Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Seymour Health annual meeting sees plenty of change

But plenty to look forward to.

CHALPAT SONTI November 21, 2012 4:16am

Now-retired Seymour Health board member Bob Webster (left) is presented with a life governorship by acting chairman Terry Old.

A year is a long time in public life, and so it has been for Seymour Health.

While many in the 25-strong audience at Thursday’s annual meeting might have attended last year, those addressing them couldn’t be more different.

Gone is former chief executive Doreen Power and many of her executive, replaced by Chris McDonnell and others to be appointed, while the board of governance is down to just three members — acting chairman Terry Old, Graeme Dove and Val Pinder.

They are set to be joined by the rest of the new board early in 2013, with ministerial delegate John Ballard telling the Telegraph he expected his work to be done by March.

A new executive team should also be in place by the New Year.

Mr Old said while the board had a busy, and controversial, year ‘‘I believe we are delivering our health services to the best of our ability’’.

Dr Ballard ‘‘has been a big help to us, we’ve all learned a lot from John in the past few months’’.

The board reported a net loss of $216000, compared to $1.24million the previous year, and was on a sound footing. It had an operating profit of $706000, up from $28000 the previous year. The loss was accrued largely due to depreciation.

Seymour Health was no longer on ‘‘close watch from the Health Department and no longer needed a ‘‘letter of comfort’’ from the department in relation to financial matters, Mr Old said.

‘‘Overall the hospital is in the black reasonably well.’’

Mr McDonnell paid tribute to his immediate antecedent Louise Sharkey who was interim chief executive for about six months.

‘‘She is moving on and we owe her a great debt of gratitude,’’ he said.

Former board member Bob Webster, who stood down in June after 25 years service — including as president in 1990-91, was presented with life governorship.

‘‘It’s a great honour,’’ he told the meeting.

‘‘There’s a lot of honoured people that have been appointed life governors.’’

Mr Webster said while he had seen plenty of changes take place at the organisation, they had mostly been for the good.

‘‘We’ve always had ups and downs the whole time, right from when I came on board.

‘‘The hospital was always in trouble and it was always the same problems we had to deal with.’’

Dental Health Services Victoria chief executive Deborah Cole, head of the state’s lead public dental health agency, addressed the meeting on the improved services coming Seymour’s way. Renovations to the dental centre are almost complete and for the first time there is funding for adult consultations.

Seymour Health annual meeting

Dental Health Victoria chief executive Deborah Cole addresses the Seymour Health annual meeting about the future of oral health in our region.

Long service certificates were awarded to, among others, staff Maree Ryan (15 years), Linda Johns, Chris Doherty and Elizabeth Humphries (10 years) and Tony O'Brien (30 years) at the Seymour Health annual meeting on Thursday.

In the past four years the dental service had treated 2800 children, all with just one chair and dedicated dental health therapists.

‘‘I recognise this development is a long time coming and I thank you for your patience,’’ she said.

Seymour Health annual meeting

Long service certificates were awarded to, among others, staff Maree Ryan (15 years), Linda Johns, Chris Doherty and Elizabeth Humphries (10 years) and Tony O'Brien (30 years) at the Seymour Health annual meeting on Thursday.

Seymour Health annual meeting
Bernadette Green is pleased with her certificate for 15 years service at Seymour Health.

Staff to receive long service certificates: Jennifer Burr, Chris Doherty, Linda Johns, Elizabeth Humphries, Gwen Panozzo (10 years), Bernadette Green, Karen Lamaro, Catherine O’Connor, Judy Ryan, Maree Ryan (15 years), Valerie Hogan, Christine Kemp (20 years), Susan Rutherford (25 years), Eileen Freeman and Tony O’Brien (30 years).

See this week’s Telegraph for an interview with new Seymour Health chief executive Chris McDonnell.

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