Behind the News

Healthscope's Leadership Foundations Program: Meet Leah McGarry

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other - John F. Kennedy

For over seven years the Healthscope's Leadership Foundations Program has provided executives, new to their positions or new to Healthscope, with tools to manage the challenges associated with moving into new and increasingly complex leadership roles.

Participants in the program gain a better understanding of their own approach to leadership and acquire new ideas to optimise and sustain their potential.

The program is a six month course and delivered in small group learning to maximise engagement and learning opportunities for all participants.

A major component of the program is the completion of a significant workplace project with all participants presenting to the Healthscope Senior Leadership Team.

Leah McGarry, NUM Addictive Behaviours Unit, The Melbourne Clinic, was a recent participant of the Leadership Foundations Program.

Having worked at Healthscope for five years, Leah applied for the Leadership Foundations Program to prepare herself for further career advancement, and indeed, Leah has recently been promoted to a new role as the NUM of the Addictive Behaviours Unit at The Melbourne Clinic.

As part of her key course project Leah focussed on consultation-liaison psychiatry, which is the branch of psychiatry that specialises in the interface between general medicine and psychiatry, usually taking place in a hospital or medical setting.

Leah McGarry

Leah explains that patients who are admitted to hospital for medical reasons and present with clear psychiatric symptoms, which may be new or pre-existing and are exacerbated resulting in difficulty in management within the general setting.

"I set out to address an identified gap between acute medical/surgical hospitals and psychiatric hospitals by developing a referral pathway for patients who are medically fit for discharge but require ongoing psychiatric treatment," explains Leah.

Specifically, her challenge was to set up a consultation liaison service at The Melbourne Clinic by developing a dedicated referral pathway and process. The project included development of a referral pathway, exclusion criteria and providing staff training and education.

As a result of Leah’s work and the referral pathway established, The Melbourne Clinic has received fifteen consultation-liaison referrals resulting in inpatient admission.

"The project is ongoing, and at this early stage as well as providing a needed service to patients, the project has strengthened the relationship between TMC and other Healthscope hospitals. It has provided a platform to share information for better patient care and reduce stigma associated with mental health," said Leah.

"The Leadership Foundations Program has been invaluable for me as a manager, I have learnt the skills to confidently lead my team forward. I cannot speak highly enough of this program and recommend it to other managers looking to improve their leadership skills and progress onto their next role within Healthscope," said Leah.