Eastern Health

The partnership between Eastern Health and La Trobe University is transforming clinical practice to improve quality of care.

The Allied Health Clinical Research Office, established in 2006 as a joint initiative between Eastern Health and La Trobe University, coordinates a wide range of research projects. The research team promotes research culture within the organisation and provides clinician education and training to build capability in evidence-based practice. The Allied Health Clinical Research Office has become a central point of coordination and advocacy for allied health research at Eastern Health.

The partnership embodies Eastern Health’s values: to understand that healthcare is about people caring for people; to strive for excellence; and to employ kindness, respect, agility and humility in professional relationships between staff, and with patients and their families.

About Eastern Health

Since its establishment in 2000, Eastern Health has played a key role in the provision of public health services in Melbourne’s eastern and outer eastern suburbs. Today, it’s one of Melbourne’s largest metropolitan public health services.

Geographically, Eastern Health covers the municipalities of Boroondara, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges. Services are located across 2800 square kilometres in the east, the largest geographical catchment area of any metropolitan health service in Victoria.

Eastern Health is committed to developing and delivering services that meet the needs of a diverse and growing community. It encompasses seven hospitals, three emergency departments and more than 10,000 employees. It delivers 45 clinical services to more than 750,000 people.

Eastern Health provides a range of emergency, surgical, medical and general healthcare services. This includes maternity, palliative care, mental health, drug and alcohol, residential care, community health and state-wide specialist services to people and communities that are diverse in culture, age, socio-economic status, population and healthcare needs.

Turning Point, part of Eastern Health’s highly valued Statewide Services Program, is a national addiction treatment centre, dedicated to providing high quality, evidence-based treatment to people adversely affected by alcohol, drugs and gambling, integrated with world-leading research and education. Our team deliver evidence-based translational research that informs policy and service development to improve and expand the range and quality of addiction specialist treatment and support services in Australia.

Eastern Health’s research portfolio spans more than 800 active projects and 61 new clinical trials in 2019.

As a progressive, responsive and innovative health service, Eastern Health demonstrates its commitment to excellence through external accreditation with the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards.


The partnership between Eastern Health and La Trobe University leverages a strong research culture to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and delivery of health services, along with evidence-based practice. Research is driven by real world problems and the findings are quickly translated into practice.

The research program encompasses:


The partnership between Eastern Health and La Trobe University provides clinical education placements for allied health students across acute hospitals, rehabilitation services, mental health settings, aged care and community-based services.

Each year Eastern Health provides more than 10,000 clinical placement days for students in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, podiatry, audiology, dietetics, pharmacy and speech pathology. The number of pre-registration students undertaking clinical placements with Eastern Health continues to grow, in part funded by a Department of Health and Human Services Training and Development Grant.

La Trobe University is Eastern Health’s primary partner for allied health placements. In the last two years the education partnership has been expanded to include undergraduate nursing students and co-delivery of the Masters of Nursing in Intensive Care, Emergency Care and Cardiac Care. This postgraduate program ensures that Eastern Health staff working in these specialty areas have the requisite skills to provide high quality, evidenced-based care for our patients.

An Associate Director in Learning and Teaching provides support and and governance of student programs, increasing student exposure to benefit the organisation’s recruitment and workforce strategies.

  • Taylor NF, Lawler K, Brusco NK, Peiris CL, Harding KE, Scroggie GD, Boyd JN, Wilton AM, Coker F, Ferraro JG and Shields N (2020) Saturday Allied Health Services for Geriatric Evaluation and Management: A Controlled Before-and-after Trial, Australasian Journal on Ageing, 39(1): 64-72. Read the paper
  • Harding KE, Snowdon DA, Lewis AK, Leggat SG, Kent B, Watts JJ and Taylor NF (2019) Staff Perspectives of a Model of Access and Triage for Reducing Waiting Time in Ambulatory Services: A Qualitative Study, BMC Health Services Research, 19: 283. Read the paper
  • Taylor NF, Harding KE, Porter J, Horne-Thompson A, Wallis J, Kerridge G, Wilby A, Joy A, Kaminski MR, Sheats J and Wilson E (2019) Evaluating the Introduction of an Allied Health Clinical Research Office at a Health Service on Research Participation, Interest and Experience of Allied Health Professionals, Journal of Allied Health, 48(1): 46-53. Read the paper
  • Harding KE, Leggat SG, Watts JJ, Kent B, Prendergast L, Kotis M, O'Reilly M, Karimi L, Snowdon DA, Lewis AK and Taylor NF (2018) A Model of Access Combining Triage With Initial Management Reduced Waiting Time for Community Outpatient Services: A Stepped Wedge Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial, BMC Medicine, 16: 182. Read the paper
  • Lewis AK, Harding KE, Snowdon DA and Taylor NF (2018) Reducing Wait Time from Referral to First Visit for Community Outpatient Services may Contribute to Better Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review, BMC Health Services Research, 18(1): 869. Read the paper
  • Harding K, Lynch L, Porter J and Taylor NF (2017) The Organisational Benefits of a Strong Research Culture: A Systematic Review, Australian Health Review, 41(1): 45-53. Read the paper
  • Harding KE, Shields N, Whiteside M and Taylor NF (2016) ‘A Great First Step Into Research': Stepping into Research is an Effective and Sustainable Model for Research Training in Clinical Settings, Journal of Allied Health, 45(3): 176-182. Read the paper
  • O’Halloran PD, Blackstock F, Shields N, Wintle E and Taylor NF (2016) Motivational Interviewing Increases Physical Activity and Self-efficacy in People Living in the Community After Hip Fracture: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Clinical Rehabilitation, 30: 1108-1119. Read the paper
  • Brusco NK, Watts JJ, Shields N and Taylor NF (2014) Are Weekend Inpatient Rehabilitation Services Value For Money? An Economic Evaluation Alongside a Randomized Controlled Trial With a 30 day Follow Up, BMC Medicine, 12: 89. Read the paper
  • Peiris CL, Shields N, Brusco NK, Watts JJ and Taylor NF (2013) Additional Saturday Rehabilitation Improves Functional Independence and Quality of Life and Reduces Length of Stay: A Randomized Controlled Trial, BMC Medicine, 11: 198. Read the paper