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21 Barclay Street, Heywood, VIC, 3304

New Board Chair and Board Director for HRH

HEYWOOD Rural Health Board of Management has a new chairman and one new member.

New board director, Jess Feeney is halfway through her five-year postgraduate degree in medicine, while working as a community engagement manager across the region for Ambulance Victoria.

She has worked as a paramedic in Heywood and knows her way around the town and now lives in Hamilton.

After eyeing off the position for some time she jumped at the chance to join HRH as a board director.

“I specifically chose Heywood because of my motivation to move into rural health care,” Ms Feeney said.

“I am driven to see the improvements in the rural health care and accessibility of rural health care in our region.

“My ultimate goal is to work in rural medicine. I think it’s important to understand what the access is like in rural and remote health as well as from a business perspective.

“Heywood Rural Health, in terms of the CEO and Cindy (executive assistant to CEO) and the people that work there – it’s lovely to represent a good group of people.”

Part of her new role is to provide insight into clinical governance, as well as consumer advisory and engagement.

Even though balancing study and two jobs, Ms Feeney doesn’t feel overwhelmed, and is quite pleased with her schedule.

“It’s one of those things where you must find the right balance and I think I’ve got the right balance for myself and my job.

Already a HRH board member, but taking on a new role, is Ambulance Victoria emergency management planning coordinator and St. John Ambulance divisional manager Tony Oxford who is now the board chairman. Mr Oxford has been on the board for six years and prior to that, for three years was chair of HRH’s clinical governance committee.

“I was sort of tapped on the shoulder by the CEO at the time to say, ‘do you want to join the board’ and so I applied and got on and love it,” he said.

He said the voluntary role has given him sufficient training and background to understand how “everything works.”

“The aim of the board chair is to ensure the board functions as it should supporting Heywood Rural Health and strategic direction ensures appropriate governance is being undertaken for the health service.” Mr Oxford said.

“And making sure at the end of the day, the bottom line is that the clients are being looked after as best they can be for a small rural health service.”

Thank you to Portland Observer for the article.

Photo: Tony Oxford (Board Chair)