After four years practicing as a physiotherapist, Alicia Edwards says that transitioning into a management role with HealthStrong was an easy decision.
“Whilst I love “hands on practice”, I have an affinity for the business side of healthcare,” she says, “whether it be developing new services and programs, policies and procedures, strategic planning and leading a team. As much as I’m proud of my profession and my skill set as a Physiotherapist, my goal is to expand my business management skills.”
Alicia has worked with HealthStrong, an allied health provider that recently joined the Medibank family, for almost six years – initially as the Queensland Team Leader, where she grew the team from 9 to 65 members. More recently, she has taken on the role of National Operations Manager for Community. Her job involves overseeing all customer contracts, managing the day to day operations of the Community business including referral intake, workforce and scheduling, and also providing clinical oversight in developing new programs and initiatives.
After earning a degree in physiotherapy from the University of Queensland in 2007, Alicia settled in Brisbane with her now husband, Luke. She enjoys having her mother and grandparents nearby to help raise her two beautiful boys – 8-year-old Ethan and 1-year-old Nate.
Alicia with her husband Luke and beautiful children Ethan and Nate.
All smiles! Alicia’s 2 boys Ethan and Nate.
You might think the health profession would be a natural choice for Alicia, growing up with a Registered Nurse and an Ambulance Officer for parents. But initially, she wasn’t sure.
“I have the weakest of stomachs,” she laughs. “But after needing Physiotherapy following an injury, I fell in love with the profession and decided that’s what I wanted to do.”
Her favourite part of her job is working with other like-minded and passionate people to improve health care. “The difference we make in the community in particular to our clients is life-changing,” she says. “We can come in, identify what’s important to our clients, and then truly help them achieve these goals. Whether it be making the home environment safer, improving someone’s balance so they are less likely to fall or even just by helping them with their general care needs such as podiatry care, we are able to change the trajectory of their life.”
“It can mean staying at home with their spouse, being able to help care for the grandkids, being able to keep working or even being able to palliate how they choose – what a privilege this is!”Alicia with colleague and Operational Manager Luke Hayden.
Reflecting on Medibank’s mission For Better Health, Alicia says that to her, better health doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of disease or aging – it means having better access, better choice and better support to manage these.
“My Mother is currently battling brain cancer for the second time – better health to me means that she has options and that she can get the support and care she needs to enact those choices. In a perfect world, she would be cured, but for now, better health to me means that her health goals are achieved so that we can embrace the time (however long that may be) with her and enjoy it.”