MDFA welcomed Dr Kathy Chapman as CEO in July. We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce Kathy to our health professional community; to learn more about Kathy, her experiences across various for-purpose organisations, and her aspirations for MDFA.
I’m delighted to have joined MDFA and I am looking forward to meeting more of you in the coming months.
My past career has been in for-purpose organisations in different areas of public health. I worked most recently at the Heart Foundation and spent 15 years at Cancer Council NSW. I was also CEO of Down Syndrome NSW for nearly two years, where the inclusion of people with disability was an important focus for me. These organisations really fostered in me a strong desire to keep working in the for-purpose sector.
Personally, having seen my grandmother experience vision loss is an important reminder of how important one’s eyesight is to live independently and enjoy life. My grandmother was an avid reader and played golf. But both these activities were taken away from her. It really showed me that good eyesight is something that we cannot take for granted.
As to what my goals will be, I will be focusing on where MDFA can make its biggest and most important impacts. One of my goals is to make sure that MDFA can increase its reach in terms of the number of people who know about our work and who can benefit from our programs and services.
Unlike for my grandmother, there are good treatments available for some of the macular disease conditions, but there’s a lot of barriers that can lead to people stopping treatment. We will continue our strong advocacy work with Government to reduce these barriers. Having a PhD myself, I understand the value of research and I hope we can fund more research that will translate into better outcomes for people with macular disease.
I’m very excited to have joined MDFA and together we can make a greater difference for people with macular disease.