I am Professor and Director of the Central Coast Research Institute (CCRI) - a joint venture between the University of Newcastle and Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD).
The CCRI’s purpose is to undertake translational research and education into the development and delivery of new models of integrated care that improve people’s health and wellbeing.
I have worked for the past 25 years in the field of health services research, management and policy in both the University and Third Sector.
I led The King’s Fund’s strategy on integrated care (2007-2013) and, from 2011-19, was co-founder and CEO of the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC) and its open-access scientific periodical the International Journal of Integrated Care of which I remain Editor-in-Chief.
I have worked as a consultant on integrated care policy and practice across more than 25 countries worldwide, editing the WHO’s Global Framework on People-Centered and Integrated Health Services that was ratified by the World Health Assembly. In January 2016, I was privileged to receive the Avedis Donabedian International Award for contribution to Healthcare Excellence.
As a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society I had not originally envisaged a career in health services research!
However, in the 1990s, my trajectory in working in the charitable and university sectors in health and aged care led to a fundamental insight that fragmentations in the way we provide services have significantly and negatively impacted the most vulnerable populations: the elderly, people with complex mental health challenges or chronic illnesses, ethnic minorities, and people living in rural and remote communities.
With many other like-minded colleagues, a movement of change was needed – so my career became to advancing the science, knowledge and adoption of integrated care in policy and practice around the world in ways that could lead to tangible change and impact on people’s health and wellbeing.
In each and every role, across research, advocacy and education, I have remained focused on achieving real-world outcomes for people and communities.
My research has really only one set of goals: to motivate action towards the design and delivery of integrated models of care that help to improve people’s care experiences and outcomes with improved system efficiency.
I took on the role of Director of the Central Coast Research Institute in 2019 with a mission to grow economic, health and wellbeing benefits for the Central Coast community and beyond.
Specifically, the CCRI seeks to support translational research into new models of integrated care that lead to tangible improvements in people’s health and wellbeing. Key projects in this regard have included research leading to the development of a dementia coordinator role, and a long-term project to establish a neighbourhood-based program of care to encourage All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (ALICE).
It is motivating to know that the CCRI’s efforts have already led to positive changes in how people work, in the way services are developed, and in improving outcomes. The ability to ‘make a difference’ in an area with clear public value is and will continue to be a privilege.