A study to help solve baby problems like asthma, food allergies, obesity and mental illness has commenced this week at two hospitals in Gippsland.
The innovative Generation Victoria, or GenV, research project by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is now underway at Latrobe Regional Hospital and South Gippsland Hospital, Foster.
GenV is one of the world’s largest-ever birth and parent cohort studies. The opt-in project will follow babies and their parents to help solve these problems, mostly using data that is already routinely collected.
Every family with a newborn baby will be able to join up over a two-year period, no matter where they live. Latrobe Regional Hospital and South Gippsland Hospital are joining other birthing hospitals across Victoria to offer local families the opportunity to take part in GenV.
Professor Melissa Wake, GenV Scientific Director and a paediatrician of 30 years, said “by involving children and families in this once-in-a-generation initiative, GenV can help solve pressing problems like asthma, food allergies, obesity, and mental illness.”
“We are seeking to address the inequities that face so many children and families across Victoria.
Latrobe Regional Hospital Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nurse, Don McRae, welcomed the GenV project as the hospital looks to expand birthing and paediatric services as part of its Stage 3 building project.
“The GenV project has arrived at an opportune time as we prepare to undergo a major revamp of services for women, children and birthing,” Don said.
“GenV has the potential to help us to better meet the needs of the youngest members of our community so we’re delighted be a part of this important multi-centre study.”
South Gippsland Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Paul Greenhalgh, also welcomed the opportunity to partner in the study.
“We are thrilled to be part of this very important big picture project, and feel it aligns with our vision to create the healthiest community in the state,” Paul said.
“Every piece of information that can be gained to help shape a healthier generation is certainly worth gathering.”
Professor Wake said that large whole-of-state research projects such as GenV could speed up answers to the major issues facing children and adults, today and for their futures.
“Over the next two years, around 150,000 children born in Victoria and their parents will have the opportunity to participate in the project,” Professor Wake said.
GenV is led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, is supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital and University of Melbourne and is funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF), the Victorian Government and the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.
More information: GenV web site