Skip to content


8 March 2018

Michele Blanshard Sept 2015 (2)

As Medtronic’s Country Director for Diabetes in ANZ, Michele Blanshard has a unique insight into one of the regions greatest health priorities. Responsible for all business initiatives across Australia & New Zealand, Michele knows what’s important in addressing diabetes – now and in the future. She is passionate about health literacy for the diabetes community and about empowering people to make the right decisions to manage their health and ‘live well’.

Michele’s experience as both Country Director, and before that as a Regional Manager within the business, has necessitated proactivity in approaching government decision makers, advocacy groups, healthcare professionals and the wider community together to solve the health access issues associated with managing what is widely known as the world’s fastest growing chronic condition – and be part of the solution.

Michele is also a member of the Medtronic Australia Executive Leadership Team and an Executive Sponsor of the Medtronic Women’s Network – a high priority initiative for Medtronic in their pledge to recruit and retain women in leadership positions, improve employee and achieve employee diversity. She represents Medtronic as a Board Member for the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) – a position she was elected to last November – and also sits on two not-for-profit Boards.

Four questions posed to Michele:

The theme for IWD in 2018 is ‘Press for progress’ to help accelerate gender parity. What does this mean to you?

Everyone can contribute to leading the charge on gender pay parity and equality in the workplace. Leading the charge is what we must do as nothing will change without focused and collective action. This is not a ‘women’s only’ imperative but one that all parts of society can contribute to – individuals, organisations, government, schools, community groups. # PressFor Progress should motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive

 What’s the best advice – career or personal – that you’ve ever been given?

  • Every 1-2 years spend some time really thinking about your career. Make sure you’re connected with or reconnect with your network.
  • Take criticism or “feedback” for what it is: a gift given to you to make you better at what you do.
  • If you are afraid or uncomfortable, you are probably onto something amazing! Fear means you are growing your comfort zone.
  • And finally – be nice to people. It’s a very simple motto I try to live by daily

 What motivates you to work in the ANZ medtech industry?

Making a difference! Medical technology saves lives, extends lives, helps people become more informed about how to live a healthier life, helps make caring for others easier and ultimately can deliver long-term savings to the healthcare system – now that’s a worthy thing to get out of bed to do each day!

 By this time next year, what matter relating to healthcare would you like to see solved and/or part of public conversation?

Well, many know about my commitment to drive for equity of access for all people living with diabetes to technology to help them better manage their diabetes SO the problem I would like to see solved is the problem that unless you have private health insurance (PHI) in Australia you cannot access an insulin pump – not fair!  The solution – government funding for insulin pumps for those living with T1D.


28 February 2018

Philippa Dennis, Medtronic Australasia | NZ MITG Country Manager

Presenting at the 2nd Women in Healthcare, Pharma & Medical Leadership Summit (28 February & 1 March 2018)Philipa_Dennis_6889

Tenure with Medtronic: 25 years

What motivates you to work in the ANZ medtech industry? There is constant change in this sector along with advancing and exciting technologies that change lives. Working for Medtronic allows you to be at the forefront of these changes and be a part of making that difference.

Why are you presenting at the Meeting? I was approached by the Conference organisers and after having spoken with them, they felt my experience could be of benefit to the audience they are catering to. I’m also a passionate supporter of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I see this as an opportunity to help support women in leadership positions, as well as those aspiring to lead.

What are you looking forward to most at the Meeting? There are some very different topics and presenters from across the sector that I have not heard before.

Which area of the program interests you most? There is a lot of discussion around the human factor, women coping with today’s work pressures & being confident enough to step up and take challenges.

You are participating in the “Managing the Divide between Friend and Leader” Session. Why is this topic important to you and what message do you want your audience to take away? There are a lot of important factors to cover but I hope the audience can take away some fundamentals and principles that are easily practised in the managing of teams.

  • How to foster an environment of collaborative goal achievement
  • Earning respect through relatability
  • Leading with credibility
  • Mentoring with consistency & fairness

By this time next year, what matter relating to healthcare would you like to see solved and/or part of public conversation? I would like to be involved in helping to create partnerships and an opportunity for the coming together of Clinicians, leaders in policy making, administrators and companies like Medtronic to discuss what is best for the patient in the health pathway and how can we do this together.



