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

BDHC appoints a new Acting Chief Executive Officer

Thursday 4 June 2020

The Board of Ballan District Health & Care (BDHC) is pleased to announce the appointment of James McComb to the position of Acting Chief Executive Officer.

Having worked with BDHC as Director of Finance and Information Services for over 18 months, Mr McComb understands the structure, values and complexity of the BDHC facility.

Board Chair Lyn Gunnell said James’s appointment followed a review and discussion with several strong candidates.  She said Mr McComb’s detailed knowledge of the health service and its current challenges made him the right person to lead BDHC at this time without disruption.

“As Director of Finance and Information Services, James has built successful relationships with the State and Commonwealth.  He is highly respected at all levels of government, and will continue to represent the needs of BDHC in the most positive and effective way,” Ms Gunnell said.

James is a Certified Practising Accountant and has held various senior management positions across the aged care, community services and utilities sectors.

James is committed to rural health and improving the health outcomes for Ballan and the surrounding districts.  James will continue the important work to ensure the viability of the BDHC health service, and its commitment to excellence in care, into the future.

Acting Ballan District Health & Care CEO on the move

Thursday 21 May 2020

Ballan District Health & Care (BDHC) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Rowena Clift, will head back to her roots to lead the Western Victoria Primary Health Network from June 2020.

Ms Clift took on the temporary role at BDHC in May last year, as an interim step to support the Board as it placed the health service on a path to sustainability.

Board Chair Lyn Gunnell said Ms Clift can be credited with transforming the health service and working together with staff to find new ways to deliver high quality, front-line health services needed most by the community.

“Rowena has forged wonderful working relationships with our staff, and built successful partnerships with neighbouring health services, the State and Commonwealth, all of which are critical for the future,” Ms Gunnell said.

“As Rowena steps into her new role, she leaves behind a great legacy in a short period of time.  I, along with all my colleagues at BDHC, thank Rowena for her dedication, experience, knowledge and compassion.  We wish her every success in her new role.”

Ms Clift thanked the staff, residents, patients and the people of Ballan for their support and hard work over the past 12 months.

“BDHC is fortunate to have capable, dedicated staff, exceptional clinical standards and strong relationships with the community,” Ms Clift said.

“My passion is primary care and delivering services on the ground to communities and I’m looking forward to being able to continue this important work with Western Victoria Primary Health Network.”

The process to recruit a new interim CEO has commenced, and the Board will provide a progress update in due course.

Ms Gunnell also announced that Barry Kogan from McGrath Nicol has been appointed as an advisor to the BDHC Board, providing further guidance for its work to make the health service sustainable for the future.

“We are pleased to have further experience and capability to support our plan for the future, and thank our members for their ongoing support and commitment to our growing community,” Ms Gunnell said.

Ballan District Health & Care Update

Friday 6 March 2020

Ballan Childcare Centre

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

This change in ownership allows the Centre to continue providing a successful service to Ballan and the surrounding districts.

Ballan District Health & Care will support clients, staff and the new owner throughout the transition to ensure continuity of quality childcare services for the local community.

How will the transition work?

Mrs Kaur has signed the contract of sale and the process has begun to transfer ownership away from Ballan District Health & Care (BDHC). Ballan Childcare Centre will continue to operate in the usual way, offering high quality childcare services to families of Ballan and the surrounding districts. BDHC will support all childcare staff and the buyer during the sale transition period – an 11 day period ending on 16 March 2020.

The qualified and dedicated staff are central to the warm and educational environment of Ballan Childcare Centre. It is a priority of the new owner to meet in person and support current staff during the transition period, with staff reporting to Mrs Kaur from 16 March 2020 onwards.

Ballan Childcare Centre will continue to offer the same high standard of care and education within the current learning groups, including babies (4 months to 2 years), toddlers (2 to 3 years), pre-kinder (3 to 4 years) and kinder (4 to 5 years).

Opening hours
Ballan Childcare Centre is open every weekday from 6:30am to 6:00pm.

BDHC has committed to continue our catering service for the Childcare Centre for at least the next three months.

