Catherine Holliday

Community Hero

Catherine Holliday

(AUS) Australia:  Nurse

Nominee Highlights:

Catherine Holliday is Chief Executive of the Centre for Community-Driven Research (CCDR), a non-profit organization that conducts patient experience and expectations research and supports community engagement initiatives in the health sector. Catherine is proud to be a Registered Nurse and developed a model of community-based telehealth nurse case management that has now been implemented across multiple disease areas.  She is telehealth nurse in rare, genetic and complex diseases, including oncology, and her professional work has focused on developing community-based solutions to health system challenges.

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Catherine Holliday has significant experience working with government, not-for-profit organizations as well as research and international organizations including ten years working in Geneva, Switzerland with the United Nations, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, International Organisation for Migration, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. She has been a leader in community engagement in research and community-based care.

“As a nurse, I see and hear every day what people need and what makes a difference to their everyday lives. There is a noticeable gap between their experience and the way decisions are made about health at local, national and international levels. It means we end up with systems and decisions that don’t always work for people. So I’ve focused my work on two key areas. The first is to really listen to people, accept and collect their experience in the health system as evidence, and use this to inform decisions at all levels. The second is to develop and test models of community-based healthcare – leveraging the role of nurses and the position of community-based organizations – so that it becomes a little easier for people to access care and services.” – Catherine Maree Holliday

Catherine developed a telehealth case management programme for pancreatic cancer patients that has now been adapted to 10 other disease areas called Patient Pathways. The programme is innovative because Catherine trains the nurses who are employed by local, grassroots organisations based in the community. This means that when a patient is diagnosed with a condition or needs assistance navigating the health system, they can go to their local patient organisation and be assisted by a trained nurse. In addition to this, Catherine supports the nurses working in these roles by providing clinical supervision and in-service opportunities. This work was recognised by the Australian Minister for Health, who announced the Patient Pathways programme in January 2019. The programme is run out of the Centre for Community-Driven Research (CCDR) – a charity that Catherine started in 2012. Through CCDR she is developing a global repository of patient experience and expectations data that is routinely collected across all disease areas. Catherine’s vision is that any patient that has experienced illness should have a mechanism to talk about their experience, what they would like to see in relation to future treatment, care, information and support, and be able to do this in a supportive environment. Catherine built this charity in Australia and has since grown the organization with offices in Geneva, Switzerland and Bristol in the UK.

Catherine’s PhD thesis investigated the relationship between the global, social and economic drivers of research and how to translate results into policy, practice and population health. She has two masters degrees, the first investigating public-private partnerships in health and the second focusing on the operational and implementation requirement of public health initiatives. Catherine’s work has included health system strengthening, public health development, monitoring and evaluation, governance and compliance.