June 2021 Volume 7 Issue 6

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Message from the Chair

After 15 years of involvement with Divisions, General Practice SA, Australian General Practice Network, Country North SA Medicare Local and six years as Chair of Country SA PHN (CSAPHN) I feel the time has come for me to step aside and empower a new approach at governance level for the organisation. As such, I am resigning from the position of CSAPHN Chair, effective June 30.

Having been CSAPHN’s Chair since the organisation’s inception I have been very proud to be a part of and watch it grow and flourish. I believe we can all be very proud of what we have achieved. In particular, our capacity for securing solid funding, community focussed planning and our robust commissioning processes have all served country South Australians well.

In all that we do and consider, we have always strived to get the best primary health outcomes possible for rural and remote South Australia.

CSAPHN met the unexpected challenges presented by COVID-19 with incredible agility. We bent and flexed to create innovative ways of continuing to work towards closing the gap in health inequity in country South Australia.

Moving forward, I think our Local Health Cluster model has potential as a unique useful community footprint. The opportunity for communities to be involved at the grassroots level and to have their own voice is one of the great strengths of the Primary Health Network model more broadly. Into the future it would be pleasing to see more community members taking up this opportunity to be involved in shaping their community’s primary health future. And pleasing to see those spearheading the clusters to continue to provide leadership necessary for this to happen.

I would like to give thanks to all who have assisted me in my role as Chair. I would like to pay particular thanks to CSAPHN staff and Board members for their support and input over the years and in particular, to make mention of CSAPHN Chief Executive Officer, Kim Hosking. I have highly valued and much appreciated Kim’s personal encouragement, guidance and direction.

I am handing over the position of Chair to Dr Simon Lockwood, who was elected with the full and unanimous support of the Board. Simon has been a Roxby Downs GP since 2000, he sits on the Council for the Australian Medical Association South Australia as a rural representative and as a representative for the AMA on the National Council of Rural Doctors. Simon is also actively involved in medical education as an educator for the University of Adelaide Medical school, as an examiner for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. He is GP Clinical Editor for the Health Pathways South Australia program and a member of the Rural Generalist Pathway Steering Committee SA Health. I am confident the organisation is well placed for the future and in very good hands.

Best wishes
Dr Alison Edwards

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