The national Doctors’ Health Alliance emerged in 2022 with the mission of improving the health of the medical profession for the good of the Australian community.

This Alliance was created by the Australasian Doctors’ Health Network (ADHN) who had collaborated for over 25 years as the key forum for doctors’ health programs across Australia and New Zealand to share resources, research and programs.

The Doctors’ Health Alliance is an independent not-for-profit company with charitable and DGR status. It is overseen by a skills-based board and governance structure that includes a national doctors’ health expert panel to advise on clinical service delivery, training, education and research.

The Alliance will offer enhanced national coordination of the existing doctors’ health programs and expand partnerships with individuals and organisations who are aligned to the mission.

The Alliance is working with every state and territory doctors’ health program to source new inputs, expand clinical networks, training and education and clinical services to isolated doctors. It will continue to strengthen local and national partnerships with organisations such as the AMA, medical colleges, regulators, universities, indemnity providers and government.

The Alliance recognises that healthy doctors practise better medicine and acknowledges the universality and benefit of the mission - to have healthy well-supported doctors with a stable and fulfilling home life coming to work and practising safe, high-quality medicine on a grateful community with good health outcomes.

We invite you to join us in pursuing this most important mission.

Dr Roger Sexton Chair, Doctors’ Health Alliance Ltd Board

 

Our Team

Ms Kiara Cannizzaro, Executive Officer

DBBM, Adv Dip Bus Mmgt, Cert Life Coaching, Dip PR

Kiara commenced formally in the role in September 2022, currently 1 day per week. Prior to that Kiara was Secretariat for the ADHN for 2 years. Kiara also worked part-time as Program Manager with Doctors' Health SA and Doctors' Health NT from 2016 to December 2022.  She previously worked for the original rural doctors' health program with Dr Roger Sexton, called Dr DOC from 2000 – 2004, at the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency. Kiara has worked in the health and medical sector for the past 33 years in South Australia and the Northern Territory, including senior positions at AHPRA and a Primary Health Network. Kiara holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing).

Kiara brings extensive experience in doctors' health and wellbeing, along with operating not-for-profit organisations, rural health services and mental health services; stakeholder engagement and relationship management; strategic communications; marketing; program and administration management. She believes that it is vital to look after the very people that look after the health of our communities. You can contact Kiara via email at - kiara@doctorshealthalliance.org.au

Roger sexton

Dr Roger Sexton AM, Chair

MBBS (Adel), DRCOG(UK), FRACGP, FACRRM, MBA (Adel), FAICD

Roger was Chair of the Australasian Doctors’ Health Network and transitioned to the formal Doctors’ Health Alliance. He is currently the part-time Medical Director of Doctors' Health SA. He has been a rural procedural GP for over 35 years. Roger is a past member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (2010-2013) and former board director NPS MedicineWise, and he was the last Presiding Member of the Medical Board of SA in 2010. He also currently works as a medical consultant in executive health and conducts the state-wide Local Government and is Editor of the AMA(SA)’s Medic SA publication. He is a current board director d GPEx. He has been a previous board director for Medical Insurance Group Australia (MIGA), Doctors’ Health Services Pty Ltd and Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network.

He has a long-standing interest in doctors’ health and medical education, having played a major role in establishing both the rural doctors’ Dr DOC program in early 1999 and the Doctors’ Health SA Program in 2010 and the Doctors' Health NT program in 2016.

He completed his MBA at the University of Adelaide in 2015 and is committed to life-long education.

Roger's unique experience and roles in rural clinical medicine, education, medical indemnity and regulation has been of value to the program. Roger was made a Member of the Order (AM) on 26 January 2023 for his work in doctors' health and rural general practice.

Roger was made a Member of the Order (AM) for his work, for over 30 years, supporting his colleague's health and wellbeing through doctors' health programs, at the Australia Day Honours in 2023.

Ameeta profile

Dr Ameeta Patel, Director

FRACGP, MBBS(Hons) U Syd, DRANZCOG, GAICD

Ameeta is a senior general practitioner with expertise in diverse contexts including medical education; health workforce planning and wellbeing; governance and leadership; Aboriginal and remote health.  She is current Chair of Doctors’ Health NSW. In addition to governance, Ameeta is one of the doctors behind the service taking phone calls on the 24/7 line and facilitating workshops. 

Ameeta’s career has been very active at national and state levels including being a Member of the Australian National Lead Clinicians Group (Ministerial Appointment 2010-14); appointment as Assistant Professor of Family Medicine in Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College Qatar (2015-18); Assistant Medical Director for Professional Development Hamad Medical Corporation Ambulance Service Qatar( 2014-2017); Member Medical Board of Australia NT; Medical Director of Congress Alukura, an Aboriginal Women’s Health service in Alice Springs; and Board Director Health Workforce Australia. 

Ameeta is a GP at Lake Macquarie and is a medical educator with the Remote Vocational Training Scheme, a program that supports GP specialist training in rural and remote areas. She facilitates a monthly Balint Group on the Central Coast for general practitioners, and firmly believes that all doctors would benefit from peer led support, collegiality and mentoring.

Ameeta shares that her own lived experience of art therapy has helped her deal with burnout; losing her mother to dementia; and a recent acute trauma resulting in a cervical spine fracture. “I am convinced that the arts – health nexus is essential across our health care services for patients and providers alike.” 

My personal background includes being an Indian refugee from Idi Amin’s Uganda in 1972; and being eternally grateful for the home and opportunities that Australia has given me and my family.

The intersection of my particular interests in medicine and in my life outside medicine have led me to this exciting role in supporting the Doctors’ Health Alliance Board on the wellbeing of doctors and medical students.

Dr Simon Woods

Dr Simon Woods, Director

MB BS FRACS FCSHK MBA CHM AFACHSM

Simon is an experienced, senior health care executive with an extensive clinical and leadership background. He has practised as a surgeon, in Australia, Scotland and Hong Kong. He has worked in public and private settings and diverse hospitals including academic, quaternary level facilities, private hospitals and regional centres. 

He was clinical head of a major service at The Alfred and Clinical Dean / Clinical Associate Professor, coordinating teaching at The Alfred and Cabrini Health.

He led major organizational change at a number of organisations and has expertise in clinical governance, clinical research and publication, as well as teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

Whilst working as a clinician, he was appointed as Medical Director and then Executive Director of Medical Services for Cabrini Health. He transitioned out of clinical practice and acquired an Executive MBA with distinction.

He lead the development of the first Clinical Services Plan for Cabrini Health, which transitioned into a Facilities Masterplan as well as development of a range of flagship clinical services. He was involved with the design and implementation of major Clinical IT systems. 

He has a commitment to safety and quality in healthcare and has knowledge and experience of clinical governance, data analysis, adverse event review methodology and reporting. He is a member of the Safer Care Victoria Academy, contributing to Safety System Reviews, Adverse Event Review Training and the Governing Board Clinical Governance Education program. 

He has worked in a variety of interim executive roles, providing medical leadership and overseeing projects and organizational change management. This has included challenging environments with organisations in crisis. From 2020 - 2022 he was Chief Medical Officer of Barwon Health, overseeing the medical workforce, Research, Quality and Safety Team and Pharmacy. With the advent of Covid, he led the creation of the new Barwon South West Public Health Unit, which transitioned into the new Public Health and Health Partnership Directorate. This service oversaw the regional Covid response, including testing, contact tracing, monitoring and vaccination.

Simon has a strong belief that patient safety and high-quality clinical outcomes are reliant on a positive, engaged, collegiate medical workforce.