Asia-Pacific Healthcare Hub Task Force


In February 2015, the formal collaborations between the International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare (IRCCH) and Charter for Compassion established the Asia-Pacific Healthcare Hub of the Charter for Compassion. This unique international establishment will continue to strive to promote compassionate healthcare practice through effective communication from education to practice. Together with the alliance with the International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare and the global network of the Charter for Compassion, the Asia-Pacific Healthcare Hub enhances IRCCH’s distinctive ability to translate communication research and to mobilize values into healthcare practice.

IRCCH’s mission is to build and sustain a world-class, collaborative health communication research and training hub where internationally recognized and multidisciplinary healthcare professionals and communication experts work together, translating research to education and practice and improving patient safety, relationships, and the quality of healthcare practice around the world. IRCCH aims to translate cutting edge communication research into best practice and training for safe and compassionate healthcare.

Recognizing the increasing linguistic and cultural diversity of both patients and clinicians, IRCCH encourages an innovative interprofessional approach by bringing together internationally renowned experts from many professional disciplines. These include medicine, nursing and other health professions, medical/ healthcare education, interprofessional training and practice, health policy and leadership, health sciences, linguistics, health communication studies, sociology, and clinical service redesign. The purpose of this IRCCH collaboration is to promote health communication research and the application of research findings to healthcare practice and concurrent development of evidence based education and training programs and curricula.

Similarly, the mission of the Charter envisions a world in which compassion and compassionate action, as articulated in the Charter becomes a transformative energy thus motivating individuals and communities to care for each other, to relieve suffering wherever it is found and to connect to other communities across the globe. This approach ensures well-being for all beings on the planet.

Angela ChanAngela Chan has been Inspired by narrative as both a phenomenon and a research methodology. She has embarked on her own narrative journey from Canada to Hong Kong where she now serves as the Associate Head of the undergraduate division at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Nursing. Her research focuses on the person/relation-centered care underpinned by caring/human science paradigm that has evolved into an emphasis on effective communication in health care and interprofessional collaborative practice. Her work on communication studies in education and practice has enabled her to work with overseas colleagues and to assume the role of being the Associate Director of the International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare. Angela’s teaching of the course caring concepts is informed by her research in caring science and communication studies. As nursing education is part of her interest, there are also her ongoing research about interprofessional education and collaborative practice in the community settings and the sustainability of these domains in the curriculum design. Angela has had the opportunity to develop pilot projects, with international collaborators, on the concept of internationalization at home that has sparked new possibility for student exchange without leaving home as another option to broaden students’ horizons.


Professor Phillip DellaProfessor Phillip Della is head of Curtin University of Technology’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, and chair of the Anaphylaxis Management Implementation Group (AMIG). The goal of the AMIG is to protect WA children through appropriate management of anaphylaxis in schools and childcare services, and will progress the strategies of the state implementation plan.

Professor Della is a highly respected health care expert and was with the Department of Health as Chief Nursing Officer from May 1999 until he commenced his role at Curtin in February 2008.


Roger DunstonRoger Dunston joined the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at University of Technology Sydney in early 2007. He is a senior health services manager, educator and health policy analyst with over 30 years of experience within the health sector. His appointment to FASS is a response to a global policy and practice momentum that is reshaping the role of the higher education sector and, in particular, its relationship to industry and civil society.

Dr Dunston’s positions have spanned a broad range of practice areas - clinical practice – hospital and community health services; health services management – the tertiary health care context; service review and health policy development – NSW Department of Health; education provision and program design – involving work in a range of health and community service areas. Prior to joining UTS, Dr Dunston was Director of Social Work at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH), Sydney; foundation chairperson of Allied Health Services RNSH; Director of the Allied Health Division, Royal North and Ryde Hospitals; and Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Health Services Development, University of Wollongong. Dr Dunston also held an adjunct senior lecturer position in the Faculty of Medicine (Northern Clinical School), University of Sydney.


dorothyjonesProfessor Dorothy Jones is a pioneer of patient safety and health system improvement in Australia. She is professor of clinical safety and quality at Curtin University in Australia. For the last two decades she has demonstrated an outstanding track record of innovation across clinical practice, government health policy and reform and academic research. She demonstrates a modern adaptive leadership approach and has an engaging and warm personal style. She is a skilled communicator and prioritizes relationship management, mentoring and genuine team based collaboration in order to deliver required performance and outcomes. She enjoys teaching and learning for others and herself! She remains deeply curious about the world and the human beings who live in it.

Dorothy originally trained in medicine and successfully transitioned from clinical practice (hospital and public health settings) into senior executive health management in the WA Health Department where she held various senior executive (board level) roles including director, chief medical officer and executive director.

In 2015 Dorothy chose to concentrate on working in healthcare communication and patient empowerment research and in the not for profit sector in her chosen community of Western Australia.


Suzanne M. KurtzSuzanne M. Kurtz was Professor of Communication, joint appointed in the Faculties of Education and Medicine, University of Calgary from 1976 through 2005. In 2006, she joined the faculty of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where she is Clinical Professor and Director of Clinical Communication. Focusing her career on improving communication practices in health care and education and on developing curricula and methods for teaching and learning communication skills, she has worked with a variety of groups: medical and education students, residents, practicing physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, patient groups, veterinarians and students of veterinary medicine, teachers, and administrators in health and education.

