At last, the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) is starting to take some shape, with Mark Butler’s announcement that the position of CEO has been filled, after two interim appointments.
Louise Sylvan, who has a long track record in consumer advocacy and policy, has the gig, with a five-year contract. (However, the Agency’s website still features the acting ceo Lisa Studdert – perhaps this indicates the appointment is not immediately effective?)
According to Australian Ageing Agenda, Sylvan’s previous roles include Productivity Commissioner, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, chief executive of the Australian Consumers’ Association (Choice) and President of Consumers International.
She has also served on the OECD Consumer Policy Committee and nationally on the federal government’s Expert Group in Electronic Commerce and the Australian Statistics Advisory Council to the ABS. She is Deputy President of the Council of the Medical Foundation of the University of Sydney, and on the Board of the Diplomacy Training Program established by The Hon Jose Ramos Horta.
The Agency was established on 1 January 2011 – just over two years after the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to establish the Agency, as part of the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health (Prevention NP).
The National Preventative Health Taskforce and the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission also recommended that such an agency be established.
The Agency’s responsibilities will include some of the initiatives under the Prevention NP, including:
- national-level social marketing campaigns targeting obesity and smoking;
- a preventive health research fund focusing on translational research to support policy development; and
- an audit of the preventive health workforce available to support the implementation of the settings-based interventions funded through the Prevention NP and a strategy to address any identified gaps.
Membership of the Agency’s advisory council has been announced – though they “cannot give any directions to the CEO” – as has the membership of its research committee. But the national evaluation advisory committee is not yet appointed, at least not according to the website.
Governance arrangements are detailed here and in summary:
The CEO is responsible for managing the agency and is directly accountable to the Minister for Health and Ageing (the Minister) for the financial management of the agency and to the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference (AHMC), via the Minister, for the agency’s performance against agreed five year strategic and annual operational plans.
Many will be watching closely…
We at ANPHA look forward to the arrival of Louise Sylvan in late September; we’ll post her start date on our web site as soon as its confirmed. For now Lisa Studdert will stay on in the acting CEO role.
The Health Protection Agency’s role is to provide an integrated approach to protecting UK public health through the provision of support and advice to the NHS, local authorities, emergency services, other arms length bodies, the Department of Health and the devolved administrations.-Jonathan Berkowitz