07 November 2022

Professor Saravana Kumar

New and more effective models of healthcare for South Australians will be explored with the appointment of the State’s first Professor of Allied Health, Professor Saravana Kumar.

SA Health and the University of South Australia (UniSA) will jointly fund Prof Kumar’s role, which will focus on meeting the State’s critical health needs, including easing current strains on hospitals, allowing older people to remain in their own homes, more telehealth services, and alternative clinics.

In the UniSA-based role, Prof Kumar will work closely with the Allied and Scientific Health Office (ASHO) to help implement the State’s allied health workforce needs and investigate retention, support and training priorities.

Prof Kumar has an established history of improving the quality and safety of healthcare through teaching and research in evidence-based practice across a range of disciplines. He has collaborated extensively with industry and healthcare practitioners outside of academia.

“In collaboration with SA Health, I will investigate and implement more effective models of care for our residents, fostering research which aligns with the State’s needs, including closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations,” Prof Kumar says.

“Designing programs to help South Australians stay as fit and healthy and possible, reducing the risk of chronic conditions, will also be a priority.”

ASHO Chief Officer, Dr Ingrid Lensink, says her office is “incredibly excited” about working with Professor Kumar.

“From psychologists to occupational therapists, allied health professionals are integral to health care and improved health outcomes for individuals, health services and the community,” Dr Lensink says.

“This position will provide a focal point to demonstrate the range of benefits evidenced by allied health professionals to individuals and the community.”

UniSA Allied Health and Human Performance Research Dean, Professor Susan Hillier, says the Professor of Allied Health position will go a long way towards supporting South Australians to “live the best lives they can”.

“There is growing recognition that our current health system is cracking under the strain of chronic conditions, manifesting in issues from hospital ramping through to people being unable to remain in their own homes while battling a range of health problems,” Prof Hillier says.


Contact for interview:  Professor Saravana Kumar E: saravana.kumar@unisa.edu.au
Media contact: Candy Gibson M: +61 434 605 142 E: candy.gibson@unisa.edu.au

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