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21 Barclay Street, Heywood, VIC, 3304

Long Road to Heywood

Her journey into the medical world started in some of Western Australia’s finest hospitals, but Claire McGregor is equally glad to now call Heywood Rural Health home.

Ms McGregor was recently appointed HRH’s clinical services director, a role that sees her with oversight of all acute care and residential care services, as well as responsibility for the quality and safety of care delivered.

“It’s about making sure we provide a high standard of care and minimising risk to staff and consumers, as well as meeting accreditation standards,” she said.

Ms McGregor graduated as a nurse from Curtin University in Perth in 1998 and found her way to Royal Perth Hospital where she had several roles in oncology and haematology.

She was then offered the opportunity to work in a specialist nursing role related to haemophilia and also gained her Masters degree as a nurse practitioner.

The role involved presentations at international conferences and involvement in phase three (final stage before the medication is able to be prescribed to the public) clinical trials for new blood thinners.

The service she worked for was relocated to the brand new Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, and she went with it, before a family holiday to the state’s south coast saw her change direction.

“We had been down to Albany a few times and having young children we really wanted a different lifestyle for them,” Ms McGregor said.

“Victoria offers a country lifestyle without being too isolated and you get the best of both worlds.”

So she, her partner and the two children packed up and moved east, where Ms McGregor managed a bush nursing centre at Dingee, a settlement north of Bendigo.

They then moved to Heywood before Ms McGregor managed the urgent care centre at Maryborough hospital for about a year.

However the lure of the coast was too strong, and they returned to the south west, where Ms McGregor worked as a clinical nurse specialist in the community health centre before her latest appointment.

The family are living in Portland and enjoying the region.

“We’re big fans of all the (Great) South West Walks.” Ms McGregor said.