Newly elected president of Stawell Regional Health, Howard Cooper, believes the decision to purchase the Stawell Medical Centre will strengthen service delivery.
Mr Cooper addressed close to one hundred residents at the Stawell Regional Health Annual General Meeting.
He reflected on the board's decision to purchase the Stawell Medical Centre late last year, to strengthen service delivery to the local community over the long term.
Mr Cooper said the hospital and government had invested $4.5 million into a capital works program in the last financial year - the biggest in 10 years - including the Community Rehabilitation and Oncology Centre (CRC) and student accommodation. Both are expected to open before the new year.
Residents at the AGM also heard how the organisation had achieved a surplus of $786,000 during the 2012/2013 financial year, following a similar surplus in the previous year.
Mr Cooper also reported that nursing student numbers had increased by 50 per cent during the past year; a reflection of the high quality learning opportunities provided by the hospital's staff.
He also congratulated Macpherson Smith Nursing Home on passing its accreditation.
"Each time I go to the nursing home I always feel a wonderful sense of community spirit and can see how committed our staff are to providing the best care to our residents," he said.
Mr Cooper said other exciting initiatives delivered by Stawell Regional Health during the year included the sustainable farming families program in Navarre and a joint program with Stawell Primary School to improve students health and wellbeing.
He acknowledged former Director Clinical Services Claire Letts for her 11 years of service and Meg Blake for her 40 years of service as a volunteer, board member and staff member.
He also praised the fundraising efforts of the Stawell Hospital Auxiliary, Foundation, Y-Zetts and Murray to Moyne cycling team, plus private donations by individuals and groups.
Mr Cooper thanked outgoing chair Ross Hatton for his 'excellent leadership and stewardship to the organisation over the past two years and welcomed new board member Barry Marrow.
He also applauded hospital staff across all departments.
"Just recently a member of the public told me about their level of satisfaction not only with the clinical care they received at the hospital, but also the attention to detail given by our support services team," Mr Cooper said.
"We wouldn't have achieved such ambitious goals this year without the significant contribution of our staff."
Primary Care Manager Liz McCourt and Occupational Therapist Leanne Jackson presented on the benefits of the CRC to the local community and illustrated the positive impact it will have on patients' lives.
At the meeting, Life Governorships (30 years of service) were awarded to Heather Thomas (food services division), Garrie Martin (maintenance manager) and Cynthia Cashin (Auxiliary).
Radiographer Sandy Worsley was also farewelled on the night, following a career spanning three decades at the Stawell Hospital.