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Community Update - St Arnaud Campus

From the 21st September, 2020 building works will be commencing at EWHS - St Arnaud Campus.

To ensure a safe environment for all, people attending the campus will be directed to a temporary entrance.

COVID-19 Community Update - 18 September 2020

From Trevor Adem, Chief Executive Officer

Regional Victoria has now moved to Step 3 of the Victorian Government Roadmap to Re-opening.

This is exciting news for Regional Victorians and means a range of reduced restrictions. There are no longer any restrictions on leaving home. Social bubbles can be formed. School will be face-to-face in Term 4. Local businesses and organisations can start to re-open.

To understand more about what is allowed and not allowed please visit the DHHS website at

EWHS is processing what the lifting of restrictions means for our services and will provide more information soon.

However, there are a few things that we can’t lose sight of. COVID-19 has not disappeared, and there is still a risk of getting it. It is important that we continue practising the good behaviours that have got us to this point:
    •   Wear a face covering in public
    •   Wash your hands well and regularly, or use hand sanitiser
    •   Keep 1.5 metres distance from others
    •   Stay home if you are unwell and arrange to get tested


Getting tested if you have any symptoms, and then isolating until you get the results, is one of the best things you can do. The sooner we can identify any infections, trace close contacts and contain any outbreak, the better chance we have at continuing on the roadmap and keeping our communities safe.

We have been advised recently that testing rates in Buloke Shire are below the expected rate of 1.5% that the Government has set. If you live in the Buloke Shire and have any symptoms, however mild, do your part for the community, call your local EWHS campus and arrange a test.

>>   You can be screened and tested at any EWHS site – please call ahead to make an appointment   <<

     Birchip (03) 5477 7100
     Charlton (03) 5477 6800
     Donald (03) 5478 6200
     St Arnaud (03) 5477 2100
     Wycheproof (03) 5478 0700

With school holidays starting and more people moving about enjoying what our area has to offer, it has never been more important for us to continue to follow health advice. We don’t want to undo all our hard work.

Let’s continue to support one another as we all navigate towards our new normal.

EWHS Board of Directors Recognition

The Board would like to share with our community its sincere acknowledgement of the recent retirement of Robyn Ferrier who joined the EWHS Board in 2012. Throughout her time on the Board, Robyn filled a number of roles including sub-committee membership and Presidency. The Board would like to share with our community its acknowledgement and thanks to Howard Mill for his role as President since 2018.

The 2020-2021 EWHS Board was endorsed at a recent meeting when two newly appointed Directors, Cuc Lam and Naomi Goode joined and Julianne Clift was elected as the new Chair.

The Board Directors for 2020 – 2021 are Julianne Clift, Simone Christie, Maree Egan, Naomi Goode, John Harley, Sue Hynes, Ruth Jabornik, Cuc Lam and Howard Mill.

The EWHS Board continues to work collaboratively with our staff and communities, aiming for quality care and service provision. We look forward to a safe, yet productive year ahead. Please continue to support our efforts by observing any and all public health directives regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. 


A COVID- 19 style farewell for John (Blue) Cross was held on Thursday 23rd July to wish him all the very best after 40 years of service with the Support Service department of the St Arnaud Campus.

Blue, a valued member of staff and a true gentleman, worked predominately as a cleaning staff member in the Acute section of the hospital. Other positions held in this time were Storeman and Food and Domestic Services.

The farewell was one with a difference with staff practicing safe distancing out the front of the hospital and also with the presentation being Zoomed to all staff across the campus. Gifts from the Board of Management and Staff were also presented.

In the 40 years Blue has seen 5 CEO’s and many staff across the various departments.

Blue was a familiar face in our acute setting offering compassion and a natural calming warm effect with patients in care.

Blue will be very much missed and well-wishers congratulated him on his well deserved retirement. 

