Fundamental to our approach is the notion of partnerships, so much so that it is reflected in our name.
It’s meant to be more than a funding mechanism for collaborative translational research. It’s an approach where both researchers and practitioners identify and work together to solve problems and find solutions in the prevention of chronic disease.
In clinical research, the long-standing concept of bench to bedside reflects the pathway from basic discovery research to development and trialing of new diagnostic and treatment interventions and their incorporation into practice.
Discovery research is important in prevention as well, but our work focuses on the translation of those discoveries into real world settings and learning from that implementation to continue a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement in practice and policy.
In the 4½ years of Prevention Centre work, we have learnt a lot about working in partnerships. It is one thing to conceptualise, but much harder to implement and practice. It requires relationship building, trust, a deep understanding of each other’s strengths and limitations, and accountability.
We have tried to capture some of this in our evaluation and, when we write it up in partnership, I think it will be one of our major contributions.
As 2017 draws to a close, I wish you all well for the festive season and look forward to us working on continuing to grow and improve our partnerships.