Emergency: 000
Hospital: (03) 5368 1100
GP Clinic: (03) 5366 7999 // Monday - Friday: 8.00am - 8.00pm // Saturday: 9.00am - 4.00pm

6 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Stop the spread
Over the past few weeks, we have seen an increase in reported cases of COVID-19 infections, both in Australia and overseas. This pandemic presents a range of risks and issues for us as a health service, and also for all of us as community members.

I will forward you updated information as it is provided to me. However, you need to ensure you read the emails and click on the links. In the past, BDHC has dealt with gastro outbreaks and many of you will recall what this entails.

We will meet next week to ensure that we are all clear on our individual roles and our role as a community health service. Please take a moment to consider what you would do should COVID-19 affect our health service, affect you, or affect members of the community.

If anyone is planning leave and travel overseas, please talk to your manager regarding the implications of some travel on returning to work.

Screening is our best tool. Please ensure on admission – when greeting patients or aged care visitors, or when taking an appointment – that you ask these basic questions: do you have a fever with a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, and have you travelled overseas in the past month?

BDHC has supplies of personal protection equipment to ensure the safety of our staff. No member of staff should take masks, hand sanitiser or toilet paper from the organisation – this is theft. Please stay vigilant and stay up to date.

DCS Update
Our Director of Clinical Services (DCS) will be away until 16 March. Tracey will continue as Acting DCS until Bronwyn’s return.

Ballan Childcare Centre
I am pleased to confirm that BDHC has now sold the childcare business.

The future of Ballan Childcare Centre is assured, thanks to its new owner and provider, Mrs Navjeet Kaur, Director of ANM Business Services.

Note, the Centre will continue trading as Ballan Childcare Centre.

Many of you will be aware that in 2012, Ballan Childcare Centre was on the verge of closure. BDHC saw the potential in this important community asset, and stepped in to purchase and invest. Occupancy was at a low 40% and much work was needed to grow the Centre into the warm and educational environment it is today. With the help of our qualified and experienced team members, occupancy levels are now over 95% and it is time for BDHC to step away from the business and pass the reigns to a new, passionate childcare provider.

On behalf of BDHC – the Board members and Executive – I would like to thank the staff for their hard work and dedication.

Ballan District Health & Care has also committed to continue our catering service for the Childcare Centre for at least the next three months.

Attached is a copy of our BDHC Update for March 2020, which outlines the Childcare Centre transfer in more detail. The Update also outlines the recent positive updates to our GP Clinic, including bolstering our doctor numbers and extending Clinic opening hours to 4pm on a Saturday.

AlbacMat Rescue Mats
I also want to thank the Ballan Hospital Auxiliary, which recently funded the purchase of AlbacMat rescue mats. The mats will assist with our emergency evacuation procedures and all staff will be instructed on the correct use of this equipment. I’d also like to thank Heather Robinson for her efforts to update our emergency manual.

New Nursing Students
We welcome our nursing students who have started with BDHC. I know all of you will make them welcome and ensure a positive learning experience.

Capturing Complaints and Compliments
An important component of BDHC ensuring safe and quality services is the capturing and actioning of complaints and compliments. Each staff member should capture these either on the ‘We Listen’ feedback forms, or by reporting feedback to managers, who can enter the information on RiskMan. Capturing this information is an important component of good governance, and the Board and Senior Leadership Group review all of these entries.

Child Safety
This week I attended an information session on creating a Child Safe Organisation and understanding the legal obligation of BDHC to comply with Victoria’s compulsory Child Safe standards.

The staff in the Childcare Centre are very aware of these and they have developed the appropriate systems and processes to ensure compliance. At BDHC more broadly, we have more work to do in this space. There are seven standards:

1. Create a culture of child safety
2. A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety
3. A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
4. Screening, supervision, training and other human resource practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
5. Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
6. Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
7. Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children

A reminder that BDHC will be participating in the Ballan Autumn Festival on Sunday 15 March. We are still looking for volunteers to assist our superhero residents to participate in the parade. Please let the lifestyle team know if you can help.

Sunday 8 March is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is #EachforEqual. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.

I hope those having a long weekend have a well-deserved break and, for those who are working, thank you.

