School of Population Health

Leading expert in health leadership and management joins the School

David Greenfield

The UNSW School of Population Health welcomes David Greenfield as Professor of Health Leadership and Management to lead the School’s research and teaching in the field, with a focus on growing industry partnerships.

The UNSW Master of Health Leadership and Management program is the oldest and largest of its kind in Australia with a reputation for excellence, said Professor Rebecca Ivers, Head of School of Population Health. 

“Professor Greenfield has an established track record, nationally and internationally, working with industry and generating evidence to improve organisational systems, health service delivery mechanisms and community outcomes,” said Professor Ivers. “I look forward his contribution to the School’s focus on developing the next generation of health leaders.”

Professor Greenfield has undertaken teaching, research, policy and consultation activities with professionals from the acute, primary and aged care sectors, including local health districts in Sydney, and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.  

Being able to strike the right balance between positive patient and staff experience, and quality and efficient services is an essential skillset for those leading health systems, especially to ensure that these can have a beneficial impact on health outcomes, says Professor Greenfield.

“A big focus of my work and that of the School, is helping future health leaders and managers to develop ‘complex systems thinking’ so they can see the bigger picture as well as their individual role within it; and to be able to ask the right questions in the face of the complex problems and respond to these with bespoke solutions,” he said. 

“Having people at the helm with the right mindset and who are directed at improving the here and now, but also future focused is critical as this will have a flow on effect throughout the organisation to the frontline, and ultimately, benefit patients,” he said. 

“Health systems that can adapt and improve in response to current and emerging population health challenges, such as the rise in complex and chronic conditions and emerging threats like COVID-19, are paramount to the 21st century,” said Professor Greenfield “And, through teaching and research, the School has an important role to play in equipping the next generation of professionals with the skills to handle this.”  

How do we ensure everyone in the health system - from medical, allied health and nursing clinicians on the frontline to those in managerial, operational and policy roles - are working together? How do we organise and manage complex dispersed systems to deliver care and services that are meeting patients’ needs? And, how do we ensure this is being done in a sustainable manner, to the highest level of safety and quality? These are the kinds of questions that underpin the health management and leadership research and teaching at UNSW School of Population Health. 

“Being delivered within the Faculty of Medicine & Health, the Master of Health Leadership and Management provides a unique opportunity for the clinical side of medicine to be integrated with the organisation and management of care, because both sets of expertise are key to ensuring health systems and services can have the greatest positive impact”, said Professor Greenfield.  

Professor David Greenfield is a systems, organisational and improvement expert dedicated to improving safety, quality and efficiency across the health and community sectors. His organisational, educational and research work is at the intersection of improvement and implementation sciences. He has undertaken review, evaluation and research collaborations with colleagues internationally and within Australia. Professor Greenfield has been appointed to the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua): The International Academy of Quality and Safety (2018) and is a Deputy Editor of The International Journal for Quality in Health Care.  He is a Fellow of ISQua (2013) and a Fellow of the Australasian Association for Quality in Health Care (2011).


Do you want to become a leader who can drive change, enhance quality and execute well-considered management decisions to make a real impact on health services and systems? 

The UNSW Master of Health Leadership and Management will equip you with the essential knowledge, skills and attributes needed for leadership and managerial roles in healthcare. 

You can combine this degree with the master’s programs in public health, global health or infectious diseases intelligence and complete two master’s degrees within 1.7 years. Studying two programs concurrently enhances your career prospects and gives you the opportunity to combine knowledge and skills from two related disciplines. 

For more  information including how to enrol click here

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UNSW School of Population Health