BASS Coast Health’s (BCH) executive director of Medical Services, Associate Professor Bruce Waxman OAM was recently presented with the award for Educator of Commitment by the Academy of Surgical Educators.
This prestigious award was in recognition of his contribution for more than nine years as the course developer and facilitator at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ (RACS) Professional Development courses.
Associate Professor Waxman sees that taking care of the people who provide the care is a model that makes sense.
“My objective is to improve the wellbeing of the people I work with at BCH.
“That will ultimately improve the wellbeing of the people we serve in the Bass Coast community.”
He is looking forward to working with the BCH executive and board to implement the Clinical Services Plan currently being developed, which will see Wonthaggi prosper as the sub-regional centre.
He says for this to happen, an integrated medical model will be developed involving general practitioners and visiting specialists, and partnerships with other health services.
He sees the future vision to be the development of core specialties such as general surgery to ultimately provide a 24/7 service, general medicine, anaesthesia, a high dependency unit and the expansion of maternity services.
“I will be working closely with the visiting medical staff which includes our GPs and specialists, as well as our doctors in the Emergency Department, to implement the clinical governance recommendations to improve safety and reduce risks in the provision of medical care at BCH,” he said.
“I’ve made a commitment to the region by buying an apartment at Inverloch so that I can really be part of the community.”
In his ‘spare time’, he also manages a wild flower farm on the Mornington Peninsula growing South African and Australian natives.
A delighted BCH CEO Jan Child said she was thrilled to have Associate Professor Waxman on board.
“How comforting to know that our local health service is in such remarkable hands.”
Associate Professor Waxman’s award was presented by Dr Sally Langley, chair, RACS Professional Development at a ceremony hosted by Professor Stephen Tobin, the RACS Dean of Education.
“It is privilege to be acknowledged for the pro bono work one does to maintain the high standards that surgeons provide to the community,” Associate Professor Waxman said.
However, cast an eye through his bio, and it seems that this is just one more deserved achievement in a long, dedicated and illustrious career (so far). Associate Professor Waxman was appointed director of Surgery at Dandenong Hospital, Southern Health in 1995 and simultaneously director of General Surgery, director of Colorectal Surgery, Medical Program director, Surgery Program, Southern Health and Associate Professor at Monash University.
He retired from active surgical practice in 2014 and transitioned into medical administration, with successive appointments at The Valley Private and Epworth Richmond before commencing at BCH in July this year. He is also part time director of Surgical Education and Research, Monash University, Monash Health.
He is not a new comer to Bass Coast having provided surgical services to Warley Hospital between 2005 and 2008 and was part-time Medical director at BCH in 2014.
He has held many positions with the RACS, including as College Councillor on the Court of Examiners and many other committees and most recently as Clinical Director for the RACS’s Victorian Skills and Education Centre, all with a focus on education and training.
After his term as councillor, in 2007 he worked with the Professional Development Department of RACS to develop new courses to assist surgeons involved as supervisors and trainers of surgical trainees in the then new Surgical and Education Training (SET) program, particularly around work based assessments and performance management of trainees.
The courses for which Associate Professor Waxman won his award were Supervisors and Trainers in SET (SAT SET) & Keeping Trainees on Track (KTOT), which have trained more than 2000 surgeons in the past nine years.
He continues to facilitate on these courses and has been the course director and instructor on many other RACS Skills courses, particularly the Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST) and the Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient (CCrISP) in the last 27 years.
He was Squadron Leader with the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserves for 15 years, having undertaken deployments as a military surgeon to Bougainville, East Timor and Banda Aceh.
In 2014, Associate Professor Waxman was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day honours for services to medicine as a clinician, educator and administrator.
Associate Professor Waxman was a Board Member with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) of Australia (Victoria) for 22 years and remains involved as an Emeritus Councillor and with the Education Group, having developed a School Program to teach children about the RFDS ‘Look up in the sky’.
Through the RFDS he developed an interest in rural and remote primary health care, which he now continues at BCH.
Bass Coast Health’s future in good hands