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Clinical academic appointment a first for the Highlands

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The University of Stirling’s Highland Campus has appointed its first Clinical Academic Fellow, introducing a new generation of health education professionals.

Mariyana Schoultz, who has a background in mental health nursing, will be researching innovative treatment to support the mental health of people suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

She is the first to take up the new role of Clinical Academic Fellow, which the University expects will ensure that healthcare research, education and practice develop in partnership to make a real difference to the patient and the community.

An estimated 600 people in the NHS Highland area suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, an unpleasant and painful condition that can appear at any age (most commonly from 18 to 40), and is not curable. Because of the invasive nature of the illness, patients are more likely to develop anxiety and depression.

Mariyana will work with sufferers, bringing them together to share experiences, and will carry out a series of studies into ways to improve their mental health. She said: “I hope my work will help people to self-manage what is a very stressful disease. I anticipate that the findings could also be applied to people with other chronic diseases.”

Based at the University of Stirling’s campus in Inverness, she will be working with Professor Angus Watson of NHS Highland in his specialist area of colorectal surgery. Her time will be spent teaching on the nursing degree and working in the clinical area with Prof Watson, as well as studying for her PhD.

Stephen McGhee, Lead for Clinical Academic Careers, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the School to develop research capacity and capability and grow the healthcare academics of the future. Our Clinical Academic Fellows will be able to make a contribution to the ongoing development of student nurses over the coming years.

“The School has very recently had our BSc Nursing programme approved for the next five years by the Nursing & Midwifery Council, and one of the commendations that they gave us was for the Clinical Academic Fellow scheme.”

Professor William Lauder, Head of School, said: “The University of Stirling is at the cutting edge of developing the Clinical Academics for healthcare professions.”


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