The Kirby Institute’s Dr Skye McGregor has been awarded the Levinia Crooks Emerging Leader in BBV/STI Award at the 2022 ASHM Joint Australasian HIV&AIDS + Sexual Health Conferences in the Sunshine Coast.
The award was established in 2018 in honour of the late Associate Professor Levinia Crooks AM, CEO of ASHM for almost 20 years. It acknowledges the importance of “fostering emerging leaders, who demonstrate leadership that is bold, innovative, inclusive and inspires collaboration within the sector” – symbolic of A/Prof Crooks’ approach to public health, and reflective of her commitment to mentoring emerging leaders in the sector.
Dr McGregor is an epidemiologist and Lead of the Kirby Institute’s Surveillance Innovation Group. She oversees analyses of national sexually transmissible infection (STI) and blood-borne virus (BBV) surveillance data, and leads the production of annual surveillance reports on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.
In receiving her award, Dr McGregor presented at the 2022 ASHM Joint Australasian HIV&AIDS + Sexual Health Conferences, highlighting the importance of collaboration and partnership in conducting surveillance and research on STIs and BBVs. She said that strong relationships with community, government, laboratory, clinical and research partners have been both crucial for conducting good surveillance research, and the highlight of her career.
She also spoke about the improvements the team have been able to make to surveillance data with the support of partners, such as improving access to data through interactive data visualisations and improved data granularity.
Her and her team's body of research regularly informs national policies relating to HIV, HPV, STIs and hepatitis C and B. Their work provides the evidence for changes in epidemiology of STIs and BBVs; information which is crucial for understanding progress towards elimination, and which focuses public health efforts in Australia. Her work significantly impacts health policy and improves population health.
A commitment to fostering partnerships and collaboration underpins Dr McGregor’s approach. She was nominated for the award by AFAO for her ability to develop and foster strong relationships which ensure her work is developed, implemented, and evaluated in collaboration with key government, community, and research stakeholders.
Importantly, Dr McGregor ensures her research is developed and conducted in consultation with affected communities, and that data are available both publicly and directly to key organisations where they can guide evidence-informed responses, reflecting her commitment to ensuring equity of access and health outcomes for all.