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.
Michael Cousins is Chief Executive of Health Consumers Alliance of SA Inc (HCA), the peak body for health consumers and health consumer organisations in South Australia. Michael has over 20 years' experience in health and community services, in government and non-government organisations. Michael leads HCA to position consumers and the community at the centre of health care, and advocates for the development of a consumer-centred health system.
Michael is a public health advocate and policy leader. He represents health consumers on a number of senior committees within South Australia and nationally. He is a member of the Ministerial Clinical Advisory Group for Transforming Health, the State Government’s health reform program; chair of the Consumer and Community Engagement Committee for Transforming Health; chair of the Partnering with Consumers and Community Advisory Group for SA Health; and chair of the Partnering with Consumers Committee for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Michael is a member of the executive committees for the SA Academic Health Research Translation Centre; Consumer and Community Engagement Committee for the SA Health and Medical Research Institute; and SA NT DataLink.
Ellen Kerrins is the Manager for Advocacy and Policy at HCA. She is also a 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 organisational improvement. 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 and workforce reform. She is passionate about working with consumer-focused health care providers and services.
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 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.
Vanessa Vowles is an 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 an 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.
At Health Consumers Alliance of SA Inc (HCA), we work with our members and supporters to achieve our vision: Consumers at the centre of health in South Australia.
In the lead-up to the state election, we are seeking consumer and community views to help shape our advocacy and election priorities.
We invite you to tell us what matters to you. As a guide, we have listed some questions below that you may wish to consider.
1. What should health services do more of for South Australians?
2. What should health services stop doing for South Australians?
3. Are there issues that HCA should influence more?
4. Are there priority groups of South Australians that HCA could be helping more?
Thank you for sharing your views, and for helping us to promote and strengthen the voices, wellbeing, rights and leadership of health consumers.
Asthma SA has recently launched a range of asthma-related resources for community members from Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Dinka & Nepali speaking backgrounds.The resources reflect the different information needs of these community language groups with varying levels of health literacy in relation to asthma basic facts, key daily asthma management, & asthma first aid. You can access the resources here.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare and Independent Hospital Pricing Authority have developed an animation about medical records and date-driven Healthcare. The animation was created in consultation with clinical stakeholders and aims to raise awareness among clinicians of what clinical coding is, and how the medical record is used in this context. You can watch the video
HCA hosted a forum on the draft Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Amendment Bill on Thursday 21 September 2017. The objective of the forum was to gain consumer feedback on the draft bill. The report outlining the main themes and recommendations emerging from the forum is available below.
HCA held the 2017 HCA Members Forum on Monday 25 September 2017, from 3.00 to 5.00pm. Seventeen members attended. The purpose of the forum was to provide an opportunity for HCA members to identify the priorities for HCA’s advocacy and 2017/18 state election platforms.
Eight priority issues emerged:
1. The consumer/health system interface
2. Rural and remote health
3. Service improvement through the consumer voice
4. Aged care and older people, and health care homes
5. Social determinants of health - the needs and health care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and high incarceration rates, were highlighted at the conclusion of the forum. So too was the need to change the culture of the workplace to ensure a consumer focus. There was also an acknowledgement of racism in health care.
6. Consumer and carer escalation of care
7. Medication management first response and polypharmacy
8. Access and navigation of the health system, including E-Health and information technology access.
You can find the Forum Summary Report below.
Wednesday 22 – Thursday 23 November 2017
The Ageing Well Conference will highlight the leading transformational global trends and bring together international experts to explore the business innovation and social innovation opportunities. At the heart of the design and thinking is ensuring people in their 60’s and beyond have better choices that bring their life greater purpose and meaning, and more control in determining the choices available to them as they transition through life’s course. You can find out more and register here.
Wednesday 15 November
1.00 - 3.30pm
Following the state-wide power outage in September 2016, SA Health has developed an emergency plan to manage the impacts of an extended power outage. HCA is hosting a forum to seek consumer advice on the SA Health Community Power Dependency Project. The forum objectives are to give consumers the opportunity to review the proposed Power Dependency Strategy and messaging, and provide feedback on what to do to prepare for and manage an outage. You can find out more and register here.
Sunday 15 October – Saturday 21 October 2017
This week is National Carers Week, a time to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution that Australia’s 2.7 million unpaid carers make to our nation. There are many ways to engage with the campaign this year, you can find out more on the website here. You can publicly pledge your thanks to Australia’s unpaid carers and let them know how much they count here.
Thursday 26 October 2017
7pm - 8.45pm
The Adelaide Mitcham Prostate support meeting will provide an overview of prostate disease. The guest speaker is Dr Richard Wells, who is a urologist. You can view the event flyer to find out more here.
Sunday 22 October 2017
Cancer Voices Challenge Bike Ride is on this Sunday, starting at 8am from Kensington Gardens reserve, Norwood Parade between Glynburn & Penfolds Rd. Ride into the beautiful Adelaide Hills with 20, 35 or 67km distance options. Cost of entry-wear yellow! You can find out more and register here.