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Dr Danielle Taylor commenced her 3 year mid-career fellowship from The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) in August 2017. Danielle is a health geographer and has a PhD in Geography and a Masters in Spatial Information Science.

She has extensive experience in the application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for health research having worked as a researcher and consultant in this field with the University of Adelaide since 1998. This included being a co-developer of the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA), the index used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to derive the Remoteness Areas classification. ARIA and its methodology has been applied to assessing the provision of health services and reporting and analysing health outcomes.

Danielle’s THRF mid-career fellowship will focus on inequalities in neighbourhood accessibility and implications for frailty and healthy ageing. Healthy ageing is dependent on a person’s ‘functional ability’ which comprises not only an individual’s intrinsic capacity (including health status, mobility and cognition), but also influences of their environment. For individuals to achieve and maintain their highest level of functional ability, the influence of both individual and environmental factors needs to be understood and the impact of negative influences, where possible, minimised.

This research will aim to understand the influence of environmental factors, as enablers or barriers to healthy ageing. It will have a particular focus on the role geographic access and locational disadvantage plays in facilitating or impeding an individual’s level of functional ability.

The research will also seek to develop an enhanced area level frailty risk index incorporating geographic demographic information and accessibility measures of relevance to frailty. This index can be used as a planning tool for the equitable and effective provision of health services.