Heart of Australia is the brainchild of Brisbane cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes, a father of three and the principal of Medihearts – his established private cardiology practice in Brisbane. Rolf has committed his Medihearts practice to support the realization of his vision for Heart of Australia – to revolutionise the delivery of first-class specialty services to rural and remote communities.
Chris Wilson was born in Brisbane but grew up in Papua New Guinea. He completed his education as a boarder at Toowoomba Grammar School and then went to Agricultural College in Orange New South Wales, graduating with a Bachelor of Management (Equine Business). Chris then undertook further study at The Queensland University of Technology and completed a post-graduate certificate in Information Technology. Chris commenced with Heart of Australia in mid-2014 to work with his friend Dr Rolf Gomes who he met whilst doing his post-graduate studies in IT. Chris brings his technical and agricultural experience and dedication to Heart of Australia’s vision to deliver positive health outcomes for rural and remote communities across Queensland.
Dr Rolf Gomes is a general Cardiologist with a special interest in heart failure, valvular heart disease and echocardiography. He graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from The University of Queensland after which he completed his Cardiology Specialty training at The Prince Charles Hospital and The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. He is a Fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians and a member of the Australian Medical Association. Dr Gomes also holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Melbourne. He operates Heart of Australia clinics in Winton, Charters Towers, Moranbah and Dalby.
A/Prof Karam Kostner is Director of Cardiology at the Mater Public and Private Hospital Brisbane, and Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Queensland. He is a general cardiologist and lipidologist with an interest in imaging and has extensive clinical and research experience in lipid management and primary prevention of CVD. He runs a large public and private Lipid and Primary Prevention Clinic at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane. He is a past President of the CSANZ Qld branch. He is CV section editor of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, editorial member of Atherosclerosis, The Journal of Clinical and Preventive Cardiology, Lipidology and reviewer for many other journals. He has organized many national and international conferences and is the chair and founder of the World Congress of Clinical Lipidology. Dr Kostner has more than 120 publications and is a grant reviewer for NHMRC and several European grant agencies. He operates Heart of Australia clinics in Emerald, Barcaldine and Longreach.
Dr Robert Perel is a cardiologist with sub-specialty training in cardiac electrophysiology and specialises in heart rhythm disorders and cardiac electronic implanted devices. Dr Perel is also a general cardiologist, offering consultation and management for patients with coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, heart failure and valvular heart disease. Dr Perel is a graduate of the University of Queensland with degrees in Medicine and Veterinary Science. He completed a two-year fellowship in Cardiac Electrophysiology with the University of Toronto at St Michaels’ Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Dr Perel is recognised as a Certified Electrophysiology Specialist and Cardiac Device Specialist by the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE), affiliated with the Heart Rhythm Society. Dr Perel performs procedures at Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital Brisbane and St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital. He also provides inpatient consults at Greenslopes Private Hospital, Mater Mothers’ Private Hospital, Mater Adult Hospital and Sunnybank Private Hospital. He operates Heart of Australia’s clinics in Charleville and Roma.
Dr Roly Hilling-Smith is a proud member of the Heart of Australia and associate with Queensland Cardiovascular Group in Brisbane. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University, Scotland. He trained in general medicine at Fremantle Hospital, WA, and cardiology at the prestigious MonashHeart in Melbourne. Roly has undertaken two cardiovascular interventional fellowships, firstly locally at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. He was then awarded the Chamberlain Scholarship in Advanced Coronary and Structural Intervention at the world renowned Royal Sussex County Hospital, England. During his time there Roly was involved in many international trials and several first-in-man developments. Roly’s main interest is in clinical cardiology with a focus on coronary and structural intervention. Unusually for an interventional cardiologist, Roly is also trained, accredited and performs cardiac CT giving a unique perspective in the diagnosis, investigation and management of cardiovascular diseases. Roly performs a wide range of percutaneous interventional procedures including coronary stents, rotablation and chronic total occlusion revascularisation. He performs the full range of structural interventions including TAVI, PFO / ASD closure, percutaneous treatments of aortic and mitral valves, left atrial appendage occlusion and renal denervation amongst others.
