New Primary & Community Health Director Seeks Intergrated Approach

Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Portland District Health’s new Director of Primary Care and Community Health, Fiona Heenan, is seeking an integrated approach to tackle the region’s priority health issues.

Ms Heenan will start in her new role on September 16 and is looking forward to working with and listening to the community.

“There is already fantastic work happening at PDH and in the community and we will be looking to build on that,” she said.

“We have priority areas that we need to address, such as our high levels of diabetes, chronic asthma, obesity, drug & alcohol and lack of physical exercise.”

“We will be aiming to promote healthy Portland and district communities through preventative or early detection approaches for chronic conditions such as diabetes. It is important to enhance service coordination and quality of care to ensure equal access to all services and health promotion- prevention programs,” she said.

Part of Ms Heenan’s role involves working with the Active Health Portland board and director of clinical services Doctor Margaret Garde to ensure services and health promotion activities are integrated.

Ms Heenan will also continue to work closely with the Glenelg Shire Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan and other partners to deliver the PDH Strategic Plan.

“Over the next two years we will be aligning the primary care and community health vision by working with and listening to the community as we strive for excellence in rural health provision,” she said.

For the past four years Ms Heenan has been Director of Primary Care at Heywood Rural Health. She previously worked for PDH for six months in establishing a chronic disease program and also worked in project management for the Southern Grampians and Glenelg Primary Care Partnership.

“I enjoyed my time at PDH and it is an exciting time to return,” she said. “I have a career plan and this role was a great opportunity to extend myself in an executive level position.”

“It is pleasing that the position provides opportunities to elevate primary care at the executive level of PDH.”

After studying at Deakin University in Geelong to become a nurse, Ms Heenan worked for 20 years in Melbourne mainly in diabetes and chronic disease management roles and as a clinical nurse consultant.

Ms Heenan was raised on a sheep and cattle farm at Tyrendarra and now lives in Portland with her husband Dean Willey and their children Jessica, 7, and Marcus 5.

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