Catch Up With Karen Leighton, Our EGM

Vivir Healthcare

Vivir Healthcare

17 November 2021

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We spoke to Karen Leighton, our friendly Executive General Manager, about life with Vivir Healthcare during and after lockdowns.

Originally from Wales, Karen relocated to Australia in 2014. Since then, she has built on her expertise in recruitment and healthcare, starting at our parent company Chandler Macleod and quickly rising through the ranks to now lead Vivir Healthcare. With over 17 years in the healthcare industry, Karen is leading Vivir to expand its reach to support more Australians on their rehabilitation journey.

So, let’s crack into it…

Q1. How has Vivir Healthcare been impacted by the pandemic?

When the pandemic hit one of the greatest impacts for Vivir was our inability to gain access to our customers to provide essential allied health services. We quickly realised that, if alternative service delivery methods were not made available, this would have a significant impact on our customers' health, social, and emotional wellbeing.

Vivir responded to these challenges by increasing our investment in our digital landscape with the successful launch of our telehealth platform. This investment has further enabled us to promote our allied health services through our telehealth communications further enabling us to reach more of our regional and remote communities across Australia.

We faced additional challenges across our residential services when the government mandated single site policy which impacted our ability to utilise our clinical workforce across all the sectors we serve. The health and safety of our clinical workforce remains our top priority, and the recent investment in our current mobile scheduling platform has certainly supported us to further mitigate some of these onsite risks. The platform enables us to balance the safety protocols with service demands through the provision of real-time updates to our people on the ever-changing developments of COVID.

Q2. How has your work life changed since the start of lockdowns?

Enduring the last few months in lockdown has certainly had its challenges. I personally have enjoyed working from home during this time however, as lockdowns were extended, I have certainly missed the human face-to-face connections with my colleagues, customers, family, and friends.

What has kept my mind, body, and spirit alive during this time was becoming a first-time mum to my two little Frenchie fur babies – Maggie and Benji. These little bundles of joy (albeit extremely demanding) have certainly kept me on my toes. Whilst they have been my main distractors and companions throughout this difficult time, I can’t wait to enroll them into puppy school now that restrictions are finally lifting.

Q3. With the dropping of restrictions what are you most excited about?

Now that international borders have opened, I am thrilled to be spending some quality time back in Wales with my family and friends who I have not seen for almost three years. I am delighted to be heading back to my homeland for this reunion at the end of this month - Christmas is certainly coming early for the Leighton’s this year.

I’m also excited we are now able to continue our overseas recruitment campaign and look forward to welcoming more overseas clinicians to the Vivir family in the coming months.

I’m incredibly thankful to my Vivir team for all of their hard work and dedication to our customers these past few months in what will be a year none of us will forget in a hurry. I’m happy to see everyone enjoying some time out of lockdown and making plans to reconnect with loved ones both near and far.

Q4. What do you see for the future of Vivir Healthcare?

Vivir has a very bright and eventful future. We are working on several projects this year.

One major project is preparing the business to support the newly proposed residential funding and assessment model, which will ultimately go live in October 2022. Our Residential Operational and Clinical Excellence teams are innovating new and desirable programs to discuss with our customers that are built on a foundation of achieving quality outcomes for older Australians.

Simultaneously we are continuing our journey of service diversification with a greater focus and investment across our disability services to further enable access to all participates of all ages.

In addition, we are seeing greater requirements from our customers in the provision of our homecare services. Our Homecare Operational Teams are responding by continuing to design new pathways to attract and retain the right workforce to meet this demand.

Lastly, off the back of the successful launch of our Vivir telehealth platform, we are also working to further promote access to allied health services to our wider Indigenous communities throughout Australia.

We are very excited for the future of Vivir Healthcare and look forward to improving the lifestyle and wellbeing for even more Australians who require allied health support.