East Wimmera Health Service Strategic Planning - Have your say

East Wimmera Health Service has recently engaged Claire Edwards, to facilitate the preparation of a new Strategic Plan. The Board has requested that community members be included throughout the Strategic Planning process. The consultation phase with community members is taking place up until 14 August 2020 and includes a variety of ways to participate. Community Members can:

        •   Complete a survey
        •   Engage in the on-line forum
        •   Register for a phone interview
        •   Attend a community forum

Following the link below will allow you to access the most up to date information regarding the Strategic Planning process. This link will be regularly updated throughout the Strategic Planning process and you can copy the link onto another device if you wish:

The process for those who would prefer to complete a paper based version of the survey is to contact Susan Harley on 5477 2100 and a survey can be provided to you for completion.

We would like to encourage each of you as valued community members to participate in the East Wimmera Health Service Strategic Planning process. Your contribution will provide valuable input into the Board's Decision Making Forum scheduled for August 2020.

If you have any queries in relation to your participation please don’t hesitate to contact Claire Edwards on 0438112347 or alternatively via email at

Media Release - 26 June 2020

Birchip Campus Redevelopment Update - East Wimmera Health Service

Whilst progress has continued to be made in the background, we are pleased to advise that after a long lead up, the construction firm for the Birchip Campus redevelopment project has been appointed.

A.W. Nicholson are a commercial builder based in Ballarat and were successful after a comprehensive tender process.

The project involves partial demolition, partial refurbishment and the construction of a new service area.

Preliminary activity has commenced so changes around the site might be visible and we look forward to keeping you up to date with progress.


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our Infection Control team staff, Kerry Addlem and Jade Miles have played a very important part in ensuring our response to COVID-19 is the best it can be and that our communities remain safe.

Some of the key tasks the team have been working on include:

Fine tuning scenario planning across all EWHS campuses; we have been preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

Creating screening tools for assessing consumers when they come into our buildings. Everyone must be screened, whether it be an urgent care client, visiting family and friends or a contractor.

Organising the COVID-19 blitz testing, including testing, record keeping and communicating with pathology services.

Assisting in the preparation for the return of our services to community clients.

Infection Control staff have also been working very hard to organise and provide the 2020 flu vaccinations for staff, volunteers and contractors

Everyone over the age of 6-months is recommended to receive a flu vaccine every year. However, the following people should receive 2 doses, 4 weeks apart: children aged 6=-months to <9 years when receiving the vaccine for the first time.
Given the Covid-19 impact, Australians are urged to have the flu vaccination as soon as possible. This is to reduce the risk of a dangerous double-up of seasonal influenza and Covid-19. From the 1st of May 2020, all aged care workers and visitors must have been vaccinated against seasonal influenza to enter an aged care facility.
Kerry and Jade's key message to our communities is to:
Continue to keep your 1.5 metre distance from others and decontaminate (wash) your hands well and often.

Keep up the great work Kerry and Jade! 


What is Advance Care Planning?
Advance Care Planning involves thinking about, discussing with your family and close friends, and possibly documenting what types of health care you may or may not wish to receive - if you become seriously ill and/or unable to speak for yourself. It also makes things easier for your family by preventing confusion and conflict over medical decision making. It is about people taking control of their health care wishes now and in the future. This is especially relevant near the end of life, meaning your specific treatment wishes as well as your goals, values and beliefs are known and can be respected by health providers and those closest to you.
Advance Care Planning involves:
1. Appointing a person, known as a substitute decision maker, who can make health care decisions for you if you are too unwell to do this for yourself.
2. Writing your wishes down in an advance care directive, sometimes known as a ‘living will’.
Advance Care Planning documents are actioned if you are unable to communicate or make informed decisions.
We recommend that your Advance Care Directive are stored in a safe but easily accessible, with a photocopy attached to your fridge so that Ambulance paramedics can easily access your Advance Care Plan when needed.

Who should consider Advance Care Planning?
All people, aged 18 years and over, should consider an Advance Care Plan. While well and healthy, it can be hard to think about treatments that might never be required, but life can change in an instant and difficult medical decisions may need to be made about you. For example, chronic illnesses or unexpected events/accidents. If you were unable to make medical decisions when needed, who would you like to speak for you and what should they decide? These are the benefits of Advance Care Planning.

