ViTA-ACH Group project, led by Kirsty Marles, is one of two recipients of the 2017 Global Ageing Award for Excellence in Applied Research this year.
ViTA is a purpose built teaching, research aged care service in Adelaide, South Australia. ViTA has been designed to provide a new approach to aged care, to maximize collaboration and promote innovation in service delivery. The aims for ViTA are to embed teaching and research within the delivery of services which promote restoration and rehabilitation for older people in short term and long term care.
The ViTA building is home for 60 older people (aged 65+). However, the service also provides short term transitional aged care services for older people living in the community. ViTA opened in 2014 and is part of ACH Group which is a not-for-profit organization which has been supporting older South Australians since 1952.
The Global Ageing Award for Excellence recognizes the ongoing commitment to quality in ageing services through evidence-based research, translation of research into practice, and dissemination of research findings through internal and external shared learning opportunities.
Holistic Approach to Research and Knowledge Development
ViTA conducted an action research approach between November 2012 and February 2017 that was employed to advance the collaborative practice within and across ViTA. The collaborative approach brought together the skills and expertise of professionals to create a culture of learning which contributes toward improving quality of life for older people. The research experience supported organizational change through engaging the ViTA workforce to shape the systems they working within and contributed to developing an environment at ViTA which balances risk with the conditions needed to innovate.
Graham Dickson, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and principal partner in LEADS Global stated that Kirsty’s project was “conducted to the highest of standards of action research methodology…it is foundational to transitioning from provider centered care models to patient centered care models that are being promoted in almost all developed health care systems worldwide.”
Further, Dr. Kate Barnett, Managing Director with Stand Out Report, states that “the ViTA research project was a well-thought out, evidence based approach to developing systems that maximize collaboration, create efficiencies and maximize resident outcomes.” She adds “the unique operational model for ViTA which has developed from the research is an excellent example of how applied research can contribute to developing a research and learning culture within an aged care organization.”