Niki Ellis | Improving health and disability services delivery
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Improving health and disability services delivery

Improving health and disability services deliveryAs an occupational physician Niki has been involved in organisational and system change to improve workplace health and productivity for over thirty years. She is pleased to see that there is growing recognition of the need for a new model for workplace health and safety (WHS), something she outlined in the Introduction to her book Work and Health: Management in Australia and New Zealand, published by Oxford University Press in 2001. The traditional model of OHS, a health protection model that focusses on workplace risk, is being expanded to a more holistic approach to wellbeing and performance, embracing work and non work related health determinants.

CEO, Victorian WorkCover Authority
Niki is a creative thinker and an inspiring leader. She has helped to guide the development of an innovative program in our organisation– working with key staff, the board and our stakeholders, as a consultant. Her depth of knowledge and experience, and her strong relationship management skills have brought credibility to this work.
One of her clients is Victoria WorkCover Authority, where she is a senior advisor on a new initiative taking innovative approaches to the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders and mental health.

In Selected Presentations you will find examples of keynote addresses on this subject.

Since 2002 she has been applying these skills to innovation in health and disability services delivery. Her experience in this area includes:

  • Led a job redesign initiative across eight cardiac tertiary hospitals in London from 2003-2005. Progress towards national targets for cardiac care were being held back by workforce issues in cardiac catheter laboratories. In this project a generic worker was created combining the skills of a cardiac physiologist, radiographer and nurse. The project involved development and delivery of the professional development, and more significantly, supporting the implementation and evaluation of workplace change.
  • On return to Australia, Niki continued this interest at the University of Queensland as Chair of the Health Workforce Innovation Committee in the Faculty of Health Sciences. This group devised strategy and supported projects for change in interprofessional education, CPD for health innovation and fostering programs for new roles, specifically physician assistants. This role involved engagement with university stakeholders in health.
  • As Foundation Professor and Director of the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health, 2005-2009, Niki initiated and led a futures initiative for military and veterans’ health services delivery. See the Futures folder at Selected Presentations for more information on this work.
  • As Foundation Professor and CEO of the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research at Monash University Niki continued to promote work in this area. She established a program to undertake action research with the aim of improving accommodation and support for people with disability. The program used a co-design approach and brought clients, policy makers and researchers together to design the research questions. Interdisciplinarity was a key to the research – ISCRR identified and brought together researchers from the business school, art and design faculty, and health sciences faculty to undertake this work. See Selected Presentations for more information on this work.