1986 Sidney Sax Medallist - Dr James Lawson

Dr. Lawson has made a major contribution to hospital and health services in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. He has published widely on a variety of topics and has helped contribute academic credibility to many health administrative issues.

His work as one of the original Regional Directors in New South Wales and for that matter Australia, is outstanding. The Northern Metropolitan Region of Sydney under his leadership has been widely accepted as an outstanding model. He achieved an integration and rationalisation of Health Services as well as stimulating considerable interest in newer areas of health care, such as health promotion and health education. It should be noted that three hospitals in the Northern Metropolitan Region have won A.H.A. coveted "Outreach Award", Hornsby, Chatswood and Gosford. He has successfully managed to change roles of hospitals which under different leadership, would have either closed or fought bitterly to retain their traditional roles. His works on drugs and alcohol and related health promotion services, which commenced in the Northern Metropolitan Region of New South Wales, have become statewide services and developed national reputations.

In his period with the Hospital and Health Services Commission and with the Central Administration of the New South Wales Health Department since 1980, he has played a key role in the development of health policy, which will have lasting benefits to the hospital and health industry.

He is held in the highest regard by his colleagues. Not only has Dr. Lawson made an outstanding contribution in demonstrating that regionalisation can be a beneficial model for health administration but, he will undoubtedly continue to make a significant contribution for many years to come.

I believe he is an ideal winner of the Sidney Sax Medal.