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Professor Helen-Skouteris

What motivated you to work with the Monash Warwick Alliance?Shirin Rai

As a MWA Joint Professor since November 2017 my motivation to work with the Alliance has been on addressing the compelling problems affecting the quality of healthcare systems internationally and the challenges of health care improvement, including:

(1) the lack of integration between research, education and healthcare;
(2) multiple silos, especially between health and social care; and
(3) the failure to engage relevant stakeholders and the voice of those with lived experience in health and social care improvement.

The importance of improving health and social care through an increased focus on prevention, health inequalities and tackling the social determinants of health is now a priority of governments globally, as well as for Monash and Warwick.

What are your top three collaboration achievements so far?

I came to Monash with a team of four and I now lead a Health and Social Care Unit with 40 multidisciplinary researchers and educators, and support staff. My collaborations were initially with Warwick Business School but have now expanded to include the Warwick Medical School, Warwick Manufacturing Group and Psychology, as well as collaborations across Universities of Birmingham, Coventry, Bedfordshire and UCL.

I am an investigator on the Economic and Social Research Council EXIT study led by Professor Graeme Currie at Warwick Business School. The EXIT study is EXploring Innovations in Transition to adulthood for young people leaving care. We are replicating this work in Melbourne, Australia.

Together with colleagues from Warwick, I led a viewpoint piece revealing that the substantive reliance on high cost external management consultancies for healthcare improvement without demonstrating value or benefit, is unsustainable. We argue that an integrative approach that embeds research and capacity building within healthcare services is of better value, as is breaking down silos to foster collective impact.

As a joint Professor in Health and Social Care Improvement and Implementation Science, the Alliance has also enabled me to accelerate my work in the field of implementation; I was elected to the Board of the Global Implementation Society and invited to be a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts.

What do you hope to ultimately achieve through your collaboration?

I am immensely proud of my MWA joint appointment, and this is exemplified in my work that is advancing health and social care, especially for those most in need. I aim to continue to expedite international opportunities that tackle world-relevant challenges and transform communities with practical, co-designed and tailored solutions, especially where inequities in health and social care outcomes exist.

Can you share one fun fact about yourself or your work?

I played soccer/football as a young woman in an amateur league. I love watching soccer including, and always, my son who plays senior football. I follow the Melbourne Victory in Australia, Panathinaikos in Greece, and Manchester United in the UK.

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