Our clinicians

Clinician

Position

Dr Suchitra Chandar

Cardiologist

Dr Len Kritharides

Cardiologist

Dr Harry Lowe

Cardiologist

Dr Raj Puranik

Cardiologist

Dr Warren Walsh

Cardiologist

Dr Andrea Lenard

Dentist

Dr Steven Naoum

Dentist

Dr Peter Salameh

Dentist

Dr Graham Toulmin

Dentist

Ms Kristie Innes

Occupational Therapist

Ms Emma Boehme

Occupational Therapist

Ms Keren Eagle

Sonographer

Dr Alex Saxby

ENT Surgeon

Ms Smita Shah

Clinical Associate Professor


Our Cardiologists

Dr Suchitra Chandar

Dr Suchitra Chandar

Having completed a PhD in molecular mechanisms of familial dilated cardiomyopathy at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Dr Chandar joined Concord Hospital as a staff cardiologist. She has a varied and extensive international experience, having worked in India, West Indies, and the Middle East. This is what drives her interest in being actively involved in Aboriginal and Rural Medicine.

The cross-cultural issues that come up and the differences in perceptions and access to health care systems are of particular interest to Dr Chandar and she is keen to help build the bridge that would close the gap and yet maintain the integrity of the different cultures. She has an active role in teaching, and is currently the honours program coordinator for the Concord Clinical School.


Dr Len Kritharides

Dr Len Kritharides

Len Kritharides is Head of Department and Director of Cardiology at Concord Repatriation General Hospital (CRGH) Sydney and Professor in Medicine at the University of Sydney. He practises as a General and Interventional Cardiologist and leads the Atherosclerosis and Vascular Biology Groups of the ANZAC Research Institute.

He has published widely in the biochemical, cellular and clinical aspects of atherosclerosis, particularly in macrophage cholesterol metabolism, apolipoprotein secretion and lipoprotein oxidation. He also has active research interests in clinical cardiology, including the cardiac effects of pulmonary embolism and chemotherapy, and the activation of platelets in coronary disease and in coronary arteries.

Dr Kritharides' research is supported by program and project grant funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and grants in aid from the National Heart Foundation of Australia. He is the immediate past chair of the Scientific Committee of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) and chairs the National Cardiovascular Health and Advisory Committee of the Heart Foundation of Australia. He co-chaired the first and second CSANZ conferences on Indigenous cardiovascular health.


Dr Harry Lowe

Dr Harry Lowe

Dr Lowe is a general and interventional cardiologist based at Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, who has been working with the Poche Centre for four years. He trained in Cardiology at Greenlane Hospital in NZ, St Vincent's Hospital Sydney and Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA. He has interests in Indigenous cardiovascular health, coronary disease and in interventional treatments.


Dr Raj Puranik

Dr Raj Puranik

Dr Puranik is a consultant cardiologist and consultant in cardiac MRI at Redfern AMS, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and Children's Hospital Westmead. He is also a clinical senior lecturer at the University of Sydney, leading a research group interested in investigating heart disease in young individuals and those at high absolute risk.


Dr Warren Walsh

Dr Warren Walsh

Dr Walsh is a clinical cardiologist based at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. He has been working in the field of Aboriginal cardiovascular health for more than ten years, undertaking regular outreach cardiac clinics in central Australia.

He also has had extensive experience in rheumatic heart disease, both in central Australia and in the Pacific Islands. He was one of the lead authors of the recently updated Australian guideline for acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.


Our dentists

Dr Andrea Lenard

Dr Andrea Lenard

Dr Lenard graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery and has over 15 years' experience working as a dentist. The majority of her career has been working in public dentistry and she is passionate about improving the general health and well being of disadvantaged members of our community.

She has been associated with the Poche Centre for three years providing dental services to the Aboriginal community in Bourke, during which time she has become acutely aware of the lack of services and inability to access oral health care that is experienced by the Indigenous community in remote areas and she wishes to do what she can to improve this.


Dr Steven Naoum

Dr Steven Naoum

Dr Steven Naoum is a lecturer in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Sydney. In this role he is involved in clinical and didactic teaching in the discipline of restorative dentistry and is responsible for coordination of the third year of the Bachelor of Dentistry course. For his PhD he investigated a new category of dental restorative materials with the potential to enhance tooth and restoration longevity.

