Our People and Structure
Introducing our Chief Executive, Clinical Lead, Directors and their portfolios:
Dr Jean-Frédéric Levesque
Dr Jean-Frédéric Levesque has been the A/Chief Executive of the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) since June 2017. Before transitioning to the ACI, Dr Levesque was Chief Executive at the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) from March 2013. Prior to coming to Australia, Dr Levesque held senior positions responsible for publicly reporting information about the Canadian health system. He was previously Scientific Director, Analyses and Evaluation of Health Systems at the National Institute of Public Health and the inaugural Deputy Commissioner, Performance Appraisal and Analysis, at the Health and Welfare Commission in Quebec. He is currently a member of the Strategic Analytic Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institute of Health Information. Dr Levesque's research focuses on healthcare performance, particularly in terms of how different models of care impact on patient outcomes and experiences of care, and on the analysis of healthcare reform. In 2011-12, he was a Visiting Academic at the University of Melbourne. Dr Levesque is a Conjoint Professor at the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity of the University of New South Wales. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada and has a Doctorate in Public Health, a Masters in Community Health and a medical degree from the University of Montreal, Canada.
Our Clinical Lead and Directors
Dr Sarah Dalton - Clinical Lead
Dr Sarah Dalton is a Paediatric Emergency Physician at The Children's Hospital at Westmead and President of the Paediatric and Child Health Division of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Sarah has worked in different settings across NSW over the last 20 years, from regional centres to specialist tertiary units and from community care to acute care retrieval services.
Sarah completed a Fulbright Scholarship in Clinical Leadership in 2013 and for the last 3 years has been working as Clinical Director of the Clinical Leadership Program and Paediatric Quality Program at the Clinical Excellence Commission. Sarah is committed to improving the quality of healthcare through working with clinicians who deeply understand how healthcare is delivered and recognise opportunities for change.
Daniel Comerford - Director of Acute Care
Daniel Comerford has worked within the NSW Health system for more than 20 years, originally completing his Registered Nurse training and a Certificate in Emergency Nursing, with a focus on acute care. Daniel continued tertiary studies, with a Bachelor in Health Management and he maintains a keen interest in leadership, innovation and change management. Daniel has 10 years experience in emergency management working as a clinician and Assistant Director of Nursing, critical care in Western Sydney. Most recently, Daniel has been involved in the Health Service Performance Improvement team as an Area Performance Manager and Project Director of the Statewide Program. As Project Director for Emergency and Patient Flow Redesign, Daniel has supported the work of the NSW Ministerial Taskforce for Emergency Care and continues to explore National and International best practice models of care for the NSW setting.
Chris Shipway - Director Primary Care and Chronic Services
Chris Shipway brings a wide range of expertise and more than 30 years experience in the health service setting including, primary health, community health, chronic disease management, aged care, palliative care, youth health, mental health, drug and alcohol services, acute hospital settings, workforce development and policy development. Over the past 11 years Chris has held management and leadership positions in the NSW Health system including Associate Director of Drug and Alcohol Clinical Policy, Associate Director of Mental Health Clinical Policy; and Acting Director of Primary Health, Community Partnerships and Chronic Disease. Originally trained as an enrolled nurse working in palliative care, rehabilitation, medical and surgical settings followed by community mental health services, Chris is also a qualified Social Worker and has a Master in Public Administration.
Raj Verma - Director Clinical Program Design and Implementation
Raj Verma has been involved in working with clinicians, managers, executives and patients in improving health systems since 1995. Raj has delivered many large scale projects through structured project management, significant stakeholder engagement, and a focus on deliverables and results.
Raj has worked to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health care services through new models of care at almost every point of the patient journey, including models of Emergency Care, redesigning Hospital in the Home services, implementation of Medical Assessment Units, safe clinical handover, Rehabilitation Redesign, Improving Patient and Staff Experience program and creating the NSW Patient Experience Survey.
He has been involved in running and sponsoring the NSW Centre for Healthcare Redesign Diploma Program (‘Redesign School’) since its inception in 2007.
Raj gained his initial clinical experience working as a hospital Medical Laboratory Scientist at Royal Darwin Hospital.
Raj is passionate about improvement and innovation.
Samantha Challinor - Acting Director of Corporate Services
Samantha is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with 15+ years of senior management and high level financial experience.
She is an accomplished Executive Manager who is adept at bringing financial oversight and process to organisations through expertise gained in non-government, government and multi-national corporate sectors.
Her experience has included providing strategic IT and financial advice to various senior management and executive teams both in the not-for-profit and corporate environments with budgets of between $9m and $200m.
She has successfully led and managed the strategic and operational oversight of finance, information technology, contracts, procurement, legal compliance, risk management, quality accreditation, administration and facilities management functions.