Senitila works as a registered nurse in Tonga. For the last nine years, she has worked in the country’s main hospital as a generalist nurse, with experience in emergency, surgical and mental health nursing. She has led and managed various units of the hospital and has a keen interest in mentoring colleagues and nursing students.
Senitila believes that a strong evidence base is needed to bring about improvements to Tonga’s health system. On her return home, she plans to advocate for nurses in Tonga to pursue further training and academic development to better understand research findings. She also intends to use her skills and knowledge from the Women’s Leadership Initiative to advocate for a “health coaching approach” to address the issues of non-communicable diseases and drug-related issues in Tonga.
In her current role Anna specialises in strengthening primary health care systems across the Asia-Pacific region. As a recipient of a National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellowship, Anna’s work focuses on identifying aspects of a health system that present barriers to providing accessible, affordable, and quality primary health care services; and determining innovative strategies to remove these barriers in order to improve population health.
Anna has a background in international development and was formerly the Pacific Program Manager with The Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand. In this capacity she established the postgraduate nurse training programs for the Pacific Eye Institute in Suva, Fiji. She has also contributed her expertise to health systems and policy research collaborations in Indonesia, Cambodia and Solomon Islands.