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Curtin Professor awarded prestigious medal

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Curtin University of Technology academic, Professor James Semmens has been awarded the prestigious Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Medal.

The medal recognises Professor Semmens’ valuable contribution to the College through his work with the Safety and Quality of Surgical Care Project, and the Western Australian Audit of Surgical Mortality.

According to Professor Semmens, the award came as a pleasant surprise.

“It is a nice feeling that all the work that my team and I have done has been recognised at the State and National levels,” Professor Semmens said.

“We have established a unique quality assurance program in Australia through our Safety and Quality of Surgical Care Project which ensures best practice in surgical and procedural care in terms of patient and economic outcomes in our health care systems.”

Professor Semmens is the Director of the WA Safety and Quality of Surgical Care Project.

“The medal also recognises the work we have done with the Western Australian Audit of Surgical Mortality, and the New South Wales version called the Collaborating Hospitals Audit of Surgical Mortality, which are peer review processes designed to independently review deaths in surgical patients,” Professor Semmens explained.

“The main aim of these programs is to improve the quality of healthcare through feedback and education.”

The RACS Medal will be presented to Professor Semmens at the College Annual Scientific Congress in Brisbane in May 2009.

The RACS is an internationally recognised organisation for surgeons based in Australia and New Zealand.

Approximately 90 percent of all surgeons practising in Australia and New Zealand are Fellows of the RACS (FRACS). These surgeons were trained by the RACS in nine surgical specialties through its Basic Surgical Training and Specialist Surgical Training and Assessment programs.

The College is also responsible for maintaining surgical standards in Australia and New Zealand through its Division of Fellowship and Standards.

Contact: Professor James Semmens; 08 9266 1856; OR Ann Marie Lim; Acting PR Manager; Curtin; 08 9266 4241; 0401 103 532;

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