Go Australia in the Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup Final!

With thanks to you all.

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer (Acting)
Ballan District Health & Care

17 January 2020

What a wild few weeks! From fires and smoke, to rain and hail. The impact of the bushfires affects us all, but we acknowledge those across the country that have lost lives, their homes, and flora and fauna. I have been impressed watching the amazing role our Victorian health services colleagues have played in providing ongoing care to their local communities. We are considering a response/donation from Ballan District Health & Care – please let me know your ideas and feedback.

Thank you to those who assisted with ensuring the safety of our residents and staff during the poor air quality days and during the recent thunderstorm. I now know all of the places where the buildings leak! There is a small group currently reviewing our emergency manuals and we will ensure all staff have further emergency management education.

At the all staff meeting this week, I welcomed a number of new staff members to the organisation, including:

  • Trudy Shortal, who has commenced as our Quality Project Officer
  • Phyllis Harbright, who is our new Chef

Please give them a warm BDHC welcome.

I’d like to acknowledge Michelle Connor for her hard work and leadership during her time as Acting Aged Care Manager. Thank you also to Erica Gherghinescu, who has taken on the role of Acting Hotel and General Services Manager while Caroline is on leave. It is wonderful to see team members step into more senior roles and embrace the responsibilities. We will continue to ensure all staff have the opportunity for professional growth and self-development.

The urgent care facility has been successfully relocated to the GP Clinic and I’d like to thank everyone involved in this project. Since the move, we have seen approximately fifteen patients present as ‘urgent’ to the Clinic – a similar number to previous levels.

In the next few weeks, we will see the departure of Rakhi and Min from the GP Clinic. I’d like to thank them both for their contribution to BDHC and to the health and wellbeing of our community members. I wish them every success in their next endeavours and remind them they are always welcome back!

We recently ended our arrangement of leasing offsite accommodation. We do have onsite accommodation available for any staff member who needs to stay on the premises overnight. To access the Hospital Accommodation, please contact hospital reception on ext 900.

It’s great to have Ann back in the HR chair. Please be aware that she is working from 0900 – 1200 for the next few weeks, and if you need to speak with her regarding any HR matters, you can make an appointment via Roni.

BDHC has decided not to continue our contract with Moorabool Shire to provide Meals on Wheels and senior citizens meals. We have an amazing group of volunteers who have been delivering meals to our clients across the community. Thank you for the service you have provided.

I had hoped to have more information regarding the sale of the Childcare Centre. Unfortunately, regulatory requirements have slightly stalled this process, delaying our announcement. We will inform staff, parents and the broader community once we have more details.

I am on leave from 20 to 27 January, and I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends. For those returning to work, I hope you had a fabulous break and feel rested for 2020.

James McComb will be acting CEO during my absence.

Australia Day is a day for all Australians, no matter where our personal stories began. It’s a day to reflect on what it means to be Australian and to acknowledge our history. Australia Day is a day that we can recognise the contributions of all Australians – from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who have been here for more than 65,000 years, to those who have lived here for generations. People have come from all corners of the globe to call our country home. Happy Australia Day for 26 January.

With thanks to you all.

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer (Acting)
Ballan District Health & Care

31 December 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on our BDHC key achievements for the year.

Each of you will have examples of how others have lived our values, gone above and beyond, or just been consistently ace!

Now is a good time to recognise those around us who are doing great things.

I’d like to thank Ann, Roni, Caroline and any others who contributed to make our Staff Christmas Party a great success. The Ballan Golf Club looked fantastic and most people were very creative with their outfits and embraced the Hawaiian pool party theme. TJ was especially excited that the karaoke machine was switched on fairly early into the night (I didn’t realise the passion he had for singing!) and Liv, Ann and others sang their hearts out. Well done to Kym, who took on the role of emcee (MC) and provided a witty running commentary. As Tina Turner would say, it was ‘simply the best.’

I’d also like to thank Caroline and Erica for their assistance with catering and setting up the Staff Christmas Breakfast BBQ. James felt he did an ‘eggcellent’ job with the egg and bacon sandwiches! Thanks to the Senior Leadership Group for their cooking efforts, and to our Board Chair, Lyn, for joining us.

