Jonathan Stucken brings a wealth of techspertise to his role as Data Analyst. He also brings a strong desire to help others. It’s part of the reason he’s chosen to work at South Western Sydney Primary Health Network. And since joining our team in 2022, Jonathan has found that behind the scenes, he can play an important role in improving healthcare outcomes across our communities.
Impacting whole communities
In April 2022, Jonathan Stucken had a scare. He found himself struggling to breathe and hurried to the emergency department of the nearest public hospital. However, once he arrived, Jonathan found himself waiting far longer than he’d expected. And the experience really stuck with him.
“It turned out there was nothing seriously wrong with me, but being exposed directly to the hospital system and seeing how overwhelmed many of our healthcare workers were was really scary.”
For Jonathan, who’s always been motivated to help people, that hospital trip, plus seeing people he cares about struggle with mental illness, is a big reason why he values working at South Western Sydney PHN. Because Jonathan knows that with us, he can make a difference that matters.
“Healthcare is not a detached thing for me; it’s personal. Here, I actually get to help improve health outcomes, for instance, by creating better data systems so mental health cases can be reported more easily. And I know whatever work I’m doing now could potentially impact my kids’ health in the future.”
As a Data Analyst, Jonathan plays a vital role in helping us improve systems, meaning our people can work more effectively to deliver outcomes. He’s also currently collaborating with other South Western Sydney PHN team members on an Australian-first data project, which involves trialling a cutting-edge program known as iRAD (Integrated Real-Time Active Data).
The program enables local patients’ medical records (with their consent) to be shared easily between their GP, local hospitals and other primary health providers. This means if a patient presents to the hospital critically ill, the hospital team will easily be able to obtain and understand the patient’s medical history, including a full list of their medications, thus reducing errors and improving patient care.
“Projects like this bring a lot of job satisfaction because you can see what we’re doing is helping. And more broadly, you realise, there are real people behind what we do; we’re impacting the whole community. I feel excited about the future because we’re coming up with some really good systems.”
Combining tech skills with interesting work
Jonathan had little experience in the healthcare sector before joining us. What he did have in spades was a wealth of IT expertise, a skillset that originated in Jonathan’s primary school days in North Sydney.
“I’ve always been a little bit nerdy,” he laughs. “As a kid, my friends and I shared our computer games on floppy discs. But one disc always had this error, so I learned how to use DOS commands to extract the games. I think that’s really how I got into tech.”
Jonathan’s skills only grew from these schoolyard beginnings. He’s worked as a website designer and programmer and went on to teach IT to TAFE and high school students before returning to programming. Yet, by the beginning of 2022, Jonathan was ready for a new challenge. He’d been living in South Western Sydney with his wife and young children since 2018, and when he saw South Western Sydney PHN had a data analyst vacancy, he applied.
“I looked at the website, and the organisation seemed to tick all the right boxes. It sounded like interesting work. I managed to get the job, and I’ve really enjoyed it since.”
A collaborative culture
Jonathan has truly settled into the role and made it his own. He’s even become a doctor of sorts - a data doctor!
The medical moniker came about when Jonathan’s supervisors, David and Nick, recognised that the data team tended to work quietly behind the scenes. Both David and Nick knew others could benefit more from the team’s knowledge, so they came up with the idea for the data team to host personal sessions to which their colleagues could bring data-related questions. A lot of the products we use at South Western Sydney PHN revolve around data, and we strongly believe in the value of collaboration, so the idea proved a hit for the wider team and for Jonathan, too.
“I love being part of it! I think it’s been great for connecting with people across the organisation. It’s making our team and what we do more well known but it’s also this cool social thing where we’re helping people.”
Jonathan notes the positive culture at South Western Sydney PHN is unlike any he's experienced.
“Coming from the teaching world where the culture was quite critical, I was really surprised in a good way by the open, positive culture here. You feel really welcome and part of the team. I’ve worked in jobs where Monday morning arrives and your heart sinks. But I can honestly say that here, I’m pretty keen to get into the week!”