We have a small, but energetic and committed team at HCA who work to support our members and Consumer Advocates, and ensure there is a strong consumer voice in the planning, delivery, review and monitoring of health services in South Australia.
Ellen Kerrins is the Manager for Advocacy and Policy at HCA. She is a former member of the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network Governing Council, and Board Director for Helping Hand Aged Care.
Ellen has proven ability to lead, consult with and advise health business units to effect consumer centred care. She has demonstrated capabilities in connecting with people, building and leading high performing teams. Having worked in government and not for profit sectors, Ellen is adaptive, resilient and outcomes focused. With over 20 years' experience as a leader, manager, executive and board director, Ellen remains committed to public health. Ellen has a broad range of competencies with particular expertise in nursing, cancer control, primary health care, workforce reform, and partnering with consumers.
Kathy Mickan is the Manager, Consumer and Community Engagement at HCA. With more than 25 years’ experience in the health and community services sector, Kathy has extensive experience engaging with stakeholders, with a particular focus on young people, health and mental health. Kathy has a passion for authentic engagement, building capacity and working collaboratively to achieve positive health outcomes for individuals and communities.
Karen Shepherd is the Senior Project Officer at HCA, and has a background in education and health services spanning more than 25 years. She brings experience in health promotion, communications, community education and media liaison. Karen has worked in the government and not for profit sectors, and is passionate about primary health care. Karen has an enduring commitment to improving health outcomes through effective communication and building partnerships.
Allison is a senior health policy adviser with some 30 years experience. Allison has worked with the children’s services sector; hospitals and other health and aged care services, disability services and Aboriginal health services. She runs a successful consultancy, providing education, policy support and project management to the health and community sectors. She also lectures to undergraduate nursing students at Flinders University and is on the national speaker circuit, speaking at nursing and community health conferences across Australia.
Allison held ministerial and Board appointments on The Pharmacy Board of SA, Shine Board and the Sexual Health and Family Planning Association of Australia. Allison has an extensive background in regulation, governance and professional practice and applies this in education, policy development and project management.
Ellie has more than 18 years of experience working in the community and mental health sectors as a practitioner, manager, educator, advisor, advocate and consultant. Most recently Ellie has been working in her Counselling Private Practice and as a Lived Experience Advisor to the South Australian Mental Health Commission. At the heart of all of Ellie’s work is her commitment to innovation, social justice and leading together. She is informed and transformed by her work and knows that everyone has a story to tell… we just need someone to hear it. Ellie integrates her lived, learned and imagined experiences; she knows that they all matter.
Vanessa Vowles is the Administration and Digital Communications Officer at HCA. In her role she is also responsible for the eNews and the HCA website. Vanessa has worked in the area of Administration for over 15 years, and has wide and varied experience in Administrations and Communications in both Adelaide and Sydney. She is passionate about online engagement, and would love to see health consumers actively engaged online, as well as through existing traditional methods.
Teresa Duncan is the Administrative Officer at HCA. She has a background in customer relations and office administration with research centres such as the Quality Use of Medicines Research Centre, Ian Wark Research Institute and SANT DataLink. Teresa is keen to utilise and extend her knowledge in an environment that promotes the consumer voice, health and wellbeing.
Bernadette is currently in her third year of a Bachelor of Social Work and has joined HCA for her first field placement. Bernadette has volunteered and worked in community services for the past eight years. She has a passion for social justice and advocacy and hopes to continue working in this area after completing her degree, with a strong emphasis on policy.
During her time with HCA she will be working with the team on researching individual advocacy services to help provide healthcare consumers with further options to access advocacy support and resources. Bernadette hopes to use her social work skills and perspectives in bringing a strong consumer-focused service to South Australian healthcare consumers.
The Senate Report on The number of women in Australia who have had transvaginal mesh implants and related matters was released on 28 March 2018. Australia’s state and territory based health consumer organisations have welcomed the recognition of the extent and impact of harm to women, and the recommendations contained in the Senate report. You can find their media release, together with a joint media release by Pelvic Mesh Support Groups across Australia, and links to the Senate Report and further information here.