To all of the staff who made Christmas so very special for our residents and patients (too many to name individually), thank you for your team effort to ensure that those who stayed with us for Christmas had a wonderful day. The food was fabulous and the decorations were amazing. A big thank you to the ladies from Fabulous Flowers in Ballan, who donated beautiful flowers for the tables. As I walked around the facility with my family, the vibe was fantastic. The smiles, the hugs and the caring nature for all was on full display. It was very humbling to be part of such a wonderful occasion. Well done to everyone.

Amongst all of these festivities, we received a letter from DHHS indicating their financial support into 2020. As previously noted, this comes with an expectation that we will improve our financial position and make some tough decisions. The urgent care facility in the hospital has now been relocated, with services being provided via our GP Clinic. To all of the staff in the GP Clinic, thank you for embracing this change. We will continue to work on this service to ensure the safest and highest quality of care for our patients.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the work of Shawn Lee earlier this year, and to thank the Senior Leadership Group for their support. Lyn and the Board of Governance have asked that I pass on their thanks to you all for all that you do and will continue to do in 2020.

I wish each of you a very Happy New Year and may 2020 bring you much joy and happiness. I look forward to working with you all – facing any challenges and celebrating our successes.

With thanks to you all.

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer (Acting)
Ballan District Health & Care

29 November 2019

This week, I have spent time meeting with as many of you as possible to clarify, confirm, dismiss (or just chat about) Ballan District Health & Care’s future direction. During these meetings, it was highlighted that we need to keep the community regularly informed about what is happening with the health service. I know many of you are fielding questions.

As I’ve said to all staff that I’ve met with, I will ensure that staff are kept up to date via messages from me or the Board. We’re also committed to ensuring the community hear from us.

I’ll repeat now what I have already said to you all – we need to make some changes now to ensure the long term viability of this health service. We need to determine which services our community members need most, and provide them in the best and most sustainable way.

I appreciated the frank and honest conversations, and I strongly encourage all of you to continue speaking with your manager or me should you have any further concerns.

BDHC has been informed that we will have financial support from DHHS for another four months. As a private hospital, we are very grateful for this support.

A big congratulations to the Allied Health team for a very successful information day on Wednesday. The event was well attended by community members and staff. Thank you to Ganesh and all of the Allied Health team.

Also, this week I’d like to share some feedback from the 2019 Ballan & District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

Opportunity on Inglis was a finalist in the Community Services Award category. Whilst we didn’t win, we all know that the team are winners!

I’ve pasted below the fantastic feedback from the judges:

‘A really terrific submission and site visit. Every question has been really well answered. The services you offer your community is impressive and varied. I love reading that you keep up to date with other op shop activities, to deliver contemporary op shop services. Excellent commitment to the community. Excellent collaboration with other local businesses. Excellent commitment to the environment. Fabulous and genuine passion for your community. It’s clear that Opportunity on Inglis has terrific leadership and great ideas that form a foundation for a great community service. Well done!’

Finally, this week a very special moment happened for me. In amongst all of the phone calls, meetings and emails, I was chatting with Maria-Anna at clinic reception and she asked me, ‘R U OK?’

A random act of kindness. Just checking in and asking the question.

Kindness matters. There is a direct correlation between organisational negativity and poor staff morale, which affects both staff wellbeing and effectiveness. I think it’s so important that we make time to consider acts of kindness – to acknowledge them and pass them on.

With thanks to you all.

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer (Acting)
Ballan District Health & Care

15 November 2019

This week, it has been challenging to see the fire and destruction happening interstate and it’s a stark reminder to us all of the need to be prepared in times of emergency. Many of you have made the effort to complete your mandatory training (thank you) and next week we will be having additional fire warden training from Chubb. Understanding your role in an emergency is your responsibility.

I had the great pleasure of speaking with the wonderful staff in our Childcare Centre this week. The occupancy in our Childcare Centre is currently around 98 -100%. Credit must go to Glenda and all of the staff for the wonderful service they provide. I also indicated to the staff that we are still in negotiations with a potential buyer. As soon as a purchase is confirmed, we will announce this to the staff.

