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RACMA has attracted a number of leading national and international speakers for this year’s Conference. The speakers will lead debates and discussions across Medical Leadership as well as AI – looking closely at its place in the future of healthcare and the ethics surrounding it for a new era in medicine and medical administration.

Alix Dunn is the founder of Computer Says Maybe, a firm that develops products to shape and support equitable innovation. She is a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Stanford Digital Impact Lab. She sits on the advisory boards of the International Criminal Court, the Open Technology Fund, the Human Rights Initiative at Open Society Foundations and the Ada Lovelace Institute at Nuffield Foundation. Prior to her work at Computer Says Maybe, Alix founded The Engine Room, a leading, global non-profit working to leverage technology and data for positive social change.

Avnesh Ratnanesan is the CEO of Energesse, a leading analytics and consulting firm specialising in improving patient experience and customer experience in healthcare. Dr Avi’s unique career began as a medical doctor in the UK and Australia, working across public and private sectors. After an MBA (Hons), he ventured into biotech and pharmaceuticals with responsibilities from researching high-profile medicines such as ‘Viagra’, to Chief of Staff and advisor to the CEO of industry leader Pfizer Australia. He helped manage products worth over $100mil a year and strategically grow the overall organisation to over a $1 billion a year in revenue. Prior to Energesse, Dr Avi successfully founded 2 other companies in digital technology.

Bernadette Richards is Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean (Research), at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She teaches in the areas of medical law and ethics, bioethics and tort law and is the Director of the Research Unit for the Study of Society, Ethics and the Law, a member of the NHMRC’s Australian Health Ethics Committee, the Embryo Research Licensing Committee and Chair of the Mitochondrial Donation Expert Working Committee. She has completed major projects on organ donation, consent to treatment and legal issues around innovative surgery. She is a chief investigator of a current National Health and Medical Research Council-funded Partnership Grant, “Strategies for the inclusion of vulnerable populations in developing complex and sensitive public policy: A case study in Advance Care Planning” and is currently writing a book ‘Technology, Healthcare and the Law: An evolving relationship’. She has published over 60 journal articles, book chapters and books.

Des Gorman is a Professor of Medicine in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. From 2005 to 2010, he was the Head of the University’s School of Medicine. Professor Gorman is also the Chairman of the Orangi Mahi Governance Group (the Ministry of Social Development’s health initiatives) and a member of the Ministry of Health’s Capital Investment Committee. His past roles include being a Director of the New Zealand Accident Compensation and Rehabilitation Corporation, the Executive Chairman of Health Workforce New Zealand, a member of the National Health Board and of the Government’s welfare reform group. Professor Gorman’s non-clinical interests include health system design and funding, and health workforce planning and development and has more than 300 publications.

Erwin Loh is Group Chief Medical Officer for St Vincent’s Health Australia, the nation’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care provider, with six public hospitals, nine private hospitals and 17 aged care facilities, along with three co-located research institutes. He is qualified in medicine, law and management. He is Chair of the Victorian State Committee and Board Member of the Royal Australasian College of Administrators, from which he received the Distinguished Fellow Award in 2017. He is adjunct Clinical Professor at Monash University, with interests in health law, clinical leadership and medical futurology, and a Member of the Association of Professional Futurists.

Johan Verjans is a Dutch cardiologist at SAHMRI Heart Health, a senior lecturer position at the University of Adelaide and is an Associate investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Nanoscale Biophotonics. He is a physician-scientist combining cutting-edge research and patient care as a Cardiologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Dr Verjans has predominantly focused his research on translational pre-clinical and clinical imaging biomarkers using advanced invasive and non-invasive molecular imaging strategies to detect, track and predict disease at an early stage. More recent research has focused on imaging biomarkers from large datasets using supervised and unsupervised machine learning strategies at the Australian Institute for Machine Learning.

Jose Miola is Professor of Medical Law at the University of Leicester. He has published widely in the area, and his work has been cited by courts in the UK, Australia and Singapore. He is assistant editor of the Medical Law Review, and will be its joint editor from 2020. He also sits on the editorial board of the journal Clinical Ethics. Jose is a member of the Wellcome Trust’s Social Science and Bioethics Interview Committee, and was recently on the General Medical Council’s Task and Finish Group designing ethical guidance for doctors on cosmetic practice and surgery. 

Mary Freer has held leadership positions with national government and not for profit health care services, including women’s and community health services, Premier and Cabinet and Health Workforce Australia. Mary is now leading Freerthinking as a freelance Social Change Maker and is activating a Compassion Revolution. Mary is a TEDx speaker and in 2016 she was awarded an inaugural Westpac Bicentennial Social Change Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship enabled Mary to travel throughout Europe, UK and the USA in 2016 to meet with social innovators and leaders who are building a more compassionate world.

Nic Woods has over 25 years’ experience in clinical medicine (emergency medicine and urgent care) and digital health globally, Nic has held diverse roles in health technology incubators, national digital health programs and medical executive leadership roles within the health IT and technology industry. Nic completed science and medical degrees and a Diploma in Community Emergency Medicine in New Zealand. He has worked clinically in emergency medicine, urgent care and general practice in NZ, UK and Australia. His role as Health Industry Exec, Chief Medical Officer at Microsoft Australia is to improve healthcare for Australians across the health continuum, through a thriving ecosystem of partners and the applied use of innovative digital technologies such as medical IoT and AI.

Robert Sparrow is a Professor in the Philosophy Program, a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, and an adjunct Professor in the Monash Bioethics Centre, at Monash University, where he works on ethical issues raised by new technologies. He has been an ARC Future Fellow, a Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Visiting Fellow at Kyoto University, a Visiting Fellow in the CUHK Centre for Bioethics, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics at the National University of Singapore and a Visiting Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. He has published widely on the ethics of robotics, AI, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis. He is a co-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Robot Ethics and was one of the founding members of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control.

Sergio Diez Alvarez is the Director of Medicine and Rehabilitation at Maitland Hospital. He is a specialist physician with a great interest in leadership and systems thinking. He completed his Fellowship in Medical Administration in 2018. He has served on several state and national committees in the fields of education, regulation, quality and safety. Sergio is a member of the NSW Clinical Analytics committee and a PhD candidate looking at the interface between modern technology and clinical outcomes in the field of Diabetes. He has a special interest in the influence of technology on clinical practice and an interest in artificial intelligence, with a specific focus on the ethical aspects of modern technology in health.

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