A new endowed Chair in General Practice at the University of Western Sydney will help address the critical shortage of GPs in Greater Western Sydney and produce home-grown medical graduates that are in tune with the unique health needs of local communities.

The new Chair – called The Peter Brennan Chair of General Practice – has been made possible thanks to the generosity of Bradcorp’s CEO, Peter Brennan.

The professor who is appointed to this Chair will play a leading role in helping the School’s graduates meet the complex health challenges of the growing population of Greater Western Sydney – an area with high rates of obesity, large numbers of young families, elderly residents, migrants, refugees and the largest urban Indigenous population in Australia.

Bradcorp Chief Executive Officer Mr Peter Brennan says local GPs are often the link that ties a community together, providing an essential service for communities with a rapidly changing and growing population.

“For more than 10 years Bradcorp has been active in the South West of Sydney building healthy communities,” Peter Brennan says. “As a company, we decided from the outset that not only would we create inspirational living environments but we would demonstrate our long-term commitment to the area in other equally practical and beneficial ways.

“I believe it is our corporate responsibility, and that of other companies, to give something of substance back to the local community,” Mr Brennan says.

UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janice Reid, thanked both Mr Brennan and Bradcorp for their generosity, partnership and farsightedness.

“The UWS community is very grateful for this wonderful donation. Mr Brennan’s gift is the single most significant donation to date to the University’s new School of Medicine, and it will make an immense difference to the School and our local communities,” Professor Reid says.

Foundation Dean of Medicine at the UWS School of Medicine, Professor Neville Yeomans, says the new Peter Brennan Chair will help to ensure students have a good understanding of continuum of care and the experiences of patients and their families – qualities that are particularly essential for GPs but important for all medical graduates whatever their chosen speciality.

UWS medical students spend one third of their third year of study in community health settings such as migrant health, women’s refuges, child health centres and community aged care as well as general practices in the region and the new Professor will be responsible for taking a leadership role in coordinating and motivating this program.

“General Practice is an important speciality of medicine and is essential to community life and sustainability – particularly among suburban areas experiencing significant growth,” Professor Yeomans says.

“For every GP in Greater Western Sydney, there are substantially more GPs in other parts of Sydney.

“Residents of Greater Western Sydney can be assured that with 70 percent of this year’s medical student intake living locally, there will soon be a new breed of doctor committed to building healthier communities,” says Professor Yeomans.