East Grampians Health Service paid tribute to its staff at the annual general meeting, following a challenging year managing the responsibilities of running a health service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year the EGHS annual general meeting was held via zoom webinar, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“At the commencement of this financial year no one could have predicted how circumstances would evolve that have created a global pandemic, which has had an impact on every country, and every community, worldwide,” Board chair Nancy Panter said.
“The Coronavirus has significantly changed the way we live our lives.”
Ms Panter said the Board was grateful to all staff for the way they had addressed all aspects of management of COVID-19.
“From the outstanding care of patients, residents and clients, to exemplary cleaning maintenance that followed all government edicts for sanitisation of facilities – it is this attention to detail that has ensured our consumers are safe,” she said.
“The pandemic has brought out the best in our staff, displaying commitment to the health and wellbeing of our community through looking out for each other and coming up with innovative ideas.”
Ms Panter highlighted the achievements of the health service including the completion of the Community Health Centre and the commencement of the redevelopment of the theatre complex, including medical imaging and pathology, for which the health service receive $6.8 million in State government funding.
One of the biggest challenges facing the health service is a sustainable workforce that is knowledgeable, flexible and appropriately qualified to accommodate the health needs of the community now and into the future.
“Our aim is to educate and encourage students to continue their relationship with the health service in order to secure a sustainable workforce into the future,” Ms Panter said.
“This year the Diploma of Nursing was delivered in partnership with Federation University Ballarat. COVID created some unique challenges but we look forward to continuing this program into the future.
“Through ‘growing our own’, we are confident that we are providing career pathways that present opportunities for further training, leadership and fulfilment.”
Another highlight was the appointment of a full time doctor in 2020, Dr Dan Wilson, through the Victorian Rural Generalist Pathway Program, which proved extremely successful.
The health service is committed to ensuring it provides safe services to the community, and Ms Panter was pleased to announce that EGHS and Garden View Court aged care facility both received accreditation in the past year.
“During the accreditation process the surveyors highlighted the care, compassion and empathy of all staff and this reflects the ongoing commitment of our staff to our organisational Values,” she said.
In conclusion, Ms Panter thanked the executive staff, visiting medical officers and volunteers for their commitment to care, to continuous improvement and serving the needs of their community.
“I congratulate you and express deep appreciation,” she said.
The annual general meeting also celebrated the successes of staff, with achievement awards, scholarships and bursaries, and long service awards presented.