Executive Management Committee

Dr John Wakefield

Dr John Wakefield PSM
Deputy Director-General

Dr John Wakefield PSM has 30 years’ experience in clinical and management roles in rural, regional and tertiary public sector health services in Queensland. After completing a Fellowship under Dr Jim Bagian at the National Centre for Patient Safety of the VA Health System in the United States, he returned to Queensland in 2004 and established the Queensland Health Patient Safety Centre, which he led until late 2012. He established a statewide network of patient safety officers and successfully established a legislative framework for incident analysis, ultimately demonstrating measurable reductions in preventable adverse events.

John is actively involved in national efforts to improve patient safety in partnership with the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare. He chaired the National Open Disclosure Pilot Project and regularly teaches Open Disclosure and other patient safety curricula. His research interests include patient safety culture, safety performance measurement and Open Disclosure. In 2011, John was awarded a public service medal for services to patient safety as part of the national Australia Day Awards.

John returned to the Department of Health in 2016 to lead the newly formed Clinical Excellence Queensland (CEQ). He and his team have led significant reforms in Mental Health, Nursing, Maternity Services. At the heart of CEQ are the Clinical Senate and Clinical Networks, driving continuous improvements in service quality and outcomes for patients across the state.

John has developed a successful leadership development program for clinicians from trainee to executive. Graduating over 1000 participants each year, and consulting to ten HHSs, CEQ has set the national benchmark for investment in clinician leaders for the 21st century.

Keith McNeil

Professor Keith McNeil
Assistant Deputy Director-General and Chief Clinical Information Officer

Professor Keith McNeil plays a key role in the clinical leadership of the statewide eHealth program. He works closely with key stakeholders to maximise the clinical and patient safety benefits associated with technology in the healthcare setting, while minimising risk.

Prof McNeil has previously worked within Queensland Health as the Head of Transplant Services at The Prince Charles Hospital, Chief Executive Officer at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, and Chief Executive Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

More recently, Prof McNeil was Chief Clinical Information Officer, National Health Service, United Kingdom following roles as Chief Executive Officer at Addenbooke's Hospital and Cambridge University Hospital Foundation Trust.

Liza-Jane McBride

Liza-Jane McBride
Chief Allied Health Officer

Liza-Jane is the Chief Allied Health Officer for the Department of Health and leads the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to ensure an appropriately skilled allied health workforce meets the current and future health service needs of Queensland.

Liza-Jane is an experienced physiotherapist with over 20 years of practice experience in the public and private sectors in Queensland and overseas. She has postgraduate qualifications in health management and is a Visiting Fellow with the Queensland University of Technology.

Liza-Jane has significant experience in successfully delivering strategic policy results within the Queensland healthcare system, particularly in relation to allied health workforce reform, redesign and education issues.

Dr Mark Brown

Dr Mark Brown
Chief Dental Officer

Dr Mark Brown is the Chief Dental Officer for the Department of Health and provides expertise and strategic leadership in oral health and is responsible for monitoring oral health services in Queensland to ensure high quality accessible care of Queenslanders.

Mark has previously held executive, management and senior clinical positions in a number of large public oral health services, as well as owned his own private dental practice.

Mark brings a wealth of practical experience in both general practice dentistry and management of clinical dental services. A Fellow of the International College of Dentists, Mark has specific interests in engaging those at high risk of dental disease in the community and helping them to improve their quality of life through better oral health.

Shelley Nowlan

Adjunct Professor Shelley Nowlan
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Shelley Nowlan provides overall professional and industry advice for nursing and midwifery matters across Queensland. This includes leading, advocating and supporting nurses and midwives to provide quality, safe care for Queensland communities through policy, direction and regulation. Shelley has over 30 years’ experience in healthcare, including 17 years’ experience in a range of metropolitan, regional and rural public sector executive clinical and health administrative leadership roles at a strategic and operational level.

She is a people-orientated executive leader with experience in contemporary healthcare systems including clinical innovation, leadership development, strategic planning, change management, policy development at state level, research, clinical practice and workforce development.

Shelley’s leadership has helped achieve practical outcomes within the nursing profession and as well as clinical care re-design programs and has led to success in developing and leading statewide and district clinical leadership programs.

Shelley has had significant experience in both capital works programs and commissioning of health services along with the development and implementation of patient models of care and care innovations. Her experience within the nursing profession extends nationally and internationally.

Jan Phillips

Jan Phillips
Executive Director

Jan Phillips is the Executive Director of the Centre for Leadership Excellence and has responsibility for the development of leadership and management capabilities for Queensland Health clinicians to support improvement in healthcare teamwork, culture and service delivery.

Jan has previously held executive and general management positions in a number of large public sector organisations, including central public sector management agencies and housing, local government, planning and public works departments.

She brings significant expertise in public service and healthcare reform and improvement, including leadership and management development, workplace culture improvement, workforce redesign, strategic planning, access improvement, clinical redesign, patient safety and quality improvement, innovation, human resource management and organisational change development.

Jan has national and international experience as an invited speaker and facilitator and has published a range of articles on clinical leadership and healthcare culture reform improvement. Her qualifications are in social work and strategic leadership, and she is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Associate Professor John Allan

Associate Professor John Allan
Executive Director

Associate Professor John Allan is the Executive Director of the Mental Health Alcohol and other Drugs Branch in the Department of Health and leads the state-wide development, delivery and enhancement of the specialist areas of mental health and alcohol and other drugs treatment in Queensland. John has previously been Chief Psychiatrist in both Queensland and New South Wales. He spent twenty years working in North Queensland where he developed a wide range of new mental health services. He is highly experienced in government policy, mental health legislation and service development.

John’s clinical interests include the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and care for those with serious mental illness in community settings. His current research and policy interests focus on national mental health reform, clinical service standards, seclusion and restraint reduction, recovery oriented practice, insight into schizophrenia, rural and remote mental health, carer and consumer involvement and smoking reduction strategies. He recently led the introduction of the new Queensland Mental Health Act 2016.

He is the President Elect of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and has previously held positions on the RANZCP Board and in Education.

Kirstine Sketcher-Baker

Kirstine Sketcher-Baker
Executive Director

Kirstine Sketcher-Baker is the Executive Director of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Service and is responsible for monitoring and supporting Hospital and Health Services to minimise patient harm, reduce unwarranted variation in health care and achieve high-quality patient-centred care. Kirstine has a statistical background with a longstanding interest in monitoring patient safety and quality of care in hospitals.

She has led the introduction of various monitoring tools and information systems throughout Queensland and in Alberta Health Services, Canada including RiskMan, Variable Life Adjusted Displays, the Queensland Bedside Audit and Patient Experience Surveys.

Kirstine has also overseen partnerships with Queensland’s public hospitals to measure patient experience in various hospital settings including maternity and emergency departments and through the collation and analysis of compliments and complaints.

Michael Zanco

Michael Zanco
Executive Director

Michael Zanco is the Executive Director of the Healthcare Improvement Unit, and has responsibility for driving systems improvement and reform by working collaboratively with Statewide Clinical Networks, Hospital and Health Services and other system leaders to explore opportunities to improve access to healthcare.

Michael has a long and successful history of effectively engaging and partnering with frontline clinicians, health service executives and policy makers to deliver real improvements to patient care and driving sustainable system-wide improvements in relation to access, equity and quality of services provided.

Over his career, Michael has worked in many roles, starting in public hospital administration supporting the delivery of patient care before taking on roles within the corporate setting to influence and deliver policy and investment initiatives that support true whole-of-system change.

Last updated: 15 August 2019