Our People

Professor Gary Geelhoed

Executive Director, WAHTN

Professor Gary Geelhoed MBBS, FRACP, FACEM, MD is the Executive Director of the Western Australian Health Translation Network (WAHTN). Prior to commencing at WAHTN, Gary was Western Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Director General of Clinical Services and Research, WA Department of Health. A UWA graduate, Gary worked as Director of the Emergency Department at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children for 22 years. Gary’s areas of research interest during his tenure as Director included:

  • The assessment of childhood asthma using oximetry
  • The usefulness of oral steroids in the management of croup
  • The impact of increased consultant numbers on Emergency Department outcomes
  • The reduction of mortality in patients presenting to WA hospitals following the introduction of the four hour rule

Gary has a keen interest in health reform, particularly in the area of clinical research and innovation. A highlight of Gary’s career involves his ongoing work to forge closer ties between our hospitals and the research community to promote greater innovation and best practice in clinical care and to establish and embed a robust framework for safety and quality along with teaching, training and research, into the day-to-day operations of the State’s hospitals and health services.

Gary’s past achievements include helping to introduce the Four Hour Rule Program to WA public hospitals, reducing delays in our emergency departments and streamlining hospital processes for admission and discharge.

Gary has held roles on numerous state and national committees including the National Health and Medical Research Council, President of the Australian Medical Association (WA), Board Member of Healthway, member of the Western Australian AMA Council and Chair of the WA Drug and Alcohol Authority.

Dr Debbie Turner

Chief Operating Officer, WAHTN

Headshot of Deb Turner wearing a black top standing in front of a green plant backgroundDr Debra Turner BSc(Hons), PhD is the Chief Operating Officer of WAHTN. Debbie has an extensive background in medical research and government sectors. Prior to joining WAHTN in 2018, Debbie managed the Office of the Chief Medical Officer and the Assistant Director of Clinical Services and Research in the WA Department of Health. She has 10 years experience in public sector policy development and strategic planning within the health and disability sectors.

Debbie studied at UWA and undertook postdoctoral studies at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She spent 20 years as a medical researcher based at Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Physiology Department at UWA and the Respiratory Department at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. Her research focus has been on paediatric asthma, atopy and lung disease.

Ms Deb Langridge

Head, Consumer and Community Involvement Program (CCI Program)

Ms Deb Langridge is the Head of the CCI Program and is responsible for implementing a state-wide consumer and community involvement program across WAHTN partner organisations.

Deb has worked in the public health and prevention space at all levels of government (Federal, State and Local) and the not-for-profit sector to contribute to the health and wellbeing of communities. She has worked to capture the voices of all parts of the community including access and inclusion, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, children and young people, mental health, health and community services. Deb has been the Chair of Advisory Groups in both NSW and WA, connecting community, government and wellbeing. As a member of the NSW Commission for Children and Young People’s Deb was involved in the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry on Children and the Built Environment. She was also a representative for the WA Local Government Sustainable Heath Review.

Passionate about policy and advocacy, making a difference in communities and turning theory into practice, Deb loves to bring people together to partner and collaborate for great outcomes. Deb’s capacity for strategic thinking and planning enables her to work at all levels of government, not-for-profit and community.

Ms Lauren White

Manager, WAHTN (Currently on Maternity Leave)

Lauren is the Manager at WAHTN and is responsible for the business operations and day to day management of the WAHTN office. This includes coordinating the strategic planning process and managing the implementation of activities across WAHTN’s partners and stakeholders.

Lauren’s broad experience has been gained from previous roles across a range of organisations in which she provided high level executive support. This included not-for-profit organisations in Sydney, at the University of Sydney Law School and within a number of divisions at The University of Western Australia.

Mrs Koshala Shanmugakumar

Administrative Officer, WAHTN

Koshala is the Administrative Officer at WAHTN and is responsible for the administrative functions of the network. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from Curtin University.

Ms Hannah Vu

Communications and Engagement Coordinator, WAHTN

Hannah has more than 7 years of experience as a marketing, communications and engagement specialist in the government, higher education, and private sectors.

At WAHTN, Hannah is responsible for the Network’s marketing, media, communications, and engagement activities. Hannah graduated from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.