Allergy, Immunology & Respiratory Medicine (AIRmed)

Staff

Professor Robyn O'Hehir AO Director, Department of Allergy, Immunology & Cystic Fibrosis, Professor/Director Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Executive Assistant Ms Dearnne Halliwell 9076 2251
Professor Trevor Williams Director, Department of General Respiratory & Lung Transplantation, Personal Assistant Ms Edwina England 9076 2405
Ms Liz Malinowski Business Manager 9076 3784
Ms Dearnne Halliwell Administrative and HR Coordinator 9076 2251

Description of Service

Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine (AIRmed) provides specialist consultative services throughout the breadth of respiratory medicine and allergic diseases and includes two component clinical Departments with four constituent clinical Services. These disciplines cover a range of respiratory conditions including asthma and allergic diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep disordered breathing, general respiratory diseases, pulmonary hypertension, lung cancer, interstitial lung diseases, adult cystic fibrosis and lung transplantation (adult and paediatric).

A number of AIRmed cross-service portfolios underpin the clinical operations. The academic and teaching activities across both Departments are under the auspices of the Monash University Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, within the Central Clinical School, under Professor/Director Robyn O’Hehir AO. AIRmed has a very active biomedical and clinical research focus with a strong record of success in both competitive NH&MRC and other research grant funding.

The high international and national profile is reflected in numerous publications and speaking invitations to senior personnel. AIRmed is committed to delivering outstanding best practice clinical care, outcome driven professional education and community outreach as well as translational research of international acclaim.

Patient Information

Please note that in order to make an appointment with any of our physicians; we must first receive a referral from your doctor including your full name, address and date of birth. Once a referral is received and processed, you will be sent a letter detailing the time and date of your appointment. Medicare card holders are bulk-billed for consultations and associated tests.

Referrals for inpatient consultations from within The Alfred should be directed to the rostered AIRmed Advanced Trainee (Registrar) who will arrange Consultant Physician assessment. Rosters are held by Switchboard and within AIRmed, Ward 5E and the Emergency Department.

Contact telephone and fax numbers for patient enquiries and referrals are listed below:

Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology Service (Allergy and Asthma Consultants)
Clinic location: Ground floor, Alfred Hospital, "Private Consulting Suites
"
Ph: 9076 2934, Fax: 9076 2245

Cystic Fibrosis Service(Ph: 9076 2315, Fax: 9076 8050)
General Respiratory Service (Ph: 9076 3600, Fax: 9076 1087)
Sleep Disorders Service* (Ph: 9076 3770, Fax: 9076 3601)
Lung Transplant (Medical) Service (Ph: 9076 2867, Fax: 9076 3601)
[alternatively all general enquiries for these clinics may also be directed to Ph: 9076 3600]
Clinic location: 5th floor, Main Ward Block, Alfred Hospital
[* Due to the high demand for appointments in the Sleep Disorders Service, referrals are temporarily limited to the Bayside catchment area. Please note that there is a six month waiting list for new appointments.]

Physiology Service: Lung Function Laboratory and Domiciliary Oxygen Therapy
Referrals directly from general practitioners and other practices are welcome.
New referrals to the Lung Function Laboratory can be seen within a week (except cardio-pulmonary exercise testing). New referrals to the Oxygen Assessment Clinic can be seen usually within 4 weeks
.
Location
: 1st floor, Linay Pavilion, The Alfred
Ph: 9076 3476, Fax: 9076 3434

Brochures on respiratory diseases and associated tests/procedures which may be of interest to AIRmed patients can be downloaded from the Australian Lung Foundation website.

 

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More About Us

Ward 5E: AIRmed inpatient ward (Nurse Manager: Mr Matt Deneen Ph: 9076 3440)

Whenever possible our inpatients are admitted to the AIRmed Ward 5E which is co-located within AIRmed on the 5th Floor of the Main Ward Block. The Ward is highly skilled for the care of patients with respiratory and allergic diseases and includes the following Services:

Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology Service (Head: Associate Professor Mark Hew Ph: 9076 2934)

Admin Support: Ms Maria Mastorakis, 907 62934, m.mastorakis@alfred.org.au

This Service cares for patients with asthma and allergic diseases, incorporating also subjects with immunoglobulin deficiencies in outpatient and inpatient settings. Clinical care is integrated with basic and clinical research.

Cystic Fibrosis Service (Head: Professor John Wilson Ph: 9076 2315)

Admin Support: Ms Merrilyn Campbell, 907 62315, m.campbell@alfred.org.au

The Alfred Cystic Fibrosis Service currently provides specialist multi-disciplinary care for 340 adults with ambulatory and inpatient care. Supported by very active utilisation of the Alfred @ Home program.  The service also utilises telemedicine reviews. 

The Service is actively engaged in clinical and basic research centred on host organism interaction, airway remodelling, nutritional needs, airway function and psychosocial issues in cystic fibrosis. The CF Service has developed brochures for adults with cystic fibrosis and their families:

Patient Information

General Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Service (Head: Professor Matt Naughton Ph: 9076 8398)

Senior Admin Support: Mrs Dina Pitsas, 907 68398, d.pitsas@alfred.org.au

The Service cares for all categories of patients with respiratory or sleep disorders - inpatient and ambulatory. This may involve the use of non-invasive ventilatory support, tracheostomy management, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and/or all forms of pulmonary and sleep monitoring. The Service works in close collaboration with emergency, intensive care, coronary care, neurology, general medical and surgical services within the Alfred. Staff are actively involved in education to other healthcare providers.