For 27 years she directed the undergraduate communication curriculum for Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine and has consulted nationally and internationally at all levels of medical education regarding the specifics of setting up effective communication programs for medical students, residents, faculty and staff. In 1998 she began working with colleagues in the Ontario Veterinary College to pioneer communication programs for veterinary medicine. Currently she is directing development of Washington State University’s communication program for veterinarians and veterinary students. She has served as advisor to the Bayer Institute for Health Care Communication, Cancer Care Ontario’s Communication Task Force, and Health Canadian Breast Cancer Initiative. She was appointed to the task force that initially developed Calgary’s innovative inquiry-based Master of Teaching program. Currently she is a consulting member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s national CanMEDS Phase IV Communicator Working Group, the Medical Council of Canada’s Executive Committee for the National Strategy for Physician Communication Skills Assessment and Enhancement. Working across diverse cultural and disciplinary lines, she has collaborated on communication program development, team building, and conflict management in education, law and business, and has served on several international development projects related to health and education in Nepal, Southeast Asia and South Africa.


Christian Matthias IngemarChristian Matthias Ingemar Martin Matthiessen is a Swedish-born linguist and a leading figure in the systemic functional linguistics (SFL) school, having authored or co-authored more than 100 books, refereed journal articles, and papers in refereed conference proceedings, with contributions to three television programs. One of his major works is Lexicogrammatical cartography (1995), a 700-page study of the grammatical systems of English from the perspective of SFL. He has co-authored a number of books with Michael Halliday. Since 2008 he has been a professor in the Department of English at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Before this, he was Chair of the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney.


jackpunJack Pun is a Ph.D. candidate conducting research in the teaching and learning process in EMI (English as medium of instruction) science classrooms, with particular interests on classroom interactions, use of L1 (first language)/ code-switching, teaching pedagogy in EMI classrooms, academic literacy in EMI context, language challenges and coping strategies, teachers and students’ views towards EMI in Hong Kong secondary schools.

Jack is interested in how secondary science teachers and students develop strategies to overcome their language challenges in teaching/ learning science through English (as a second language).


Elizabeth RiderElizabeth Rider founded and directs Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School’s first Faculty Education Fellowship in Medical Humanism and Professionalism, which is sponsored by the Institute, and co-sponsored by The Academy of Innovation in Education at Boston Children’s Hospital, the Office of Faculty Development, and the Office of Graduate Medical Education. She is on the active staff at Children’s, and also co-directs a year-long psychosocial pediatrics course for clinicians. An Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (HMS), Elizabeth is a Harvard Macy Institute Scholar and Faculty for the Program for Educators in the Health Professions. At HMS, she was Coordinator of Faculty Development, Resident as Teacher Initiative, and faculty for the Patient-Doctor III course for many years. Elizabeth and colleagues implemented communication skills assessment across the HMS curriculum.

Elizabeth is a founding member and chair of the external advisory committee of the International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare established at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and University of Technology Sydney, Australia. She leads the Centre’s International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare initiative, an interprofessional collaborative effort to restore core values to healthcare around the world. IPEP is a Partner of the Charter. In 2014, Elizabeth was appointed to the Global Compassion Council, the advisory body for Charter for Compassion International.


Diana SladeDiana Slade is Professor of Applied Linguistics at University of Technology Sydney (UTS). From 1998-2004 she was Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Education at UTS and before that she was Head of the Department of Language and Literacy at UTS. She was Chair of the UTS Teaching and Learning Committee as well as Deputy Chair of Academic Board from 1999 to 2008. Before joining UTS, in 1990, she was a lecturer on the MA program in Applied Linguistics in the linguistics Department, Sydney University for five years. With Christian Matthiessen, Diana convened the 1st International Roundtable and Symposium on Healthcare Communication at UTS in 2011. The Symposium and Roundtable brought together national and international researchers and practitioners from a range of clinical and academic disciplines to explore issues relating to healthcare communication. Diana is also an Executive Committee member of The International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare, a collaborative effort involving people, countries, organizations and institutions around the world working together to restore core human values to healthcare.  -


Marilyn TurkovichMarilyn Turkovich has been an instructional designer, facilitator and a consultant specializing in instructional design, strategic planning, race and social justice initiatives, leadership development and coaching. In addition to this work, she has been involved in education as a teacher, curriculum coordinator, principal and director of teacher training programs for the Associated Colleges and Columbia College—Chicago. She is currently Executive Director for The Charter for Compassion.

Marilyn’s experience is broad and varied, including helping a number of public departments and private organizations write strategic, business, development and succession plans. She was involved in facilitating a five-year plan for the City of Seattle’s Domestic Violence Council and conducting an education program on race and social justice for the City of Seattle. In addition, her work includes the authoring or co-authoring of more than twenty-five training and curriculum books and the design of education manuals for development houses and publishing companies.As a trainer and facilitator Ms. Turkovich has worked on issues of strategic planning, anti-racism, diversity and race and social justice, change management, coaching, performance feedback and leadership. Her training credits include working with leadership and projects for Casey Family Programs, Chevron, Puget Sound Energy, Coors Brewing, Medtronics Physio-Control, Microsoft, and City of Seattle Departments (i.e., Seattle Public Utilities, Planning and Development, City Light, Human Resources), The Chicago Community Trust (i.e., working with community organizations on research, red-lining issues, community advocacy), U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Family Services’ State of Utah, Washington Health Foundation, and a number of national and international educational organizations including the U.S. Department of Education, the Peace Corps, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Education Resource Center (India).

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