A Year of Growth For Gippsland PHN

Gippsland Primary Health Network (Gippsland PHN) achieved a number of milestones in the past year, which were celebrated at its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Sale.

The Gippsland PHN Annual Report was launched at the AGM, highlighting a significant year of growth for commissioned services.

Over the past year, service access grew by 177 per cent from 17,061 occasions of service in 2016/17 to 47,179 services and episodes of care this past year.

Gippsland PHN Chair, Dr Sinead De Gooyer, paid tribute to staff, especially former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Marianne Shearer, who she said had “prosecuted great change in the organisation”.

As the organisation’s inaugural CEO, Ms Shearer announced her resignation in July this year, ending nearly 30 years in a career where she led key health reforms and initiatives.

“On behalf of the Board, staff and management we sincerely thank Marianne for her exceptional hard work, dedication and expertise in leading the organisation through a period of significant change including the transformational move to a commissioning organisation,” Dr De Gooyer said.

This year, Gippsland PHN welcomed the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to formalise the commitment and over-arching framework for a collaborative working relationship with the six Victorian PHNs.

“This significant milestone reflects the shared focus on improving the efficacy of our health system and achieving better health outcomes,” Dr De Gooyer explained. “It also formalises a partnership that will facilitate integrated State and Australian Government initiatives for all Victorians.”

Gippsland PHN received its official accreditation this year, including an exceeded recognition for Community and Professional Capacity Building. This is the first step towards building a more efficient organisation with increased capability.

The organisation’s place-based approach continued this year as it focussed on increasing access to a range of primary and allied health services and activities for rural and remote communities. Commencing in early 2017 with 40 live pathways, Gippsland HealthPathways has grown to 159 this year with 13 health services now signed up to support better integration and referral pathways between primary and secondary care.

My Health Record preparations have also been very active in the last 12 months, reaching 100 per cent of general practices and 92 per cent of community pharmacies across Gippsland.

Comprehensive regionally based mental health planning also commenced in consultation with providers to help implement and support a stepped care approach across Gippsland.

“I am proud to be part of an organisation that is committed to working together to unite the skills and expertise of our staff and health care providers to deliver high-quality and affordable healthcare,” Dr De Gooyer said.

A highlight of the AGM was the announcement of the winners of the inaugural Primary Health Awards. This awards program was initiated by Ms Shearer, who said she was proud to be invited to present the awards.

“The Primary Health Awards exceeded expectations,” Ms Shearer said. “We were inundated with entries that were all a wonderful example of the work being done across Gippsland.”

Details of the award winners can be accessed via the Gippsland PHN website here.

The Gippsland PHN Annual Report is available here.

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