The “hello my name is” campaign was created by Dr Kate Granger MBE, a doctor in the UK who had terminal cancer. Together with her husband Chris Pointon, Dr Granger started the campaign in August 2013, asking frontline national health service staff to make a pledge to introduce themselves in future to their patients. She used social media to help kick start the campaign and created the hashtag #hellomynameis. Last week Health Consumers Forum of Australia (CHF) and The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) co-hosted the #hellomynameis Comes to Canberra Webinar, which you can view
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare, in consultation with clinical experts from across Australia, has developed the hospital-acquired complications information kit. This kit has been developed to improve the safety and quality of health services, and outcomes for Australian patients. The kit also provides insights for consumers on health service activities relating to safety and quality. You can find out more here.
HealthPathways South Australia is a free online portal for GPs, practice nurses and other health professionals. It provides them with easy access to comprehensive, evidence-based clinical information, and local referral resources relevant to patient care. With the recent launch of HealthPathways in SA, consumers may see their health providers using this portal. More information and a video that explains HealthPathways South Australia is available here.
HCA Board Chair Debra Kay PSM is delighted to announce the appointment of our new Chief Executive, Ms Julia Overton. Julia will commence in the role on 23 April 2018. Julia has spent the majority of her career working within the health system in South Australia, with a focus on the social determinants of health and equity. She is an experienced executive, having held senior positions within primary health services and Local Government, as well as management experience in small business. You can read more about Julia below. Julia is looking forward to working closely with our members and partners, consumers and communities, to strengthen the position of consumers at the centre of health in South Australia.
Monday 9 April 2018
10am - 11.30am
Asthma Foundation SA, Hilton
Would you like to learn to live well with asthma? Asthma Masterclasses aim to increase your knowledge and confidence in managing asthma. Learning more about what asthma is and how to respond to symptoms will help you feel in control of your condition. Learn more about the medications, how to use them and when. We also look at worsening asthma, and teach Asthma First Aid. This is essential information for everyone with asthma, or those caring for others with asthma. You can find all training dates in 2018, Kids Asthma Masterclass details, and register to attend here.
Tuesday 1 May 2018
7:00 – 8:00 pm (AEST)
NPS MedicineWise is hosting a webinar on difficult-to-treat and severe asthma. Many asthma sufferers experience uncontrolled asthma and poor outcomes, despite high-dose standard therapy. The webinar aims to explore new therapies which may improve the health outcomes for people who suffer severe asthma. An expert panel will convene for a multidisciplinary discussion on new therapies, and how to identify and manage difficult-to-treat and severe asthma. You can find out more and register here.
Monday 7 May 2018
9.30am – 3.00pm
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care invites consumers to participate in their upcoming webinar on the Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Clinical Care Standard (the Standard). The Standard was developed in response to significant variation in the rate of hysterectomy and endometrial ablation surgical procedures to treat heavy menstrual bleeding, as identified in both the first and the second Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation. The webinar will provide participants the opportunity to learn more about the Standard. You can find out more and register to attend here.
Thursday 19 April 2018
11am - 3.00pm
Adelaide Entertainment Centre
SA Health DeadlyKidsSA, in partnership with Watto Purrunna Aboriginal Primary Health Care Service and Nunkuwarrin Yunti, is hosting this free expo in April. Aboriginal families are encouraged to come along for a day of healthy activities and information in a fun environment. Kids can complete the "My Deadly Health Journey" and receive a showbag! You can find out more and register to attend here.
Friday 15 June 2018
8am - 4pm
This year's World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) Conference program has been developed with the theme around 'Prevention to Intervention'. The purpose of the WEAAD is to encourage communities to recognise the issues concerning abuse of older people, and for our society to create policies that promote dignity and respect for older people. The conference will demonstrate strategies developed and used by professionals in a variety of fields. You can find out more about the conference here.