13 December 2017

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. For questions regarding a Medtronic therapy or product over the festive season please contact a Medtronic representative or our call centre — opening hours and contact details are listed in the table below.

Opening Hours_2017

Thank you for your partnership this year. Please take a moment to view our digital year-end card.


29 November 2017

When Australia Innovates, the World of Healthcare changes according to a discussion paper released by The Actuator – Australia’s National MedTech Accelerator. The paper highlights the societal and economic imperative across Australia to address fundamental challenges and enhance innovation in the local healthcare environment, in order to foster and create an ecosystem in which medtech innovation may thrive.

Key themes from the paper send a strong message to policy makers, industry, and the healthcare community of the opportunity to better foster innovation:

  • Better investment in deep technology;
  • Overcoming fragmentation;
  • Time‐to‐market and value capture;
  • More multinational ecosystem investment;
  • Increase risk tolerance in investment; and,
  • Streamline regulatory frameworks and increase enabling policy approaches.

According to Dr Buzz Palmer, Chief Executive Officer of The Actuator, Australia is ripe, ready and needs to get this right; As a nation, Australia is amongst the global best in terms of research capability and capacity to explore and create early‐innovative healthcare solutions. To capitalise on this, Australia needs to collectively pull together resources, consolidate expertise across borders and de‐silo the system to enable the country to truly benefit from its – relatively untapped but outstanding – potential in MedTech.”


The Medical Technology Association of Australia [MTAA] agree that medtech has the power to significantly benefit our population; “Global advances in medical technology over the past 20 years have resulted in a 56 per cent reduction in hospital stays, 25 per cent decline in disability rates, 16 per cent decline in annual mortality and increased life expectancy of approximately 3.2 years.

“At the heart and soul of the medical devices industry are 19,000 dedicated professionals, committed to making a positive difference to patients’ lives through medical technology allowing them to live or to have a quality of life that they otherwise would not have.” a spokesperson said.


Dr Jason Wenderoth, a leading Interventional Neuroradiologist from Sydney discusses the life-changing impact of medical technology when delivered in a modern, ready and supportive health eco-system.


At Medtronic, our team represents almost 1,000 of those professionals. We understand the responsibility, and aim to advance innovation in a meaningful way so to ensure every Australian who requires access to therapies receive them.

We are ready, so let’s be bold, partner and create meaningful innovation for the people who matter most.

The paper ‘When Australia Innovates, the World of Healthcare Changes’ was launched during a ceremony at NSW Parliament House. Speakers included The Hon Minister Matt Kean MP, co-author Dr Buzz Palmer, and Dr Jason Wenderoth – Interventional Neuroradiologist, Australia. Learn more here:


Please subscribe to our blog. Follow us on twitter.

My Stroke Story: Keely [Sydney, Australia]

27 October 2017

Sunday 29 October is World Stroke Day. Learn more at

MY STROKE STORY by Keely. A member of the Medtronic team in Sydney, Australia.

Keely Blog

I have proudly worked for Medtronic for 11 years. I realised early that the likelihood that a family member or friend would benefit from our therapies was quite high- this was greatly increased when Medtronic and Covidien joined forces. Unfortunately, the personal experience I am sharing is about my Dad not having access to our therapies.

My father is the patriarch glue that holds our family together. He is my hero, my coach and the smartest man I know.  I am a quintessential, “Daddy’s Girl”

When I moved from California to Sydney with Medtronic in early 2016, my biggest fear was that something would happen to my parents and I would be half a world away.  This fear was realised early on Sunday, April 24th. While visiting my sister to celebrate her son’s birthday in Shawnee, Oklahoma, my Dad suffered an ischemic stroke (Large Vessel Occlusion-MCA) 

My Biggest Fear

At 4 am in Sydney, I woke up to multiple missed calls and texts informing me that my Dad had a stroke. Unfortunately, I received the news 6 hours after his stroke.  When I received the news, I broke down because I know enough about stroke to know it can be absolutely devastating. I immediately booked a flight and got in touch with the Neurovascular TM in Oklahoma City, Weneva Edge.

