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RWAV – Media Release – 2022 Victorian Rural Health Award Winners Announced

Media Release – 17 June 2022
Winners in the Victorian Rural Health Awards 2022 are Announced.

Local health professionals receive state-wide recognition for outstanding contributions to healthcare in rural communities of Victoria in 2022.

Melbourne, Victoria, 17 June 2022: Winners in the 2022 Victorian Rural Health Awards, across eleven categories, were announced last night at the Victoria-wide Virtual Gala Awards event, hosted by the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) with the support of the Victorian Department of Health and attended by nearly 250 rural health professionals and their communities.

Winners of the 2022 Victorian Rural Health Awards were announced last night at the 17th Virtual Gala Awards event with a special MC, Geraldine Hickey, not only an award-winning comedian, but also a Victorian country girl herself. The Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) congratulates the Winners and Finalists of the 2022 Victorian Rural Health Awards.
Since 2005, RWAV with the support of the Victorian Government Department of Health has proudly hosted the awards to recognize the significant role of health professionals contributing to the well-being of our Victorian rural communities.

The Victorian Rural Health Awards (VRHA) are the only platform that enable peers, teams, and patients to honour the whole spectrum of excellence in health care, including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, Aboriginal health workers, and practice managers working across regional and rural communities of Victoria.

 The awards also acknowledge the lifetime of dedication from health professionals who have contributed 35+ years of service to rural communities. Among the nominees, the awards celebrated rural general practitioners, rural generalists, outreach providers, nurses, midwives, practice managers and allied health professionals working across rural Victoria.

2022 VICTORIAN RURAL HEALTH AWARDS WINNERS

  1. Outstanding Contribution by a Rising Star: JESSICA BARTON, Podiatrist, Corryong Health, CORRYONG.
  2. Outstanding Contribution to Rural Allied Health: DR ERIN DOLAN, Clinical Psychologist, Erin Dolan and Associates, WARRAGUL.
  3. Outstanding Contribution to Rural Practice Management: JANE GARRETT, Practice Manager, Euroa Medical Clinic, EUROA.
  4. Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health: TANYA GEIER, Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Gunditjmara Health Services, Warrnambool.
  5. Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Health Team: RENEE KELLY, Senior Occupational Therapist & CEO, Lime Therapy, MILDURA.
  6. Outstanding Contribution to Rural Outreach Provision: JACINTA MACCORMACK, Registered Nurse, Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Centre, DIXONS CREEK.
  7. Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Health Consumer Advocate: KELLIE O’CALLAGHAN, Principal at Callaghan & Co, Mayor of Latrobe City Council, TRARALGON.
  8. Outstanding Contribution by a Rural GP or Rural Generalist: DR JOHN URIE, GPA and GPO, Bairnsdale Regional Health Services, Bairnsdale Medical Group, BAIRNSDALE.
  9. Outstanding Contribution to Rural Primary Care Nursing: STUART WILLDER, Men’s Health & Urology Nurse Practitioner, Western District Health Service, HAMILTON.
  10. Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Medical Specialist: DR VIJAY RAJ, Psychiatrist, Healthy Mind Solutions, SHEPPARTON.

 LENGTH OF SERVICE AWARD:

  • Dr Andrew Kirwan, Woori Yallock Medical Centre, WOORI YALLOCK
  • Dr Antonio, De Sousa, Kilmore Medical Centre, KILMORE
  • Dr James (Cheng) The, Rich River Health Group, ECHUCA
  • Dr David Tillett, Central Medical Group, WODONGA
  • Dr Derek Pope, Ararat Medical Centre, ARARAT
  • Dr Jonathan Barrell, Springs Medical Centre, DAYLESFORD

 MEDIA ENQUIRIES:

For comment, more information or photo opportunity please contact:

Margaret Manson

RWAV Communications Advisor

P:     03 9349 7800 | M: 0407 661 130

E:     communications@rwav.com.au

W:   http://www.rwav.com.au

 ABOUT RWAV: 

Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) is a not-for-profit government funded organisation mandated with improving quality and access to healthcare for rural, regional and Aboriginal communities in Victoria. RWAV provides specialist services, supported by a range Grants, in recruitment, support, development and retention of health professionals in regional Victoria. The agency places GPs, nurses and allied health professionals, arranges locum relief and provides access to government grants and outreach services. RWAV works to ensure sustainability in rural healthcare by advising practices on workforce planning and promoting rural healthcare careers to students. 

| Website: http://www.rwav.com.au  | Phone: 03 9349 7800 |

ABOUT THE VICTORIAN RURAL HEALTH AWARDS (VRHA):

The Victorian Rural Health Awards create a positive ripple effect throughout the entire communities, bringing closer together the nominated individuals, the organisations they represent, and the patients and their families.

Length of Service Award

The Length of Service Award honours GPs who have spent the past 35 years or more providing exceptional health care to the people of remote, rural and regional VIC. The service can be cumulative or consecutive, and GPs who are currently practising or have been working for 35 or more years in rural VIC (RA2-5 or MMM2-7) are eligible.

Outstanding Contribution by a Rural GP or Rural Generalist

The Outstanding Contribution by a Rural GP or Rural Generalist award recognises a rural doctor who has shown ongoing commitment to providing exceptional care to meet the current and future healthcare needs of their community. Nominees for this award must be providing comprehensive general practice and emergency care, as well as required components of other medical specialist care in hospital and/or community settings to meet community needs. Eligible other care includes anaesthetics, obstetrics, emergency medicine, surgery, paediatrics, palliative care, internal medicine, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Eligibility criteria:
1.       Peer, organisation or patient nominated
2.       Must be currently practising in a rural Victorian MMM 2–7 location
3.       Must have been working in a rural location for longer than two years.

Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Medical Specialist

The Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Medical Specialist award recognises a rural non-GP specialist who has shown ongoing commitment to providing exceptional care to the community.
Nominees for this award must be providing medical specialist care in a hospital and/or community setting.
Eligibility criteria:
1.       Peer, organisation or patient nominated
2.       Must be currently practising in a rural Victorian MMM 2–7 location
3.       Must have been working in a rural location for longer than two years.

Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

The Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health award recognises a health professional, team or organisation that has made significant contributions in providing care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and communities. The award recognises both medical and non-medical workers and includes specialists, counsellors, health workers, nurses and many others.
Eligibility criteria:
1.       Peer, organisation, patient or community member nominated
2.       Must be currently practising in a rural Victorian MMM 2–7 location.

NEW AWARD: Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Health Consumer Advocate

The Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Health Consumer Advocate award recognises the contribution of a consumer, carer or community member from rural Victoria that has made a significant contribution to healthcare. They need to demonstrate how they have used their lived experience to engage with health professionals or health services to improve the quality, accessibility or safety of healthcare. It also recognises an exceptional contribution by a consumer advocate to strengthen the consumer voice in decision making and program planning for the delivery of health services in rural Victoria.
Eligibility criteria:
1. Must have been involved in consumer advocacy activities relating to rural health in the last 12 months
2. Must be peer, organisation, patient or community member nominated.

Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Health Team

The Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Health Team award recognises an exceptional team contribution to create a positive difference in the delivery of health care in rural Victoria.

Eligibility criteria:
1. Must be currently practising in a rural Victorian MMM 2–7 location
2. Must be a team contribution to general practice or allied health, providing excellence in service delivery and improved client outcomes
3.Peer, organisation, patient or community member nominated.

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Primary Care Nursing

The Outstanding Contribution to Rural Primary Care Nursing award recognises an exceptional rural nurse or midwife who has delivered outstanding patient care, positive outcomes and who performs above the expectations of their role.
Eligibility criteria:
1.       Peer, organisation or patient nominated
2.       Must be currently practising in a rural Victorian MMM 2–7 location
3.       Must have been working in a rural location for longer than two years.

