Hearth Appoints Fiona McAlinden Director Allied Health

Hearth Appoints Fiona McAlinden Director Allied Health

At Hearth Support Services, we have been relentlessly focussed on continuously improving and developing a client centred service that started in 2017 with one participant and one support worker. Hearth now provides support to a large and growing number of clients across Greater Melbourne assisted by a dedicated team of Case Managers and Support Workers.

Hearths first participant was my son Tristan and he continues to provide tremendous insight into our service and if we are genuinely improving his wellbeing and helping him to realise his full potential with our goal centred systems and processes. It is complex and not easy, but at age 14, Tristan’s progress astounds me and wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of the NDIS, his Case Manager and an amazing team of Support Workers and Allied Health Therapists.

Using the latest technology Hearth has built an integrated approach to goal directed support that brings together the entire support team including Allied Health, Educationalists, Medical Professionals and of course Hearth Support Workers who guide and support the realisation of the participants goals.

Allied Health, including physiotherapy, speech pathology and occupational therapy are critical parts of the support team for my son and for many people with a disability and they do amazing work. However, I have found it very challenging to access the right Allied Health Therapists for Tristan as there seems to be a real shortage of Allied Health Professionals who have experience supporting people with a disability.

To address this situation, I decided to do something about it, launch Hearth Allied Health Services! After all my experiences with my son, I believe there is a real need to develop more disability experienced Allied Health specialist teams.

To kick off the business, it is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Fiona McAlinden as Director of Hearth Allied Health. Fiona comes highly recommended and with an incredibly relevant lifetime of experience. My initial focus was understanding whether Fiona would fit the Hearth culture, as this was a not negotiable for me. Not everyone thrives in a fast-paced environment that has a relentless desire to improve and evolve the participant experience and outcomes. There was no doubt early on that Fiona would not only “fit the culture” but would continue to evolve it bringing a blend of very different experiences, recently leading one of the largest therapy teams within Monash Health in Victoria.

Fiona is a qualified Social Worker and has a Master’s in Business Management. Complimenting her qualifications Fiona also has over 20 years of leadership experience in the disability and health sectors leading large-scale allied health workforces, the provision of therapy services, service development, innovation in models of care and client driven advocacy.

I learnt that at Very Special Kids, Fiona led a large-scale expansion of support services, to families with children with complex disabilities and life-threatening illnesses, across Victoria and was instrumental in the development of the model of care for the first children’s hospice in Australia. In the disability sector, Very Special Kids plays an essential role for some of the most complex participants.

What also really attracted me to Fiona’s experience, was her 9 years as Allied Health Director across multiple programs at Monash Health. There is a shortage of great therapists in Disability, so we need a leader who can not only attract leading therapists but also importantly develop a work force from within over time. Fiona’s experience in one of the leading “teaching hospitals” and working with the universities is exceptional. As a result, Fiona has an established reputation for excellence in allied health service delivery, education and research and is highly regarded by her professional peers.

With a deep understanding of the role Allied Health plays in the holistic care of our community, Fiona has already created an innovative working environment and conditions to inspire Allied Health professionals to achieve excellence in therapy services for our clients.

Fiona is now busily building the team, systems and processes required to start Hearth Allied Health. We have several Allied Health professionals ready to join the team, but we need more!

If you know physiotherapists, speech pathologists or occupational therapists who may be interested in being a part of this meaningful journey in 2021, please get in touch with myself or Fiona. (visit www.Hearthaustralia.com.au  for full contact details)

With our accreditation finalised we will be “launching” to the existing Hearth participants very soon, offering them a choice of some leading therapists.

Importantly from a therapist point of view joining the Hearth Allied Health team will truly enable them to make a difference in the lives of our participants!

Once again Fiona, congratulations and we look forward to your contribution to growing our dynamic new business venture.

Justin Scanlon

Founder Hearth Support Services

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