International leaders in health laboratories and the wider health field are attending a conference in Christchurch this week.
The annual conference, organised by Canterbury Health Laboratories, will focus on topics across the health and technology disciplines.
Speakers include Canterbury and New Zealand health leaders as well as special international guests:
Dr Jacqui Lunday Johnstone – Chief Health Professions Officer in Scottish Government
Dr Jacqui Lunday Johnstone represents the 64 allied health and healthcare science disciplines, advising government ministers of professional, regulatory, educational, and service issues the disciplines face.
“Within a government department, the people who lead on policy creation are often civil servants, so they don’t always come with subject matter expertise, they come with policy-making skills,” she says.
“So I would help to give them a steer, help connect them with people with subject matter expertise, or I would help them shape the policy in partnership in terms of informing their thinking.”
Jacqui has served in Scottish Government for 16 years, in which time there have been three administration changes and five Cabinet Secretaries for Health and Wellbeing.
She is speaking at The LAB Meeting about policy developed in Scotland to increase the visibility of healthcare scientists.
“The healthcare scientists themselves in Scotland only make up 5 percent of the clinical workforce, but they contribute to 80 percent of the diagnosis. So they punch significantly above their weight,” Jacqui says.
“We have hopefully helped workforce planners, decision makers and professional leaders outside of healthcare science to have a better understanding of the value that they bring.”
Margo Ward – Founder and CEO at KidsXpress
Margo Ward pioneered play therapy in Australia at the Sydney Children’s Hospital.
For the last 14 years, she has helmed KidsXpress, a Sydney-based not-for-profit organisation treating childhood trauma with play therapy and other expressive therapy practices.
External reviews of KidsXpress show it has a significant psychological impact on the children it works with, and that for every dollar invested in the organisation, it returns $2.76 in benefit to society.
“I don’t want a feel-good programme, I want a programme that has impact,” Margo says.
KidsXpress has recently expanded is operations and acquired a training programme, with the intention of working with caregivers as well as children.
The organisation still has fewer than 25 employees, but Margo says she had to adapt to changes to the company’s culture.
She is presenting at The LAB Meeting on the subject of culture development and talent retention.