We will continue to support clients, staff and the provider throughout the transition to ensure the community continues to receive quality childcare services.

GP Clinic – Recruitment

Our GP services are central to health delivery in Ballan. It is our priority to ensure that the BDHC GP Clinic has a robust and stable workforce to service the community into the future.

We welcomed two new GPs to the Clinic in December 2019.

We are pleased to announce that we have further bolstered our doctor numbers with the addition of two more GPs in February 2020. Furthermore, we aim to increase this number as we progress into 2020.

The BDHC GP Clinic currently has five doctors on staff, including:

  • Dr Samuel Inwang
  • Dr Sonya Rutherfurd
  • Dr Simone Stanton-Castillo (Registrar)
  • Dr Tze-Jian (TJ) Tan
  • Dr May Thu (Registrar)

We will provide more updates on this positive news for our community via our website and Facebook page in the coming weeks.

At the end of January 2020, Dr Rakhi Basu and Dr Min Kim departed BDHC to pursue other opportunities.

At the same time, Dr Sonya Rutherfurd, who had been working one day a week while she relocated to Ballan, increased her hours to consult up to four days a week.

Dr Rutherfurd has a keen interest in preventative medicine, with other areas of interest including nutrition and mental health care.

GP Clinic – Opening Hours

In line with our commitment to meet the health care needs of the community, BDHC has extended its GP Clinic opening hours on Saturdays.

The GP Clinic is now open every Saturday from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

This is wonderful news for our community and illustrates our commitment to delivering contemporary, viable services where there is demand.

The weekday opening hours for the GP Clinic remain the same – 8:00am to 8:00pm.

Thank you for your feedback so far on these important updates, the majority of which has been very positive. There have also been some good questions and we wanted to answer these.

Click to download this latest BDHC Update and Frequently Asked Questions.

Ballan District Health & Care Update

Monday 9 December 2019

Ballan District Health & Care (BDHC) has been candid with the community in outlining the challenges it faces.

The way we operate has become unsustainable. We must change for the future.

At this critical time, it’s important we come together with our dedicated and qualified staff to find new ways to deliver high quality, front-line health services that our community needs most.

Building on our successful partnerships with other health services, we have reviewed the ways we operate and have developed a comprehensive plan to become a sustainable health service into the future.

Our primary care – our GPs, Allied Health and Aged Care services, have always been central to our model of care and they will continue to be our focus.

By evolving to a sustainable services model, we can prioritise delivering contemporary, viable services where there is demand. Resources have been allocated to services that will deliver financially for the Ballan & District community and meet the health care needs of the community.

This update outlines plans for some of our services. We are providing further updates for other services in two weeks’ time, to ensure the community can be kept informed through December and into 2020.

What are some of the updates?

GP and Allied Health services
Our GP Clinic and Allied Health services are central to health delivery in Ballan. It is our priority to ensure these services continue.

We have recently welcomed two new GPs to the Clinic, which is wonderful news for our community. More broadly, BDHC is looking at new business models and structures for the GP Clinic to ensure it can better service the community into the future.

Urgent Care
Currently, our Urgent Care Clinic is seeing an average of six people per week, or one per day, with types of presentations including a fall at home, abdominal pain, lacerations, gastro symptoms. This number is simply not sustainable.

Because of this, we will be diverting urgent care services out of the hospital by the end of 2019 and reallocating funds to provide the same standard of care in a new treatment room within the GP Clinic, which will cater for patients between 8:00am and 8:00pm on weekdays, and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays. This will provide the same standard of treatment for more than 80 percent of patients the Urgent Care Clinic currently receives. The cost of this service will not change.

As is the case now, all emergency cases will continue to be taken to the closest and most clinically appropriate health service.

Training will continue to be provided for clinic staff and we are exploring other opportunities to support GPs and Practice Nurses via My Emergency Doctor options.

Home Care Packages
Home Care Packages are a government-funded, coordinated package of services tailored to meet the care needs of older people who wish to remain living at home.

