Evaluation of the Haven Homes Accommodation Program

Funder: Mind Australia

Start year: 2020
End year: 2024

Haven Homes provide long term residential support for people with severe and persisting mental illness. Mind currently operates two Haven homes in Melbourne with an additional five to commence by 2022. Involvement of carers and the development of independent living skills are key elements of the Haven Home model.

CHSD has been engaged to deliver an outcomes evaluation of the program including an economic evaluation and Scope of Practice. Our methods will include contextual analysis by region, analysis of quantitative service activity data, social network analysis, and consultation with residents, carers, staff and management. The final report will provide an evaluation framework that will enable ongoing evaluation of the Haven homes.

Team members: Internal: Deepika Ratnaike, Virginia Lewis, Geraldine Marsh, Vanessa White
External: Lisa Brophy and Catherine Minshall (La Trobe Social Work)

Men’s Risky Drinking Evaluation

Funder: The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)

Start year: 2019
End year: 2022

VicHealth funded three organisations through their Men’s Risky Drinking grants to develop and deliver interventions to alter the social and physical environments of men’s risky drinking social worlds to support low-risk drinking.  Interventions are aligned with VicHealth Alcohol Cultures Framework.

The evaluation aims to measure whether the following project impact objectives have been achieved:

  • changes in the social environment
  • the number and strength of changes in the physical environment that are identified as influencing the way people drink and
  • the impact the projects had on groups facing the greatest health inequities.

Alcohol culture change indicators developed as part of the broader Alcohol Culture Change Initiative will be incorporated in data collection. The evaluation will be based on program logic representations developed for each project which link to the program logic developed for the overarching evaluation of the Alcohol Culture Change Initiative. Evaluation activities will include engagement with VicHealth and projects through regular meetings, evaluation support and Community of Practice meetings, provision of advice to projects about data collection, including survey design and data collection methods and provision of regular and timely progress reports as well as a final report.

Team members: Virginia Lewis, Geraldine Marsh, Vanessa White

Funder: St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney Limited

Start year: 2018
End year: 2020

This research consultancy provided support to design, implement and report an evaluation of the Seniors Law service being delivered at two sites by St Vincent’s Health Sydney and Justice Connect. Services included the development of evaluation tools and templates in the form of an online Annual Staff Survey and a Post-training Evaluation Survey to support data collection, provision of summaries of data analyses from surveys which were collected and provided by SVHNS, and the provision of written and verbal contributions to Internal Reports for SVHNS and other reports and forms of knowledge as required.

Team members: Virginia Lewis, Vanessa White

OPTIMISE: Collaborative improvement of primary health care delivery to the Australian refugee community

Funder: National Health & Medical Research Council

Start year: 2016
End year: 2020

OPTIMISE is a four year (2016-2020) National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded Partnership Project to improve primary health care delivery to refugees living in Australia. The Project focuses on three Australian regions with high refugee resettlement: North and West Melbourne (NWM), South East Melbourne (SEM), and South West Sydney (SWS). The OPTIMISE Project brings together 11 national, state and local organisations committed to improving primary health care delivery to refugees and an international team of academics led by Grant Russell and I-Hao Cheng at Monash University (SEM), Virginia Lewis at La Trobe University (NWM), and Mark Harris at UNSW (SWS).

Using an outreach practice facilitation approach, the OPTIMISE Project worked with mainstream general practice to support practice-based quality improvements to systems of care for people with refugee like experiences. Four core areas for practice improvement were addressed, namely a) Identification of patients with refugee experiences, b) Use of Translation and Interpreting Services (TIS), c) Conducting comprehensive health assessment and d) Referral paths. The intervention was completed in September 2019, with results published and disseminated via multiple channels in 2020.

Partners in our region (North Western Melbourne): North Western Melbourne PHN, cohealth (a large community health centre), AMES (Settlement Services), Department of Health & Human Services Victoria, and the Victorian Refugee Health Network.


Russell, G., Gunatillaka, N., Lewis, V. et al. (2019). The OPTIMISE project: protocol for a mixed methods, pragmatic, quasi-experimental trial to improve primary care delivery to refugees in Australia. BMC Health Services Research 19, 396 (2019).

Funding: $5 million

Team members: Internal: Virginia Lewis, Geraldine Marsh
External Chief Investigators: Russell, G., Harris, M., Teede, H., Pottie, K., Hogg, W., Meadows, G., Enticott, J., Advocat, J., Cheng, I-Hao.