BASS Coast Health has advertised Australia-wide for a new CEO but they may find their best candidate a little closer to home.
The health service, which offers a large range of services locally from clinical services at its Wonthaggi hospital campus, to aged care, dental health and community health services; is looking to fill the position left vacant by Veronica Jamison in March this year, when she departed after 16 months in the job.
Since that time, the position of acting CEO has been filled by Jan Child, seconded to BCH from Peninsula Health where she works as chief operating officer.
Ms Child, who has 30 years’ experience in public health will be a candidate for the permanent role.
Chairman of the health service, Don Paproth, said he expected there to be an impressive line-up of candidates for the job.
“We would yes. We’d expect Jan to be a candidate,” Mr Paproth said.
“But we’ve advertised nationally, in the Australian on the weekend, and also in the Melbourne papers and we’ll be advertising locally as well as on line so we would expect to see a number of candidates.
“It’s likely to be a long process. A local panel will select the preferred candidate but it will also have to be approved by the Health Department.
“We’d then need to negotiate with the successful applicant on a start date so I would expect an appointment before September anyway.”
Mr Paproth acknowledged that the health service experienced a number of hiccups earlier in the year with the departure of the CEO, the former chairman Peter Laydon, several other senior staff and on-going financial issues but he’s very confident the health service has turned the corner.
“All our data is trending up. We’re very pleased with how things are going and there’s certainly an air of confidence around the place that’s very refreshing.
“I’ve just come from a project group meeting at Phillip Island and I can say that there’s a high level of agreement and optimism about the new community health centre at Cowes.
“We have had some challenges this year but I’m pleased to say we are making significant progress on all fronts.
“We make no secret of the fact that our main goal is to build a new hospital at Wonthaggi and the growth of the area warrants that. We’ve been acknowledged as one of six peri-urban growth areas around Melbourne and those services are needed.
“But developing health services on Phillip Island was also a priority and to see progress on that is fantastic.
“We’re also making improvements in aged care and a range of other areas, but we certainly won’t be easing off where the overall master plan is concerned.
“But first we’ve got to complete the Clinical Services Plan funded by the State Government during the Health Minister’s visit here in April ($30,000). That will help us identify the gaps in services in the short and longer term and will enable us to pursue service upgrades as we go.”
Mr Paproth said there had been other senior appointments made in recent months and interviews conducted for people to fill the three vacancies on the board.
“We had some excellent candidates come forward and we have made our recommendations to the Minister.
“I would expect to see those appointments very shortly and for us to have our full complement of 12.
“There are exciting times ahead for Bass Coast Health and we’re already seeing positive developments on a number of fronts, not the least of which is the development of services on Phillip Island and in aged care.”