A woman of influence who transformed health economics

Professor Jane Hall, picture supplied

Professor Jane Hall, picture supplied

In summary: 
  • The founding director of UTS's Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation, Professor Jane Hall, has been named among Australia's 100 Women of Influence
  • She was joined by Eureka Prize winner Professor Patricia Davidson and a group of UTS graduates in the annual list compiled by the Australian Financial Review

Professor Jane Hall, the founding director of the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation (CHERE), which this year marks its 25th anniversary, has been recognised in this year's Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards.

Professor Hall has been acknowledged for her impact on public policy, her contribution to the development of the field of health economics, and her influence as a mentor.

Also recognised in the "global" category was Professor Patricia Davidson, Dean of Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in the US and professor in the Faculty of Health at UTS, who recently won the 2016 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.

''These awards not only highlight the incredible breadth of talented Australian women, they uncover those extraordinary women whose tireless commitment to creating change would have otherwise remained unrecognised," said awards co-chair Ainslie van Onselen, Head of Inclusion and Diversity and Director of Women's Markets at Westpac.

Professor Hall was the founding Director of CHERE 25 years ago, a position she held until 2012, when she became its Director of Strategy. An internationally recognised academic, she is Professor of Health Economics at UTS Business School, where CHERE is based.

"Jane has transformed the discipline of health economics through the development of new concepts and measures such as patient quality of life and patient choice," says her colleague Professor Rosalie Viney, who took over as Director of CHERE.

"Her breakthroughs have led to the significant altering of clinical attitudes and practices and to improved patient outcomes, particularly in the treatment of breast and other cancers.

"But she has also been an inspiration for other women, both through her own achievements in the male-dominated fields of economics and medicine, and through her committed mentoring of many of those women."

Professor Hall initially established CHERE at the University of Sydney in 1991 and as Director built its national and international reputation for research excellence and policy relevance over two decades, with the centre moving to UTS in 2002.

"Jane's strong commitment to mentoring early and mid-career researchers is a core ethos of the centre and she has supervised many successful PhD students and young researchers who have achieved successful careers both nationally and internationally," Professor Viney says.

"Jane is actively sought after by governments, industry and other academics for her leadership, her translation of research into meaningful health policy and practice, her collaborations and networking with other health stakeholders and her outstanding contribution as a role model."

Through her presidency of the International Health Economics Association and her ongoing active participation she has been able to encourage other women to speak up about reforming health care and contributing to health economics, particularly young women from developing countries.

Several UTS alumni were also named among the 100 Women of Influence, including three recent graduates in the "young leader" category. They were:

Business Enterprise

Diane Westaway
CEO & Founder, Wild Women on Top
Grad Cert Journalism (1997)

Innovation

Natalka Suchowerska 
Chris O'Brien Lifehouse / University of Sydney Associate Professor
Master of Science Clinical Measurement (1985)

Social Enterprise & Not-For Profit

Kelly McJannett
CEO, Food Ladder  
BA Communication-Public Communication (2009)

Young Leader

Marina Brizar   
Head of Corporate and Private Client, Director of AMB Foundation / Playfair Visa & Migration
Bachelor of Laws  / BA International Studies (2013)

Kate Fitzsimons
Director, Nicole Fitzsimons Foundation
Bachelor of Business (2013)

Sylvia Freedman
Co-Founder, EndoActive Australia & NZ
BA Communication-Social Inquiry (2015)