Australia’s first female paramedic to complete a PhD, Victoria University's Associate Professor Louise Reynolds, has now been appointed Victoria's first female Chief Paramedic Officer (CPO).
Dr Reynolds will take on the new appointment, which is responsible for coordinating and optimising state-wide emergency and non-emergency paramedic responses – while continuing her work at VU, where she is Course Chair for the paramedic program.
“Being a paramedic educator and researcher has enabled me unique insights in preparing a skilled workforce that can respond to the current demands relating to inequities of access to timely care,” she said
Dr Reynolds commenced the appointment with Safer Care Victoria this week, taking over from Victoria’s inaugural CPO, Adjunct Associate Professor Alan Eade, ASM who held the position since 2017.
Safer Care Victoria CEO Professor Mike Roberts said Dr Reynolds was dedicated to advancing gender and cultural equity in the workforce, and to championing greater integration of paramedics in primary healthcare. She completed her PhD with a focus on ambulance service organisational culture.
In her new role as CPO, Dr Reynolds will be the state’s principal adviser on quality and safety matters relating to paramedicine, providing professional leadership and direction within the sector.
She will also have responsibility for the development and implementation of policies, partnerships, and improvement initiatives to support the provision of safer, more effective, and better integrated patient care.
Dr Reynolds brings comprehensive local and international experience in paramedicine to the CPO role.
She has been praised for her curriculum development and strong communications skills in university teaching, and conducted extensive research, leading to her being recognised by the Australasian College of Paramedicine as a Fellow for her research contributions.