Silverchain’s National Director of Research and Evidence, Dr Karen Smith, was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) as part of the recent Australia Day Honours List.

The Order of Australia recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement. Nominated for her service to paramedicine, Dr Smith said she was humbled to have received such a distinguished award.

“Receiving an email in January from the Governor-General that I would be awarded an OAM on Australia Day was a lovely surprise,” Dr Smith said.

“It is an absolute honour to receive this award, I feel very humbled. It is the culmination of many years’ work and collaboration with many fantastic people.”

Dr Smith’s service to paramedicine began more than 20 years ago. Today, she holds Adjunct and Associate Adjunct Professorships at Monash University and the University of Western Australia, is the Chief Investigator for pre-hospital emergency care at the Centre for Research Excellence and sits on multiple advisory boards.

Dr Smith established the Centre for Research and Evaluation at Ambulance Victoria, where she was the Director for Research and Evaluation before joining Silverchain.

In Silverchain’s Future Care team, Dr Smith works with academics, industry and international leaders to understand the value and impact of our services and how we can shape the next generation of care.

“I really value the opportunity to work for an organisation that gives back to the community. The work our Silverchain care teams and researchers do each day improves our clients’ health and care experience for generations to come,” Dr Smith said.

“The personal and professional satisfaction it gives me is immeasurable.”

Silverchain Chief Executive Dale Fisher said Dr Smith’s accolade was well deserved.

“Dr Smith brings a passion for improving patient outcomes through evaluation, research and innovation, contributing to our commitment to home care leadership,” Ms Fisher said.

“Our unique, long-term approach to collaboration with leaders across the health and aged care sectors brings together academic partners to co-design programs of research and innovation activities, train and develop future researchers and innovators, create a pathway for knowledge sharing across the sector, and advocate for change for the benefit of Australians accessing in-home care,” Ms Fisher said.