Jo Hickman

Cancer treatment is a full-time job.  As I was going through treatment, I kept thinking to myself - I wonder how patients and their families/carers cope who are unfamiliar with the health system.  I feel I can use my knowledge and experience in a positive way by being a consumer representative

Jo Hickman was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 45 years in the middle of 2017 and spent the rest of the year undergoing treatment, which consisted of chemotherapy and radiation, the latter undertaken Peter Mac’s Moorabbin Campus.    

Jo has been married for 25 years and has two adult children. Her career as a Registered Nurse has spanned 30 years, during which she specialised in the areas of critical care and public health.  Jo has spent the last eight years managing a high-risk immunisation service at Monash Health.    

Jo’s time employed at Victoria’s largest public health provider in addition to her experience of cancer has enriched her insight into the challenges that consumers from diverse communities can face when interacting with a health service.  These are challenges with health literacy, health system knowledge, communication, socio-economic disadvantage and support networks. Jo has had the opportunity to observe and interact with patients and their families/carers. Since returning to work at the end of 2017, Jo has been able to troubleshoot many of these issues through the lens of a patient.    

In addition to the Community Advisory Committee, Jo is a consumer representative on the Outpatient Services Steering Committee, the Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee (promote and monitor use of certain drugs) and has been involved with publications, focus groups and research projects.  Jo is currently one of three consumers acting as facilitators for the Your Thoughts Matter Program which is an organisation-wide communication program, training all Peter Mac staff in person-centred communication.

Go back to the Community Advisory Committee page