Program and Speakers

An overview of the ATC 2019 program will be available soon.

Primary care

Dr Sanjeev Arora (via live cross)
Director & Founder
Project ECHO, New Mexico

About Dr Sanjeev Arora

Sanjeev Arora, MD, MACP, FACG is the Director and Founder of Project ECHO. He is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine with tenure in the Department of Internal Medicine at University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) dramatically improves both capacity and access to specialty care for rural and underserved populations by linking expert inter-disciplinary specialist teams with primary care clinicians through teleECHO™ clinics, in which the experts mentor primary care clinicians to help them manage their patient cases and share their expertise via mentoring, guidance, feedback and didactic education. This helps rural clinicians develop knowledge and self-efficacy so they can adopt research findings and deliver best practice care for complex and chronic health conditions.

Healthcare improvement

Andrew Bryett
Director, Healthcare Improvement Unit
Clinical Excellence Queensland, Queensland Health

About Andrew Bryett

Andrew has over 25 years’ experience in the healthcare sector, during this time he has fulfilled clinical and managerial roles in acute hospital settings in Australia and internationally. Andrew has also worked in the areas of health informatics, clinical service redesign and knowledge support. Currently he is a Director in the Healthcare Improvement Unit within the Queensland Department of Health. He has responsibility for the statewide telehealth program and oversight of the teams coordinating the statewide Clinical Networks and Queensland Clinical Senate.

eHealth tools

Prof Clare Collins
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
Director of Research, School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health & Medicine
The University of Newcastle

About Prof Clare Collins

Professor Clare Collins is a Fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australian (DAA) and has been a DAA spokesperson since the program’s inception in 1999. Professor Collins is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Director of Research for the School of Health Sciences, and Deputy Director, Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle, where she leads the largest team of research dietitians internationally in developing food and nutrition eHealth tools and programs and evaluating impact on eating patterns and diet-related health across key life stages and chronic disease conditions. Professor Collins and has published over 300 manuscripts and supervised 28 Higher Degree Research candidates to completion. In 2017 she was awarded the Hunter Medical Research Institute, Researcher of the Year.

Prof Collins is passionate about nutrition communication and a sought after media commentator having completed thousands of media interviews, 70 articles for The Conversation and is a regular guest of Dr Karl on TripleJ for Science Hour with. In 2018 she was an ABC Catalyst presenter on Feeding Australia and Ask the Doctor in 2019. Her Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), The Science of Weight Loss – Dispelling Diet Myths, has been completed by over 45,000 people across 180 countries.

Mental health

Ivan Frkovic
Queensland Mental Health Commissioner

About Ivan Frkovic

While in the mental health sector, Ivan has focused on realising the benefits of strengthening partnerships and collaboration into fully integrated relationships.

Formerly Deputy CEO, National Operations for Aftercare, he has held senior government positions including Director, Mental Health Programs and Reforms, where he was responsible for policy development, funding and reform of the non-government mental health sector in Queensland.

Ivan also led the Queensland Mental Health Commission Transition Team, which supported the establishment of the Commission.

Palliative care

Brett Hayes
Specialist Palliative Care Manager
WA Wheatbelt Country Health Service (WACHS)

About Brett Hayes

Brett Hayes is the WA Wheatbelt Regional Specialist Palliative Care Manager. He manages a service that covers 155,000 sq km and includes 22 country hospitals, 8 nursing posts and 12 aged care facilities. However the majority of the palliative care work is in the community setting, providing palliative care for those at home.

Brett worked in Neurosurgery, Cardiothoracic and Oncology before moving to the WA Wheatbelt Country Health Service. In 2013 he became the Specialist Palliative Care Manager and in 2018 was awarded Excellence in Rural & Remote Health and the WA Nurse/Midwife of the Year at the WA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards.

Brett’s Christian faith has helped him develop a desire to help others, this led him to palliative care believing that those at the end of life can have the greatest need for compassion and support.

”In palliative care we have the unique privilege to help those who are often at the most vulnerable points of their lives”

He is passionate about palliative care and believes that everyone has the right to the best possible care; however he is equally passionate about family and believes that the key to an appropriate work life balance is to put family first whenever possible.

Improving health outcomes

Christina Higa
Assistant Specialist
Social Science Research Institute (SSRI)

About Christina Higa

Christina Higa manages several intergovernmental cooperative agreements for health information technology and social informatics research. These initiatives incorporate an interdisciplinary approach to education and research with partners from across the State of Hawaii and other government and academic institutions from the Asia and Pacific Islands region. Three major program areas of TASI include the: Pacific Health Informatics and Data Center (PHIDC), Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center (PBTRC), and Pacific International Training Desk (Pacific Desk). The overall mission of TASI is to improve health outcomes, quality, cost and access through data-driven methods and analyses, and to develop local and regional capacity in this multidisciplinary field. Christina was formerly the Director of the PEACESAT Program that provided satellite communications for distance learning, telehealth, and emergency management services in the Pacific Islands region.

From both sides of the bedside

Gillian Mason
Healthcare consumer & advocate, rehabilitation researcher
University of Newcastle

About Gillian Mason

Gillian has gained insight into and lost patience with inflexible healthcare, managing the demands of two rare and complex chronic diseases and a 15-year career as a physiotherapist and rehabilitation researcher. She was born with the genetic connective tissue disorder Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome and developed Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy a decade ago.

At Hunter Medical Research Institute she manages the Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury’s Stroke Research Register, and its consumer engagement and social media strategy. She is a science communicator for the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Stroke Rehabilitation and Brain Recovery. As a clinical research assistant for the Centre for Rehab Innovations, her focus is on innovating solutions for delivering individualised rehabilitation in the home setting.

She brings a dual perspective to the conversation on how integrating telehealth and keeping the patient experience central can improve outcomes. She has designed and implemented translational research and clinical programs that use telehealth to deliver community-based rehabilitation. She co-facilitated the workshop Telerehabilitation for Everyday Practice at the International Society of Physical Rehabilitation Medicine World Congress in 2018. She really appreciates the one wonderful medical specialist who sees her regularly via telehealth.

NHS Near Me: going digital to deliver services closer to home

Clare Morrison
Senior Clinical Quality Lead and NHS Near Me Lead
NHS Highland

About Clare Morrison

Clare Morrison is Senior Clinical Quality Lead at NHS Highland in Scotland. She is currently leading the development of NHS Near Me which is introducing video consulting at scale in NHS Highland.

Clare has a long-standing special interest in delivering services in remote and rural areas, having worked in the Scottish Highlands for 14 years. By profession, Clare is a pharmacist with extensive experience of developing new pharmacy services, supporting primary care practices and improving medicines safety. A number of these initiatives have led to national change, including the creation of medicine sick day rules cards and a safety package for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. More recently, Clare has moved into telehealth, initially to deliver pharmacy services in rural communities and now for all NHS Highland outpatient services through NHS Near Me.

Clare has significant training in quality improvement, having completed the Scottish Quality & Safety Fellowship and the US Intermountain Advanced Training Program in quality improvement. She is a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and was awarded an MBE for services to healthcare in 2018.