New Central West Hospital and Health Board Chair Jane Williams believes technology and
innovative models of care are among the keys to delivering quality health services in the bush.

Barcaldine resident and registered nurse Ms Williams, who has been a Central West Health
Board member since May 2012, was named new board chair by Health and Ambulance
Services Minister Cameron Dick on 13 May.

She said the tyranny of distance and the need to deliver vital services to many small rural and
remote communities were common challenges facing all country health services in Australia.
“These challenges are further compounded by the difficulties of attracting and retaining
professional staff,” Ms Williams said.

“The board, the health service executive and I are committed to the vital work of maintaining
and continuing to develop a motivated health care workforce, which meets the needs of the
communities in the Central West.

“We also need to ensure that we can get the most from our workforce dollar by adopting ways
and means of maximising our ability to deliver health services remotely.

“Technologies such as telehealth, along with the development of innovative new models of care
for how we deliver services, will help revolutionise health care in the bush.

“The board and I look forward to working with the staff of the health service, and the
communities of the Central West to become a leader in the delivery of health services to rural
and remote Queensland.

“In saying this, I would like to pay tribute to outgoing chair Ed Warren and outgoing board
members Bruce Scott and Dr John Douyere.

“I thank Ed, Bruce and John for their commitment, time and dedication, and their efforts that
have gone into helping build the highly successful board and efficient locally responsive health
service that we have today.

“Ed has a busy schedule ahead of him as the new Mayor of the Longreach Regional Council, as
does with Bruce as the new Mayor of the Barcoo Regional Council.

“John has taken up significant new state-wide responsibilities as Medical Director of the
Queensland Rural Generalist Pathway training program for country doctors.

“Their contributions to the Central West Community have been and continue to be invaluable
and I thank them and wish them all the very best in their new roles.

“We will continue to build on the very strong foundations they have helped lay. I look forward to
working with them in the future.

“I would also like to congratulate new board members Dr Nikola Stepanov, Ms Elizabeth Fraser,
Dr Clare Walker and Ms Leisa Fraser on their appointments.

“All four have been appointed for an initial period of 12 months and will bring significant
experience and skills that will be highly valued by the continuing board.

“Existing board members David Arnold, Peter Skews and Bill Ringrose have been reappointed
for further three-years each. I thank them for their continued commitment and interest in
serving their community.

“The board and I will hit the ground running over the next few weeks. I am looking forward to
the new-look board’s first public function when we attend a Community Consultative Meeting at
Blackall on Friday 27 May.

“I know former board chair Ed was passionate about engaging and consulting with our local
communities at every stage and involving them in the decision making process.

“In this I share Ed’s commitment and passion. Our communities and their needs will always be
at the very centre of what we do.”

The new members of the board are:

• Dr Nikola Stepanov – has various qualifications and has a background in health, hospital administration
and management, research, ethics and education. She is currently Chair of the Townsville Hospital and
Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee and also an academic specialising in ethics, law and
professional practice within the School of Medicine at the University of Queensland. She is an experienced
chair and committee member and an accredited mediator with the Queensland Department of Justice.

• Ms Elizabeth Fraser – has worked at all levels of government providing direct human and educational
services, as well as co-ordinating the development of government policy advice, managing federal and
state government formal policy reviews and leading large scale organisational change in pursuit of
significant state government policy and program reforms. With a background as a social worker, she
previously served as Queensland Commissioner for Children and Young People and Child Guardian from
2005 to 2013.

• Dr Clare Walker – is a General Practitioner with the Longreach Family Medical Practice, as well as a
Senior Medical Officer with Central West Hospital and Health Service at Longreach Hospital. She is also a
board member of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland and a GP training supervisor.

• Ms Leisa Fraser – has 20 years’ experience in the financial management of small business as well as
extensive experience as a Workplace Health and Safety Officer. She is currently Social Services Manager
for the Nhulundu Wooribah Indigenous Health Organisation Inc.

ENDS
For further information contact:
James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3836 0961
Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au