The Children, Young People and Families Directorate of Hunter New England Local Health District integrates a range of health care services designed to meet the ever-changing health needs of babies, children, young people and their families.
This single network brings together the vast range of hospital and community-based services in the Lake Macquarie, Upper and Lower Hunter, Port Stephens, Lower Mid North Coast and Greater Newcastle regions. Children's services at hospitals across the region include, John Hunter Children's Hospital, Manning, Maitland, Cessnock, Kurri Kurri, Muswellbrook, Scone and Singleton as well as a wide range of community-based services including mental health.
What we do
The Children, Young People and Families Directorate links clinical services for children, young people and their families, with professional disciplines within the geographic regions of the Hunter and New England. The network is responsible for providing an accessible integrated system of health care throughout the region.
Children, Young People and Families Executive
Prof Trish Davidson - Executive Director
Trish is a practicing Paediatric Surgeon, an educator and researcher. She is currently President of Children’s Healthcare Australasia and is on the Board of the Australian Institute of Patient and Family Centred. She is also on the Council of NSW Kids and Families and served as on the executive and as Censor-in-Chief of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
Currently Trish is the executive lead for Children, Young People and Families as well as the clinical networks for Hunter New England Health.
Jason Simpson - General Manager/Director of Nursing
Jason has a diverse career background, with over 26 years of nursing experience. During this time he has spent 17 years in paediatrics and nursing leadership roles and 10 years as Director of Perioperative Services at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Internationally, Jason has been the Executive Director of Nursing-Foundational Clinical Services (Anaesthesia, Pathology, Perioperative, Outpatients, Psychiatry and Radiology) for Sidra Medicine in Qatar, along with holding the Chief Nursing Officer position at a new 350 bed Women and Children’s Hospital in Qatar.
Tracey Hamilton - Business Development & Performance Manager
Tracey is responsible for overseeing financial performance; providing leadership in performance reporting and system development; as well as having a key role in service planning and review. Tracey has extensive experience in both finance and healthcare management with a particular focus on the provision of improving health care services for children and young people.
Jenny Martin - Director Allied Health
Jenny trained as a physiotherapist and has worked as a clinician, leader and educator in paediatric healthcare settings for close to 20 years. She is a strong advocate for the role that allied health clinicians’ play in working in partnership with children, young people and their families to enhance clinical outcomes and positive healthcare experiences.
As a leader in paediatric allied health, Jenny works actively to build and foster a culture of excellence throughout the service.
Lynn Walker - Manager Co-Director John Hunter Children’s Hospital
Lynn has a background in paediatric nursing and has held a senior leadership role within John Hunter Children's Hospital for over ten years. With over 30 years in healthcare, Lynn has extensive experience in change management, as well as practice, leadership and nursing workforce development.
Dr Paul Craven - Medical Co-Director John Hunter Children's Hospital and Director of Newborn Services
Paul is a practicing Neonatologist, Director of Newborn Services for HNELHD and educator. He has held a number of leadership positions, including Neonatal Lead for the Health Education Training Institute (HETI) and chair of the Neonatal Subcommittee for the Office of Kids and Families. Paul has worked on neonatal between the flags, sepsis kills, IV fluids and basic neonatal life support on line learning for HETI.
Matt Frith - Network Manager
Matthew is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist with 15 years clinical experience in rehabilitation of children after acquired brain injury. He has collaborated in research and clinical practice improvement projects, presenting at national and international conferences. Matthew was involved in the development of audit tools, which has been supported by the Clinical Excellence Commission to be utilised state-wide.
As Network Manager, Matthew provides strategic advice and coordination for Children, Young People and Families Services across the District.
Lucas Coleman - Communication, Fundraising and Volunteering Manager
Lucas has a background in strategic communication, providing advice to the Children, Young People and Families Executive about public affairs strategies and innovative ways to communicate with our community.
He has specialisation in digital media, ensuring the Directorate embraces new technologies and communicates to families through both traditional and emerging forms of media.
Leanne Crittenden - Coordinator Child Health Network, Northern
Leanne has a background and qualifications in Paediatric Nursing, Health Service Management and project management. She is the coordinator of the NSW Children’s Healthcare Network Northern and has held the position since the inception of Child Health Networks in NSW (2001).
The goal of the network is to improve quality of, access to and delivery of health care services for children in the Hunter New England , Northern NSW, Mid North Coast Local Health District's and John Hunter Children’s Hospital.
The network provides support, education and advocacy for health professionals who work with children. Leanne manages Paediatric Outreach subspecialist clinics throughout Northern NSW.
Sue Ayre - Director Community, Partnerships and Integration
Sue has a background in nursing and midwifery and is a senior manager with extensive experience in both the rural and metropolitan health areas. Sue has undertaken a number of key innovation projects within Hunter New England over time.
Susanne Lovett - Executive Assistant to the Director of Children, Young People and Families