Thank you to all of the staff who have spoken to me to clarify concerns following a recent article in the Moorabool News. Ballan District Health & Care must change the way it operates to ensure it can deliver the services the community needs into the future – this was made clear to all who attended the recent AGM. Ballan District Health & Care has been a central part of our community for more than 75 years. We must all work together to deliver high quality services that are sustainable for the future. The Senior Leadership team has been reviewing our operations and working on a range of options to ensure we are providing services the community needs, and that we are providing these services in a safe and efficient way. I have committed to meeting with staff to discuss these options and we plan to do this within the next few weeks. We will then talk to our community. If you want to discuss your concerns with me, please let me know and I will come and have a chat. If rumours start, or there’s gossip occurring, I strongly suggest you talk to your manager or me for clarification, so we can move forward with any changes in a positive way.

I am very proud of the work you all do every day. Some days, some teams go above and beyond. These are the times when we need to stop and congratulate our colleagues. For example, I’d like to acknowledge the GP Clinic team that recently attended to a patient who presented requiring emergency intervention. That patient received exceptional, professional care. Thank you. To Olivia and Sharyn, who have worked tirelessly to ensure our residents’ laundry is attended to, thank you. The residents have all made an effort to let me know the difference this is making. To the gym and pool attendants – lead by Ryan – thanks for ensuring a pool that is safe for our community. Recent water temperature fluctuations and subsequent pool closures have been frustrating, but it’s important to ensure we get it right.

If you haven’t noticed yet, Opportunity on Inglis has re-opened following its recent face lift. Thank you to Michaela and all the team who have worked tirelessly to accommodate this renovation. It looks fabulous!

Thanks to you all.

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer (Acting)
Ballan District Health & Care

6 September 2019

This week I have reflected a lot on teamwork.

I was able to see and hear firsthand the times when our teams came together and worked through situations to ensure the best quality of care for our patients. These situations were stressful, sad and required a great deal of professionalism.

I also saw teams that supported each other, thanked each other but also were able to question “Could we have done this better?” and “What did we learn?”

In relatively small organisations such as ours, the key to ongoing success really is teamwork. Our roles are focussed on patients and residents. We wrap our services around them to ensure their health and wellbeing. This type of integrated care takes good communication and documentation.

Tracey, Bronwyn, Kym and I visited Illoura Aged Care in Wangaratta. It was beneficial to see another facility (although public) and some features of their service and support structures. They are well advanced with their work on the Aged Care Quality Standards and have since shared their policies and other helpful documents with us.

The Illoura team worked together across the facility and all of us came away with new ideas. Over the next few weeks we will share these with you.

We bid Matt Romania farewell as he takes on new challenges. Matt has been an amazing asset for Ballan District Health & Care and we wish him every success for his future endeavours.

Lorraine Odgers will also be leaving the organisation (next week), heading off into retirement and more time with family after ten years of service.
Congratulations to all of you who signed up for Steptember. Enjoy these sunny days and remember to keep up the steps!

Until next time,

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

29 August 2019

Dear all,

Since I started in Ballan, I made it a priority to make sure I understand the business. This includes what we are funded to do, what services we provide and to whom. Understanding our business also means looking at what areas we are doing well and finding the opportunities for improvement.

Through this process, the Senior Leadership Team and I have discovered some issues – but also opportunities. Sometimes our documentation lets us down, sometimes it’s the processes – and sometimes it is communication.

To change these issues, means a change in us – in our practice, professionalism and drive to provide excellence in care. I know all of you come to work to do great work. We need to ensure that you are enabled to do this great work with solid support systems, processes and leadership in place.

Over the coming weeks, we will be reviewing policies, reviewing our activity data and reviewing our resources against targets. This process is about accountability for the services we provide the community. I invite all of you to be part of the discussion and part of the solution.

This week, I had the pleasure of seeing our ICARE values in action. I witnessed firsthand the caring and professional work of our staff – thank you to Michelle Connor, Melissa Fitzgerald and Maryanne Leith for the gentle, respectful and compassionate way you dealt with a recent death of a resident. It certainly was humbling. Thank you also to the team who contributed to a successful Dinner Dances for the residents.

