2021 Health Finance Award Winners


HFMA Awards 2021

Shining a light on innovation and collaboration

The 2021 HFMA Awards has once again highlighted the outstanding talent and leadership of finance teams in health organisations across Australia.

In some of the most challenging times during the pandemic, our members from metropolitan, regional and rural Australia alike, continued to step up and positively impact the level of financial service delivery.

“I am pleased to see the high calibre of nominees for the awards and acknowledge each of you for your commitment to driving improvement,” said HFMA Vice President, Ross Sinclair.  

“Much more than recognising financial knowledge and ability, the HFMA awards honour an individual’s contribution to empowerment, engagement and partnership.”

HFMA CEO, Matt Hall said: “Our nominees, who come from all corners of Australia, have raised the bar this year, making it tougher for our judges. So, A big thank you to our panel of judges.”

Congratulations to our HFMA Awards 2021 recipients.

Erica Cole, Queensland Health – Winner, Finance leader of the year

An innovative thinker committed to stakeholder engagement and sustainability, Erica proactively identifies opportunities to lift capability and accuracy in patient costing at a local, state and national level.

The recent use of her newly developed methodology of considering the role of the room in which the treatment occurred for example, has meant that the costs for Emergency Department encounters are highly correlated with the funding received for these encounters.

Well regarded in the patient costing sector and an active participant in professional forums across Australia and New Zealand, Erica is dedicated to sharing and mentoring her counterparts in costing improvement programs that elevates costing well above a minimum compliance activity.     

Mark Misquitta, Peninsula Health – Runner Up, Finance leader of the year

Passionate about harnessing technology to drive efficiencies, Mark has led three major projects that created significant change in finance processes at Peninsula Health.

These included a robotics process automation tool to read and process invoices automatically that saved hours of Accounts Payable human intervention; EFTSure that minimised the time spent on fraud checks for new and existing suppliers; and working with Rutgers University on new research developing a data analytics tool to audit payroll transactions.    

Jane Malley, NT Health Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) Project – Highly commended, Finance leader of the year

The new Commonwealth AIR project was well outside the scope of Jane’s role as Principal Revenue Officer. Yet she took leadership to manage the entire project due to the risk to NT Health in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine roll out.

Swiftly working with Services Australia to investigate, understand and implement new processes, under intense time pressure, Jane was able to register 37 subsidiary sites to link 550 staff involved in COVID-19 immunisation. She has now developed governance factsheets, process flowcharts, and identified key staff to take over the management of the register.

Chau Phan, Peninsula Health – Joint winner, Rising Star

Originally joining Peninsula Health as an accountant, Chau took on a completely new role with the Business Partnering team in the middle of FY22 budget preparations, while juggling her accounting work until her own vacancy was filled.

A specialist in building models and digesting large data sets, she developed a new “budget cube” that automated the budget presentation to enable detailed data analysis to be reviewed easily. She also developed a “Profit and Loss cube” that turned static reports live – allowing data to be used in a multitude of ways.

Isaac Lee, West Wimmera Health Service – Joint winner, Rising Star

A dedicated collaborator with departments across West Wimmera Health Service, Isaac has an amazing ability to work with staff who have little financial data knowledge, to develop the best easy to use solutions.  

He has automated the Health Information Statistic Reports; developed an error report to identify missing or mismatched data; implemented a nurse rostering system to track staff ratios against staff FTE to save cost; and created automated time-recorded reports to track output hours against paid hours to identify gaps in services. He has also developed a Safety and Environment report which automatically monitors the progress and trends in incidents.

Yunhan Kwun, Alfred Health – Highly commended, Rising Star

A team player who has her finger on the pulse of all of Alfred Health’s revenue streams, Yunhee is agile in addressing the fast-moving landscape in government funding and reporting, with deep insights and transparency.

Methodical in problem solving, she has developed near real-time reporting that allows timely decision-making; and doubled her team by building capability using a supportive coaching style.

Emilia Yang, The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital – Highly commended, Rising Star

Coming into her role from outside the health industry, Emilia led pioneering work on a new asset management system to overcome numerous teething challenges and deliver real impact on the hospital’s ability to target capital funding to critical areas.    

In the area of clinical costing, she has worked effectively with multiple stakeholders to source data and set up new processes to improve accuracy, critical to financial sustainability.

