WDHS AGM Celebrates 2022/23

WDHS Board Chair Anna Sweeney and WDHS Life Governor Cindy Benson

Western District Health Service (WDHS) reflected on another busy year and looked to the future, at its 25th Annual General Meeting.

The AGM provided a snapshot of the Health Service’s 2022/23 highlights and financial performance, in a year where the pandemic became business as usual, and several major projects were ticked off.

WDHS Board Chair, Anna Sweeney said much was achieved following several years of COVID disruption.

“The organisation ticked off a number of important milestones this year, including the installation of the MRI and Birches Official Opening. By the end of June 2023, residents at the Penshurst campus were also preparing to move into their $6.8 million new home.

The Health Service provided Dual Chief Executive support to Casterton Memorial Hospital and achieved acute hospital and aged care accreditation across our campuses.

We are excited about what lies ahead, especially advancing the Emergency / ICU and Central Sterilising Department projects, which are crucial to our ongoing success,” Mrs Sweeney said.

Corporate Services Director, Nick Starkie delivered an overview of the financial performance of the Health Service, which achieved a relatively small operating surplus of $105,000 – in the context of the organisation’s $114 million budget.

Coleraine and Penshurst District Health Service Advisory Committee representatives Wendy Williams and Barbara Botterill also provided updates about the great work happening in their facilities.

Chief Executive, Rohan Fitzgerald presented several awards for excellence to staff, volunteers and community members.

Following a hiatus of several years due to COVID, the staff Above and Beyond award was again included on the agenda, and this year it went to Physiotherapist Yvette Morton, for her dedication to establishing an Oedema Management Program at Coleraine District Health Service.

The recipient of the ‘Community Award’ was the Medicine Ball Committee, for their efforts to deliver a spectacular event, which served as a joyous return to normal for many.

An award for clinical excellence and innovation was presented to the Antimicrobial Stewardship team for promoting responsible management of medications used to treat or prevent infections. The Non-Clinical Excellence Award went to the Home Care Packages team which has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, and continues to adapt and respond to the demand.

Individuals were also recognised at the AGM, including retired Volunteer, Cindy Benson, who was made an honorary WDHS ‘Life Governor’ for her contributions to the Hospital Auxiliary and work as a ‘pink lady’ and palliative care volunteer.

A number of staff and volunteers were presented with badges for their years of service, with six employees, Lynette Christie, Jennifer Lane, Julie Pollock, Patrick Turnbull and Debbie Vaughan recognised for each contributing an impressive 40 years to WDHS and Theatre Nurse, Kavell Lyons racking up an impressive 45 years! Volunteers and members of the Aged Care Trust were also recognised for their dedication, compassion, and tireless efforts which significantly enhance WDHS’s services and positively impact our community. From offering a friendly smile to providing essential support, volunteers are the heartbeat of our organisation. We deeply appreciate their commitment to making a difference in the lives of those we serve.

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