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Our Board

The Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) is led by a Board which itself is led by experienced clinicians.

Chair

Brian McCaughan

Brian McCaughan, AM

Professor Brian McCaughan is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and cardiothoracic surgeon at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. His major clinical interest is the management of lung cancer. He has held a number of positions with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and was President of the NSW Medical Board for five years.

Members

Ken Barker

Ken Barker, PSM

Ken Barker has many years’ experience in the NSW public sector, financial management and strategic expertise. As former Chief Financial Officer of NSW Health, he has extensive knowledge of the NSW public health system and its position within the Australian healthcare system. Ken is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the National Institute of Accountants. He was awarded the Public Service medal in 2002. He is currently Deputy Chair of the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network Board, Chair of the National Blood Authority Audit Committee and a member of the National Health Funding Body Audit Committee.

Leon Clark

Leon Clark

Prior to his appointment as Group Chief Executive Officer of Adventist HealthCare in 2012, Dr Leon Clark FAICD was Chief Executive Officer of Sydney Adventist Hospital for ten years from April 2002. With a strong clinical background, as well as administrative expertise, he was originally an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and pioneer in his chosen sub-specialty of in vitro fertilisation. A past president of the Australian Private Hospitals Association, he currently serves on the boards of several not-for-profit organisations, including The Novus Foundation and Medi-Aid Centre Foundation Limited.

Jacqueline Close

Jacqueline Close

Professor Jacqui Close is a consultant in Orthogeriatrics at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney and Clinical Director of the Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre at Neuroscience Research Australia. She trained in the UK and moved to Australia in 2005. Her research interests range from injury epidemiology, to intervention studies and implementation research. She has published over 150 papers and her research is currently focused on injury prevention in dementia, hip fracture care and care of older people in surgery. She sits on a number of State and National committees in relation to Older People, is the Co-Chair of the ANZ Hip Fracture Registry Steering Group.

Andrew Cooke

Andrew Cooke

Dr Andrew Cooke is currently an Advanced Trainee in Emergency Medicine, specialising in adult and paediatric emergency care. He works in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and at the Sydney Children's Hospital, NSW. Andrew holds a Master of Laws, and practised as a solicitor, with public and private sector experience in NSW and Victoria. He received the Sydney University Medical School Travelling Fellowship in 2008 and is also a recipient of a Full Commonwealth Scholarship to Cambridge to undertake graduate training in law. Andrew is a member of the Australian College of Legal Medicine

Laila Hallam

Laila Hallam

With over 25 years in senior sales & marketing roles in mostly large organisations across a range of diverse industries, Laila has commenced postgraduate research in understanding Patient-Centred Care. Laila also works with Sydney Local Health District to better understand patient and family needs and their place in their treatment. Her focus is to work with healthcare organisations to understand, recognise and facilitate the immense value and knowledge that patients and their families contribute to their own personal healthcare – for better health outcomes. Laila became an accidental advocate for her father over 10 years ago. Tortured with a rapidly failing body, and losing his ability to speak, Laila took on her father's voice as he lost his.

Sandy Middleton

Sandy Middleton

Professor Sandy Middleton is Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Research Institute a joint initiative between St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney) and Australian Catholic University. She has been successful in obtaining funding as a chief investigator on 56 grants attracting funding of over $14.5M. Her particular interest is in stroke and implementation research. She is a member of the National Stroke Foundation Clinical Council, the NHMRC Translation Faculty, a Director of the St Vincent’s Clinic Board, and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry.

Susan Pearce

Susan Pearce

Susan has held a number of senior management and operational positions within the NSW public health system and in November 2015 was appointed to the role of Deputy Secretary, System Purchasing and Performance Division at the Ministry of Health. Susan is responsible for the front-end end of “system management” across the public health system in NSW and is dedicated to working collaboratively with health professionals and administrators. Susan is the interface between the Ministry, local health districts, specialty health networks, the pillars and other health organisations to support and monitor overall system performance in NSW.

Susan commenced her career in nursing in various clinical settings across rural, remote and metropolitan areas in NSW. Susan has vast experience as a nurse manager and as clinical nurse specialist in intensive and coronary care. Her early career has provided her with a solid foundation for her ongoing commitment to improving patient outcomes, care and experiences.

In August 2012, Susan was appointed to the position of Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer at the Ministry of Health. During her time in this role, Susan focused on strengthening the engagement of healthcare teams to build a sustainable Essentials of Care Program that enhances the experiences of patients, families and carers. Further, Susan introduced the Productive Ward which focuses on increasing the amount of time frontline nursing staff spend providing direct care to patients through reviewing and improving ward systems and processes resulting in the improvement of safety and efficiency. Susan also had oversight of a short film that was developed – Small Acts of Kindness which demonstrates the importance of facilitating person-centred, humanistic and compassionate healthcare through the implementation of local innovations and strategies.

During her time as the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, there were more graduate nurses and midwives employed in NSW in comparison to any other state as well as an increase in the number of Aboriginal nurses entering the profession of midwifery. Prior to this appointment, Susan was the Director of Operations at Northern Sydney Local Health District where she managed large portfolios including: acute health services, mental health, public health and health promotion, workforce, clinical training and education and Aboriginal health.

Making a positive difference to patients’ health outcomes and care has been important to Susan, which is reflected in her commitment to drive change in the public health system.

Tomas Ratoni

Tomas Ratoni

Tomas Ratoni is a Paediatric Clinical Nurse Consultant. He has a background primarily in paediatric critical care and paediatric and neonatal retrieval medicine and more recently has discovered a taste for general paediatrics. He has a passion for teaching and is an instructor for Australian Paediatric Life Support.

Jenny Symons

Jenny Symons

Jenny has degrees in Arts, Applied Science and Commerce. She was a founding member of the Southern NSW Local Health District Board and has been the Chair for four years. She is also a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of NSW. She has spent 24 years in the retirement and aged care sector, mainly in the rural and regional environment but also in Canberra. The integration of services across organisational, governmental and funding boundaries has been a point of focus for much of Jenny’s career. Quality assurance systems built for and around the care recipient are a particular passion, along with development of the optimum devolved system – one that is responsive, tailored, empowered, supported and accountable. Jenny lives on the far south coast of NSW, with her wonderful family – her husband and two daughters.

Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson

Professor Wilson is Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney and leads the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre. His research interests concern the application of epidemiology to informing decision making in clinical medicine, public health, and health service policy and planning. His specific areas of interest are chronic disease prevention and management. His specific areas of interest are chronic disease prevention and management. His previous non-academic roles include Deputy Director-General, Policy, Planning and Resourcing, Queensland Health, and Chief Health Officer, and Deputy Director-General, Public Health, NSW Health.