15 August 2019
Getting to know Jade Phelan, Managing Director - VIC/TAS
If you could sum up Jade Phelan’s career in one word it would be progress. Starting as a young graduate in EY’s litigation team, working through her MBA in New York and travelling across Australia to pursue her dream of a career in healthcare, Jade’s insatiable appetite for momentum brought her to Virtus Health in 2016.
“I was drawn to healthcare because I wanted a career that would help people. Although I couldn’t be on the frontline caring for patients I knew I could use my skills to contribute in a business sense and since joining the healthcare sector, I have never looked back,” Jade said.
After working her way through the ranks of the likes of EY and KPMG, then a stint in New York to complete her MBA, Jade took the leap into Healthcare in 2009 taking a role at Healthscope.
“I remember a friend of mine sent me a newspaper clipping for a job ad – Healthscope were looking for MBA graduates so I applied and in my interview I got asked if I would relocate. The next thing I know, I’m taking up the role of Operations Manager at Mount Private Hospital in Perth!”
It was a sink or swim scenario for Jade and swim, she did. Over the course of the years ahead, Jade would take on a number of General Manager positions, first at Darwin Private Hospital then back to Perth where, as a 34 year old non-clinical GM of one of Healthscope’s top 5 hospitals, she really made her mark.
Over a six year period Jade expanded the number operating theatres, introduced a Critical Care Unit which grew to be the second biggest in Australia and played an integral role in bringing new surgeons to the hospital.
“I got these opportunities because someone believed in me and I wasn’t about to let them down,” Jade explained. “It was my chance to do what I had always wanted to do in my career – help people.”
Deciding to go home to Victoria, the Managing Director role at Virtus Victoria came calling in 2016 and the rest is history.
“To be honest, I didn’t think I would get the job at Virtus!” Jade laughs. “I guess I made the right impression.”
That impression stuck and, as Jade expertly navigated through an intense evolutionary period, she took the Victorian business to new heights, growing and expanding services with a firm focus on ensuring patients have the very best experience.
“I’m proud of how far our Victorian teams have come. Together, and through a great deal of hard work, we have transformed how we work. Our focus on giving patients the best chance of getting pregnant sooner is testament to the values and drive of the team.”
Today, Jade’s role has grown to include Tasmania; a challenge she is relishing.
“It’s not often you get to inherit a facility as gorgeous as ours in Hobart and it will be a pleasure to work with the team to continue to build and grow the business. Whilst bittersweet to lose Simon as a colleague, I’m excited to be joining the Tassie team and continue Simon and Bill’s great work. The team have been so welcoming and I look forward to working together to set the strategy and take the Tasmanian operations to the next level.”
Someone who never shies away from a challenge, Jade’s energy and optimism is fuelled by a simple ethos: to remember why we started.
“I am inspired by the people I work with every day. We create families, we make dreams come true and that is a privilege I will never take for granted.
"To work in an industry that changes people’s lives, that allows me to continuously learn and that constantly challenges me to be better is invigorating - there aren’t many people in this world who go to work every day with a purpose like that.”