BDHC will invest in and offer all four levels of Home Care Packages, tailoring a care plan that enables people to live independently at home. These are a priority for BDHC and will be a core part of our future. We will have more to say on this in coming weeks.

Childcare Centre
Our childcare service is in the process of changing its ownership structure so it can continue to successfully serve the Ballan community.

We will continue to support clients, staff and the provider throughout the transition to ensure the community continues to receive quality childcare and support.

As we communicated, radiology services have ceased due to the retirement of our radiographer. BDHC is now working with partners in our region to ensure the community can access appropriate radiology services. We will provide another update to clients and the local community in early 2020.

Dental Service
As we communicated, the BDHC Dental Service is currently closed until further notice. Our service provider recently retired and we are reviewing how best to provide quality dental services into the future.

BDHC understands the delivery of dental services in Ballan is an important component of care. We have recently interviewed two potential dentists and are exploring a number of options for the delivery of dental services in Ballan. We will provide another update to clients and the local community in early 2020.

Our GPs, Allied Health and Aged Care services have always been central to our model of care and they will continue to be our focus.

Thank you for your feedback so far on these important updates, the majority of which has been very positive. There have also been some good questions and we wanted to answer these.

Click to download this latest BDHC Update and Frequently Asked Questions.

Have your say – inquiry into assisted reproductive treatment practices in Victoria

Thursday, 22 August 2019

The Health Complaints Commissioner is holding a series of consultation sessions in September 2019.

Assisted Reproductive Treatment consumers and providers can hear more about the Inquiry and share their experiences to inform a report for the Victorian Government about the future provision of these services.

To register your interest in attending a consultation session, to make a submission to the Inquiry or for more information, visit hcc.vic.gov.au/ARTconsultation or email feedback@hcc.vic.gov.au.

Registrations for consultation sessions close 30 August 2019. Submissions to the Inquiry close 20 September 2019.

Discussion paper >

Hospital Auxiliary AGM

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Our Hospital Auxiliary had their AGM last week. They raised $9,028 for the Hospital last financial year through raffles and fundraising events – including the annual Mother’s Day High Tea. A big thank you to the Auxiliary and to everyone who bought a raffle ticket or attended a fundraising event! 👏
We congratulate the voted-in office bearers for the next financial year – Jackie (President), Barbara (Vice President), Marilyn (Secretary), Heather (Treasurer) and Lyn (Vice Treasurer).
We also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the outgoing Treasurer, Marlene Burville. Marlene has been Treasurer since 2007 and we thank her for her tireless commitment and support to Ballan District Health & Care. We look forward to Marlene continuing as part of the Auxiliary.

Aged Care Quality Standard #1

Friday, 2 August 2019

Another souper winter in Ballan!

Monday, 22 July 2019

Souper Tuesday has become an annual winter tradition in Ballan. For the fourth year in a row, Opportunity on Inglis is providing free soup on Tuesdays thanks to local sponsors and the hard-working Ballan District Health & Care kitchen.

“Everyone is welcome to join us from 12pm on a Tuesday for a delicious cup of heart-warming soup and a fresh bread roll” said Michaela Johnston, Op Shop Manager.

“Thank you to all the sponsors, the Ballan District Health & Care kitchen, and of course our Op Shop volunteers for making Souper Tuesday possible again this year. It is a fantastic opportunity for the community to come together on these cold winter days.”

Rowena Clift, Chief Executive Officer at Ballan District Health & Care, said “it is wonderful to see so many generous individuals and local businesses supporting Souper Tuesday to help create a safe space for people to come share food and stories together”.

Opportunity on Inglis, located at 159 Inglis St Ballan, is open Monday – Friday (10am-3pm) and Saturday (10am-1pm) with free soup available from 12pm every Tuesday during winter.

The list of Souper Tuesday sponsors can be found at ballanhealth.com.au/op-shop

Diabetes after diagnosis

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Every day, 290 Australians develop diabetes. That’s one person every five minutes.

This National Diabetes Week (14-20 July 2019), Diabetes Australia is aiming to grow awareness about the early warning signs of type 1 diabetes and the dangers of type 2 diabetes if not detected early (blindness, kidney damage, heart attack, amputation).

