About Us

Experienced health professionals

Sleep for Health and Safety (SHS) was formed in 2007. It is the first national company to provide professional services on sleep health education and screening for sleep disorders and sleep disordered breathing (SDB).

The professional team at SHS has over 30 years of sleep research and clinical experience and includes six sleep technologists, four sleep physicians and two CPAP therapists. Our aim is to raise awareness of the importance of good sleep through education and implementing screening programs for on-site testing of sleep disorders.

Our Advisory Board comprises some of Australia’s most prominent sleep physicians. Their collective expertise covers all facets of sleep medicine. Their independent knowledge and advice ensures Sleep for Health and Safety remains at the forefront of sleep disorders screening.

Rhonda Russo RN, PSGT, BSc(Psyc), MA Health Management

Rhonda is the Founder and Managing Director of Sleep for Health and Safety. She has over 20 years experience in sleep disorders, sleep technology and sleep research. She is a founding member and past president of the Australasian Sleep Technologists Association and Professional Standards Committee on Sleep Laboratory Accreditation.

Rhonda established the first national sleep disorders screening program for employees in Australia. Her other experience includes implementing and managing the first computerised sleep laboratories in Australia; managing two of the first non-hospital based sleep laboratories and establishing satellite, telemedicine sleep services in remote locations.

Rhonda is an invited lecturer at the annual Sleep Medicine and Technology course at Sydney University and presents at national and international sleep conferences.

She is currently focusing on expanding telehealth programs for sleep and fatigue-related issues.

ADVISORY BOARD
Dr. David Allen (Occupational Health Physician)

David is originally from Yeoval near Wellington NSW. He spent most of his childhood in and around Griffith NSW. He graduated with MBBS(Hons) from the University of New South Wales in 1985 and worked in city and country areas including St Vincent’s Hospital, Griffith Base Hospital and Wagga Wagga Base Hospital. David commenced occupational medicine practice in 1988 after completing a Diploma in Public Health. He has been a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians since 1992.
He has also been Managing Director of Quality Occupational Health (QOH) since 1996. This is a multidisciplinary team of occupational physicians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, rehabilitation counselors, occupational health nurses and psychologists dedicated to preventing occupational injuries and rehabilitating injured workers.David started telemedicine private practice in 2007 and is now providing services 24/7 across Australia. He established the not-for-profit Telehealth Solutions Australia to provide a free secure high-definition IP video conference system for health professionals across Australia and internationally. The objective is to improve access to health care for Australians in regional and remote areas and overseas.David is actively involved in training occupational physicians and other health professionals and in addition is:

  • Member of Australian Standards Committee IT-014-12 Telehealth
  • Member of eHealth Expert Advisory Group, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Member Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
  • Member of Australasian Telehealth Society
  • Member of International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth
  • Speaker at World Congress of Internal Medicine March 2010 on Telemedicine, mhealth and remote patient monitoring
  • Speaker at Rural and Remote Telehealth Conference, Cairns 2011 on Telehealth in Occupational Health
  • Speaker at Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine Annual Conference Alice Springs 2011 on Practical Telehealth

Dr. David Hillman (WASDRI)

Professor David Hillman MBBS, FANZCA, FRCP(Edin), FRACP(Hon)David Hillman is head of the Department of Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep Medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Western Australia and director of the West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute.He is an anesthesiologist and sleep physician. His clinical and research interests are centred on respiratory and upper airway physiology and their relationship to sleep disorders and anesthesia. He has published extensively in related areas.He is a fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and an honorary fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He is a Clinical Professor at the University of Western Australia, a past president of the Australasian Sleep Association, founding chair of Australia’s Sleep Health Foundation and chairs the steering committee of the Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine.

Prof. Peter Eastwood (UWA)

 

Peter Eastwood holds appointments as a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, a Winthrop Professor at the University of Western Australia, and an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University of Technology.He received his undergraduate degree from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania (1986), his PhD from the University of Western Australia (1995) and undertook Postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1996-97).Dr Eastwood’s research group investigates the pathophysiology of upper airway dysfunction in individuals with sleep-disordered breathing. His research has lead to the development of novel techniques and unique capabilities including optical imaging of the human upper airway, the application of general anaesthesia to examine upper airway function and the use of nerve stimulation to treat sleep apnoea.He is the inaugural Director of the University of Western Australia Centre for Sleep Research and current Editor-in-Chief of Respirology, the major Respiratory Medicine Journal for the Asia-Pacific Region.Previously he has been Treasurer of the Australasian Sleep Association, a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Applied Physiology, a Director of the Australian Society for Medical Research, chaired the Education and Research Subcommittee of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and has served on the Board of Directors of the Australian Lung Foundation. He is currently supervising 7 PhD students, 2 Masters students and 2 Honours students.

Dr. Leon Laks FRACP PhD, Consultant Physician, Sleep Medicine

Dr Laks is Medical Director of the Sleep Disorders Centre, Department of Thoracic Medicine, Concord Repatriation General Hospital and Director of Australian Sleep Diagnostics, a private consultative service which employs 3 Consultant Physicians and operates a 7 bed sleep laboratory.He has been a Fellow of Australasian College of Physicians since 1990 and completed his PhD in 1994 under supervision of Prof Colin Sullivan. He is a member of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, and a member of the Australian Sleep Association. He has published 21 papers in peer review journals and continues to be actively involved in research and teaching. His special interests include the diagnosis and management of sleep related breathing disorders and severe daytime sleepiness.

Ms. Dianne Richards (Psychologist)

Ms Dianne Richards is a registered psychologist specialising in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the treatment of insomnia and acceptance of continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. She has over 20 years experience in the field of sleep medicine, and was the Manager of the Sleep Investigation Laboratory at Royal North Shore Hospital for 12 years. She is a registered sleep technologist (RPSGT) with a Batchelor of Nursing and Batchelor (Hons) of Social Science (Psychology). Dianne now works as a psychologist in private practice and at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.She was the lead author in a paper published in the journal SLEEP, which showed how CBT can increase the uptake and adherence of continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) in the treatment of sleep apnea.The CBT program used is an outcomes based program developed especially for sleep disorders. There is a strong psycho-educational component to correct faulty beliefs about sleep by replacing those beliefs with factual information. There is often a significant overlap between sleep and mood disorders. The individual may have developed a specific sleep and/or general anxiety, which needs to be addressed. The client is taught to identify unhelpful behaviour and cognitions about sleep and use strategies to manage their sleep into the future.

Mr. Kerry Burke (Mining)

BSc Geology Sydney University 1973
BE Honours Mining Engineering Sydney University 1975
Master in Business Administration Macquarie University 1979
First Class Mine Managers Certificate Underground 1980.Kerry has a wealth of mining industry experience spanning thirty-six years in coal mining in eastern Australia.He spent twenty years in underground coal mining for BHP (3years) and Rio Tinto (CRA) in southern coal fields of New South Wales. Fifteen of these years were in managerial positions in all aspects of the coal industry. Positions held during this time include Colliery Manager, Exploration Manager, and Chief Mining Engineer for an open cut project and Manager Safety Systems Implementation.In the last fifteen years Kerry’s experience has been in open cut coal industry, predominately in NSW. During this period he was part of a small mining company that gained approval, constructed and successfully operated an open cut coal mine in NSW for eight years. Positions held during this time included Open Colliery Manager and Director / Secretary of an operating mining company.