In addition to his role at the University, Steven works in private practice and acts as a key opinion leader for industry. A passion of Steven's is to see people who are disadvantaged and 'without a voice' in our society being justly treated. He therefore sees working with the Poche Centre in research to improve the oral health outcomes of Indigenous Australians; the provision of clinical services to remote Indigenous communities; and mobilisation of others, including students, to do the same, as a great privilege.


Dr Peter Salameh

Dr Peter Salameh

Dr Salameh is a private dental practitioner in metropolitan Sydney. Peter has been teaching at the University of Sydney, Faculty of Dentistry for the last seven years. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and is about to complete a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Dentistry (Oral Implants) at the University of Sydney.


Dr Graham Toulmin

Dr Graham Toulmin

Dr Toulmin AM has been a practising dentist for 41 years. His career began in 1973 and he has worked as a dentist in rural NSW, Sydney, London and then finally his own practice in the Blue Mountains. In 1987 he took his young family to Africa to set up a dental clinic in Butembo, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). After 4 years and due to the disintegration of Zaire, Dr Toulmin returned to Australia and private practice. But he maintained the link with Africa returning 12 times to DRC from 1991 to 2014 for short visits with Sydney University students and interested friends and colleagues. In that time he was able to set up another 2 dental clinics and to help a dental training institute get off the ground. As well during that time he and his wife Wendy completed a number of humanitarian projects in DRC which culminated in them being made 'Members of the Order of Australia'. In 2011 he was made a Fellow of the International College of Dentists.
He joined the Poche Centre team in late 2013 when invited to visit the Central Tablelands and saw the huge need amongst the Indigenous populations of Boggabilla, Toomelah and Mungindi. 'The needs are as great as Africa and they are on our doorstep.' was his assessment of the state of Indigenous oral health. 'It is a privilege to be part of this team doing strategic work to improve the oral health of Indigenous Australians'.

Our occupational therapists

Kristie Innes

Kristie Innes

Kristie completed her studies in Occupational Therapy at Charles Sturt University in 2004. She went on to have a short stint in Occupational Rehabilitation before finding her niche in Paediatrics. She worked in early childhood intervention for three years, working closely with families under a transdisciplinary model with early childhood educators. Kristie is passionate about early childhood development and assisting children to reach their full potential.

Kristie and her family recently relocated to Lightning Ridge, where she is currently working on a part time basis with a mixed case load. She is looking forward to continuing her work in paediatrics as well as expanding into adult services and embracing the challenges of living and working in far west New South Wales.


Emma Boehme


Our sonographer

Keren Eagle

Keren Eagle

With a science background, Keren worked as a Cardiac Technologist before training in Echocardiography. Now solely working as a Cardiac Sonographer, Keren was given the opportunity to be involved with Cardiac clinics organised by Poche. She has been performing echoes alongside Cardiologists at clinics operated in Brewarrina since 2008.


Our ENT

Dr Alex Saxby

Alex Saxby

Dr. Alex Saxby
MB BChir MA (Cantab.) FRACS


Dr. Saxby is a Consultant ENT Surgeon at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney where he principally works as an otologist and neurotologist. His main areas of interest include cochlear implantation, the development of endoscopic ear surgery and indigenous ear health.

He graduated from Cambridge University Medical School with first class honours and completed specialist ENT training in Australia in 2011, following which he attended fellowships in Switzerland, France and Canada in both adult and paediatric otology.

In addition to outreach clinics, Dr. Saxby is currently involved in the development of a telemedicine ENT clinic at RPA Hospital to help improve the continuity of care to remote indigenous communities.


Our Clinical Associate Professor

Smita Shah

Smita Shah

Clinical Associate Professor Smita Shah is the Director of the Primary Health Care Education and Research Unit, Western Sydney Local Health District at Westmead Hospital. Smita’s work and research interests are predominantly in primary health care, working with hard to reach populations. Smita has developed, evaluated and sustained innovative health education programs and materials for primary and high schools, health professionals and university students. Many of them have been widely distributed across Australia and overseas.
Over the years, Smita has systematically established a research collaboration network with leading national and international organisations and universities. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and she has been an invited speaker and convenor at high-profile national and international conferences, symposiums and workshops.