If not diagnosed in time, type 1 diabetes can be fatal so learning the four T’s could just save a life. If you see these signs, please contact a Doctor immediately.

  • Toilet – going to the toilet a lot
  • Tired – unexplained or excessive fatigue
  • Thirsty – a thirst that can’t be quenched
  • Thinner – sudden or unexplained weight loss

A diabetes diagnosis is certainly a life change says Anne Harvey, Diabetes Educator at Ballan District Health & Care, however, there are support services available to you every step of the way – including right here in Ballan.

“I am passionate about educating the newly diagnosed on type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including on day-to-day management, healthy eating options, physical activity and how to prevent the complications of diabetes” said Anne.

As well as diabetes education, Ballan District Health & Care also offers care planning for community members living with a chronic disease such as diabetes.

Chronic Disease Nurse Lorinda Broad said care planning is an important part of any diabetes diagnosis and it all starts with a casual conversation. “Care planning is really about discussing your health areas that could be improved – setting goals you would like to achieve and coming up with strategies together to improve your health” said Lorinda.

Rowena Clift, Chief Executive Officer at Ballan District Health & Care, said “National Diabetes Week gives us an opportunity to encourage friends and family to learn the early warnings signs of type 1 diabetes and to get checked for type 2 diabetes. It’s important to know that there is support available if you or a loved one is diagnosed with diabetes.”


Congratulations Joan!

Friday, 28 June 2019


Congratulations to our resident Joan Barber for receiving an Australian Red Cross medal for service to Ballan Red Cross (10+ years).

Joan says she enjoys volunteering as it makes her “feel good knowing she is helping others. It’s also a good way to meet new people and make new friends.”

Joan also expressed that the staff at Ballan District Health & Care are hard working. “They care about people that they are looking after. Most of all, they have a sense of humour!”

Welcome Adnan!

Monday, 10 June 2019

Welcome Practice Manager Adnan Hafeez!

Adnan is eager to bring his expertise in general practice management to Ballan – including his experience in program delivery. Adnan also has extensive experience in working with regional Australian communities and helping Doctors set up practices.

One of Adnan’s main priorities is recruiting and keeping more GPs for Ballan District Health & Care – to reduce waiting times for Doctor appointments.

Please join us in welcoming Adnan to Ballan!

Have you had your flu shot yet?

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Shawn Lee (Director of Allied and Community Health), Rowena Clift (Interim CEO), Sue Chapple (Clinical Nurse Educator).

Have you had your flu shot yet? If not, please book an appointment to protect you and your family.

Please call 5366 7999 (GP Clinic).

Flu shots are $15 unless you’re eligible for the free flu vaccination.

Anyone can get the flu.

Please remember to:

1) Wash your hands regularly
2) Stay home if you’re sick
3) Cough and sneeze into your elbow

The next step for Ballan District Health & Care

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Shawn Lee (Director of Allied and Community Health), Rowena Clift (Interim CEO), Lyn Gunnell (Board Chair).

Ballan District Health & Care has appointed an interim CEO as it enters the next stage of review. This announcement follows the conclusion of independent advisor reports received in mid-April.

“Rowena Clift has taken up the leadership role of interim CEO to assist in positioning Ballan District Health & Care to help meet current and future challenges” says Board Chair, Lyn Gunnell.

Rowena has worked in healthcare for over 25 years. She’s held a variety of executive positions in acute and primary care. Most recently, Rowena worked with the Western Victoria Primary Health Network.

In a note to all staff, Lyn Gunnell expressed the Board’s sincere thanks to Shawn Lee. The BDHC Board thanked Shawn “for the outstanding work he has undertaken as CEO over the last nine months. Shawn has worked with the Board and staff through a difficult period. We cannot express our appreciation enough for his commitment and heart.”

Shawn will move back to his substantive role of Director of Allied and Community Health while supporting Rowena through this important next step.

Rowena Clift says this next step is an exciting opportunity and that “meeting the team and listening to ideas and feedback” is her first priority.

