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Curtin announces the appointment of Dr Neale Fong to a key healthcare leadership position

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Dr Neale Fong, former Director General of the Western Australian (WA) Health Department, has been appointed as the Director of Curtin University’s multi-million dollar Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) responsible for driving forward translational research in the essential areas of ageing, chronic disease, population health, indigenous, and mental health.

The new position aims to strengthen Curtin’s reputation for world-class health research and develop a critical mass of researchers in this area.

Curtin’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health Sciences, Professor Jill Downie, said the University already boasts a major program of health research which is helping to shape health policy and practice in WA, as well as improving healthcare services for patients and clients across the State.

“In this new position, Dr Fong will head up an Institute that will work collaboratively with the community, governments and industry partners in the prevention and management of chronic disease through strategic, collaborative and interdisciplinary research,” she said.

“This appointment signals our clear and ongoing commitment to contributing to the quality of healthcare delivery in Western Australia. Dr Fong’s leadership, input, and advice will be of great value to Curtin in changing the way we think about and deliver healthcare.”

Dr Fong has over 25 years experience in the health arena with a particular interest in healthcare leadership.

He boasts unique academic qualifications holding Bachelor Degrees in Medicine and Surgery, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia, he also holds a Masters in Theological Studies from the Regent College, University of British Columbia.

Dr Fong is Chairman of Bethesda Hospital and Deputy Chairman of the Bethanie Group, WA’s largest not-for-profit aged care provider.

As a consultant to Curtin he conducted a feasibility study for the proposed Curtin Medical School and has continued work as project consultant.

He is also Executive Chairman of Chrysalis Resources Limited and Non-executive Director of Realm Resources Limited, both of which are ASX listed.

Dr Fong is Senior Vice President of the WA Branch of the Australasian College of Health Services Management. He was also a founding partner and Chief Medical Director of Bali International Medical Centre, the only Western standard tourist and expatriate medical service in Bali.

In 2004 Dr Fong was appointed the Executive Chairman of the Health Reform Implementation Taskforce to implement the State Government’s Health Reform program with a capital works budget of $4.5 billion.

He was Director General of the Department of Health, a member of the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council and Chairman of the Health Workforce Principal Committee for a period of three years (2005-2008). Prior to joining the Department of Health, Dr Fong was the Chief Executive Officer of St John of God Health Care Subiaco, now one of Australia’s largest private hospitals.

“I am honoured and excited about working with some great researchers with a terrific record at Curtin,” Dr Fong said.

“There is much to like about what is happening in health at Curtin and how it will make a real impact on the health challenges that face our local, national, and global communities.

“The role is about bringing people, knowledge, and creative energy together in an amazing environment where working as a team constantly pushing the limits will mean greater success.”

Dr Fong commenced as Director of CHIRI on 1 July 2010.

Notes to Editors:

More background information on Dr Neale Fong:

  • Dr Fong has been a commissioner of the West Australian Football Commission for 12 years and was chairman for nearly nine years.
  • He is a minister within the Churches of Christ and has been Chaplain to the West Coast Eagles for the past 18 years.
  • He is the founding director and current Chairman of Youth Vision WA, giving 20 years of consecutive service to young people in the community.
  • Dr Fong was named a finalist in the 2010 WA Citizen of the Year Awards in the category of Community Service.

About Curtin University’s Faculty of Health Sciences:

  • The Faculty of Health Sciences comprises seven schools and 22 research centres with over 8500 students and 600 academic and professional staff from over 50 countries.
  • The Faculty of Health Sciences is a leader in interprofessional education boasting a common core first year curriculum for all students across the 18 undergraduate courses.
  • Health Science courses at Curtin have strong industry links producing graduates that are highly regarded and job ready.
  • Many of the Faculty’s undergraduate programs are the only ones of their kind in Western Australia.
  • Nationally accredited and internationally recognised courses.

For more information visit our Health Sciences website.

About Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI):

It’s time to change the way we think about and delivery healthcare. CHIRI is a revolutionary approach to healthcare, unique in Australia. It is moving healthcare models forward into the future. For more information please visit the CHIRI website.

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