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AHF - supporting happy, healthy families
Since its inception the ARH’s emphasis has been on community health.
The Fund has invested in research projects looking at cot death, adolescent health, environmental health problems of the aged, and family health, as well as the Ross River virus, malaria, bowel cancer screening and pre-hospital, first aid and emergency care research.
In 2000 the Fund began a commitment to invest in mental illness research. At the same time the ARH also committed itself to helping destigmatise mental illness.
Ten students are currently completing PhDs in an area of mental health research thanks to the Fund’s Ian Scott Scholarships. The Fund also has three postdoctoral scholarships ($75,000 pa for three years) which are named after the first three chairmen of the ARH – Colin Dodds, Royce Abbey and Geoffrey Betts.
ARHRF awards 26 scholarships per year to medical students attending the 13 Rural Clinical Schools in Australia. Beginning in 2008, the Fund has also allocated four Rural Nursing Scholarships
Concern about health services in rural areas has prompted the ARH’s Board to allocate over $280,000 to five research projects to evaluate rural health services in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT.
Every year, around 68 students are sponsored by Rotary clubs through the Indigenous Scholarship program.
The Fund has a Funding Partners program which allows Rotary clubs and Districts to fund a research project or PhD scholarship that lies outside the Fund’s current research focus area of mental health. The Club or District’s contribution is matched dollar-for-dollar by the ARH. Universities also contribute to the cost of the PhD research scholarships.
KidsMatter is a new mental health initiative that focuses on creating a positive school environment to promote children’s mental health and wellbeing. Local Rotary clubs are working with 100 primary schools who are implementing the KidsMatter program.