Finally – as part of our ongoing communication on the new Aged Care Quality Standards, let’s have a close look at Standard 2; ongoing assessment and planning with consumers. It’s been great to hear all the care planning work that is happening by our aged care team with the residents and their families.

This important work is vital to Standard 2 and ensuring every resident is a partner in ongoing assessment and planning so they receive the care and services needed for their health and wellbeing.

Until next time,

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

1 August 2019

Dear all,

Over the past two weeks, the Board and I have continued to meet with our key stakeholders at the Department of Health and Human Services.

I had a fantastic meeting with Djerriwarrh Health Service CEO Belinda Scott. We had a great discussion on synergies and opportunities that exist between the two organisations and the potential for partnerships to address the health needs of the Moorabool Shire.

We have also started conversations with Hepburn Health about ways we can partner to benefit the entire region. All of the regional and rural health services have their challenges so we all need to explore any partnership opportunities.

The search for additional GPs continues. Thank you to the team for all their hard work whilst this is occur. Big thanks to Adnan who continues to explore all options!

The Finance team are finalising the end of year reports and we will be meeting with all managers to discuss 2019/20120 budgets.

For those who couldn’t attend, we had a lovely afternoon tea for Shawn Lee who left Ballan District Health & Care to join DPV Health. In true Shawn style, he gave a beautiful farewell speech. In his speech, Shawn acknowledged the need for all of us to be comfortable with vulnerability whilst maintaining constant support for those around us. He also spoke about the Allied and Community Health team and the way they’ve grown and exemplify excellence in care.

With Shawn’s departure, I have revisited the organisational chart to ensure teams are clear on their reporting lines.

Lastly – over the next few months, we’ll be featured the new Aged Care Quality Standards across Ballan District Health & Care and other places in the community. This approach is to give staff and community members an opportunity to learn about each Standard. Standard 1 – Consumer Dignity and Choice – will be the focus for the next fortnight. Look out for the red posters next week!

Until next time,

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

19 July 2019

Good luck to our registrars Min and Simone who are sitting their exams this week! Thank you to Rakhi and TJ for their hard work this week while our registrars have been away.

I also want to say a big congratulations to everyone working in our aged care! I attended a resident’s meeting yesterday and many of the residents wanted me to know how wonderful the staff are at Ballan District Health & Care. Please keep up the great work!

On aged care, you may have seen the posters being putting up about the new Aged Care Standards that came into effect on 1 July 2019. Over the next few weeks, we will focus on each of the standards to ensure we are all aware of our roles and responsibilities:

  1. Consumer dignity and choice
  2. Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
  3. Personal care and clinical care
  4. Services and supports for daily living
  5. Organisation’s service environment
  6. Feedback and complaints
  7. Human resources
  8. Organisational governance

I’d also like to encourage you to keep up with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The last few hearings have focussed on key aspects of care – including wound management, medication, pain management and nutrition.

Until next time,

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

12 July 2019

Dear all,

Happy NAIDOC Week 2019 celebrating the themes of Voice, Treaty and Truth – let’s work together for a shared future. These three themes also represent key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Ballan District Health & Care is committed to developing relationships of trust and respect with the Indigenous communities that we serve. We aim to develop an understanding of awareness of Indigenous culture throughout our health service. Matt, Shawn, Colleen, Merryn and myself attended a NAIDOC week celebration with some of our residents at the Ballan Library.

It was pleasing to have so many staff attend an all staff meeting this week. It is important we continue the conversation so that everyone has the opportunity to ask questions of the Executive team and myself.

  • We talked about how I’ve been having meeting with a number of stakeholders including Ballarat Health Services and Moorabool Shire Councils.
  • James reminded staff that group certificates will be available through MyGov for your tax return.
  • Shawn spoke to the business improvement strategies that the Executive are currently working on – including the independent living units that are currently for sale and the childcare centre.
  • We also agreed to review our admission and discharge processes to ensure multidisciplinary input and consideration of patient requirements.
  • Internal reviews have highlighted areas of the hospital that require a maintenance review. I again thank Dale, Carlos and Caroline for their work in this space.