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Allied Health

The Outstanding Contribution to Rural Allied Health award recognises an allied health professional who has shown professional and personal commitment to regional and rural communities, and has gone above the expectations of their role to provide services to the community.
Eligibility criteria:
1.       Peer, organisation or patient nominated
2.       Must be currently practising in a rural Victorian MMM 2–7 location
3.       Must have been working in a rural location for longer than two years.

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Healthcare Practice Management

The Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Healthcare Practice Management award recognises a practice manager who has gone above the expectations of their role shown professional and personal commitment to regional and rural communities through their leadership, mentoring and innovation.
Eligibility criteria:
1.       Peer, organisation or community member nominated
2.       Must be currently employed as a practice manager at a rural Victorian practice (MMM 2–7 location)
3.       Must have been working in a rural location for longer than two years.

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Healthcare Outreach Provision

The Outstanding Contribution to Rural Healthcare Outreach Provision award recognises a health professional, team or organisation that has made significant contributions in providing outreach services to rural and regional communities. The award recognises both medical and non-medical workers and includes specialists, counsellors, health workers, nurses and others.
Eligibility criteria:
1.       Peer, organisation, patient or community member nominated
2.       Must be currently practising in a rural Victorian MMM 2–7 location. If MMM1 location is identified, the service is delivered in an Aboriginal Medical Service or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Outstanding Contribution by a Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award celebrates the future of rural health care. Each year we recognise a junior health professional who has shown a true passion for rural health and is intent on dedicating their career to rural communities.
Eligibility criteria:
1.       Supervisor or organisation nominated
2.       Open to all health professionals
3.       Must be currently practising in a rural Victorian MMM 2–7 location;
4.       Has been practising for less than four years.

QUOTES:

“After another challenging year of distancing and isolation, more than ever, we need to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment of our health professionals, especially in rural Victoria. Winning an VRH Award is a lifetime award and it starts with those who take time to nominate someone who is doing an outstanding job. It brings a sense of achievement to the whole local community. We encourage the rural communities in Victoria to nominate someone next year,” said Trevor Carr, CEO, Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV).

“Rural life is about community and helping your local healthcare professional get recognition through the Victorian Rural Health Awards, helps boost local community spirit. Equally, the Victorian Rural Health Awards (VRHA) serve to achieve a broader awareness of the impact of healthcare excellence in rural communities has on the wellbeing and economy of the entire state,” said Trevor Carr, CEO of RWAV.

“No doubt, rural health professionals enjoy unparalleled lifestyle rewards. However, choosing a career in rural health care is not just about lifestyle, but also a clear opportunity to do interesting work and make a difference,” said Lauren Cordwell, GM Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement, RWAV.

“We aim to keep the Rural Health Awards relevant and community focused. Hence, this year we have introduced a Rural Health Consumer Advocate Award. This award is about a very special individual who deeply contributes to the community to ensure those who need it, get better access to the right services,” said Lauren Cordwell, GM Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement, RWAV.

“This community is important to me because it’s my community. And the people who wave at me as I drive past, are often the people I grew up with. My medical skills are just one way I can help my rural community,” said one of the winners of the VRHA 2021,” said Dr Libby Garoni, rural GP from Mount Beauty, Winner of the Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Generalist 2021, while presenting an award to the 2022 Winner in the same category.

Health Minister:

“I am honoured to be part of this evening’s celebration in recognition of the extraordinary contributions made by you all, our passionate and hardworking rural health professionals. The 17th Victorian Rural Health Awards are your awards. Your Celebration,” said the Minster, Hon Martin Foley.

“The last few years have been the most challenging in our health system’s history. Without a doubt you have risen to every challenge with passion and steadfast commitment of providing healthcare to our Victorian rural communities. Each and every time you have saved lives. And for that I sincerely want to thank you.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the ongoing work and programs run by RWAV, including Rural Doctor Recruitment Program, the Rural Allied Health Support Program, the Post Placement Professional Support Program for Medical Professionals, Locum Programs and the Professional Development Program.” said the Minster, Hon Martin Foley.

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