King Edward Memorial Hospital Cerebral Palsy researcher reaches 40-year milestone

Linda Watson (Research Asst WA Register of Developmental Anomalies - Cerebral Palsy based at KEMH). Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Linda Watson (Research Asst WA Register of Developmental Anomalies - Cerebral Palsy based at KEMH). Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

LINDA Watson has made her mark throughout her 40-year career as a Cerebral Palsy (CP) research assistant.

King Edward Memorial Hospital-based Ms Watson manages the CP register, part of the WA Register of Developmental Anomalies.

Ms Watson has been the heart, soul and engine of the register from the get go since herself and Fiona Stanley first got it on its feet.

“When I first started, Fiona Stanley was a medical officer for the Department of Health and we were located at Salvatore house in West Perth,” she said.

“Fiona became the deputy director at the QEII complex and in 1990, she then set up the Institute of Child Health research and we were over in PMH at the nurses quarters.

“In 2000, we moved into a building opposite PMH on Roberts Road and I was there until I moved to KEMH in 2014, where I still am now.”

Ms Watson said she worked with data not people, and her role involved looking for cases of Cerebral Palsy within children.

“We monitor the occurrence of CP and use the data to test the effects of perinatal care in relation to CP as an index of a neurological disorder,” she said.

Ms Watson said her job was extremely fulfilling because she worked with “brilliant people”.

“To me it’s worth spending my working life on from the point of view of the people I work with and who I’m working for,” she said.

“One of the things it’s (the register) is used for these days is identifying CP as an outcome in other study populations.”

Ms Watson said she had no plans to stop her research work anytime soon.