“To take on the challenge of heart disease and diabetes; Australia’s biggest killer and fastest growing chronic diseases, respectively.”
Diabetes is a disease with devastating complications. Left uncontrolled, sufferers may face kidney disease, heart disease, limb amputations, blindness and fatality. Indigenous Australians are four times more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to experience this disease. In some remote areas, up to 50% of community members are affected by diabetes. End stage renal disease, of which diabetes is a common precursor, has reached such levels that local kidney dialysis centers are being overwhelmed with demand and can no longer cope.
Despite significant attempts by governments to “Close the Gap”, diabetes remains one of the chronic diseases driving much of the almost ten-year disparity in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Clearly more needs to be done to manage diabetes and help to prevent its potentially catastrophic effects. TDM is passionate about backing world-leading thinkers and doers whose ideas, passion and hard work are changing lives.
Associate Professor Neale Cohen and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute have been developing strong relationships in the remote communities of Central Australia for over ten years. Together they are well placed to work with Indigenous communities to address this challenge. Effective blood glucose control is key to maximizing outcomes for people with diabetes. However the higher barriers to healthcare faced by Indigenous Australians, especially those in remote communities, makes treatment challenging. There are currently no evidence-based approaches to support clinicians as to the safety, efficacy and acceptability of treatments in the remote community setting.
Associate Professor Cohen aims to re-write the guidelines for standard of care in remote communities. His team will examine whether lifestyle interventions and the use of a long acting once weekly therapy can improve outcomes relating to patient health and wellbeing. TDM is excited to have committed to fund the first phase of this project.
Our donation to this organisation is made possible through our relationship with Hearts and Minds Investments. Hearts and Minds Investments (HM1:ASX) is a unique listed investment company striving to deliver attractive equity investment returns for shareholders, while providing funding for Australian medical research. The HM1 portfolio is a mix of the highest conviction ideas pitched by invitation at the SOHN Hearts and Minds annual conference, as well as via the six core managers, of which TDM is proud to be included. HM1’s charitable goal is made possible by waiving typical investment fees and instead, making a donation to the suite of HM1 medical research beneficiaries. As such, TDM donates its proportion of the allocated 1.5% management fee via the TDM Foundation each year. We approached the donation opportunity as we would any of our potential investments, spending considerable time learning about the medical research industry, what challenges researchers are facing and what the most pressing health issues are on Australia’s horizon and what funding is available. We reviewed more than 70 medical research institutes with an aim to support institutes which are solving the most challenging problems with scalable benefits to the community. At the end of this exhaustive process, we feel privileged to support four projects, the researchers leading them and the institutes backing them.