Join us at the opening plenary on Friday morning for a high level panel discussion - The Future of Primary Health Care Nursing: APNA Nurse 2022

This year our unique mix of well-informed panellists will hold a thought provoking discussion, facilitated by APNA CEO Ken Griffin, about some key policy issues that impact on the progression of primary health care nursing. The focus of the panel is to address the activity that needs to occur at both the system level and also by nurses, to bring about APNA’s vision for the future of primary health care nursing i.e. APNA Nurse 2022.

This includes delving into issues such as funding models to support primary health care nurses working to their full scope of practice, other challenges that nurses can face in being able to work to full scope of practice, exploring how the nurse role can be better understood and recognised, and how APNA is campaigning for primary health care nurses being respected and valued for their vital role within the healthcare system by 2022.

Find out more about each member of the panel below

The Future of Primary Health Care Nursing: APNA Nurse 2022

Ken has more than 20 years marketing, communications and government affairs experience in the healthcare, not-for-profit, pharmaceutical, beverage and logistics sectors. He has held multiple leadership roles and directed high-profile campaigns for large companies, patient groups and industry organisations. Ken brings significant strategic capability to APNA as the incumbent CEO and is a determined and passionate supporter of primary health care nursing.

Karen Booth has worked as a primary health care nurse and nurse manager in general practice since 1998. Her roles include acute care, preventative health and chronic disease management, care coordination, data management, accreditation, administration, staff training and mentoring. Karen has recently moved into practice management.

Karen’s true passion is preventative health care and utilising surveillance and health checks to identify health problems so that care can be initiated early to prevent damage to a person’s health and wellbeing. Key to this is the development of systems to utilise skills of the whole general practice team to support health prevention activity and care.

Karen has participated in advisory groups for APNA, Australian Medicare Local Alliance, Nursing in General Practice Program, New South Wales Health, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), Practice Nurse Clinical Education, and Sydney University, and Health Pathways Advisory Group for Inner West Sydney Medicare Local/Sydney Local Health District.

Karen holds several committee and advisory group positions at Australian Government Department of Health level including the General Practice Roundtable, the National Immunisation Committee, and the Advisory Committee for Safety of Vaccine (ministerial appointment). In 2014 Karen participated in several advisory groups for the RACGP including the Pandemic Taskforce and the review of the Pandemic Flu Kit, the Infection Control Standards and Quality Health Records.

Dr Anthony (Tony) Hobbs is a former deputy chief medical officer with the Commonwealth Department of Health, and prior to that he was the principal medical adviser at the Therapeutic Goods Administration from February 2013 to May 2015.

He was a general practitioner in rural New South Wales for nearly 20 years, delivering comprehensive coordinated care to the local committee. He has also worked in remote services in the Northern Territory and in Swaziland, Southern Africa and in the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Tony has made a significant contribution to Australia’s health system with extensive experience on boards, committees and advisory councils. He is a former chair of the Australian General Practice Network, was chair of the External Reference Group which developed Australia’s first National Primary Health Care Strategy in 2009, and he was also part of a group that provided expert clinical advice to the National Chronic Disease Strategy in 2005. This also includes the National Health and Medical Research Council, cancer, diabetes and kidney health advisory groups, and has worked with the National Prescribing Services on its Diagnostic Evaluation Advisory Group. Tony has a First Class Honours medical degree from the University of Sydney and post-graduate qualifications in obstetrics and gynaecology, child health and tropical medicine and hygiene from Australia and the United Kingdom. Tony is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Tracey Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of Inala Primary Care, a charitable, multidisciplinary, teaching and research active practice in Queensland’s most disadvantaged suburban location. In 2015 she undertook a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship studying how to bring care out of hospitals and into the community. In May 2016 the organisation was recognised by Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited as Australian Practice of the Year. The practice continues to rapidly grow delivering close to 50,000 consultations a year. Notably, just 29,000 are delivered by doctors, the remainder by nurses and allied health professionals demonstrating commitment to caring through multidisciplinary teams. She is a member of the Evaluation Working Group of the Australian Health Care Homes Program and Deputy Chair of the Primary Care Advisory Group of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. She is also an active health services researcher and pioneer in the area of bridging the health and social care divide.

Jackie Eyles is employed as a registered nurse in the Snowy Mountains snow resort town of Jindabyne NSW. Community is very important to her and her nursing skill set has been tailored to meet the needs of her growing community. Without funding, Jackie has set up sexual, youth and women’s health clinics, which have now been running for six years. She also works alongside Dr Cath Newman in the Elements Skin Cancer Clinic and holds an x-ray licence.

Jackie volunteers her time providing health information at local schools, within Perisher Ski Resort and local community groups, and was recognised for her community spirit on Australia Day in 2015 when she was awarded 'Snowy River Shire Citizen of the Year'. She is committed to furthering her education and supporting a well community. She is also mentor for the APNA Transition to Practice Program (TPP). Jackie enjoys the diversity and challenges of working in general practice, an area of nursing that she have been involved in for the most part of 19 years.

Dr Chris Helms is a registered nurse and endorsed nurse practitioner currently working in primary health care in a remote Aboriginal community in far north Queensland.

Chris received his formal training as an adult and geriatric nurse practitioner from the University of Wisconsin, based in the United States. He has worked in diverse healthcare settings, ranging from remote primary health care to subspecialty practice in a quaternary referral centre. He immigrated to Australia in 2007 and has since served on several committees vested in the advancement of the Australian nursing profession.

Chris currently holds a ministerial appointment with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and is member of the Commonwealth Health Care Homes Implementation Advisory Group. He recently completed his PhD, which validated a specialist clinical learning and teaching framework for Australian nurse practitioners. In his spare time he serves as a director for a consultancy based in Canberra that helps organisations better understand, plan and implement nurse practitioner models of care.

Chris received APNA's 2018 Rosemary Bryant Award in recognition of his contribution to the nursing profession, dedication and advocacy of nurses working in primary health care.



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