Meet the team – Jo-Anne Moorfoot
February 10, 2022
Jo-Anne Moorfoot is the Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance (ACHG), an initiative of the Victorian Healthcare Association which provides practical governance support to all health services. Having spent her entire career in the public health sector, developing a broad and hands-on understanding of the challenges it faces, Jo-Anne views her current role as a unique opportunity to focus on sector-wide improvements and supports.
Tell members a bit about your background – where has your career taken you and what brought you to the VHA?
I started life as an allied health clinician and have worked in the public health sector for my entire career. I’ve held positions in community health and hospitals, both in rural and metro settings in acute, sub-acute, and primary care. I transitioned from clinical to management roles and during my time as a director of quality and risk at two of Melbourne’s largest health services, I developed a passion for clinical governance and risk management. I’ve also held a large operational role overseeing a range of bed-based and community services, including a residential aged care facility, so I have a very broad and hands on understanding of the challenges faced by health services in delivering diverse models of care from a variety of funding sources. More recently I was seconded into the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre as the state executive lead, coordinating the response to the devastating outbreak of COVID-19 in our residential care sector during 2020/21.
I am also an experienced board director and currently serve on the boards of a rural health service and a large NFP community service organisation. The role at the ACHG/VHA came about at a time of great reform to governance in the health sector. The position excited me as it provided an opportunity to look at sector-wide improvements and supports that would benefit the whole of the health system. The role at the VHA allows me to make the most of my experience and expertise, and it is very rewarding and immensely satisfying to give back to the sector in a meaningful way through our support and education programs and the work we do in aged care advocacy.
What are some things you’re working on at the moment and what most excites you about these projects?
I am proud of the Health Board Essentials and other governance education programs we have for new and aspiring board directors. Health is a complex and challenging space, and for those new to the health sector, being on a health board can be quite daunting – it can be like landing in an foreign country where people speak another language (we all know that health professionals communicate in acronyms!). The Health Board Essentials program is tailored specifically for governance in the health context and sets directors up with the fundamentals that are critical to the role of a health board director. We are looking at launching advanced sessions this year which will provide directors with the next layer of information to further enhance their performance in the boardroom.
I am also really enjoying the lunch and learn program. This is where we focus on a specific issue and combine some theory with a panel discussion involving some of our own health sector experts. The panel discussion is a great way of drawing practical information, tips, and tricks from some of our home-grown leaders and I love a stimulating conversation so it’s a win-win for me!
What do you love about working in the public health space?
We have such an amazing health system in Australia. Our hospitals rank among the highest in the world and our clinicians are highly trained with significant expertise. The outstanding performance of our health sector (both our hospitals and community health services) during the pandemic is something that we should all be very proud of and grateful for. I feel honored to work in a field that is essential to community wellbeing and has shone so brightly in these difficult times. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else!