The following scholarship winners for 2016 were announced at our annual conference in October.
Colleen Sullivan Scholarship
Jennifer originally qualified and worked as a nurse, including stints with the Australian Army and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Career highlights include deployment to Bougainville with the Army as part of a medical team on a Peace Monitoring Mission as well as spending five months on Palm Island where she implemented numerous health promotion campaigns.
A switch to General Practice revealed to Jennifer how much positive change she could influence if in a management position, and since then has used her change management skills to implement a number of improvements and initiatives.
Winning this award will give Jennifer the additional skills and knowledge she feels she needs to perform her role as a Practice Manager to its full potential.
Annette Ah Shay
Annette has had a long career at Innisfail Family Health in a variety of roles including receptionist and Triage Officer to her current position of Assistant Practice Manager.
Annette feels that this study opportunity would allow her to continue on her professional development pathway and ensure that her knowledge remains up to date and is used in a way to benefit not only the patients but the wider community. It would also allow her to develop her leadership skills, and at the same time gain valuable knowledge regarding resourcing, efficient processes, legal compliance and quality assurance programs that can be used within the practice.
Rachel has worked in General Practice since 2002, starting as a junior medical receptionist to her current Practice Manager role at Ballarto Medial Centre in Carrum Downs, and including stints in her own food retail business.
She is currently assisting her Practice Principals in developing new sites and evolving her role into Business Manager, hoping one day to be a part owner in her own clinic.
Rachel has continued her professional development throughout her career, striving to achieve new goals and innovation for the practice.
She was a finalist in the 2016 AAPM Victorian Practice Manager of the Year and the recipient of the Barbara Meredith Memorial Award for 2016.
Rachel feels that further study help her understand patient needs, develop her team and assist her in managing a financially sound business.
Jodie is in her 16th year as Practice Manager at The Breast and Endocrine Centre in Newcastle. Whilst in this role, she has successfully managed day-to-day operations as well as monitoring efficiency, leading a review of practice policies and implementing changes to continually improve patient services and business effectiveness.
Some highlights include developing an induction and training program for new employees, coordinating the successful accreditation of the diagnostic imaging for the practice, compilation, currency and implementation of the clinic's policy and procedures and legislative requirements and undertaking systems training of all administrative staff.
Jodie feels that this opportunity for further study will develop her understanding of staff management, risk management and compliance and ensure the clinic is providing the highest level of patient care.
With a long career in general and HR administration, in 1997 Gail transferred her skills into her current role as Practice Manager at Junction Street Family Practice in Nowra, NSW. In this time she has seen the practice expand from a small cottage practice to a 9 GP practice with nursing staff, a large administration staff and onsite allied health and specialist services.
She has many responsibilities in her role, including recruitment and training of staff, compliance with contractual obligations, relevant industrial awards and any legislative and accreditation requirements, maintenance of policies and procedures, change management and strategic planning.
Gail feels that further study will assist her in managing the many changes in medical practice and learning how to be more creative to remain financially viable while still providing outstanding patient care.
Elli has worked in a variety of roles in the health sector, starting as a dispensary assistant to her current Practice Manager role with the Kimberley Medical Group in Broome WA. This role clarified for her that, although it is sometimes challenging, her passion is with the healthcare sector, providing exceptional service to patients.
Working in a rural area with no support from other Practice Managers, Elli feels that the opportunity to undertake formal studies in this field will help fill some skills gaps and be of great benefit to the practice by being able to pass on her new found skills and knowledge to the other staff, ultimately improving patient care and outcomes.
Medical Director Indigenous Scholarship
Natalie is a proud descendant of the Tharawal mob from western Sydney, but has lived and worked in Theodore for the last nine years. During this time, she has worked for Theodore Medical as their Clinical Nurse, Diabetes Educator and Indigenous Health Team Leader and is confident to say that she has found her forte working in primary health care.
Natalie is excited about this new challenge as Practice Manger and believes her experience has given her a remarkable grounding in general practice. Theodore Medical is a unique practice, dedicated to its indigenous patients and an amazing team who are committed to closing the gap.
UNEP Indigenous Scholarship
Possessing a strong administrative background, Chantal has worked in Aboriginal health for four years, starting as a medical receptionist and working her way up to her current role as Assistant Clinic Manager at Carbal Medical Services in Toowoomba, Qld. She is often, in the absence of the Clinic Manager, required to manage the clinic independently and does so efficiently and professionally. Chantal is also most effective in educating clinic staff on practices that are culturally aware and sensitive.
Chantal has a comprehensive understanding of Aboriginal health services and being a keen learner, feels that the opportunity to undertake this course of study, with the full support of the practice principals, will be a great opportunity for her as it encompasses the skills areas she is keen to expand on.
UNEP Indigenous Scholarship
Theresa is Practice Manager at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service, Qld, starting there as an endorsed nurse in 2013 whilst completing her Bachelor of Nursing. Whilst her professional development in this role has been well supported, Theresa feels that by completing this scholarship, she will be confident in having the knowledge and skills base to lead and manage a flourishing team and ensure the delivery of the highest standard of service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, providing individualized client-focused care.