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Winthrop Professor Sandra Thompson is Chair of Rural Health at the University of Western Australia and heads the Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health (CUCRH) in Geraldton. CUCRH is Western Australia's only University Department for Rural Health and has premises in Geraldton, Mount Magnet, Perth and Port Hedland. Sandra is also currently Chair of the Australian Rural Health Education Network (ARHEN).
Sandra has worked in the health industry for over 20 years in a variety of roles - as a medical practitioner, laboratory-based researcher, public health researcher and epidemiologist, manager and public health practitioner. She has worked in cross-cultural settings including several remote areas of Australia and has a strong commitment to Indigenous health issues and to the health of other vulnerable and under-served populations. She has a keen interest in community capacity-building through partnership and strong networks and has been involved in teaching and research with a number of universities in Australia.
As a public health physician and researcher, her interests and expertise include communicable disease control, prevention and management of chronic disease, Indigenous health, health services research, quality improvement, capacity-building and partnership approaches, and mental health. She is also interested in rural health workforce issues and service learning as an approach to improving student placements in rural settings while serving unmet need in the community.