I also want to remind staff of the national mandatory aged care indicators – pressure injuries, use of physical restraint, and unplanned weight loss. We’ll be working on these and the National Quality Standards for Aged Care over the coming months. It’s important that all staff familiarise themselves with these new standards.

Finally, it has been pleasing to welcome a number of new staff to the Ballan District Health & Care team, however sad to see Shawn departing.

Stay warm and stay well,

Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

8 July 2019

Last week I was fortunate enough to meet with a range of people who partner with Ballan District Health & Care. Many of these organisations have a shared goal of improving the health and wellbeing of our community.

Shawn and I met with the new Chief Executive Officer of Moorabool Shire Council and their General Manager of Community Development.

With the Moorabool Shire Council, we spoke about the needs of our community, opportunities for partnerships and shared events. We also discussed the roads around the hospital where we might be able to reduce speed, improve parking and ensure patient, resident and staff safety.

I also met with Mark and Ruth from The Plough, who have been a great support to the hospital over many years. We have agreed to postpone Love is in the Air to later in the year.

I want to share some thoughts on our core values. What does the word collaboration mean for the team working at Ballan District Health & Care?

I really like this definition by D’Amour (2005): “Collaboration is commonly defined through five underlying concepts: sharing, partnership, power, interdependency and process.”

The idea of sharing implies collective action oriented toward a common goal, such as improving the quality and safety of patient care.

The notion of partnership implies honest communication, mutual trust, respect and pursuing the common set of goals between health care professionals.

At the centre of all we do is the patient or resident. We know that collaboration improves communication and reduces care errors.

In an organisation of our size (last count 160 staff) we have the opportunity for exemplar collaboration. Interdisciplinary meetings discussing patient goals is one such example.

Ballan District Health & Care needs its partners to better service the community and we all need collaboration to improve care.

Until next time,

Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

28 June 2019

I’m pleased to let you all know that the Department of Health and Human Services has advised the Board of their continued financial support to Ballan District Health & Care. The Department’s generous and welcome support has been extended to October 2019.

In other updates this week, I undertook the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence training – ‘A Shared Understanding of Family Violence.’ I know Carina and others have done considerable work in this area and all staff should be aware of the Board and my commitment to supporting this vital initiative.

Family violence statistics are very confronting. For example, 1 in 4 female staff are likely to have experienced violence from a current or former partner. It is important we all complete family violence training. To allow you to improve your understanding of family violence, understanding the health impacts and ensure you all know your roles as health professionals. Sue and Ann will be advertising training sessions over the coming weeks.

Last week a number of team members relocated offices to improve working efficiencies at Ballan District Health & Care. These office moves included locating allied health staff closer to the clinic for improved patient access. An additional benefit to the move is now having clinical leaders closer to their teams. I want to thank Roni, Dale and Carlos for all their hard work and patience assisting with the office moves.

Finally, I want to wish all our financial colleagues “Happy New Financial Year” for Monday. Thank you for all your hard working preparing for year end.


Until next time,
Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

14 June 2019

What does the word integrity mean to you? Over the last three weeks since I began as CEO, I’ve been giving much thought to our ICARE values and what each looks like in action on a day-to-day basis. This definition of integrity resonated with me so I thought I would share it with you all:

“Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be.”

For us in healthcare, we know our work is never about shortcuts. We are privileged to work with community members when they’re at their most vulnerable. I encourage everyone to take some time to consider this value and think about “what I will do” and “what I won’t do”.

This week, we welcomed Adnan Hafeez as Practice Manager. He has certainly hit the ground running and I’m confident he is going to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Ballan District Health & Care.

Also this week, the Executive team met with the consultants who are undertaking the deep dive review of the health service. It was constructive to have challenging conversations about where we are now – but we were also able to speak with pride about the work being done.

The Executive team and I have also recommenced the work on our business improvement strategies (that have been presented at a previous staff meeting). Many of you have spoken to me about other opportunities to improve. This is great! I thank you and encourage you to continue to let me know your ideas.

Finally, we also had the Independent Living Units Annual General Meeting this week. Robert Eskdale represented the Board and after the usual formalities, we had an interesting discussion on a range of topics. I was privileged to hear about former jobs, family, life in the units and to share a cup of tea on a cold Thursday afternoon.