How to get started with Advance Care Planning?
Your Advance Care Plan can be written on the forms in the Take Control booklet. These booklets are available at all EWHS campuses.
Alternatively, you can download a Take Control booklet at
Talk to your General Practitioner about completing the Advance Care Planning process.

What is involved with Advance Care Planning?
Advance Care Planning can involve all or some of the following considerations:
• Think about your past health experiences.
• Think about your beliefs, goals and values that are important in your life.
• Think about your current health and possible future health problems.
• Think about what you would want from future medical care.
• Talk to your family and those close to you about these issues.
• Talk to your doctor.
• Choose a substitute decision maker to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do this for yourself - in Victoria this is best done by appointing a Substitute Decision Maker.
• Provide copies of your Advance Care Plan to your family, your Substitute Decision Maker, hospital and your doctor and anyone else who you feel is appropriate.
• Review your plan regularly or as circumstances change.

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This week is an exciting one for East Wimmera Health Service, as we all welcome six graduates who are commencing their graduate transition year 2020.  Some of the graduates have relocated to East Wimmera Health Service from interstate and instrastate and will be seeking guidance with respect to services and facilities within our rural region.
The Graduate Nurse Program for 2020 has undergone a make-over to ensure EWHS is well positioned to deliver a positive learning experience for our graduates and to support the retention of graduates on completion of the graduate transition year, February 2021.
A summary of the changes includes:
Enhanced introduction to EWHS through a dedicated and focused one week Orientation Program at St Arnaud Campus, under the guidance of the Clinical Support Nurses, Tania Scarce and Vishy Eswar.
Following which, Graduates will undertake a two week orientation program at their appointed Campus under the guidance of the Clinical Support Nurses, Campus Managers and Preceptors.  Option for Graduates to study a care of Older Persons (COOP's) Post Graduate Certificare Course (two units, funded);
A number of Graduates will be completing a 13 week secondment into a Specialist Surgical Ward at Ballarat Health Services.  
Left to right:  Owen Rainbow, Qiwen Zhang, Jaime Machen, Christine Carlos, Jane Park and Jeny Kuriakose.


Students from St Arnaud Primary School brought along a picture book each to read to the residents in Kara Court. It was wonderful to see such positive interaction and chatter happening between the students and residents. Thank you grade 3 and 4, see you again soon!

Meal Service changes

Changes to meal service buffet breakfasts with hot options on different days has been introduced across all campuses. A selection of cereals, including porridge are now on display allowing variety for residents with crumpets and raisin toast being very popular breakfast items. Congratulations goes to all staff for embracing change and delivering choice to our residents.

Kara Court residents, Gwen and Thelma were joined last week by Tracy Edwards, Charlton Campus Manager and Mary Brown, Education and Development Manager, for a delicous roast pork lunch. Pictured also is Christine Goode, Nurse, assisting with welcoming everyone to the table.


The Donald staff and student accommodation required a makeover.  New beds, linen, lamps and bedside tables were purchased to upgrade the facility.  The outcome of the upgrade is that the facility is aesthetically more pleasing to the eye and improved comfort and living conditions for people staying in the accommodation and easier to clean.

Fundraising for hospital beds

The EWHS Donald Campus has recently been supplied with 4 King Single beds, a Karaoke machine and an IPad for use within the aged care and acute facility due to the generosity of the Friends of EWHS Donald campus who funded these items. The members of this group were recently invited to the Health Service to acknowledge the purchases and thank them for their ongoing support of the Donald Campus.

In the photo, next to one of the new beds are L-R, Pam Pendlebury, Marj Summerhayes, Lesley Pendlebury, Joan Hardingham, and Marg McLeod

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My Health Record

My Health Record is a secure online summary of your key health information.

Over time, My Health Record will bring together health information such as medical conditions, medicines, allergies, test results and hospital discharge summaries in one place.
You can choose who it’s shared with, who can access it and what's in it.

Find out more by clicking the My Health Record hyperlink below.


L to R: Paula Noble [Director of Primary Care], Trevor Adem [Chief Executive Officer], Kris Payne [Director of People and Culture], Leon Gowlett [Director of Finance and Administration] and Pat Croft [Director of Clinical Services].