Janet Watters, Dubbo Osteoporosis and Epidemiology Study Clinic Nurse, to retire after 24 years

The world-renowned study continues, unlocking the answers to this debilitating disease.

Janet Watters and leaders from Garvan's Bone Biology Division at Janet's retirement dinner in Dubbo.

Media Release: 15 December 2015

After 24 years as the Nurse Manager for the Dubbo Osteoporosis and Epidemiology Study (DOES), Janet Watters has announced her retirement.  While Janet will not leave the Dubbo clinic until 31 December, she is busily assisting with plans to ensure that DOES continues helping researchers around Australia, and the globe, find the answers to osteoporosis.

Generations of Dubbo families have participated in DOES, the world’s longest running large scale study of osteoporotic fractures in men and women. Each of these generous people, many of whom continue to give so much of their time, has been looked after throughout the process by Janet Watters.

Janet joined DOES in 1992, and since then has been a driving force of the study, looking after the volunteer clients – from young adults to the very elderly, as well as managing the everyday running of the clinic.  This involves co-ordinating clients who make bi-annual visits for bone density studies, collection of blood samples and data collection.  In fact, Janet says it is the people she encounters every day that she will miss the most.

She says, “The people I deal with on a day-to-day basis really make this job special.  No day is the same – there is continually another challenge, but it’s the wonderful clients who just want to help find the answers to osteoporosis – they are the real highlight of this job, and I will miss them all.

“The other real positive about the job has been the people I work with.  Not long after I joined DOES, I realised that the Garvan researchers are not doing this to make themselves rich, or for personal glory. They are there for the right reason – to improve outcomes for people with, or at risk of osteoporosis.  In my 24 years, I have had their complete respect, and in return, I have given my all to make sure this study, and the Dubbo clinic, achieves the professional standing it deserves in the Dubbo community, as well as around Australia and the globe.”

Professor Peter Croucher, head of the Garvan Institute’s bone biology research division, says that Janet’s contribution to some major findings that have changed the way the world thinks about, and treats osteoporosis, cannot be understated.

Janet has been the linchpin of DOES, and much of its success can be attributed to, not only her outstanding professionalism as a nurse and clinic manager, but also to her real care for the project and the individual participants.  We will certainly miss her here at Garvan, and I am in no doubt that she will be missed by the wonderful volunteers who participate in DOES.”

“Professor Croucher adds, “I’m sure the Dubbo community joins me in thanking Janet for her unwavering dedication to this important study, and wish her the very best for a happy retirement.”

On reflection, Janet says the professional achievement she is most proud of is the Dubbo Genetic Study.  Since 1997, the study has followed descendants and family members of the original participants, which has been an enormous research project that would not have been a success without the support and generosity of the Dubbo community.

“To achieve this, I was also working with an amazing IT team to design the database and documents from scratch. That was a steep learning curve, and amazing experience for this nurse from the bush,” says Janet.

As Janet and her husband pack up their motor home to see Australia, DOES will continue and will be in the capable hands of Jodie Martin. Jodie worked with Janet at DOES for three years, before leaving in 2007 to marry and start a family.  Of Jodie’s return, Janet says, “I am so happy and confident leaving Jodie in charge.  She will take the study to another level, and will continue to bring passion and commitment to the job.”

To find out more about DOES and Garvan’s osteoporosis research, visit www.garvan.org.au



Media contacts:

Kylie Ironside                                                             

Garvan Research Foundation                                               

Ph. 02 9295 8116 or 0413 611 959                                           

E. k.ironside@garvan.org.au                                                     


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