Dr. Merryn Thomae is expanding her clinical practice on the Sunshine Coast to include regional and remote areas in Queensland & the Northern Territory. Dr. Thomae graduated in 1995 from the University of Newcastle, NSW with honours before completing her initial hospital training in Newcastle and Sydney. She then served as a Medical Officer in the Australian Defence Force, with postings in Australia, the Middle East and East Timor. Dr. Thomae left the military in 2001 to pursue her Specialist training in Brisbane before setting up her Private Endocrinology Practice in 2009. She then returned to public medicine in 2012 to acquire her second specialty in General and Acute Care Medicine. Dr. Thomae recently left the Mater Hospital Brisbane to establish her private practice in adult Endocrinology and General Medicine on the Sunshine Coast. Dr. Thomae is committed to providing a holistic approach to health care. Her areas of interest include: Complex, chronic illness presentations, Diagnostic dilemmas, General and Acute Care Medicine presentations, Diabetes Mellitus, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Osteoporosis, Thyroid Disease and General Endocrinology
Dr. Tony Rahman is the Director of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane. He is Adjunct Professor with QUT and James Cook University. Previously Dr Rahman was a Consultant Specialist and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Intensive Care Medicine at St. George’s Hospital, London for 10 years. Dr Rahman graduated in Medicine and Physiological Sciences from Oxford University, UK. In 2003, Dr Rahman was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Medicine at Imperial College, London. He was accredited as a Consultant Specialist in Adult Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Internal and Critical Care Medicine by the Royal College of Physicians (London) and Royal College of Anaesthetists (UK) in 2004. He was awarded Fellowship of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine in London in 2010 and the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (Australia) in 2012. Dr Rahman’s further specialist training included Institute of Liver Studies and Transplantation, King’s College, St. Thomas’, Guy’s, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Imperial College and St. George’s, London. He has been involved in new and innovative treatments of liver diseases (Fibroscan), GI cancers, polyps, complex reflux disease, functional bowel disease and nutrition. He is a founding partner of Brisbane Gastro, practising at St. Andrews War Memorial, Brisbane Private & North West Hospitals.
Dr Jilani Latona is a Cardiologist with subspecialisation in echocardiography. His main areas of interest in general cardiology include: preventive cardiology, management of chest pain, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, heart failure and valvular heart disease. Dr Latona obtained his medical degree in Cape Town, South Africa where he also did his internship. He completed his basic physician training and advanced training in cardiology at The Prince Charles Hospital and Gold Coast University Hospital and was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2015. He subsequently completed a fellowship in advanced echocardiography at The Prince Charles Hospital where he trained in multimodality transthoracic echocardiography, transoesophageal echocardiography and stress echocardiography. During his training, Dr Latona published his research both nationally and internationally. He is currently a part time staff specialist at the Logan Hospital and is an associate lecturer at the University of Queensland.
A/Prof Neeraj Gill is a senior consultant Psychiatrist with more than 20 years’ experience in Psychiatry.
He completed his MD Psychiatry in India in 2000 and FRANZCP (Fellowship of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists) in 2006. He worked in Western Australia and Victoria before moving to Queensland in 2007.
A/Prof Gill was the Clinical Director of Mental Health at Darling Downs from 2010 to 2014 and is aware of the social fabric of the community. He has been actively involved in advocating for resources needed to improve rural mental health and Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing. He has a strong focus on consumer empowerment and recovery, active involvement with carers/family and close primary care liaison with General Practitioners and NGO’s.
Neeraj is an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland’s Rural Clinical School, as well as Griffith University’s School of Medicine. He is conducting social and public health research in human rights, Indigenous mental health, suicide prevention and physical health of people with mental illness.
His clinical special interests include:
- Mood and Anxiety Disorders – Bio-psycho-social-lifestyle interventions
- Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing
- Transcultural Psychiatry
Dr Dover completed his medical degree in 2006. Prior to medicine he completed degrees in dietetics and exercise science, working in the health and fitness industry for years as a dietitian and exercise physiologist. He went back to study medicine in 2003 with a view to become and Endocrinologist, with a special interest in diabetes as well as general endocrinology. He is also an enthusiastic marathon runner, having completed over 20 marathons including New York, Boston and venturing to North Korea to run the Pyongyang marathon. He currently works predominately at Ipswich and Mater Hospitals with some indigenous outreach work in Ipswich and Bundaberg.