitals.

Pinidiyapathirage J, Ann P, Smith D, Wooley T, Wright S, Paton K, McGrail M.
Grant funding: Internal.
Status: Under Review.
Project team: RuralMedEd, Griffith University

Person-centred care in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in general practice: Collaborative goal setting for self-management.

Pinidiyapathirage J, Woodall H, Brumpton K, Heffernan R, Walters S, Vuong K.
Grant funding: RACGP Foundation/ Diabetes Australia Grant
Status: Active research.
Project team: RuralMedEd, Griffith University.

Schooling re/engagement of rural/regional youth via wellbeing and community.

McGegor G, Pendergast D, Main K, Whatman S, MacAskill W, Lui P.
Grant funding: Pending
Status: Proposal development
Project team: RuralMedEd, Griffith University, Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network.

Workforce participation study – Skilled local healthcare workers.

MacAskill W, O’Shannessy M, Pinidiyapathirage J
Grant funding: Department of Employment, Small Business and Training’s (DESBT) Growing Workforce Participation Fund
Status: Active research.
Project team: RuralMedEd, Griffith University, Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise, Western Downs Regional Council.

Establishing cultural safety and responsiveness in rural hospitals: Exploring Aboriginal Health Practitioners’ and patients’ experiences.

MacAskill W, Woodall H, Dodd M, Dodd H, Gola S
Grant funding: Pending
Status: Proposal development
Project team: RuralMedEd, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service.

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