New Board Chair reflects on first month in top job

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Dr Dennis Campbell and Merrilyn Strohfeldt

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New Darling Downs Health Board Chair Dr Dennis Campbell has reflected on his first month in the job, while leading the monthly board meeting at Goondiwindi Hospital.

Having most recently been the Deputy Chair of the Darling Downs Health Board, Dr Campbell said it’s been a particularly busy transition into the role of Board Chair, but one that he’s enjoying.

“The Board plays an important role in setting the strategic directions for the organisation, ensuring all governance and policies align for the effective delivery of health services to the various communities we operate in.

“As a Board, our number one priority is patient and staff wellbeing and safety. On top of that, we continue to work hard to understand the current challenges of delivering day-to-day services to our communities.

Darling Downs Health Board Chair Dr Dennis Campbell

“It’s exciting to see some of the strategic plans we put in place over a decade ago come to pass, particularly our extensive capital works program. Some of the big-ticket items include construction of the new Toowoomba Hospital and new hospitals in Tara, Millmerran and Chinchilla, as well as an extensive refurbishment of Jandowae Hospital.

“For me personally, something I will continue to champion whilst in the Board Chair position is the partnership we have with UniSQ and the University of Queensland through the Darling Downs-South West Medical Pathway.

“This pathway gives the next generation of doctors the opportunity to study medicine in Toowoomba, rather than moving to a metro area. It’s hoped studying regionally will encourage future doctors to become rural generalists and perhaps go on to serve the communities they grew up in,” Dr Campbell said.

New Darling Downs Health Board Member Merrilyn Strohfeldt said her first month as a Board Member has been a steep learning curve.

“I’m looking forward to using my skillset and experience to help guide and govern the health service to be the best it can be. I’m eager to further understand how I can best contribute to better health services and outcomes for people in the Darling Downs,” Ms Strohfeldt said.