Professor Richard Madden - Director

Richard has been at the University since January 2006. Prior to that, he was Director of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for 10 years. From 1992 to 1995, he was Deputy Australian Statistician. He has had wide experience across the Australian health and community services sectors, including as Deputy Secretary of the NSW Health Department and as head of the Disability Programs Division in the then Commonwealth Department of Health and Community Services. He was also Head of the Treasuries of the Northern Territory (1983-86) and the Australian Capital Territory (1989-92).

Richard was Co-chair of the WHO Family of International Classifications Family Development Committee until October 2012 and has been involved in developing the International Classification of Health Interventions. Richard is a member of the ICD Revision Steering Group.

In 2002, he was Australian Actuary of the Year, and has been awarded the Public Service Medal in 2003 and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Sydney in 2005.

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Vera Dimitropoulos - Executive Manager Classification Development

With a background in Health Information Management, Vera is currently the Executive Manager, Classification Development at the National Centre for Classification in Health, The University of Sydney. She is also a member of the Education and Implementation Committee within the World Health Organization’s Family of International Classifications Network and is working on ICD-11 as part of the International Joint Task Force.

Vera is currently on the Board of the Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) and is the Education Officer on the NSW State Branch of HIMAA working with the University of Western Sydney on the development of the Bachelor of Information and Communications Technology (Health Information Management). More recently Vera became the Director for the Western Pacific Region for the International Federation of Health Information Management Associations.

As well as her teaching roles within the University of Sydney and Western Sydney University, Vera has in the past managed major classification projects for the University of Sydney, most recently, the development of the AR-DRG Classification System which incorporates ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS and the AR-DRG classifications.

Anne Elsworthy – Classification Support Manager (on leave until 30 June 2017)

Anne is a qualified Health Information Manager who has many years of experience working in the healthcare system in a variety of managerial and classification development roles. In the hospital system her roles, included Patient and Information Services Manager across two hospital campuses, Chief Medical Record Manager at a major metropolitan hospital and Coding Manager at a large teaching hospital.

From 2006-2013 Anne worked at both the National Centre for Classification in Health (NCCH) and the National Casemix and Classification Centre (NCCC) in the support, education, development and updating of content for ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS. This included managing all aspects of the 1 July 2013 implementation and update of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS, Eighth Edition, which was developed in conjunction with V7.0 of the AR-DRG Classification.

Since 2013 Anne has been working as the Classification Support Manager at NCCH and coordinates the revision, development, publication and implementation of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS (and its derived products), which is being developed in conjunction with the AR-DRG classification.

She also represents Australia as the voting member for the WHO ICD-10 Update and Reference Committee and the ICD-11 Morbidity Topic Advisory Group (MbTAG).

Stuart McAlister - Expert Advisor AR-DRG Development

Stuart McAlister concentrated full time in developing the Australian DRG classification, firstly within the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and then with the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) who became responsible for these functions. His role included:

  • Liaising with clinical groups, service providers, funders and other stakeholders to ensure the proposed classification was suitable for use in Australia.
  • Specifying modifications to software developers and ensuring that the software performed according to specification.
  • Overseeing the refinement of the DRG classification and the classification for emergency services.

Between 1991 and 1997, Stuart's role was in the technical development of the all Australian DRG versions. Since 1997, Stuart supervised the updating and production of all versions of the AR-DRG classification between AR-DRG V4.0 and AR-DRG V5.2. This role included specifying a range of tools and applications that assist the development of Australian DRGs.

Stuart's role in Casemix for DoHA included a wide range of functions over time, including the development all Australian DRGs with the exception of version 6.0, and the collection and analysis of associated morbidity data. He was also responsible for the collection of round 9 cost data for the annual publication of cost weights and the production of service weights for the AR-DRG V5 classification. With the acceptance of AR-DRGs as a national standard that included ICD-10-AM/ACHI, there was international interest in the Australian Casemix System. Stuart was instrumental in presenting the Australian DRG experience at international conferences and to ministries of health in other countries.

Within IHPA, Stuart had an overseeing role in the management of the DRG development contract to deliver AR-DRG V 7.0. He was also tasked with developing an emergency classification to the point where it could be implemented throughout all emergency services in Australia. Another associated task in all the classification work has been his management of the supporting data bases used in the classification refinement process.

Dr Philip Hoyle - Principal Clinical Advisor, AR-DRG Refinement Program

Philip is Director of Medical Services, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, and as Principal Clinical Advisor for the National Centre for Classification in Health, he holds an honorary title with the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney.

With a clinical background in rural general practice, Philip has worked as a senior manager and specialist medical director in hospitals and health systems, large and small, in three states of Australia and the UK. Previous roles include Director of Medical Services & Clinical Governance, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Area Director of Clinical Governance and Director of Acute Services for Northern Sydney Area Health Service, Executive Director of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, General Manager of Royal North Shore Hospital, various senior medical management roles and Director, Clinical Services Strategic Review, Royal Victoria Infirmary NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Philip has long been fascinated by the organisational, cultural and ethical consequences of casemix methods. He also has a major interest in quality, care processes and improvement, and is Chair of the Standards Committee of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards and a member of the Clinical Advisory Committee of the independent Hospital Pricing Authority.

