Episode 4 - Community Representatives Improving Healthcare

Patient Power Podcast: Healthcare Rights and Positive Change

Episode 4 - Community Representatives Improving Healthcare

Patient Power Podcast: Healthcare Rights and Positive Change

What is a health consumer representative? And how can they improve the health system? In Episode 4, we encourage you to become an active patient advocate and health consumer ‘rep’.

We also look at how skills and confidence can be enhanced by training and in partnership with other consumers and clinicians.

Julie talks to Laila and Shona, both highly experienced health consumer leaders, about their journeys from patient to ‘rep’. We also look at the other side with Ben, the patient doctor, and Sandra and discover how health services work with community representatives to improve, design and run their health services.

Episode 4 with Ben Bravery, Sandra Turner, Laila Hallam and Shona Edwards

Julie McCrossin AM

Presenter: Julie McCrossin AM

Julie McCrossin gets people talking. After 20 years with ABC Radio National, ABC TV and Network Ten, she is now a freelance broadcaster and MC.

Julie was treated for HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer in 2013. Julie is an Ambassador for Targeting Cancer and TROG Cancer Research and a member of Cancer Voices SA. Julie hosts the podcast series, The Thing About Cancer and The Thing About Advanced Cancer for Cancer Council NSW. She has also produced and presented many videos in partnership with clinicians and advocates.

Julie has qualifications in the arts, education and law. In 2019, Julie was awarded an OAM for significant service to the community, particularly through LGBTIQ advocacy roles and to the broadcast media.

Guests

Shona Edwards

Shona Edwards

Shona Edwards is a disability and youth cancer advocate in Adelaide South Australia. Shona is Deputy Chair of Cancer Voices SA.

When she was diagnosed with a spinal tumour in 2018, she travelled to Prague in the Czech Republic for proton beam radiation therapy. Upon her return, she joined the Youth Cancer Service Youth Advisory Group to advocate for the unique and complex needs of adolescents and young adult patients.

As a postgraduate student at the University of Adelaide she fights for disability equity in higher education. Shona is a founding member and President of the Disability Illness and Divergence Association (DIDA). This is a club affiliated with the student union which provides essential peer support to disabled students.

Dr Ben Bravery

Dr Ben Bravery

Ben Bravery was originally a zoologist and science communicator. He worked for the Australian and Chinese governments before being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the age of 28.

After undergoing eighteen months of cancer treatment, Ben decided on a new career and wanted to make a change in the health system. He became a medical doctor in 2018 and is now undertaking speciality training in psychiatry in Sydney. Ben advocates and speaks about colorectal cancer, living with cancer, cancer in young adults, and medicine and medical education. He is committed to advocating for improvements in Australia’s healthcare system.

His memoir, The Patient Doctor, was released in 2022.

Prof Sandra Turner

Prof Sandra Turner

Sandra Turner is a radiation oncologist at Westmead Hospital in Sydney and a Clinical Professor at the University of Sydney. She is Clinical Lead of Professional Development at the Research and Education Network (REN) in the Western Sydney Local Health District.

Sandra is an enthusiastic advocate for patient-centred care. She promotes the key place that effective patient-health professional partnerships and teamwork have in improving the health system. Her team has incorporated these concepts into education and leadership programs that she oversees across the Western Sydney Local Health District.

Sandra was the founding lead of Targeting Cancer, an awareness campaign aimed at educating patients, the community, GPs and other health professionals about radiation therapy as a vital, safe and effective treatment for cancer.

Laila Hallam

Laila Hallam

After 25 years of senior sales and marketing roles across multinational and not-for-profit organisations, a personal family experience of illness compelled Laila Hallam into health care and patient advocacy. Her focus has since been to facilitate and embed the immense value and knowledge that patients and their families contribute to their own personal healthcare into health systems for better, safer health outcomes.

Laila writes, presents and collaborates broadly in health research, policy, and practice, predominantly in NSW, including with Sydney Local Health District, NSW Health, University of Sydney, Health Consumers NSW and the Consumer Health Forum. Laila’s leadership positions in advocacy include: Co-Chair of the Agency for Clinical Innovation and Clinical Excellence Commission’s Consumer Council and an Honorary Associate with the University of Sydney.

Resources

National and State-based health consumer representative organisations in Australia

If you are interested in becoming a health consumer representative in your State or in federal health projects, please consider joining the relevant organisation:

Patient Power: Healthcare Rights and Positive Change is a Health Consumers NSW podcast and video series.

The series is supported by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care