WHEN the new CEO of Portland District Health walks through the wards at night and chats with the nurses on duty, it’ll be a case of “been there, done that.”
Christine Giles speaks the language of nursing. It’s in her blood.
Eager to get underway in her new role, replacing the retired John O’Neill, Ms Giles started work Monday after moving from the remote Torres Strait Islands (TSI), betweenQueenslandandPapua New Guinea.
“I spent 12 years as a clinical midwife and stopped counting the number of babies I delivered when it passed a thousand plus,” she said.
“My background was clinical before I got into management. A CEO has got to be across those clinical indicators. It’s very valuable in a health CEO to have those personal insights into providing health care.”
She said everywhere she had been, TSI to Carnarvon (WA) to Wangaratta, “…no one was able to pull the wool over my eyes easily.” Happily relocated to Portland, she’s very eager to hit the ground running.
“I wanted to get here early so that over Christmas I could sit down and read the strategic plans and the history of PDH without being bombarded by a lot of stuff from the department.
“Early in the new year I’d also like to start inviting people to come in and talk with me, do some focus groups. It’s a good way to find out from patients and the non-staff sector just what is occurring in the organisation.”