Two New Life Governors For PDH

Photo from Left: Chris Giles-CEO, Dr Geoff Hitchman-Life Governor, Heather Burton-Life Governor & Michelle Kearney-Board President
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
Two volunteers, including one former GP, have been made life governors of Portland District Health.

Dr Geoff Hitchman and Heather Burton received the honours at PDH’s annual meeting on November 10.

A life governorship is PDH's most prestigious honour and is made available to people who have made outstanding and continued contributions to the organisation.

Dr Hitchman practiced medicine as a proceduralist GP for 25 years at PDH and has since continued in a voluntary role.

CEO Chris Giles described Dr Hitchman as a great role model and said recognition of his service commitment to the hospital and community was long overdue.

Dr Hitchman retired as a GP many years ago but still regularly assists the education team by playing a patient role with simulated teaching.

Geoff's commitment to educating the workforce of the future and the knowledge he shares of rural medicine and his experience as a GP is invaluable, and a powerful recruitment incentive to the student workforce, Ms Giles said.

Mrs Burton has been a long standing volunteer firstly with the Portland and District Community Health Centre and then, after amalgamation, with PDH.

She started as a volunteer for the Telecare program in 1983 and remains part of a dedicated team who make phone calls to provide reassurance and social support to Home and Community Care clients living at home.

In 1996 Mrs Burton started volunteering with Portland Community Transport Program as a volunteer driver taking patient to medical appointments or access community services. She continued in this role for 10 years.

In 2015 Mrs Burton undertook an intensive nine-week program to become a Community Palliative Care Volunteer and continues to take on that role with compassion and empathy.

More recently she has been an active committee member of the PDH community market.

Ms Giles said both Dr Hitchman and Mrs Burton had made significant contributions to the local community.

We thank both volunteers for the endless hours they have given to the community and Portland District Health,” she said.

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