I’ve committed to this group that we will keep up the communication with them As well as offering for them to join in hospital activities. After all, they’re our neighbours – so let’s make sure they have opportunities to get involved at Ballan District Health & Care.

Until next time,
Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

7 June 2019

This week I continued to meet as many team and community members as possible. How fantastic to see the streetscape coloured with the amazing WinterKnits! I especially love the great work of our memory support residents on the field of poppies at the front of the Hospital. A big thank you goes to Colleen and our residents for their contribution to WinterKnits.

Speaking of great work, I had the pleasure of speaking with our Hospital Auxiliary yesterday. We all know the fantastic contribution they make to our Ballan District Health & Care. Their Mothers’ Day High Tea event made an impressive $1,674 profit. I know you will all support their next event, Blumes Fashion on Tuesday 18 June at the CFA rooms (10.30am start).

You are probably aware of the high demand on the General Practice at the moment (and over the last few weeks). Thank you to our wonderful GPs – Rakhi, Min, Simone, Faro, TJ, Afshan… who I had the pleasure of meeting this week. Thanks also to all the practice staff who have addressed the needs of our patients and at all times ensuring patient safety and well being. This speaks highly of our Integrity value.

In recruitment news, I’m so pleased we have recruited a new Practice Manger – Adnan Hafeez – who will start in his new role next week. I’ve asked Shawn and Adnan to make GP recruitment the number one priority.

As Sue mentioned in her email today, the current staff flu vaccination rate is at 95% which is fantastic. Please make sure you see Sue if you have been vaccinated elsewhere – and continue to encourage your friends, family and neighbours to have their flu vaccination.

I have continued to meet with the Department of Health and Human Services – these meetings have been very positive. We continue our deep dive review of every department and all facilities at BDHC. For example, some of you may have noticed the person undertaking the structural review last week. We hope to have more advice on this soon.

As we head into a long weekend, I encourage those of you not working to rest and stay safe. For those working across the long weekend, thank you!


Until next time,

Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

30 May 2019

Between 27 May and 3 June each year, we celebrate National Reconciliation Week.

This week marks two major moments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: 1) the 1967 referendum that brought Indigenous Australians into the Commonwealth, and 2) the Mabo decision that led to native title land rights.

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements – and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. Ballan District Health & Care is committed to developing relationships of trust and respect with the Indigenous communities that we serve, and we aim to develop an understanding of awareness of culture throughout our health service.

As I meet more and more people here at BDHC, I’m reminded of the importance of shared histories and achievements. There is much pride in this organisation and the role BDHC plays to benefit the Ballan community.

On Tuesday, we celebrated another great team achievement; the successful accreditation of our GP Practice. Thank you to all who contributed to this outstanding outcome! It was great to see our ICARE values in action. Keep it up!

Lastly, next week is the start of Souper Tuesdays at our Op Shop. What a great idea for hot lunch and bringing the community together on these cold days. I hope to see you over there!

Until next time,

Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

22 May 2019

Thank you all for the warm welcome as I start in the CEO role. It was wonderful to meet so many of you at the Monday meeting. I look forward to eventually meeting all staff so please stop me in the corridor or pop in to my office if you’d like to chat. Thank you to Shawn for all his work as CEO. Thanks also goes to the Executive and Leadership team for their support of Shawn and the substantial work that has happened over the last nine months.

The next phase of review has now started and the Board Chair and I have started more detailed conversations with the Department of Health and Human Services about the role of BDHC in the provision of health care to our local community. I’ll keep you posted with any major updates. I’m going to pen these updates regularly – which will also be made public for the community – after all, we are in this together. Speaking of engaging with the community, if you know someone who hasn’t had their flu shot yet, please remind them to book an appointment as soon as possible… as we know, the flu can be deadly and it’s important we are all vaccinated.

Last but not least, happy National Volunteer Week! This week, we celebrate the hard-working volunteers at BDHC. Of course we appreciate them every week but if you see a volunteer around, be sure to pass on your thanks for their dedication to this healthcare service. They truly make a difference. We are always in need of more volunteers, so if you know anyone, please let Barbara know on Thursday.

Until next time,

Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care