HEYWOOD Rural Health has appointed a new member to its board of directors, with the fresh face undertaking orientation this week.
Hailing from Port Fairy, new addition Jill Warne believed she could give an outside perspective to the facility, while also having a great understanding of the importance of a health service in a rural setting.
“I’m really committed to maintaining the independence of small rural health services and I know how important they are to the local community,” she said.
“It’s also really important to have someone who understands small towns, but who’s not ‘local’ to maintain independence.
“Hopefully, people from the community will feel they can talk to me about their concerns about the health service and I can listen without being compromised.”
Currently employed as a population health planner through the Primary Health Networks (PHN), Ms Warne said she was excited to share her experience in a new capacity.
“I have a bit of a background in health,” she said.
“I’ve been a consumer engagement liaison officer at South West Healthcare and am now at PHN, but before then, I had a background in state government, local government, regional development – a really broad range of experience.
“I feel the board is a good use of my skills and experience.”
Entering the new role during NAIDOC Week was a special moment for Ms Warne, with a focus on Indigenous health something she said was of great significance to her.
“Closing the gap for First Nations people is one of the things very near to my heart,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to a future where we can use the best of health and wellbeing for First Nations people with the best of Western medicine.”