Lung Transplant Service (Head: Professor Greg Snell OAM Ph: 9076 2867)

Admin Support: Ms Debbie Kafaltis, 907 62867, d.kafaltis@alfred.org.au

The Service is one of the largest in the world, performing 2% of all lung transplantations and covering the southern Australian states and New Zealand. It has strong links to clinical programs in severe interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension and severe COPD and has performed over 500 lung transplants.

Physiology Service(Head: Professor Bruce Thompson Ph: 9076 3476)

Admin Support: Ms Carolina Castro, 907 63476, c.castro@alfred.org.au

The Lung Function Laboratory performs over 7000 tests per year. A dedicated team of respiratory scientists perform a variety of tests including spirometry, transfer factor, measurement of lung volumes, bronchial challenges (including methacholine, saline [diving assessment] and eucapnic voluntary hyperventilation (the gold standard assessment of exercise induced asthma)), respiratory muscle strength and cardio-pulmonary exercise testing.

The Physiology Service also conducts oxygen assessments (including exercise and fitness to fly assessments) in conjunction with the Oxygen Assessment Clinic. The scientists take a leading role in the evaluation of new diagnostic tests, evaluating the performance of standard lung function testing devices and training of health professionals in spirometry.

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Lung Health Promotion Centre

Manager: Ms Janet Williams, Ph: 9076 2382, Email: janet.williams@alfred.org.au

 This Unit and Centre provide innovative education programs and resources for health professionals in all aspects of respiratory disease, but particularly asthma. The Lung Health Promotion Centre is unique in Australia and provides quality evidence based education programs and resources for health professionals in lung disease management. For further information visit our website.

Courses

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Research Interests & Current Projects

Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology Service

The Service cares predominantly for patients with asthma and allergic diseases, but also incorporates care of patients with immunoglobulin deficiencies.  Clinical care is integrated with basic and clinical research. Current research includes:

  • Systematic assessment of difficult asthma

  • Molecular mechanisms of sublingual grass immunotherapy

  • Synthetic Peptide Immuno-Regulatory Epitope (SPIRE) therapy for peanut allergy

  • Xolair in severe asthma and mastocytosis

  • Monoclonal anti IL-5 receptor treatment for severe asthma

Cystic Fibrosis Service

The Alfred Cystic Fibrosis Service is actively engaged in clinical and basic research centred on:

  • Gene potentiation therapy in CF

  • The role of the CF gene in normal exercise function 

  • Telemedicine to improve access to care

  • Effect of gene therapy on inflammatory parameters

  • The use of eHealth solutions in chronic disease management

General Respiratory & Sleep Disorders Service

The General Respiratory Service cares for patients with general respiratory diseases including pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute and chronic respiratory failure, pulmonary hypertension, interstitial lung diseases and lung cancer. 

The Sleep Service manages acute and chronic sleep related breathing disorders across a wide cross-section of pulmonary, cardiac and neurological conditions. Research studies include:

  • Sleep disordered breathing in heart failure

  • Non-invasive ventilation support (acute and chronic)  

  • Role of sleep disorders in motor vehicle collisions  

  • Depression and sleep apnoea : participation in multicentre randomised study of sleep apnoea treatment upon mood disturbance

  • Obesity and diabetes and sleep apnoea : Completion of randomised controlled trial of CPAP upon diabetic control in type 2 diabetics  

  • Involvement in multicentred randomised trials of new diagnostic pathways into the diagnosis and management of sleep apnoea

Lung Transplant Service

The Service is one of the largest in the world, performing 2% of all lung transplants worldwide and covering the southern Australian states.

It has strong links to clinical programs in severe interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension and severe COPD and has recently established a Paediatric Lung Transplant Service.  Current research within The Lung Transplant Service includes:

  • Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR)

  • Immunological evaluation of CMV infection

  • Donation-after cardiac death

  • Women’s health

  • Adolescent and paediatric outcomes

  • Stem cell therapy

  • Biomarkers of lung injury

  • Frailty as a predictor of LTx outcomes


Physiology Service

The Lung Function Laboratory underpins many of the AIRmed clinical and research programs. Research activities include

  • The use of small particle inhaled corticosteroids to treat severe asthma

  • 4DCT and MRI to measure ventilation and perfusion heterogeneity

  • Gas mixing and airway mechanics in patients with severe asthma and lung transplant

  • Assessing respiratory health following the Hazelwood mine fire

  • Generation of complex computer models of the lung

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Further Research Links

Allergy,Immunology and Respiratory Medicine research in the Department of Medicine, Monash University

AIRmed Senior Medical and Health Sciences Staff - Publications: Please click HERE and search by name

Abramson M

Button BM

Dabscheck E

Hew M

Holland AE

Keating D

Kotsimbos T

Levin K

Levvey BJ

Miller BM

Naughton MT

O'Hehir RE

Paraskeva M

Snell G

Stirling RG

Thompson BR

Westall GP

Whitford H

Williams TJ

Wilson J

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