Central Australia and Barkly Revenue Team – Winner, Team of the Year

As a small team covering an extensive region with a large volume of activities, the revenue unit developed a Best Practice revenue project for Alice Springs and Tennant Creek Hospitals in 2019, to improve productivity and engagement with key stakeholders.

The results were phenomenal in FY2019/20. And continued to grow in FY 2020/21. At Tennant Creek Hospital, patient activity was 75% above budget target and financial classifications were 99% accurate in episodes of care audited. At Alice Springs Hospital, public patient to private conversions were at 81% while Workers Compensation for allied health increased by 391%.

Metro North Commercial Services – Runner Up, Team of the Year

Focused on multi-dimensional data analytics and simplification of patient throughput metrics, the team developed numerous budget tools that use historical trends rather than purchased outputs as a starting point. This fundamental change is considered revolutionary and supports value-based add-ons.

Internally, Commercial Services have relied on robust collaboration across the organisation, and agile solutions-focused mindsets. The reframing of discussions to focus on activity and unit rates as the common metric, has resulted in improved financial literacy among clinicians and fostered an appreciation of the fundamental relationship between throughput and financials, resourcing and infrastructure requirements, critical to the sustainability of the health services operations.

Metro North Health – Revenue Advisory Services Team – Highly Commended, Team of the Year

Responsible for the education and training of all Metro North Health staff associated with patient revenue, the team implemented an innovative framework to produce a system that has the agility to support a virtual forum, while also having an interactive environment to respond to participants.

To support ongoing development, the team created additional training sessions dedicated to each revenue source, ‘how to’ videos, provided a feedback environment, and used interactive software.

Bendigo Health Finance Team – Winner, Regional Team of the Year

Navigating the curve balls of 2021, the team developed and integrated ETL processes and activity reporting into the organisation with near seamless transition – a massive challenge owing to the need to research and adapt to dovetail into data cubes.

When COVID hit, expanded activity reporting was required using COVID templates and consolidation of data from a raft of systems and departments – all reported within all the timeframes and models required. While budget training for managers was developed as an online solution.

West Wimmera Finance team – Winner, Rural Team of the Year

On top of the increased workload from COVID reporting, the small team took on the financial requirements of another hospital which needed support. This led to the on boarding of an online accountant and learning new systems, which resulted in shared information, improved processes, cost efficiencies and better decision making for both hospitals.

To ensure sustainability, templates for reporting were linked strategically to provide easy access. And the team worked tirelessly to keep the processes flowing seamlessly.

Tanya Jardine, Alfred Health – Winner, Revenue Performance

A leader in numerous cutting-edge billing system projects at Alfred Health, Tanya manages a team of 25 staff who handle some $50 million in compensable patient fees which involve complex rules, data quality, system integration, policy and processes.

As an internal and external adviser on billing systems and Medicare compliance, Tanya has maximised revenue opportunities to support vital hospital programs, resolved thousands of transactions living in billing system suspense accounts, and headed up a project to rationalise billing systems across Alfred Health, on the back of the successful Hyperbaric and Clinical Trials.

Mitch Byron, NSW Health Pathology – Runner Up, Revenue Performance

When the NSW government decided to create a vaccination hub to process 100,000 Year 12 students, Mitch moved quickly to create a billing arrangement between NSWHP and the LHDs involved, to establish a seamless process. And when genomic testing of COVID-19 patients increased from 5 to 7 days, he managed the operational changes which included recruiting, rostering and acquiring funding.

Harnessing his strength in relationship building, Mitch continues to roll out a Statewide Billing System in a phased approach, managing his team and external teams with energy and leadership.  

David Monaghan, Peninsula Health – Winner, Innovation Award

Working tirelessly to fortify his knowledge in health care funding streams to build capability across Peninsula Health, David identified the gaps and developed a bed Plan/WIES Calculator model to track activity against funding earned.

The easy to use yet sophisticated model not only educated users on activity-based funding, but also allowed for the operational executive teams to confidently review and strategically consider future bed configurations and resourcing requirements, critical with the rebuild of Frankston Hospital. The model is slated to operationalise across the business in 2022.

Mark Hopley and Flairy Caragay, ABM-NSW Health – Runner Up, Innovation

The COVID-19 financial impact model was a remarkable piece of work by Mark and Flairy, which showcased their skill in using complex numbers to tell a story simply and quickly.

