The Atoifi Health Research Group is a group of health researchers and community members committed to grass roots ‘learn by-doing’ approach to research. The Group aims to strengthen research capacity by conducting health research in Solomon Islands to enable a Pacific Islands approach to understanding health issues affecting Pacific Islands communities.
In 2008, Atoifi Adventist Hospital invited public health researchers from James Cook University, Australia to facilitate research capacity strengthening activities for Hospital and College of Nursing staff. Community leaders and local chiefs were invited and have been central to the success of the Research Group. The research capacity strengthening approach has been designed to take into account the diverse social, cultural and spiritual context of the remote hospital.
The first 'Introduction to Health Research' workshop was facilitated in 2009. Since that time, there have been numerous research capacity strengthening workshops and community-based participatory research projects that respond to local health priorities. These include tuberculosis, soil-transmitted helminths, HIV, malaria and lymphatic filariasis. All activities have an explicit 'learn by doing' approach. Peer-reviewed publications and workshop reports can be found on the Resources page of this website.
A tragic event
On Sunday 5 June, 2016 Emeritus Professor Rick Speare, our Group Leader and dear friend, was tragically killed in a car accident.
Rick was a man of great humanity, wisdom and wit. Across his extensive professional and personal endeavors, his commitment was to make the world a better place. People across the globe will attest to his immense kindness, genuine humility and great intellect. Rick has been influential in so many of our lives.
One of Rick’s great passions was to understand and improve the health of people, and animals, in the Pacific. For almost a decade, Rick has worked to establish and support the Atoifi Health Research Group in Solomon Islands. We will be forever grateful for the vision, leadership and encouragement Rick has shown each of us.
As a Group, we send our love and comfort to Rick's wife Dr Kerry Kelly, his children Sally, Eleanor, Toby, Luke and Ben and all of his family.
To donate to the Rick Speare Memorial Fund, that will help fund research capacity strengthening work in Solomon Islands, please click on the Donate tab above, or visit: https://alumni.jcu.edu.au/RSpeareMemFund