ANDREW Saunders will mark almost 30 years at Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital by becoming its newest chief executive.
Mr Saunders has been acting chief since last year, after filling the acting role many times previously.
He started work at the organisation as a catering manager in 1990. He has since worked in other roles including hotel services manager and general services manager.
He said he looked forward to leading the hospital through major changes in the next few years with the redevelopment of aged care, as well as working through the challenges of staff recruitment and retention.
“I am committed to ensuring we have the services the community needs now and into the future,” he said.
“Recruitment of doctors and skilled nursing staff is an ongoing issue for all regional areas. We need to be offering something special to attract new staff to our health service.
“I want Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital to be a place where kindness is normal, not an exception.
“We will continue working hard to ensure the community has every opportunity to have input and involvement in how their health service is run. After all we are only the stewards of (the hospital), looking after it for the next generation.”
Hospital management board chairman Tony Kealy said Mr Saunders’ steady progression within the organisation and the development of his management and leadership responsibilities made him an excellent fit for the chief executive role.
“Andrew has played an integral part of the growth and development of Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital over the years,” he said.
“He has extensive project management experience and a proven track record of partnering arrangements and successful funding applications.
“We are very excited to have been able to offer Andrew this role as he is very passionate about the hospital and the community.”
Mr Saunders encouraged community members to support the hospital and medical clinic’s services.
“We are so lucky to have 24-7 doctor coverage, as most rural communities don’t,” he said.
“To keep this vital service viable we need all in our community to support the hospital and make use of our facilities and doctors.”