Professor Christine Jorm

Professor Christine Jorm

What are your research interests?

  • Safety and quality in healthcare
  • Health strategy and policy
  • Quality Improvement

Why did you get into research?

I have a passion for achieving sustainable change in healthcare, which led me to research. I have doctorates in neuropharmacology and sociology and practiced as an anaethetist before moving on to roles focused on improving the safety and quality of care – at unit, institutional and national levels.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

In all my roles I’ve sought to identify problems, develop solutions and influence organisations. In my role as Director, NSW Regional Health Partners, I am striving to change the face of research knowledge implementation in healthcare. The Centre aims to create benefits for regional, rural and remote populations living in the Hunter New England, Central Coast and Mid North Coast Local Health Districts.

I aim to contribute to the national agenda of improving health for all Australians living in regional and remote locations.


Professor Christine Jorm is the Director of NSW Regional Health Partners, an NHMRC accredited Centre for Innovation in Regional Health. The role of the Centre is to accelerate the translation of research into practice to improve regional and rural health. The Centre is supported by its eight partners (HNELHD, CCLHD, MNCLHD, Calvary Mater, UON, UNE, HMRI), the NSW Ministry of Health and the Medical Research Future Fund. 

Along with specialty medical qualifications, Christine has doctorates in neuropharmacology and sociology: Her PhD thesis explored aspects of medical culture. From it she published a book: ‘Reconstructing Medical Practice - Engagement, Professionalism and Critical Relationships in Health Care’. Based on study of teaching hospital consultants, it examines why doctors are limited in their ability to lead change in the current system. It argues that regulation is a clumsy approach to ensuring good care instead, detailed attention to organisational relationships is needed. 

Christine worked as an anaesthetist for more than 15 years before her interest in quality assurance led to full-time cross-disciplinary work in patient safety and quality at hospital level and then later as the foundation Senior Medical Advisor for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare.

Christine has undertaken a range of consultancy work including analyses for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the development of a number of online units of study and a major report on Clinician Engagement for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. She is a graduate of the Institute of Company Directors, has been a member of several Boards and is currently a member of the UNSW Centre for Big Data Research in Health Advisory Committee and is a long-term member of the Grattan Health Program Advisory Group.

Future Focus

To work closely with our healthcare partners to improve health outcomes in the region and beyond.

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Safety and quality expert
  • Clinician
  • Policy Maker
  • Researcher and Educator



ABC Newcastle interview with Kia Handley - 7 May 2019