Dr Julie Gordon - Research Fellow

Julie joined the NCCH in June 2017. Prior to this Julie spent 14 years at the Family Medicine Research Centre (University of Sydney) managing the ICPC-2 PLUS clinical terminology. Her role focuses on the development of classifications and clinical terminologies in general practice, particularly ICPC-2 PLUS and ICPC-2.

Julie holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Information Management (Hons 1) and a PhD, both from the University of Sydney. Her PhD investigated the suitability of SNOMED CT for use in Australian general practice. She is a member of the Wonca International Classification Committee (WICC), and an elected member of its governance committee.

Dr Michael Navakatikyan - Research Fellow (Classification Analysis)

Before joining NCCH, Michael worked at Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI), University of Wollongong. He was involved in a range of research projects, in particular, in development of AR-DRG v.7.0, creation of a casemix classification for Prosthesis Limb Services for EnableNSW and modelling cost attributed to hospital-acquired diagnoses for South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.

Michael’s previous employments were as principal scientist with BrainZ Instruments Ltd (Auckland, New Zealand); as Research Fellow with University of Auckland (Department of Physiology and the Liggins Institute) and as Researcher and Head of Research unit with Environmental Health Science Centre (Kiev, Ukraine).

Michael has PhD and MSc in Biology and Physiology, BSc in Applied mathematics and MSc in Medical Statistics. Michael’s experience includes environmental health area, in particular, electromagnetic radiation, animal behaviour and circulation, mathematical modelling of choice and designing algorithms for the analysis of neonatal electroencephalogram.

Professor Ric Marshall - Specialist, AR-DRG Refinement Program

Dr Ric Marshall has an adjunct Professorial appointment with the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney. He is also Visiting Professor in the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. He specialises in Health Management Information Development. In 2011, he worked with the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority and the cross-jurisdiction working groups in Australia establishing the Activity Based Funding (ABF) mechanisms for public hospitals. Until August 2015 he has been based in London with Monitor as Director of Pricing for the National Health Service and also provides consultancy advice to Australian jurisdictions and international clients in ABF readiness.

He has also been Chief Expert on Casemix and Activity-Based Funding and Payment of China National Health Development Research Centre. Ric has a long history as an international consultant in casemix classifications development, health information systems design and funding reform implementation. In addition to his work in Australia, he has managed and advised on health information development and funding reform projects in both the public and private sectors in Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Egypt, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, Indonesia, Kosovo, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and UK.

Dr Qingsheng Zhou - Senior Research Fellow

Before joining NCCH, Qingsheng worked in a number of NSW human service agencies since the middle of the 1990s. Most recently, he was Director, Evidence Base Development, NSW Family and Community Services (FACS), and had responsibilities for developing evidence through statistical analysis, research, and evaluation to support strategic reforms. He has extensive experience in statistical modelling aimed at assessing the feasibility and impacts of major policy initiatives. He managed program and service planning processes and developed resource allocation formula and guidelines to support the delivery of the resulting plans. He was the NSW representative in several national minimum data collections such as Social Housing, Home and Community Care Program and Disability Services. He played an active role in developing national performance reporting frameworks and indicators for disability services and aged care services. He directed the development and implementation of FACS’ research grant and evaluation programs and contributed a great deal to many R&E projects.

While pursuing his PhD at the University of Sydney, Qingsheng was awarded scholarships and grants for his research projects. He also provided diverse research assistance to a range of other projects. He has lectured at the University of Sydney and Nanjing University (China) where he received his MSc and BSc qualifications.

Rodney Bernard - Health publishing specialist

Rodney’s professional focus is on the design and production of information in print and digital media. As NCCH Publications Manager from 1998 to 2010, he managed the production of a number of editions of the ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS health classification and supporting subsets including the Good Clinical Documentation Guide, Mental Health Manual and Early Parenting Guide. He provided marketing, distribution and education support to assist in the implementation of each edition.

Prior to the NCCH Rodney worked in a number of publishing, marketing and communications roles in education and government. He was project manager for the annual TAFE NSW course handbook for a number of editions.

Rodney has tertiary qualifications in Graphic Design and a Post Graduate Diploma in Design Studies (UTS). He has also completed formal training in Medical Terminology and Clinical Coding and a Certificate IV - Assessment and Workplace Training.

Megan Cumerlato - Health Information Consultant

Megan holds a degree in Bachelor of Applied Science, Health Information Management, from Sydney University. As part of the National Centre for Classification in Health at The University of Sydney, where she worked for more than 12 years, she was responsible for managing and coordinating the highly successful Australian national education program for approximately 1500 coders annually.

Over the last few years, as a Consultant at NCCH, Megan has been involved in the development of an International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI).

Megan has also previously been involved in lecturing at The University of Sydney within the School of Health Information Management and in the Health Sciences offshore nursing program in Singapore. Lecture topics included disease classification, medical terminology, management systems, casemix and financial management.

