INCOMING Stawell Regional Health Board chairman Howard Cooper believes the board’s decision to buy Stawell Medical Centre will strengthen long-term service delivery to the community.
Mr Cooper addressed about 100 people at the health care group’s annual meeting on Tuesday night.
He said the organisation would be further strengthened by the hospital and government injecting $4.5 million into a capital works program in the past financial year – the biggest in 10 years.
He said the money was put towards the Community Rehabilitation and Oncology Centre and student accommodation, which were due to open by the end of the year.
Mr Cooper spoke of the organisation’s $786,000 surplus for the 2012-13 financial year, which was similar to the previous year’s figure.
He also congratulated Macpherson Smith Nursing Home for passing accreditation with flying colours.
“Each time I go to the nursing home, I always feel a wonderful sense of
community spirit and can see how
committed our staff are to providing the best care to our residents,” he said.
Nursing student numbers increased by 50 per cent during the past year, which Mr Cooper said was a reflection of the high quality learning opportunities provided by Stawell Hospital staff.
He said other exciting initiatives delivered by Stawell Regional Health during the year included a sustainable farming families program at Navarre and a joint program with Stawell Primary School to improve students’ health and well-being.
Former clinical services director Claire Letts was thanked for her 11 years of service to the health care group.
Meg Blake was also recognised for her 40 years of service as a volunteer, board member and staff member.
Mr Cooper praised the fundraising efforts of the Stawell Hospital Auxiliary, the foundation, Y-Zetts and Murray to Moyne cycling team.
He also thanked individuals and groups who had made private donations.
He also thanked outgoing chairman Ross Hatton for his excellent leadership and stewardship during the past two years and welcomed new board member Barry Marrow.
Mr Cooper applauded staff across all departments.
“Just recently, a member of the public told me about their level of satisfaction not only with the clinical care they received at the hospital but also the attention to detail given by our support services team,” he said.
“We wouldn’t have achieved such ambitious goals this year without the significant contribution of our staff.”
Life governorships for 30 years of service were awarded to Heather Thomas, food services division; Garrie Martin, maintenance manager; and Cynthia Cashin, auxiliary. Radiographer Sandy Worsley was also farewelled on the night, following a career spanning three decades at Stawell Hospital.