Using a Microsoft Excel to construct a dynamic ‘flattening the curve’ model to estimate the financial impact on the NSW Health system, the model was used by senior NSW Health Finance Managers, to enable patient demand inputs to be easily updated as new epidemiological and clinical information emerged. An interactive dashboard was also developed and presented to estimate the likely demand on hospital services if the curve extended over any nominated timeframe.

Rhys Tippet, NSW Health Pathology – Winner, Data Management

Focused on driving transparency and access to financial information across the organisation, Rhys partnered with the Business Intelligence team to develop automated and scalable agile financial reporting tools.

He further applied his skills to the $120 million state-wide LIMS Fusion program by developing robust multi-level financial project reporting for the program. This is the largest program ever undertaken by NSWHP, and the innovative solutions that Rhys has developed has been essential and used at many levels.

Peter Joyce, Alfred Health – Contribution to the sector

An inspirational pillar of strength for Alfred Health and the sector, Peter’s judgement, technical knowledge, and approach is what the financial services department, organisation and various government agencies lean on at significant times, to a great outcome.

During COVID-19, Peter assisted with influencing some of the finance governance frameworks involved, while bridging numerous barriers in inter-health service relations. However, it is his human approach and love for the sector that stands out always.

Paul Dunn, NSW Health Pathology – Contribution to the sector

As a relatively new organisation undertaking numerous state-wide projects, Paul brings his influence in transformational projects and strategic health lens to produce significant benefits to the sector.

Some of his key projects Paul has initiated include an activity-based costing project for pathology testing; the NSWHP’s Environmental Sustainability working group on the use of Hybrid vehicles for the car fleet; new inventory management system for ordering efficiencies, and a lab information management system which received $81 million in funding.

Mark Hopley, NSW Health – Contributor to the sector

Currently in his retirement year, Mark has far from retired as he continues to impact the sector in many ways. He is recognised for his time commitment to finance in health care; innovation during COVID; and managing the NSW Activity Based Management Pricing Team which required immense agility in switching gears and reinterpreting rules to ensure NSW financial interests are protected and maximised.

As national bodies struggled with the cost of COVID and future national funding, Mark’s vision and building of analytical models with his team have allowed NSW Health to keep abreast of significant and frequent changes. This model has been shared nationally to assist in the interpretation of guidelines to ensure risks are appropriately shared by Commonwealth and Jurisdictions.

Congratulations to our HFMA 2021 Finalists

Janette Larkin, West Wimmera Health Service

Accounts Receivable Department, Alfred Health

Tina Piermarini, NSW Health Pathology

Jibran Tariq, Sydney Local Health District

eHealth Finance Team, NSW Health

Teresa Ho, NSW Health

Finance Leader of the Year


Erica Cole - Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service


Mark Misquitta - Peninsula Health

Highly Commended:

Jane Malley - NT Health

Rising Star

Joint Winner:

Chau Phan - Peninsula Health

Isaac Lee - West Wimmera Health Service

Highly Commended:

Yunhee Kwun - Alfred Health

Emilia Yang - The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital

Team of the Year


Central Australia and Barkly Revenue Teams - Central Australia and Barkly Region - NT Health


Metro North Hospital and Health Service - Commercial Services - Metro North Hospital and Health Service

Highly Commended:

Metro North Hospital and Health Service - Revenue Advisory Services

Regional Team of the Year


Bendigo Health Finance Team -Bendigo Health

2021 Rural Team of the Year 


West Wimmera Finance Team - West Wimmera Health

Revenue Performance


Tanya Jardine - Alfred Health


Mitch Byron - NSW Health Pathology

Innovation Award


David Monaghan - Peninsula Health


Mark Hopley & Flairy Caragay - ABM - NSW Health

Data Management


Rhys Tippett - NSW Health Pathology

Contribution to the Health Finance Sector

Peter Joyce - Alfred Health

Paul Dunn - NSW Health Pathology

Mark Hopley - ABM - NSW Health

2021 Award Finalists

Janette Lakin - West Wimmera Health Service

Accounts Receivable Department - Alfred Health

Tina Piermarini - NSW Health Pathology

Jibran Tariq - Sydney Local Health District

eHealth Finance Team - NSW Health

Teresa Ho - NSW Health

HFMA Corporate Partners