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"It's All About Our People" - ORH Honours Long-Serving Staff at Annual General Meeting

Lee-Anne Marshall, a Registered Nurse who has looked after patients at the Orbost hospital since 1978, was one of a number of Orbost Regional Health (ORH) staff honoured for their long service to the community at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) last month.

Staff, board members and supporters of the health service thanked Lee-Anne and several of her colleagues for their continued excellence and commitment over the years, recognising the additional challenge of staying up to date with the frequently changing technological demands of the healthcare industry.

“Lee-Anne has willingly evolved as the health service has changed, undertaking study as needed to perform her duties which have become increasingly computer-based,” said ORH Director Clinical and Aged Care Services, Kylie Foltin. “It is a demanding and complex job. We appreciate what you do. Forty-five years is an amazing achievement in years of service to one organisation – thank you and well done.”

There were several other career milestones applauded at the AGM, including 30 years of service by nurses Samantha Osborn and Kim Brunt, and 25 years by Diane Marshall, who has worked in many roles across ORH, and Nurse Unit Manager Kim Griebenow.

Catering Services staffer Maxine Dooley, Dental Team Leader Meagan Dennis, Environmental Services team member Donna Solomon and Night Wards Security Officer Glenn Dennis were honoured for their 20 years of service.

Nurse and midwife Kate Hammond was recognised for 15 years with Orbost Regional Health.

"It’s all about our people."

The celebration of these staff members was in keeping with a theme that ran through much of the AGM – the central importance of people to the continued high performance and growth of the health service.

“It’s all about our people,” said Chief Executive Officer Dr Lindy Washington. “We have to invest in our people. We have to make our staff feel appreciated and supported, and we have to give them opportunities to grow, to try new things, to feel excited about their work.”

“If we can double down on our focus on a positive work culture, and make sure ORH continues to be a great place to work, then that’s how we’ll retain our good people and that’s also how we’ll attract high quality staff from out of the area.”

ORH also recognised the long service milestones of two volunteers from the community, Community Home Support Services Volunteer Bill Phillips (10 years), and Volunteer Driver Rene Sundermann (25 years).

Looking Ahead, Opportunity and Growth

As ORH Board Chair Peter van den Oever flagged in his opening remarks on Tuesday, 2023 felt like a moment when the health service could finally shift some of the attention and energy that has been consumed by COVID over the past 3 years back toward other areas of opportunity and growth.

“The staff of Orbost Regional Health have weathered unprecedented challenges to the healthcare system,” he said. “Three and a half years from the start of the pandemic, we are finally returning to business as usual in the community and in our health service.”

Dr. Washington spoke with enthusiasm and optimism of the improvements already underway at ORH, and the opportunity for continued expansion into the future.

Some of the most significant projects in development include the reopening of surgical services and dialysis, the construction of a new state-of-the-art aged care facility, the expansion of the District Nursing team to serve more people in community, the relocation of the Community and Home Support Services team and Orbost Neighbourhood House, and the recently launched community care program serving the remote rural districts in the Errinundra to Snowy district north of Orbost.

“We have been listening to the community, and these improvements are all inspired by what people have been telling us they need,” Dr. Washington said. “There is a lot on the radar in the next 12-18 months, and I’m excited.”