East Grampians Health Service celebrated a successful year at its 21st annual general meeting, reporting an operating surplus of $679,000.
More than 100 people attended the AGM at the Ararat Performing Arts Centre, including many staff who received awards on the night, with Chief Medical Officer of the Royal Women’s Hospital Dr Mark Garwood the guest speaker.
EGHS Board president Matthew Wood said being recognised and awarded the Premier’s Health Service of the Year Award for a medium sized health service for the past two consecutive years was a particular highlight.
“This outstanding achievement acknowledges the role of the Board to affect the strategic direction of East Grampians Health Service and the operational partnership between the Board and chief executive Nick Bush to communicate strategic policies and transform them into practicalities,” Mr Wood said.
“The awards demonstrate our ongoing commitment to our community. But we know we must never rest on our achievements; we have to keep working with our community to ensure we deliver appropriate services that meet their changing needs and expectations.”
Mr Wood said EGHS aimed to respond to the community’s health service demands in a financially responsible manner – both now and into the future.
In order to do this, Mr Wood said EGHS had to be commercial in its operations and invest in its assets.
“We have had a very successful year in 2016 reporting an operating surplus of $679,000. This has come about by EGHS pursuing some different business models and ensuring we fully utilise our capacity,” he said.
“We have promoted the use of private health insurance and saw a substantial uptake by patients.
“By choosing to use private health insurance or Department of Veteran Affairs’ status, many of the high value costs associated with a patient’s procedure are passed onto the insurer. This means EGHS makes a higher margin on those patients’ stay.”
Mr Wood said EGHS’s aged care services have run at near full capacity over the past year, driven by the adoption of the Montessori Model of Care at 70 Lowe Street.
He said these outcomes have generated a surplus of money that can now be used for funding improvements around the health service.
“These can take many forms, but primarily we choose to invest directly in staff training, extend our scope of maintenance works and fund shortfalls in capital projects,” Mr Wood said.
“In 2016, we invested over $2.3 million in asset replacement and maintenance projects. This is reflected in the state of our grounds and buildings as well as having up to date equipment for our staff members to use.
“We thank all community members, Foundations, the Department of Health and Human Services and other bodies who have contributed to these projects, and I note that EGHS contributed over $400,000 towards these works from our operations.
“I would like to thank all staff on their efforts in creating such a good result, and our investment of these funds back into the health service will mean that the benefits will be felt for years to come.”
Achievement awards were presented to staff who successfully completed further education in the past year: Amanda Cranstoun, Angela Graham, Anita Kennedy, Annette Evans, Ashley Leggett, Carolyn Akesson, Charmaine Bartlett, Christine Jordan, Demi Holcombe, Garry Tierney, Grace Boag, Hanna Shea, Jennifer Cole, Katherine Pitcher, Kimberley Buncle, Kirsten O’Connor, Naomi Schott, Peter Armstrong, Rico Hilado, Rommy Nicht, Sarah Power, Simone Webb, Toni Molloy, Yvette Brady.
Staff service awards were presented on the night to long serving staff: 40 years – Stuart Kerr, 30 years – Margaret Brown, Linden Marland, Glenda Hamilton, Christine Perry, Pamela Roche, Jill Turnock, Johanna Simmonds, 25 years – Joanne Collins, Gaylene Veale, Tracey Walters, 20 years – Valma Broderick, Rachel Valance, Sarah Carter, Leesa McInnes, Tracey Hull, Janine McElroy, 15 years – Katherine Pitcher, Julianne Rix, Rachael Cooper, Julie Tierney, Kerry Reynolds, Kathryn Pevitt, Gaynor Watts, 10 years – Clare Ralph, Kerry Hogg, Suzanne Burns, Carmel Beer, Zoe Flavell.
Pictured above: EGHS CEO Nick Bush (left) and director of clinical services Peter Armstrong (right) present a 40 year service award to director of support services Stuart Kerr