Recognition for hepatitis C researcher
Dr Susan Carruthers has been recognised by Hepatitis Australia with an Outstanding Service Award for Viral Hepatitis Health Promotion. The award is presented to individuals who have displayed outstanding service to the viral hepatitis sector in the area of health promotion over a significant period of time and whose dedication and diligence has contributed significantly to the health and wellbeing of people affected by viral hepatitis.
Dr Carruthers recently retired from NDRI after a 30-year contribution to the alcohol and other drugs field, with much of her research focusing on preventing and responding to blood borne viruses among injecting drug users (see Research Focus, October 2015). However she has been appointed as an adjunct member of NDRI and continues to supervise/co-supervise three PhD students.
During her career, Dr Carruthers was known by consumers, researchers and policy makers as a fierce and determined advocate for people affected by viral hepatitis. In 1994 she was asked to Chair a fledgling Hepatitis C support group which later became Hepatitis WA, and this voluntary involvement continued for 20 years. In her role as a researcher, Dr Carruthers completed numerous projects, publications and presentations on issues around hepatitis C, including access to treatment for specific populations such as prisoners, treatment in older populations, health promotion messages for young people affected by drug use and novice injectors, barriers to treatment, and preventing further transmission.
NDRI Director Professor Steve Allsop said that the Hepatitis Australia Award followed many years of hard work and innovation by Dr Carruthers, and was very well deserved.