New board member for Healthdirect Australia

5 minute read

The former chair of Coviu Global joins the government-owned free health and information entity.

Healthdirect Australia has appointed Dr Amandeep Hansra to its board for a three-year term through to 30 June 2026.

Dr Hansra, a GP with 18 years of clinical practice, is also a leader in the intersection of digital health and innovation.

She has served as a Senior Medical Adviser at Medibank Health Solutions and as the founding Chief Medical Officer and CEO of Telstra ReadyCare. Dr Hansra holds several other board positions in the health sector and is the former Chair at Coviu Global.

Dr Hansra founded Creative Careers in Medicine, a network of 19,000 doctors with a strong focus on innovation in the health system. She is well known for her support of entrepreneurs in the Australian telehealth sector.

Healthdirect’s government shareholders appointed Dr Hansra to the board following a merit-based recruitment process. 

She joins Chair Ms Jane Muirsmith and directors Professor David Ashbridge, Professor Stephen Duckett, Ms Peta Jurd, Professor Christine Kilpatrick and Mr Richard Taggart.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr Hansra to the board,” said Ms Muirsmith.

“Her deep understanding of the role and potential of telehealth, alongside her clinical and commercial knowledge, will be a great asset to the board and company. We look forward to working together as we evolve the strategy for Healthdirect and our virtual services to ensure we deliver our vision for a healthier Australia.”   

Central Adelaide LHN

Flinders University and Central Adelaide Local Health Network have appointed cancer researcher Professor Catherine Paterson to the position of Professor of Cancer Nursing.

Professor Paterson will set strategic goals for rehabilitation research in consultation with the Caring Futures Institute, Flinders University and CALHN, to develop and expand the research program and reputation of both organisations at an international level.

As a joint position, Professor Paterson will be based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and spend time at the Caring Futures Institute. She will lead and undertake strategic research aligned and integrated with the senior leadership teams of the CALHN Nursing Executive and the Caring Futures Institute.

Currently the Clinical Chair in Nursing, Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra and Canberra Health Services, Professor Paterson is a research leader in all areas of cancer research, with particular focus on urology and uro-oncology. 

Caring Futures Institute Deputy Director Professor Lucy Lewis said the appointment of Professor Paterson would support academic excellence and elevate the Caring Futures Institute and CALHN.

“Catherine’s expertise in research capacity and capability makes her an outstanding appointment for CALHN and the Caring Futures Institute,” said Professor Lewis.

“Catherine will generate a vibrant research ecosystem of clinical research excellence that acts as a ‘magnet’ for nursing and midwifery staff who want to develop their clinical research careers.”

Professor Paterson said she was looking forward to joining Flinders University and the CALHN team.

“I’ve been very impressed by the calibre of the Flinders University and CALHN clinical academics who demonstrate a strong commitment to transform health and care,” she said.

“I am thrilled about this opportunity to further leverage cancer innovation in nurse-led models of care safely embedded in the multidisciplinary team, and to also support and develop capacity and capability for future research development among our early to mid-career clinical academics in cancer care.”

Professor Paterson will begin her new position on 4 September.

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Country SA PHN

As part of the federal government’s $43.2 million investment in targeted regional initiatives for suicide prevention, Country SA PHN has appointed Karen McColl as its regional suicide prevention coordinator.

Ms McColl previously spent four years as the inaugural adviser to the SA Office of the Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention, supporting the work of the Premier’s Council on Suicide Prevention, the whole-of-government issues group on suicide prevention, and the 40 established suicide prevention networks across SA. 

She was formerly an Adelaide Plains Councillor for eight years, serving also during that time as deputy mayor, and established that region’s suicide prevention network.

Backed by a 20-year career in human resource management, Ms McColl established her own counselling and consulting business and co-ordinated engagement programs such as an at-risk youth program for the northern region of South Australia.

She currently chairs the Suicide Prevention Australia SA/WA joint committee.

NSW iAwards

Sydney-based dental and medical imaging startup Eyes of AI has won the Australian Industry Association’s NSW iAwards for Best Business and Industry Solution and Merit Winner for the Technology Platform Solution.

EAI shared both wins with CSIRO Data61, in recognition of the AI-based segmentation and detection of pathologies technology that the two organisations developed in collaboration.

The purpose-built, cloud-based platform uses AI technology to provide automated identification of anatomical structures and pathological lesions.

Currently, no other commercial product offers a comparable solution. It offers a unified solution for conducting AI-based analysis on all five commonly used types of dental radiographs.

“We are particularly pleased that AIIA recognises the potential of our technology to create a positive impact – which was one of the key judging criteria,” said Mr Khoa Le, co-founder of EAI.

“That we could be close to launching a world first here in Australia with this technology is not only exciting for us at Eyes of AI but showcases Australia’s advanced capabilities in the tech and medtech fields.

“It also demonstrates the high-level research and development resources that we have access to in this country.”

EAI and CSIRO Data61 will now represent NSW at the AIIA’s National iAwards Ceremony on 31 August in Adelaide.

Public service

Iwan Walters will become Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Carers in the Victorian Department of Health.

He will support Disability, Ageing and Carers Minister Lizzie Blandthorn on projects including engaging with the disability sector during the Commonwealth’s review of the NDIS and assisting with the Social Services Regulation Taskforce.

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