$10m research investment for healthier mums, babies and children

We’re excited to launch the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation Bloom Research Program, which will see a $10 million investment over five years into health and medical research to help create healthier South Australian mums, babies and children cared for by the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN).

While we’ve traditionally funded smaller seed or pilot research projects addressing areas of maternal and/or paediatric health, our recent independent review of our research strategy has resulted in a decision to double our research funding through our Bloom Research Program to further improve outcomes and enhance the quality healthcare provided by WCHN. With a 100% increase in research investment, and a targeted approach to investing in areas of most need within paediatric and maternal health, we believe we can make big impact for South Australia’s little people and their mums.

Bloom Research Program

Bloom Research grant applications are now open for evidence-based research projects with the potential to deliver positive, genuine impact on maternal and paediatric health and wellbeing. The grants will be distributed to research projects focusing on one of the following priority areas:

  • Healthy mum, flourishing bub by reducing pre-term births and/or low or high birthweights;
  • Healthy body, healthy mind for little people by investigating the prevention, early detection or intervention and/or enhanced treatment of childhood diseases and conditions such as:
    • Preterm birth and low/high birthweight
    • Anxiety, depression and suicide prevention
    • Brain and central nervous system cancers
    • Cardiovascular defects and diseases
    • Asthma

WCH Foundation Research Program Manager, Dr Chelsea Mauch, says the priority research areas are based on independent analysis of the maternal and paediatric health burden in South Australia and research capacity within WCHN, the University of Adelaide, SAHMRI, University of South Australia or Torrens University.

“We want to fund critical health and medical research that will deliver big thinking for little people and their mums for generations to come,” Dr Mauch says.

The Fleming family

Nicole and Shannon Fleming are all too familiar with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Their twin girls Isla and Eloise were born at 29 weeks. Eloise weighed just 480 grams, fitting into the palm of her dad, Shannon’s, hand.

A 17-week scan identified Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome and preceded a complicated journey that saw four-week-old Isla pass away unexpectedly the day after heart surgery in Melbourne, and Eloise surviving against all odds.

“Eloise is tiny, but mighty,” Nicole says. “She’s the toughest little girl and continues to defy the odds. We didn’t realise that there was such support within the Women’s and Children’s Hospital from the moment we walked through those doors to have our first scans.”

Shannon says they couldn’t have gotten through it all without the support of the amazing hospital staff, particularly their specialist and the team in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“When we think about the hospital, it’s where we had the worst experience and the best experience at the same time,” Shannon says.

“Further research into preventing and supporting premature births, among the many other conditions, would help so many mothers, children and families like ours.”

Young family holding newborn girl twins in a Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. (Bloom Research Program)

The Fleming family in NICU. 

The Bloom Research Program is made possible by the generosity of our community who share our goal to improve the health and wellbeing of women, children and their families.

Find out more about the Bloom Research Program

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