Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Leadership group

The Centre for Health Systems and Technology (CHeST) leadership model reflects collaborative focus.  Our leadership consists of an interdisciplinary group of senior academics representing five key themes of the Centre.

robin gauldProfessor Robin Gauld

Co-Director and Theme Leader – Health Systems Architecture, Management, and Performance

Pro-Vice-Chancellor's Office, Otago Business School
60 Clyde Street, Dunedin
Tel +64 3 479 8632

Professor Gauld is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce) and Dean of the Otago Business School.

Robin was the 2014 NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professor at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in 2008-09 at Boston and Harvard universities, and is Independent Chair of Alliance South which brings together clinical leaders and managers to focus on whole of system, integrated approaches to health system and patient care improvement in the Southern region of New Zealand.

Robin has authored over 140 peer-reviewed journal articles, many book chapters, and several books including The New Health Policy (Open University Press, 2009), which was awarded First Prize in the Health and Social Care category at the 2010 British Medical Association Medical Book Awards. He recently co-edited Health Care Systems in Developing Countries in Asia (Routledge, 2017).

Read Professor Gauld's profile

Tim Stokes smallProfessor Tim Stokes

Co-Director and Theme Leader – Health care Delivery

Department of General Practice and Rural Health
55 Hanover St, Dunedin
Tel +64 3 479 7446

Professor Stokes is the Head of the Department General Practice and Rural Health, Dunedin School of Medicine (DSM), and one of two Co-Directors of CHeST.

Professor Stokes was Senior Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care at the University of Birmingham 2013–2014, a Consultant Clinical Adviser at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Leicester and Leeds 2006–2013, and Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in General Practice at the University of Leicester 1997–2006.

Professor Stokes  has expertise in health care delivery and implementation research—both primary research and evidence synthesis—using a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. A key methodological interest is in understanding and promoting how research findings become embedded in routine health care in clinical, organisational, and policy contexts. Crucial to this work is the need to use theory drawn from the social sciences to better develop quality improvement interventions, optimise their design, identify aspects of context necessary for their success, and enhance learning from such initiatives.

Professor Stokes is an international collaborator on the Action to Support Practices Implementing Research Evidence (ASPIRE) UK National Institute for Health Research Programme Grant for Applied Research, led by Professor Robbie Foy at the University of Leeds.

Read Professor Stokes's profile

Sarah Derrett 280x187Associate Professor Sarah Derrett

Theme Leader – Health Quality, Safety, and Community Engagement

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
18 Frederick St, Dunedin
Tel +64 3 479 7221

Associate Professor Derrett teaches health systems and public policy at the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine and is the Director of its Injury Prevention Research Unit.

Sarah's research is focused on patient-reported health and social service pathways and aims to learn from people about their experiences of health systems and their health outcomes. In 2011-12 she was a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow, based at The University of Chicago, where she examined care integration at remote rural health clinics and Community Health Centers in the US.

Sarah is a member of the EuroQol Scientific Committee which is responsible for a leading international health-related quality of life measure (the EQ-5D), sits on the Executive of a national patient and family-led charity (Bowel Cancer New Zealand), and on the Board of a community mental health respite service provider (Kōputai Lodge) located in Port Chalmers. She chairs the Community Health Council which is focused on patients, whānau, and community engagement in the Southern health region.

Read Associate Professor Derrett's profile

Joanne Baxter smallProfessor Joanne Baxter

Theme Leader - Health Workforce

Kōhatu – Centre for Hauora Māori
G23, 71 Frederick St, Dunedin
Tel +64 3 479 6548

Professor Baxter holds several key positions within the University of Otago:

  • Associate Dean (Māori) and Professor of Māori Health, Otago Medical School
  • Associate Dean (Māori), Division of Health Sciences
  • Director of the Māori Health Workforce Development Unit
  • Director of Kōhatu – Centre for Hauora Māori

Joanne has a range of research interests including Māori mental health, Māori medical workforce development, hazardous drinking among tertiary students, and health inequalities. She has current research collaborations with the Injury Prevention Research Unit (Hazardous Drinking project) and the New Zealand Mental Health Epidemiology Survey team.

Read Associate Professor Baxter's profile

stevesmallProfessor Stephen MacDonell

Theme Leader – Health Technology

Office     60 Clyde St (Works off Campus)
Tel +64 3 479 8142

Stephen MacDonell is a Professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Otago.

Stephen was awarded BCom(Hons) and MCom degrees from the University of Otago and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has experience and expertise in maximising sector engagement in technology development, and in developing and validating models and measures of technology adoption and efficacy.

Stephen undertakes research in information systems development, software analytics and visualisation, project planning, estimation and management, and behavioural software engineering. His work has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals in the fields of software engineering, computing, information management, and medicine.

Stephen is a Member of the IEEE Computer Society and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Information and Software Technology. He is also Theme Leader for IT, Data Analytics and Modelling as part of New Zealand's National Science Challenge Science for Technological Innovation.

Read Professor MacDonell's profile

Adeel Akmal imageDr Adeel Akmal

Centre's Manager

Room 128, Department of General practice and Rural Health, Dunedin School of Medicine
56 Hanover Street, Dunedin

Adeel Akmal (PhD) is a research fellow associated with the Department of General Practice and Rural Health and the Centre for Health Systems and Technology (CHeST). Adeel has a wide network of collaborations and research network in the Otago Business School as well as the Dunedin School of Medicine.

This cross-divisional presence made him an ideal candidate for CHeST's coordinator and manager, a position he has held for over 3 years. In this position, Adeel has organised various symposiums and seminars with some of the leading voices in New Zealand's healthcare system and international researchers as keynote speakers.

His current research interests includes quality improvement in production and service organisations (with a particular interest in healthcare organisations), operations and organisational management. He also conducts research in public sector and policy, and human resource management.

Adeel has received various awards and recognitions for his research including Otago's 3 minute thesis and a best paper award in the PMA Conference 2018 in Warsaw.

Associate investigators

Back to top