A former staff member of East Grampians Health Service who retired more than six years ago is continuing to contribute to the health service in a positive way through her involvement as a Consumer Representative.
Glenys Andrew was Executive Assistant to the EGHS Chief Executive for more than 20 years, working with a succession of chiefs over that time, including John Davies, Rob Bulmer and Nick Bush.
She first began her volunteer work with the health service five years ago and continues to volunteer on the Community Consultative Committee, Partnering with Consumers Committee and the Research Committee.
"After 20 years working at the hospital, I loved the organisation and I missed being involved," she said.
"I just wanted to feel that I could still contribute in some small way."
The Community Consultative Committee supports the Board and the health service to appropriately deliver a consumer based approach to health care and associated community activities that support the delivery of health care.
The Partnering with Consumers Committee was established to implement systems to support partnering with patients, carers and other consumers to improve the safety and quality of care at EGHS.
The purpose of the Research Committee is to provide advice on, and oversight for, strategies that promote high quality research and research training at EGHS.
As a Consumer Representative, Mrs Andrew provides feedback where appropriate on issues that arise and affect the wider Ararat community.
"I love my involvement and I am continuing to learn a lot," she said.
"Being part of the Research Committee is a huge learning curve because it is not something I was involved with before so it's all new to me.
"I was aware of what was involved with the Community Consultative Committee and Partnering with Consumers Committee, and I enjoy being involved in these committees too."
Being part of these three committees has also enabled Mrs Andrew to meet many new people, including EGHS staff, and she was full of praise for the education and resources offered to consumer representatives to assist them with their roles.
Mrs Andrew continues to be involved in the committees because of the validation she receives for her work.
"I feel my contribution in discussions is respected and my comments are respected, and I feel I can still make a difference by contributing as a consumer," she said.
"I do feel my role is valued. My comments are asked for and valued and I feel like I am listened to."
Encouraging other community members to be involved as volunteers and consumer representatives, Mrs Andrew said it was a very rewarding activity and one where people could make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of the community.
"East Grampians Health Service is an organisation that I not only love but hold in high regard. I am so proud of EGHS, and I think we are so lucky to have all the services we do," she said.
"I just love being involved in it and encourage others to get involved. We really should be proud of our health service.
"I'm so honoured to be involved, because I really missed it when I left."
Anyone interested in becoming a Consumer Representative at EGHS, please call and leave a message on 5352 9481 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read also: Leading causes of death in Ararat revealed