Newly appointed CEO to Portland District Health, Christine Giles
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Portland District Health has appointed a new CEO with Christine Giles to take up the role from mid-December.

Ms Giles says she hopes to work in partnership with the community to build the organisation’s provision of high quality and appropriate health services.

“I hope the community will embrace PDH and want to support and use its services,” she said.

“I am keen to go out into the community and hear what they say and what they want.”

The move will present new challenges for Ms Giles who has been working in the Torres Strait region for the past three years.

She was formerly CEO of Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Health Service for Queensland Health where she oversaw two hospitals and 22 clinics. More recently she has been working with Indigenous elders and local women building local capacity to oversee the development of local non-government organisations aiming to deliver primary health care programs.

Prior to that Ms Giles was at Wangaratta Hospital for nine years where she was Executive Director of Nursing.

Having grown up on a dairy farm in South Australia, Ms Giles describes herself as “very much a country person” and is looking forward to living in Portland.

“The Torres Strait has been an adventure but I was keen to get back to Victoria and to be closer to family,” she said.

“I love living by the sea and I can’t wait to get to Portland.”

Ms Giles said she did not envisage any major changes at PDH in the short term she will spend the first few months talking with the community, Board, staff and other key stakeholders.

“My main priorities at this stage are to engage with the community and the medical staff to make sure we are providing services that people need and use locally and to ensure we have good clinical governance,” she said.

“PDH seems to have good programs and staff and if we can fully engage the community and local doctors we can continue to build the capabilities of the organisation within a clinical framework.”

Ms Giles replaces John O’Neill who was CEO for the past five years.

PDH Board Chairman Mike Noske said the Board was pleased that the Department of Health had approved its unanimous choice.

“We hope to continue to consolidate and build on the successes of recent years,” he said.

“We had a very strong field of candidates but were impressed by Chris’s understanding of Victoria’s health system and her ability to articulate a way forward for PDH.

“She has a strong history of achievement and bringing medical practitioners and hospital staff with her on the journey.”

Mr Noske also paid tribute to Mr O’Neill and Ms Jones.

“We cannot overstate John’s role in restoring PDH’s ability to meet its financial targets and deliver safe and appropriate medical services,” he said.

“This has been well illustrated by building up the executive team so that Ros Jones could fill in as CEO over the past six months and do such a wonderful job while John has been on light duties,” he said.

STORY BY Rick Bain

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