Q and A with Julie Redfern: Cardiovascular Health

Associate Professor Julie Redfern is the Head of the Public Health and Health Services Programme Cardiovascular Division at The George Institute for Global Health.  Her current work on secondary heart attack prevention aims to bolster clinical guidelines across Australia to prevent patients from returning with another heart event.  Here, she tells us what she does and why she enjoys working at The George Institute.

What is your job and what does it involve?

I am Head of the Public Health and Health Services Programme in the Cardiovascular Division at The George Institute for Global Health, and an Associate Professor in Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney.  My job is complex and diverse.  It involves co-ordinating and leading research projects/teams, preparing funding applications, analysing research results, writing papers, and giving presentations across Australia and internationally. I also work closely with many colleagues from all over the world in our common pursuit of reducing cardiovascular disease. I regularly attend meetings with collaborators, committees and colleagues.

How long have you been working at The George Institute?

About four years.

What inspires you in the work you do and why?

I am a self-motivated person and I always strive for success and better outcomes for everyone in society. I know we can deliver health more efficiently and I want to make a real difference to society.

What is your current research focus?

My research focuses on preventing repeat heart attacks. This involves examining and collecting current data about health service utilisation and outcomes, testing new approaches and working to change policy in the area of secondary heart attack prevention.

What are examples of other work with which you have been involved at The George Institute?  

A really exciting aspect of our work at the moment is the National Secondary Prevention Alliance that Associate Professor Clara Chow and I co-chair. This Alliance gives us a real opportunity to change policy, as we have brought together all the key stakeholders from across Australia and we have established a few common goals and actions to guide them in prevention methods.

What difference will your work make to healthcare and why?

I hope that my work will see a major shift in the way we deliver health care management to people across Australia who have survived a heart event. This would mean more people have access to evidence-based care, less people would die, more people would live healthier lives and it would also save the country money.

What is your professional background?

I am a clinical physiotherapist and have worked across all areas of general and rehabilitative physiotherapy with a focus on chronic disease management.

Are you currently studying, and if so, what?

I am not studying just now, but I am keen to do some more formal statistics training.

What values of The George Institute do you appreciate the most and why?

For me it is working with the high calibre of people that work at The George Institute. The creative and intellectual ability of the staff is amazing and I really enjoy being part of a great team.

Why do you enjoy working at The George Institute?

I enjoy being at the cutting edge of medical research that aims to improve health worldwide. I also enjoy mentoring our junior team members and love watching them grow and develop.

A person I admire is…My sister who has become a wonderful and independent woman with a happy and successful family.

To unwind at the end of the day I…Read and relax with my family - after running my son around to his various sporting activities!

A saying I live by is…Never do to others what you would not want others to do to yourself.

One day I hope to…Do a cake decorating course!

My first job was…As a night worker at Target while studying at University.

My biggest achievement so far…Is being a great parent and watching my son grow and develop.