I have great pride in working for Medtronic and have always been impressed by the mission focused employees at Medtronic. Everything in my last 11 years at Medtronic pales in comparison to what I experienced when I engaged with Weneva.  Immediately, Weneva became our “Stroke Coach” and my Dad’s 4th daughter.  Weneva guided our family through an incredibly scary experience with her kindness, strength and clinical knowledge. She was a beacon of light in a very dark situation.

Weneva spent hours on the phone with our family to help our family navigate the complexities of this situation. She educated us on the standard of care, communicated the complexities of post-stroke care and the importance of Comprehensive Stroke Centres for optimal treatment and recovery. Without being asked, Weneva leveraged her amazing relationships with the Stroke team at Oklahoma University and helped us navigate the complexities of initiating a transfer.

After speaking with Weneva, my sister Valerie and I worked tirelessly with my mom to advocate for my dad to be transferred. My dad had the stroke in Shawnee and was given Tissue Plasminogen Activator [tPA] locally at the emergency room. Unfortunately, the hospital decided to transfer him within network bypassing THREE comprehensive stroke centers with Clot Retrieval technologies-literally driving by them. After mandating for a computed tomography angiography [CTA], they finally gave him one 13 hours after his stroke. When my mum asked for a transfer, they threatened that she was transferring my dad without medical advice and would be 100% liable for the hospital charges. After hours advocating and multiple case workers, the hospital relented. At 4 am- 22 hours after his stroke, my father was finally transferred to a comprehensive stroke center, outside the current window to benefit from Medtronic’s clot retrieval technologies.

It is heartbreaking that my Dad was unable to benefit from Medtronic’s technologies, but we are very fortunate that he is recovering quite well due to a well-established collateral network.  However, it will always be pre-stroke and post stroke for my Dad and for our family- our family is forever changed.


A special note of thanks to Keely for sharing her story with us, and our community. Visit to learn more about stroke. Recognise the signs of stroke:


Please subscribe to our blog.



Medtronic have PRIDE

24 October 2017

At Medtronic, diversity, inclusion, and engagement aren’t just buzzwords — they’re part of our Mission to recognise the personal worth of all employees. We deliver on our Mission in a variety of ways including support of our Employee Resource Groups [ERG].

Medtronic PRIDE formed earlier this year in Australia and New Zealand to provide a community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Medtronic employees and their allies. Medtronic supports policies that further create and support equal treatment for all persons.  The company stands committed not only to promoting an inclusive global work environment but also to fostering a world where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals and their families are accepted, safe and valued.

Not surprisingly, one area of interest to this group is the Marriage Law Postal Survey in Australia. The survey, which is open until 6pm on 7 November 2017, asks eligible Australians on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll: should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry? Yes or No.Catherine King_Marriage Equality

We recognise the outcome won’t be as simple as yes, or no. The consequences extend beyond the contract of marriage. They impact health – wellbeing – and worth. The Hon. Catherine King MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Member of the Australian House of Representatives [pictured] recently stated:

“It’s a ridiculous proposition when the evidence is clear — this isn’t just a social issue, it’s a health issue… Failing to implement marriage equality is a form of social exclusion, a discriminatory environment which has been documented to foster feelings of lack of acceptance, rejection and low self-esteem.

We agree the debate is not healthy and a resolution is needed. We encourage all eligible community members to use their voting privilege and vote positively for a healthy Australia.

Meet a member of Medtronic Pride: Nicki Elkin, Retail Division Manager, MITG. Tenure with Medtronic: Five years

Medtronic Macquarie-000536

Tell us about the Medtronic Pride Employee Resource Group

The Australia and New Zealand Medtronic PRIDE group was established this year, with the objective to promote an inclusive work environment where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) employees and their families are accepted, valued, and free of prejudice and discrimination. Our mission is to spread awareness, understanding and sensitivity to build a safe and respectful work environment that creates a culture of inclusion, equality and respect for all employees.