“My passion and professional focus is ensuring access – and equity in access – of health services in rural and regional Victoria. Let’s keep people healthy.”

“I’ll be looking at ways how each of our departments can be strengthened so that Ballan District Health & Care can become viable and sustainable for the community” says Rowena Clift, Interim CEO.

Mothers Day High Tea

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

The Ballan Hospital Auxiliary would like to invite you to their annual Mother’s Day High Tea 🌸 🎸

📞 Bookings are essential ($20 per person). Please call us to book your seat: 5368 1100. Table bookings available (7-10 per table)

📅 Friday 10th May 2019

🏠 Ballan Mechanics’ Institute Hall, 143 Inglis St, Ballan

🚗 Parking is available at 76 Steiglitz St, Ballan

We Remember

Thursday, 18 April 2019

With Anzac Day approaching, Shawn Lee – CEO at Ballan District Health & Care – took some time to reflect on the WW1 Memorial Garden. Please turn your sound on 🔊

Protect yourself against the flu!

Friday, 12 April 2019

Flu shot clinics at Ballan District Health & Care (164 Inglis St, Ballan):

  • Monday 29 April (morning)
  • Wednesday 1 May (morning)
  • Monday 6 May (morning/afternoon)
  • Wednesday 8 May (morning)
  • Friday 10 May (morning)
  • Monday 13 May (morning/afternoon)
  • Wednesday 15 May (morning)
  • Tuesday 21 May (morning/afternoon)

Cost: $15 per shot

To Book: See Clinic Reception or call (03) 5366 7999.

Eligible for the free flu vaccination:

  • Pregnant
  • Aged 6 Months – 5 Years
  • Aged over 65
  • Aboriginal
  • Torres Strait Islander
  • Some chronic conditions

A day in the life of an OT in Ballan

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Louise Cain, Occupational Therapist (OT) at Ballan District Health & Care

“Promoting and supporting independent living is what we do” says Louise Cain, Occupational Therapist (OT) at Ballan District Health & Care. A focus area is reducing the risk of falls. Louise says there are two parts to her normal work day – Hospital and Community.

“My hospital work involves assessing patients to work out how they can manage their day-to-day activities after their hospital stay – for example, showering, getting dressed and meal preparation. I do this in collaboration with the BDHC team. We work closely with patients, and their families, to ensure patients are capable to manage at home.”

Visiting people in their homes is another significant part of an OT’s work. “We want to make sure people have the ability to care for themselves at home – as well as have access to their community. We look at the individual needs of a person and how we can make their lives better – taking the strain off the person and also taking some pressure off family members or carers” says Louise.

When asked about completing home visits, Louise emphasises that “we are not here to change your home – only to make you aware of any risks and recommend possible solutions. We’ll always be on the lookout for ways to make your life better and safer.” We consider equipment and home modifications, as well as strategies to allow people to do things more safely and independently.

Louise offers a short list of things to keep in mind to reduce the risk of falls – not a complete list but a good place to start when looking at your own house:

1. Loose mats, rugs or carpet
2. Poor room lighting (especially for those night visits to the bathroom)
3. Excessive clutter (things like cords, shoes and furniture)
4. Inappropriate footwear (socks and tiles don’t mix)
5. Uneven steps and surfaces
6. Position of furniture especially if using a mobility aid

Local to the area, Louise has previously worked at the Royal Melbourne Hospital for many years, including over 6 years in neurological trauma in both acute and rehabilitation settings – experience, she says, has enabled her to make a positive difference to the lives of Moorabool Shire residents.

“I’m enjoying my work here in Ballan. I grew up in the Shire and live not far away, so when this position became available, I saw it as a great opportunity.”
When not working, Louise enjoys catching up with family and friends and going to the beach. “I have two young children who both keep me busy also.”

To book an appointment with Louise, please call Ballan District Health & Care on (03) 5366 7999.

