Capital Health Network

Capital Health Network



New CHN Chair and Deputy Chair welcomed

The CHN Board appointed Dr Lyndal Thorburn as the new CHN Chair at Board Meeting 7 November 2019.  Lyndal was elected to the Board last year and is an experienced company director and business founder.  Her consulting career supported the development of many new healthcare products and services, and she has advised government on structural healthcare issues including Australia’s clinical trials capacity and the role of pharmacy in primary care.  She has been awarded ACT Telstra Businesswoman of the Year (Business Owner) and has been a national finalist.

Roslyn Jackson was also appointed by the Board as the new CHN Deputy Chair at Board Meeting 7 November 2019.  Roslyn has been a CHN Director since 2015 and is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience working in public practice providing taxation advice as a corporate accountant in the Australia Government, Chief Financial Officer for a large not-for-profit organisation and Chief Operating Officer for an Australian Government Company.  She has also owned and operated a training and consulting company for over 20 years.

CHN has a skills-based Board of committed and dedicated leaders which you can see here

Under the Board’s guidance CHN looks forward to continuing to confidently work towards an effective and connected primary health care system for all Canberrans.


Chief Executive Adj Prof Gaylene Coulton Tenders Resignation

The CHN Board has announced today the resignation of Adj Professor Gaylene Coulton, Chief Executive who has led CHN for just over 4 years and will complete her role on January 29, 2020.

Adj Prof Gaylene Coulton advised “After 11 ½ years in the sector and leading a Primary Health Network and the former iterations of a Medicare Locals and a Division of General Practice, I am keen to explore some alternate opportunities which have arisen for me earlier than envisaged.  I have always believed in regional primary health care organisations through their various iterations and continue to be passionate about achieving better health outcomes for the community, as I have since my early days as a community and palliative care nurse”.

“The work we do at CHN as the Primary Health Network for the ACT, whilst we don’t often get to see the tangible changes it actually makes to people’s lives, adds value to the health system fabric in the ACT. Our focus on those most disadvantaged or at risk in our community makes what we do very fulfilling for me and members of CHN’s staffing team.  We do ‘Imagine Better’ all the time!    It’s been an honour to work with our passionate and professional staffing team and our many and varied stakeholders – an incredible bunch of Members, health professionals, peak bodies, service providers, consumer and carer organisations and ACT Health and CSD Directorate management – all committed to improving health outcomes for Canberrans. I look forward to seeing the organisation continue to grow and influence how the health system operates in a better way for consumers in the ACT.”

CHN Chair, Dr Lyndal Thorburn expressed the Board’s thanks and appreciation to Gaylene for what CHN has achieved under her leadership.

“Gaylene has demonstrated a strong commitment to the primary health care sector and her legacy has been a strong and sustainable foundation upon which the organisation can build moving forward.  The Board is particularly proud of the innovative programs that CHN has developed and implemented under Gaylene’s leadership which include Pharmacists in General Practice; GRACE; new mental health services for various age and community groups; our GP Prospectus supporting general practice; and the ever expanding HealthPathways program to name just some. CHN’s co-commissioning work with the ACT Health Directorate has placed CHN as a PHN leader, particularly in the mental health portfolio and the Board acknowledges the strong partnerships and relationships that Gaylene has developed with major partners and stakeholders.   The Board would like to wish Gaylene every success in her new and exciting endeavours which unfortunately for CHN have come far sooner than we would have liked.”

The Board will commence recruitment in the next few weeks so the new Chief Executive can commence with CHN early in 2020.


Retirement of CHN Deputy CEO Julie Porritt 

After a long and distinguished career including five years with CHN and its predecessor ACTML, Deputy CEO Julie Porritt has decided to retire as of 29 November 2019.

Julie is a nursing leader who has managed hospitals, national nursing programs, and CHN’s primary care, commissioning and corporate support portfolios. She has always acted with integrity, loyalty and a strong commitment to doing what is best for the organisation she is working for.

Her work over the last few years leading the Pharmacists in General Practice Pilot, GRACE, In-reach Primary Care Clinics and Transitions of Care Pilot is a demonstration of how Julie has always put her hand up for whatever the organisation needed to her do.   Julie has represented CHN on many external committees and forums and I am sure those of you who have worked closely with Julie will wish her well in her retirement.