PhD, MPHTM, RN
Sara is Program Lead, RISE Team (Research, Innovate, Strengthen, Embed) at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW. She has passion for partnering with priority populations to enhance health and wellbeing through evidence-based health services and health programs, which are tailored to local needs and priorities.
Her research program is focused on preventing harms from alcohol and other drugs in rural and regional NSW and working in partnership with clients, clinicians and community members to tailor health services to this setting. She has an interest in novel approaches to evaluation, using routinely collected data and pragmatic trial designs. She has research experience working on qualitative designs, embedding evaluations into service delivery and RCTs.
Sara is a Registered Nurse with clinical experience in renal dialysis units in far north Queensland. She has a Masters of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and has worked in the Philippines and the Pacific on several programs including communicable disease control and maternal and child health. She has also worked on health promotion programs in Australia.
Sara was awarded the Early Career Award for excellence in research relative to career opportunities by The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs in 2023.
2023 CIA - NSW Health [Tender] "A whole of community prevention and education framework"
2022 CIA - NSW Health Prevention Research Support Program "Preventing alcohol and other drug harms in rural communities in NSW"
2022 CIA - South West Sydney Primary Health Network "Evaluation of Psychoeducation Modules for Drug and Alcohol Support Service Summary"
2021 CIA - Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications [Tender] "Use of alcohol and other drugs on Norfolk Island and development of potential responses"
2020 CID - Commonwealth Department of Health [Tender] "Monitoring and evaluation of the kava importation pilot"
2020 CID - Alcohol and Drug Foundation "The integration of Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) into service-delivery by Aboriginal Community Controlled Services"
2019 CIA - NDARC Seed Funding Application "Early intervention for unhealthy alcohol use among older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: using the Grog Survey App"
2019 CID - NDARC Seed Funding Application Optimising retention in Opioid Agonist Therapy: A retrospective evaluation
2018 CID - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program Seed Funding The George Institute
2016 Fellowship - John Chalmers Program Grant Scholarship by The George Institute for Global Health
2016 CIA - Cross Cultural Public Health Research Award The University of Sydney
2008 Order of Australia Association Foundation Scholarship
2023 Richard Mattick Award, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW
2023 Kevin Rozzoli Community Impact Award, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW
2023 Early Career Award for excellence in research, from the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.
Hopkins RE, Degenhardt L, Campbell G, Farnbach S, Gisev N. (2022) “Frustrated with the whole system”: a qualitative framework analysis of the issues faced by people accessing health services for chronic pain. BMC Health Services Research. 2022 Dec 31;22(1):1603. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-022-08946-8