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Professor Tony Blakely - Special Grand Round, Chaffer Medal

Professor Tony Blakely - Special Grand Round, Chaffer Medal

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When:

  • Fri 7 Dec ’18, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Where:

Barnett Lecture Theatre, Dunedin Hospital, 201 Great King Street, Dunedin

Restrictions:

All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

One of the country’s leading epidemiologists and public health researchers has been awarded this year’s Chaffer Medal for distinguished performance in health research.

Professor Tony Blakely, from the University of Otago, Wellington, is credited with helping to change public health policy and improving the health of the country’s disadvantaged.

He will receive the medal awarded by the Otago Postgraduate Medical Society (OPMS) on Friday December 7, 2018 when he will deliver a special Grand Round presentation in the Barnett lecture theatre at Dunedin Hospital.

Head of the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, Professor Diana Sarfati says the impact of Professor Blakely’s work has been significant for many people.

“He has highlighted the socio-economic and ethnic disparities which have had an important role in driving the agendas of many governments”.

She says one of Professor Blakely’s great strengths is his ability to communicate his research findings and he has been an active contributor to public, political and media debates on a range of public health issues.

Professor Blakely’s research is characterised by the development and application of advanced epidemiological and other methods to key public health issues.

Professor Sarfati describes him as “world class in terms of his methodological capacity and talent” and says he has played a major role in improving the methodological rigour of epidemiological research in New Zealand.

Professor Blakely initiated the pioneering New Zealand Census-Mortality Study which linked the national censuses with mortality data to allow research on ethnic and socio-economic inequalities and the contribution of smoking to mortality. He has also led the parallel study, Cancer Trends.

With funding from the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, he has led the setting up of the Virtual Health Information Network (VHIN) which assists researchers to do high quality health research using the Statistics New Zealand Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) and other administrative health data.

In addition, he directed the Health Inequalities Research Programme from 2004 which encompassed the SoFIE-Health study, a series of neighbourhoods and health research projects, and cancer survival studies.

He currently directs the HRC-funded Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost Effectiveness programme, a suite of epidemiological and economic models for determining the impact of health interventions (e.g. tobacco control, radiotherapy, food taxes) on future health gains, health inequalities and health system costs.

The Chaffer Medal to be awarded to Professor Blakely is a replica of a medal which was awarded to a Dr Harold Chaffer, of Yorkshire, for the excellence of his medical studies in anatomy at the then St Mungo’s College Medical School in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1895-96.

Dr Chaffer later went on to marry the daughter of a former leading Dunedin hardware trader and his daughter, Christina MacLean Laird, subsequently made a $5,000 gift to Otago University, to honour her father’s memory.

The original medal was found on a street in Auckland about 60 years ago by a five year old school girl, Jeanette Waters. Over the years she made attempts to trace descendants of the original owner and last year, after learning about the link between the Chaffer family and the University, she donated the medal to the Otago Medical School.

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