Extra diabetes support now in Ballan

Monday, 25 March 2019

Anne Harvey; Bush walker. Gardener. Diabetes Educator at BDHC 

Anne Harvey recently joined the team at Ballan District Health & Care to support community members living with diabetes and help them stay up-to-date with the latest information. According to Diabetes Australia, every year tens of thousands of Australians are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It’s certainly a life change but Anne will help you every step of the way.

“My role here is to assist with your annual cycle of care and keep you informed of the most up-to-date diabetes medication, technology and treatments – things are changing all the time” says Anne.

With appointments available every Thursday, Anne is a credentialed diabetes educator and has been for the last 10 years. Anne encourages people to speak to her about the latest opportunities to improve your experience with diabetes.

“I’m particularly passionate about educating the newly diagnosed on Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, including their day-to-day management, discussing healthy eating and physical activity, how to prevent the complications of diabetes – as well as looking after your eyes, feet and kidneys.”

“Each person is going to be at a different stage where different information will be beneficial. No matter where you are at – whether diabetes is new for you or if you have been living with diabetes for years – come and have chat and see how we can improve your experience.”

To book a chat with Anne about your diabetes, please call 5366 7999.

Ballan Autumn Festival 2019

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Enchanted Forest 🌳 Super proud of our Residents at this year’s Ballan Autumn Festival. Our team also provided the community with free diabetes risk assessments and information about the health and wellbeing services offered right here in Ballan.

Reflecting on International Women’s Day

Thursday, 8 March 2019

“For me, today is about all people coming together and having the freedom to speak up for equality” says Bronwyn Walker, Director of Clinical Services at Ballan District Health & Care.

Bronwyn sees International Women’s Day as an important reminder that as a society we must always ask ‘why’ and not settle for the way things are now… especially when it comes to equality.

“All of us – men, women, binary, non-gender specific – we all deserve equal opportunity in all areas of life, including education, jobs and professional development – so let’s work towards that together. Look how far we have progressed on women’s rights as a collective but we do have a way to go…”

Prior to a tree change, Bronwyn was a Registered Nurse in Melbourne for 17 years, working extensively in orthopaedic and neurosurgical areas.

During this time, Bronwyn raised a daughter and was determined to be inspired by the strong women in her life and ensure her daughter was empowered to do whatever she wanted to do… and not be limited by existing stereotypes.

“I’m specifically proud of my daughter on a day like today – for progressing with a career in a currently male dominated industry. Yes, there are challenges with unspoken biases but it is what she wants to do so that is what she is doing. Hopefully this paves the path for others too.”

Bronwyn says another important aspect of equality is looking at the state of family violence… again searching for the ‘why’ and creating opportunities for solutions.

“Ballan District Health & Care is proudly part of the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence Initiative which has involved reviewing all policies and procedures and building relationships with family violence services.”

“We need to reflect on our society and challenge gender stereotypes whenever we see a lack of equality. International Women’s Day gives us another opportunity to do this and I encourage you to reflect on where you see gender inequality.”

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. www.internationalwomensday.com

Two Registrars in Ballan

Monday, 4 March 2019

Exciting news – our team is growing!

We would like to introduce our two new Registrars to you… Dr Min Kim and Dr Simone Stanton-Castillo. Both Dr Kim & Dr Stanton have come to Ballan with a wealth of knowledge, skill and enthusiasm to providing the best possible services to our community and they look forward to meeting you.

We welcome Dr Min Kim to the Ballan District Health & Care family. After graduating from Melbourne University, Dr Kim worked in various hospitals around Victoria, and has decided to settle with us for the next year. Dr Kim’s special interest is in Paediatrics and Aged Care. When not working tirelessly, you can find Dr Kim singing, playing guitar and listening to music – we think he will fit perfectly into ‘Artistic Ballan’.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr Simone Stanton-Castillo. Dr Stanton comes to us having worked with Western Health (Footscray, Sunshine, Williamstown and the Royal Women’s Hospitals) and started GP training in 2017 in Woodend. Dr Stanton’s main interests are in Women’s Health, Paediatrics, Mental Health and Minor Surgery. On her days off Dr Stanton enjoys cooking, dancing and spending time with her two beautiful children.

For more information about our GP Clinic, please click here.