Dr Maggie Haertsch is a co-founder, executive director and CEO of the Arts Health Institute. With over 30 years' experience in the health care industry, Maggie began her career as a registered nurse and midwife and holds a PhD in Behavioural Sciences in Medicine. She has worked in a number of academic, teaching and research positions including health consultancy roles in East Timor, remote areas of Australia, the UK and USA.
Maggie is passionate about improving lives through the integration of the arts into all aspects of health and aged care. Under her leadership she has introduced a number of arts in health initiatives including the highly publicised Music & Memory program from the USA and the translation of the SMILE Study to Play Up now running in over 100 residential aged care services nationally. Maggie has grown the Arts Health Institute from a start-up to a major employer of artists nationally as well as increasing the institute’s research and education programs.
In 2016 Maggie introduced the first training program in Australia to measure social care related quality of life for people living in residential aged care using the ASCOT measures run by the University of Kent. In 2015, Maggie was a finalist in the United Nations Australian Association’s Media Peace Prize Awards for her work promoting positive images of ageing and in the same year she was recognised as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Australia.
In 2016 Maggie was recognised as Woman of the Year in Newcastle NSW. She sits on the Industry Advisory Committee for Macquarie University centre for the Health Economy and is an adjunct fellow in the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, Western Sydney University.