Career award to honour obstetrics pioneer

Euans-AwardToday, Professor Euan Wallace was honoured for his outstanding record in clinical research and research training in perinatal medicine with a Career Recognition Award by the Victorian Clinician Researcher Network (VCRN).

He has dedicated his career to excellence in obstetrics and improving the quality of care for women and babies, as director of Obstetric Services at Monash Health, Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University and co-head of The Ritchie Centre at the Hudson Institute.

The VCRN awards recognise individuals who have had substantial influence over their peers and colleagues through their supervision and mentoring.

As head of The Ritchie Centre from 2010 to 2014, he brought together women’s health, fetal and neonatal physiology, infant and child health and stem cell biology to create one of Australia’s leading research clusters in women’s and children’s health. In his time there, the centre was transformed into a leading women’s and children’s research centre and grew its staff to almost 150.

Professor Wallace dedicated the award to his wife, Karen who he said has been the most important person in his career. He also emphasised the importance of ushering more trainee doctors towards clinical research, in order to broaden their practice, and said the links between clinical care and research are exemplified by the model in place at the Monash Health Translational Precinct.

“Clinicians who undertake research come back to us in the health service as better doctors, even if they don’t pursue a career in research,” he said.

“The most rewarding part of my career has been growing the next generation of clinician-researchers and seeing them experience the joy that clinical research has been for me.

“Work is my life, it’s who I am. I love my work and it’s a privilege to come here to work every day.”

Head of Hudson Institute’s Ritchie Centre, Professor Stuart Hooper, said Professor Wallace has personally cared for 7,000-8,000 women during their pregnancies at Monash Health, as well as authoring more than 230 published research papers and holding numerous leadership portfolios across Monash Health, the Victorian Government and Monash University. Under his leadership, Monash Health is now home to Victoria’s largest maternity service.

“As former Head of The Ritchie Centre, Euan oversaw the Centre grow from a $1.2m dollar per year enterprise with 38 staff to a $9.5m enterprise with over 150 staff,” said Professor Hooper.

“In anybody’s words, that’s an outstanding achievement.”

The recipient of more than $22 million in research grants, Professor Wallace’s research has been extensively funded both by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and international funding agencies. He has particular clinical interests in recurrent miscarriage, multiple pregnancy, hypertension and fetal growth problems.

CEO of Monash Health, Shelly Park, said Euan was an inspirational leader and a fine man.

“Euan is always there to support staff at all levels, from PhD students to CEOs, he is a warm and approachable leader and his commitment and loyalty to Monash Health is a testament to his character,” she said.

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