Sepsis Australia is hosted by The George Institute for Global Health which provides necessary infrastructure and in-kind operational support. Sepsis Australia is strategically managed by Professor Simon Finfer AO and operationally by Dr Brett Abbenbroek.
Professor Simon Finfer AO
Director and Professorial Fellow
Prof Simon Finfer is a Professorial Fellow in the Critical Care Division at The George Institute for Global Health. He spent 35 years as a practicing critical care physician with an appointment as a Senior Staff Specialist at Royal North Shore Hospital and Director of Intensive Care at the Sydney Adventist Hospital, the largest not-for-profit hospital in New South Wales. Simon is an Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales, and a past-Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Clinical Trials Group. He is a council member and past Chair of the International Sepsis Forum, and a Past Vice President of the Global Sepsis Alliance. Simon co-chaired the first two World Sepsis Congresses, two-day free online congresses that attracted over 35,000 registrants. His postgraduate qualifications include Fellowships of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He was elected to the ANZICS Honour Roll in 2011 and in 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Medicine) by The Friedrich-Schiller University in Germany, an honour awarded once every 10 years. Simon’s major research interest is the design and conduct of large scale randomised controlled trials in critical care. Simon is active in forging major international research collaborations that have conducted large scale clinical trials and epidemiological research to improve the treatment of critically ill and injured patients. He has published over 150 peer reviewed papers, many in the most prestigious journal in the world. He is frequently invited to lecture at major international conferences. Simon is an Editor of The Oxford Textbook of Critical Care (2nd Ed.), the Critical Care Section Editor for The Oxford Textbook of Medicine (6th Ed.), and was a guest editor for The New England Journal of Medicine from 2012 – 2014. Simon was appointed an Officer (AO) in the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020 for “distinguished service to intensive care medicine, to medical research and education, and to global health institutes”
A/Prof Naomi Hammond (RN, BN, MN (Crit. Care), MPH (with Merit) PhD)
Program Head, Critical Care Program and Sepsis Australia, Treasurer, Asia Pacific Sepsis Alliance
Associate Professor Naomi Hammond is the Program Head, critical care program and sepsis Australia, The George Institute for Global Health. She also works part-time as the Intensive Care Clinical Research Manager at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia. Naomi holds several other appointments including NHMRC Emerging Leader Fellow; Conjoint Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales; Treasurer, Asia Pacific Sepsis Alliance; and Chair of the Australian Critical Care Nurses Research Advisory Panel
Naomi is a clinical nurse researcher and has led a program of sepsis research through international collaborations including facilitating 4 clinical trials in COVID-19 in India. She leads the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Point Prevalence program. She has also undertaken international point prevalence studies including a large epidemiological study of patients with sepsis in Indian ICUs. Called the SIPS (Sepsis in India Prevalence) study, it has provided vital insights into changing epidemiology with different sepsis definitions, bacteriology, and antimicrobial resistance patterns.
Naomi’s main research interests include fluid resuscitation of critically ill patients, sepsis epidemiology, clinical management, and long-term outcomes, fever management, knowledge translation and implementation research, and health economics.
Dr Brett Abbenbroek, (RN BSc MPH PhD) Program Manager Sepsis Australia & Asia Pacific Sepsis Alliance, Executive Board Global Sepsis Alliance
Dr Abbenbroek has extensive critical care clinical, education and management experience. Brett’s PhD considered the efficiency and effectiveness of critical care organisational models, and the association with patient and nurse outcomes. Study findings inform the Australasian Health Facility Guidelines for new and redeveloped ICU’s. Brett has worked in Nepal, Vanuatu, China and Croatia on projects to establish cardiac surgical and critical care programs, and system wide service improvements. Concurrently, Brett has held a range of health policy, planning, project management, digital health and clinical safety advisory roles. As NSW statewide coordinator for critical care planning across intensive care, emergency and medical retrieval services he worked with clinicians to implement an integrated critical care service model, including the statewide electronic Record for Intensive Care (eRIC) program, on which Brett led change management and adoption. A health service planning and management consultancy business followed, leading to project manager roles within the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care on a series of national eHealth clinical safety programs, electronic medication safety and the development of evidence based national clinical care standards. In his current role, Brett is driving implementation of the Australian Stopping Sepsis National Action Plan, the national Sepsis Clinical Care Standard for health services, and efforts to reduce the burden of sepsis across the Asia-Pacific region.
Dr Ashwani Kumar
Research Fellow, Sepsis Australia, Critical Care Program
Dr Ashwani Kumar (MBBS, MD, MBA, PhD) is a physician having a postgraduate degree in clinical pharmacology and an experienced medical researcher with more than 15 years of cumulative academic-industry experience. In addition to Dr Kumar’s academic achievements, he has worked extensively in various roles ranging from early-to-late-phase clinical trials. He also has extensive clinical trials management and operational experience including large multinational studies.
He recently completed his PhD in the area of Quantifying sepsis disease burden in Australia using the ICD coding method at the Critical Care Program of the George Institute for Global Health and working as a Research Fellow with Sepsis Australia. In the last few years, he has been actively involved in sepsis epidemiological research conducted in Australia and India. His interest areas include sepsis epidemiology at national, regional and global levels, early sepsis recognition and identification and sepsis awareness.
Digital Engagement and Events Coordinator
Luci has over 10 years experience working in communications and fundraising for not-for-profit organisations in the UK and Australia. She’s excited to bring her skills and experience to this new role and is passionate about improving the lives of people who have been impacted by sepsis.