Why is it important to you to be part of Medtronic Pride?

We all spend a significant proportion of our lives at work, and I strongly believe that everyone should feel comfortable there.    I am part of the LGBTIQ community, and have experienced homophobia in various workplaces. I have felt uncomfortable about ‘coming out’, fearing the response I might receive. Much of this was probably my own internal fear, but I don’t believe that anyone should have to have that experience. I want to be part of creating an organisation that proactively creates and works really hard to promote a positive culture; where no one is ever unsure about the response they will receive.

How would you vote in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, and why?


This is much more than a vote about marriage. There are young people growing up in Australia today who may be questioning their sexuality or gender. If our country says you can marry whoever you love, regardless of gender, this will help them grow up feeling that who they are is OK. If Australia says NO, these young people will get the strong message that there is something wrong with them; that it is not acceptable to be different. I know personally what a damaging message this is for a young person to hear.

LGBTIQ people have significantly poorer mental health and higher rates of suicide than other Australians. Self-harm and suicide rates for same-sex attracted young people are six times higher than for their heterosexual peers.

If allowing marriage equality can send a positive message to LGBTIQ people, can create a more positive environment for LGBTIQ people to grow up in, and can, in any way, lessen their feelings of exclusion – why not?!

What is your message to Australian’s unsure of how to vote?

Please vote YES. I know there has been confusing information shared within the community. Consider this

  • Religious Marriage will not change – it is separate from civil marriage and religious leaders will still be able to refuse to marry whoever they want, including same-sex couples
  • Parenting won’t change – same-sex couples are already able to raise families, have access to IVF, foster, adopt and be named on birth certificates as parents
  • Schooling won’t change – any changes to the Safe Schools programme will be made independently to any change to the Marriage Act

So, why do same-sex couples want the right to marry?

  • Married parents have clear legal parental rights over their children. Allowing same-sex couples to marry will give them these same rights, and strengthen family bonds
  • In the event of your partner’s illness or death, being married gives you clear rights and entitlements that de facto couples do not have. Allowing same-sex couples to marry will give them these same rights, allowing them to make critical decisions in this really difficult time
  • Marriage is recognised in our society as the ‘ultimate’ commitment you can make to another person. Allowing same-sex couples to marry will give a strong message that their relationships are equally important and meaningful.

I hope our community will work together to be a part of history and make Australia a better, more inclusive, more accepting place.

To learn more email

Please subscribe to our blog.

MEET OUR TEAM: Natalie Lawandi, Speaker at the New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association Meeting 2017

22 September 2017

Natalie Lawandi, Senior Manager, Healthcare Economics & Reimbursement for Medtronic Australasia Pty Ltd was asked to speak at the 2017 New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association Meeting in Wellington. Her topic: Healthcare Transformation: The future of healthcare requires new approaches and new forms of innovation.

Meet Natalie:

Natalie Lawandi

Qualifications: Bachelor Applied Science (Health Information Management), Master of Health Science (Clinical Data Management) from the University of Sydney.

Tenure with Medtronic: 14 years this December

Why are you attending NZPSHA?

To learn what Value-Based Healthcare [VBHC] means for the New Zealand private health sector.

What are you looking forward to most at NZPSHA?

Engaging with attendees on VBHC – particularly in terms of the practical aspects that face NZPSHA members as providers and key stakeholders to the delivery of healthcare.

Who are you hoping to meet at NZPSHA?

I’m excited to be part of the conversation that’s transforming healthcare and so I am looking forward to meeting everyone who is interested in taking healthcare further.

By this time next year, what matter relating to healthcare would you like to see solved and/or part of public conversation?

Variation in healthcare – particularly in relation to access and outcomes. We need to work together and engage in a productive discussion so we can address the variations in access and outcomes throughout our health care system. This is important to me as a patient, a daughter of elderly parents and a mother of two young children.


If you are interested to learn more about Value-Based Healthcare visit: To arrange a discussion on healthcare transformation with a member of our team, email

Don’t miss a post. Please subscribe to our blog.