Nicola Fortune - Research Fellow

Nicola joined the National Centre for Classification in Health in May 2011 to assist with the development of the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Health Interventions.

From 1998 to 2007 Nicola worked at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, where her role included data development, data analysis and interpretation, report writing, and project management in the disability field. During this time she was involved in the development and early implementation of the WHO’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).

In 2001–02, Nicola spent a year working on hospital statistics in the Department of Health in London, and contributed to the development of a new hospital statistics common data set for the European Union.

Yan Guo – Classification Specialist

Yan has been working in the area of health classification systems since 2006, including a previous position as a classification support officer at the NCCH, ICD author at the NCCC and her current position as an ICD specialist at the NCCH. Yan has been responsible for the development of technical content for the ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS from Fifth Edition onwards.
Prior to this, she worked as a data manager at the NHMRC clinical trials centre and a clinical coder in the hospital system.

Yan completed her studies in Medicine at the Fujian Medical University, China in 1992 after which she was trained as a medical officer in the internal medicine and emergency.

Julia Leahy – Classification Specialist

Julia graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Information Management in 2002. Since graduating, she has worked as a Deputy Manager and Manager of several Health Information Services, primarily in the public health sector. In 2010 she joined the Family Medicine Research Centre (FMRC) as a coder for the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) program, using the ICPC-2 PLUS classification system. Julia moved to the NCCH in 2016 due to the closure of the FMRC, where she is currently maintaining the ICPC-2 PLUS classification system, which is used primarily in general practice across Australia. Julia also joins the team of NCCH/ACCD classification specialists in the support and development of technical content for the AR-DRG Classification System.

Julia also holds a Masters of Health Law from the University of Sydney.

Karyn May – Classification Specialist

Karyn graduated from the University of Sydney in 2002 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Information Management. She was awarded the Hilda Roberts Memorial Prize for the most proficient student on completion of the final year and the NSW Health Department Clinical Classification prize.

She joined the National Centre for Classification in Health (NCCH) in 2002 as a project officer. During that period she contributed to the content updates of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS Fourth-Seventh Editions, coordinated coding queries and assisted with coder education workshops.
Karyn worked as a clinical coder at a private hospital from 2010-2013, before rejoining the NCCH in September 2013.

Karyn began her working career as a registered nurse and has also worked as a medical receptionist, office assistant and teacher’s aide.

Patricia Nicolaou – Classification Specialist

Patricia joined NCCH as a Classification Specialist in July 2015, she is a qualified Health Information Manager with many years of experience working in managerial and clinical classification roles in various NSW public and private hospitals. Since graduating from the University of Sydney, Patricia has gained her HIM experience mainly through working in large tertiary hospitals, she has experience in data quality, auditing, staff education and other casemix activities and projects. Patricia has extensive knowledge and experience in clinical classification and she is also employed as a (certified) senior clinical coder (part time) at a large tertiary hospital.

Patricia has a Bachelor of Nursing degree from the University of Sydney and worked as a registered nurse for a number of years before developing her profession in Health Information Management.

Filippa Pretty - Classification Specialist

Filippa holds a degree in Bachelor of Applied Science, Health Information Management from the University of Sydney. She joined NCCH as a Classification Specialist in 2015 after an ongoing involvement with NCCH since 1998. Filippa has many years of experience working in the public and private health care systems in a variety of Clinical Coding, HIM and Coding Auditor roles predominantly in a contractor / consultancy capacity in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Filippa has also participated in non-traditional tasks such as the Cross Border Care Type Change and Coding Audit, The NSW Ombudsman (Disability Death Review Team), The Commission for Children & Young People (Child Death Review Team), and code mapping phase of the ICU Clinical Information System (ICCIS) currently under development. Filippa has also previously been a representative on the board of the Clinical Coders Society of Australia (CCSA) and of the NSW Coding Advisory/Clinical Coding Leadership Group (CCLG).

Nicole Rankin – Classification Specialist

Nicole joined the NCCH in September 2013 as a Classification Specialist. Prior to joining the NCCH, Nicole worked for the National Casemix and Classification Centre (NCCC) for 2 years supporting, educating and developing content for the Eighth Edition of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS.

Nicole also has a range of experience in different areas of the health system particularly in data analyses, casemix and costing/performance reporting. Other relevant experience includes implementation of costing systems and performance reporting, regular data auditing, establishing coder-clinician communication, training staff in the functionality of a new patient administration system and providing ongoing support. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Information Management from Sydney University.

Marla Tun - Classification Specialist

Marla's background is in medicine and health information management. She has extensive experience in the content development of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS since joining the National Centre for Classification in Health (NCCH) in 2005. Marla has been actively involved in the update and development of the content of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Editions.

She is also responsible for maintaining and updating the ICD-10-AM/ACHI database and its derived products, the electronic code lists (ECL) and mapping tables essential in the update of the AR-DRG classification system.

Marla has also worked in NSW public and private health systems on casemix projects, data submissions to state and national forums on casemix and costing and in managerial and coding roles. Before migrating to Australia, she worked as a medical doctor in a general hospital in Burma.