Meet the team – Kate Young
April 6, 2022
Project Officer at the VHA, Kate Young is also a practising occupational therapist and has worked in a diverse range of roles in both the public and private health sectors. Kate enjoys combining clinical practice with work at a systems level to positively influence effective healthcare change.
Where has your career taken you and what brought you to the VHA?
I am an occupational therapist and have worked in public health for the last 22 years. Much of my career has been spent working in rehabilitation; however, I have also worked as a team leader in ambulatory care specialist clinics and as the Closing the Health Gap Coordinator at Eastern Health. The rewards obtained from helping people regain life skills and independence following illness or injury are inherent in my enjoyment of working as a clinician. I have been fortunate to work in a number of public health care settings in Melbourne and overseas (United Kingdom) and this has given me a broad understanding of the public health sector. For the past 18 years I have also worked in the private sector and continue to do so in driving assessment. I am finding the mix of both clinical practice and work at the VHA to be wonderful.
Immediately prior to beginning my role at the VHA, I was leading two specialist clinics in ambulatory care. This was a great experience, particularly over 2020, with the challenges of having to rapidly respond to the changes related to the pandemic. My work at Eastern Health provided fantastic insights into the challenges that need to be addressed to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Although I have loved my clinical roles, the desire to work at a systems level and use my on-the-ground experience to positively influence effective healthcare change has been longstanding. When the possibility of work at the VHA arose, alongside the opportunity to be a member of such a passionate and energetic team, I realised it was the right opportunity at the right time.
What are some things you’re working on at the moment and what most excites you about these projects?
I am fortunate to be part of the VHA projects team which presents me with varied opportunities for work. Since commencing, I have been involved in leading the Vaccine Ambassador community of practice and have assisted to help embed the High Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR) program as ‘business as usual’, leading on from the pandemic. Working alongside the projects team and VHA members on the HRAR project has been hugely rewarding and exciting. It has been wonderful to see the level of engagement of the members of this group as they work towards implementing real and positive change to the community health sector and the communities they serve. For me, the exciting thing has been this engagement, collaboration, and seeing that this project can really contribute positively to the lives of the vulnerable Victorians.
What do you love about working in the public health space?
I believe that everyone should have access to good healthcare, and I am proud to have contributed to our public healthcare system over many years. I feel privileged to work at the VHA and to have the opportunity to represent our members and help ensure that the Victorian health system continues to be responsive to the ever-changing needs of the community.