2018 / 2019 Edith Hearn Bequest Grants -overview

2018 / 2019 Edith Hearn Bequest Grants -overview

The late Edith Hearn left a generous bequest of $150,000 to Fremantle Hospital to be used for the purposes of research into the causes and treatment of incurable diseases and for the purchase of equipment for such purposes.

The relationship between macrovascular disease and retinopathy in type 2 diabetes

Janet Zagari, A/Director of the hospital with Jocelyn Drinkwater

Research team: Mrs Jocelyn Drinkwater, A/Prof Wendy Davis, Prof Timothy Davis, A/Prof Angus Turner, Dr Brad Davis, Dr Fred Chen

Participants will have an ultrasound of their neck arteries and a thorough eye assessment using Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCTA), new non-invasive technology. This information will show if a diseased carotid artery is related to diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of type 2 diabetes. If so, managing the carotid arterial disease may protect eyesight. The community will benefit as participants will undergo thorough visual assessments with feedback given to their medical practitioners. The OCTA will be donated to the Fremantle Hospital Eye Clinic after study completion so that it becomes available for all patients with eye disease in the local community, not just those with diabetes.


Prospective clinical trial evaluating the effects of behavioural intervention on adherence to self-care activities, glycaemic control, psychological wellbeing and quality of life in adults with complex diabetes.

Paul Forden, Director SMHS with Dr Melanie Burkhardt

Research team: Dr Melanie Burkhardt, Prof Bu Yea, Dr Gerry Fegan

Poor diabetes-treatment adherence is a major contributor to health complications, avoidable hospitalizations and long-term disease in people living with diabetes. Behavioural intervention is not currently part of standard care to improve adherence to conventional medical and lifestyle regimens for patients with complex diabetes. This research will demonstrate how personalised behavioural intervention aimed at increasing diabetes self-care and active coping, can lead to improvements in diabetes control, and thereby reduce complications and long-term disease. The results of this study will provide a foundation for future work to extend this behavioural intervention model to optimise care in the wider population living with diabetes.