BOB CAMERON, the chair of Bendigo Health has stepped down from his role at the hospital today, after almost seven years leading the health centre.
Mr Cameron will be replaced by Bendigo general practitioner Dr Ewa Piejko.
Despite ongoing pandemic challenges and a new hospital build, Mr Cameron said now was the right time to step down from the senior role.
"We've had a fabulous time at Bendigo Health," he said, "this has been a huge transition and it's been great to be part of the fabulous team."
"There's always challenges in the health system but of course COVID was a large challenge, as well as finishing and moving into a new hospital."
Mr Cameron said the pandemic was a big disruption to the health community, however commended Bendigo Health for its work in vaccination advocacy.
"The system's weren't in place at first," he said, "but Bendigo Health was there to ensure we got 99 per cent of people vaccinated which was a great thing."
"Bendigo Health is going extremely well, we've seen a large expansion in service and staff."
Naturally, the chair said, with this in mind it seemed like the the right time to step down.
"And it's just good governance to change the baton when organisations are going well," Mr Cameron said.
"Especially when there's somebody as capable as Ewa Piejko available. This is going to serve Bendigo Health really well."
Bendigo general practitioner and former Murray Primary Health Network medical advisor Dr Piejko said she was confident she had the experience to back the senior role.
"One of the big benefits [I bring to this role is] I understand our rural communities," she said, "I've been out there, to the practices and the local services."
"So I understand the environment they're working in and what our role is as a service to help improve their work."
Dr Piejko said she was excited to lead the regional hospital.
"It's a great opportunity to be part of a really good team," she said.
"We continue to grow as an organisation and we have more people attending that are unwell, so we need to be able to meet their needs and provide different models of care.
She is particularly committed to addressing the needs of the royal commission into aged care and the royal commission into mental health.
"These are things that we need to address," she said.
"Our plan is to continue to work with our communities and collaborate and continue to provide excellent care."
Mr Cameron will remain on the board of Bendigo Health and will chair the building committee.
"I love to build," he said, "and we're refurbishing the old hospital so I'm really looking forward to that."
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