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Consumers Health Forum of Australia appoints new CEO

Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) has announced Leanne Wells as new Chief Executive Officer. CHF Chair, Tony Lawson, said Ms Wells brought strong experience in health administration and advocacy to the role.

“The appointment of Ms Well is a great development for CHF at a time when pressures on the health system demand a continued and effective voice on behalf of health consumers,” said Mr Lawson.

Ms Wells said she was looking forward to taking up the position. “It couldn’t be a more important time for improving health care in Australia,” she said. “The debate over co-payments and the introduction of the Primary Health Networks are among issues which will require CHF to be at the forefront of the health policy debate in the run-up to the 2016 election year.”

In her 25 years as a senior executive in government and NGO health roles, Ms Wells has been CEO of the former Australian Medicare Local Alliance, and led the ACT Medicare Local. Her reputation as a reformer and change agent in health and social policy, programs and system development precedes her mid-April start at CHF. In advocating a cohesive approach to refining the healthcare system, Ms Wells said “I believe that the best way to strengthen and improve healthcare is to support the users of they system and the clinicians who deliver care within the system working together. Consumers and clinicians must be co-architects of a better system.”

Ms Wells also said she was looking forward to working with the CHF Board and staff, and utilising the unique positioning CHF occupies with its broad membership and strong brand. Health outcomes for the most vulnerable also should not be impacted by policy such as housing and social services, stressed Ms Wells.

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