Committed to Research

Nursing and Midwifery research
Professor Caleb Ferguson – Professor Academic Director

Professor Caleb Ferguson is a Registered Nurse and Professor of Nursing, who leads an NHMRC-funded program of research at the Centre for Chronic & Complex Care, University of Wollongong and Blacktown Hospital, Western Sydney Local Health District. His research includes examination of the impact of digital health education for people living with AF for stroke prevention. He has received over $12 m as a Chief Investigator in competitive research funding and published over 110 academics papers. He is also a Fellow of the ESC, CSANZ and the Australian College of Nursing, and is elected as the current Chair of the Cardiovascular Nursing Council of the CSANZ. He currently co-leads the Western Sydney Clinical Frailty Registry along-side Professor Richard Lindley at Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals.


Dr Julee McDonagh – Senior Research Fellow (Frailty), Lead, Frailty Command Centre

Dr Julee McDonagh is a Senior Research Fellow in Frailty at the Centre for Chronic & Complex Care at WSLHD and the University of Wollongong. Dr McDonagh is a registered nurse with over a decade of clinical nursing experience. She is also a proud descendant of the Cabrogal Clan of Darug Nation. Dr McDonagh is the Research Lead for the Frailty Command Centre at the CCCCR at Blacktown Hospital, coordinating research projects within the Western Sydney Clinical Frailty Registry, as well as building her own program of research examining ways to improve the management of people living with frailty, cardiovascular disease and multimorbidity. Dr McDonagh is a current member of the Australian College of Nursing; the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives; the ANZ Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research EMCR committee; an Executive Committee member of the Cardiovascular Nursing Council of the Cardiac Society of ANZ; and a member of the JBI Cardiovascular Expert Reference Group.


Dr Sabine Allida – Research Fellow (Implementation Science)

Dr Sabine Allida is a Research Fellow (Implementation Science) at the Centre for Chronic & Complex Care Research (CCCCR) WSLHD and the University of Wollongong. She is also an Honorary Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health and an adjunct fellow at the University of Technology Sydney. Dr Allida is the Research Lead of the CCCCR’s Digital Health and Research Translation program, coordinating digital health projects including the INFORM AF II trial. Her research focuses on enhancing healthcare delivery to improve cardiovascular health outcomes. She is an emerging leader and expert in complex evidence synthesis and have authored several high impact Cochrane reviews (gold-standard for informing policy and practice) in stroke, heart failure and digital health. Dr Allida’s research has informed and is cited in healthcare guidelines published by the Stroke Foundation, American Heart/Stroke Association, American College of Cardiology/Heart Failure Society of America and National Institute for Health and Care Research. She is a member of the psychology working group for the Australasian Living Stroke Guidelines responsible for reviewing and updating recommendations for the treatment and prevention of mood disorders after stroke. Her Cochrane review on ‘Pharmacological, psychological, and non-invasive brain stimulation interventions for treating depression after stroke’ is a ‘living’ review within the Australasian Living Stroke Guidelines.


Scott William – Associate Research Fellow

Scott has a biomedical science background and is currently finalising his PhD thesis in Medical Education at the Western Sydney University School of medicine. For his PhD, Scott conducted a mixed method study where he explored the experiences that international and refugee background students have during their time completing a program of healthcare professional education at a large metropolitan university in Australia. Scott’s interests lie in learning more about eHealth, eLearning and clinical research. Scott has joined the CCCCR as part of the team on the INFORM-AF study.


Dr John Rihari-Thomas – Senior Lecturer & Implementation Scientist

Dr Rihari-Thomas’ clinical background is in both cardiology & patient deterioration in acute care setting and held positions on both the clinical Excellence Commissions’ Deteriorating Patient Advisory Group and state clinical Council. John is currently a member on the Cardiovascular Research Network Rising Stars committee. John Successfully implemented the rapid response system (RRS), Sepsis Kills program and REACH programs at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney with the aim of early detection and intervention of clinically deteriorating patient, reducing adverse clinical events such as unplanned Intensive Care Unit admissions, unexpected cardiac arrests and deaths. Working as a project manager & Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, John Primarily lead the implementation of 2 large, randomised controlled trials across 3 states in Australia (the Assessment and CommuniCation ExcelLEnce foR sAfe patient outcomEs (ACCELERATE) Trial and the Evidence-based Nursing Core assessment Trial. Although both trials had different outcome measures, John’s research interests lay in clinically based implementation science and behaviour change.


Reejamol John (CNS) – Clinical Nurse Specialist 2 (Frailty Research)

Reejamol John is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience in Critical Care. She completed her BN in 2001 at The Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Science in India. In 2013, she received her Master's in Intensive Care from The University of Sydney. She has undertaken various leadership and management roles including a Clinical Nurse Educator and a Nursing Unit Manager role for the Orthopaedic Surgical Unit at Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals. In 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, she was appointed as Nursing Unit Manager for the Blacktown Vaccination Hub. Reejamol is currently a Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Western Sydney Clinical Frailty Registry responsible for screening, recruitment and follow-up of patients and data management. She is also an Honorary Fellow at the School of Nursing, University of Wollongong. Reejamol is passionate about implementing evidence-based nursing into practice and enjoys engaging and collaborating with consumers in research.


Higher degree research students:
  • Joby Alex – The impact of educational interventions on patients living with indwelling urinary catheters.
  • Fahad Shaikh – Pharmacological considerations for obese adults with atrial fibrillation
  • Christian Pedrosa - Digital interventions to support atrial fibrillation self-management
  • Natalie Govind - Improving palliative care for people after acute stroke
  • Kirsten Parker - To co-develop & test a nurse coordinated model of care in frail older adults to improve hospital to home transition
  • Jessie Austin - Waste Less, Live More: Interventions to Reduce Waste and Carbon Emissions in Healthcare
  • Hussein Al-Qarni - Innovations in acute frailty management: harnessing clinical registry feedback for better outcomes
  • Wa’ed Shiyab - The adoption of mHealth applications by nurses for chronic conditions
  • Shegaw Zeleke - Effects of co-designed culturally tailored nurse-led intervention on stroke survivors in the acute stroke setting in Ethiopia



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