Tony Anderson has a strong link to Central Gippsland Health and feels privileged to be taking over leadership of its board.
Born in the Sale Hospital, growing up on a Denison dairy farm with strong connections to Heyfield and Maffra, Tony knows only too well the importance of the health service to its local community and is excited about the year ahead.
“The service is the heart of the community, looking after its citizens from birth, right through to old age,” he said. “And we are very fortunate to have such a highly regarded and professional health service.
“Apart from being on the board, my family has spent a fair bit of time here in recent years with three active children, aged 11, 13 and 15, having their fair share of broken bones!”
Tony left the area to further his education but returned 15 years ago to establish a branch of Rabobank at Sale.
Immersed in the community as president of the Sale Swimming Club and previously treasurer (and player) of the Bundalaguah Cricket Club, he joined the CGH Board in 2013, becoming deputy chair the following year. In December, he took over from chair Glenn Stagg whose tenure is up after more than 11 years on the board, the last five as chair.
Tony said CGH had achieved a great deal in the past year and 2018 would bring “exciting new challenges”.
“The new theatre development at Sale Hospital will greatly benefit our community,” he said. “The project will enable CGH, supported by our regional hospital, to provide improved access to high quality and safe orthopaedic surgery, including local access to joint replacements and rehabilitation.
“We have two new surgeons joining us in February who have a range of expertise in their field.”
One of the highlights of the last year for Tony was the official opening of the Oncology Redevelopment which he said meant patients could have treatment locally, close to family and friends.
“The provision of online feedback through Patient Opinion has been a great initiative,” he said. “We must keep as many channels of communication open as possible.
“The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Stretton Park in Maffra and Heyfield Hospital was an important part of this project.
“This triggered our rebranding was also significant and important. This was not just a changing of a logo – in fact it included a complete restructure which sees four entities under one management team.
Tony said all members of the board brought different strengths which was vital in overseeing a diverse business with a $93 million budget and a staff of more than 1200.
“It is important that at board level we can maintain that local connection. We need good local people who are suitably experienced and qualified. They bring (to the board) their community knowledge and passion for the area.
“It is easy at board level to get caught up with the dollars and cents but we should never forget to maintain a close eye on what it is we are here for … our patients.”