Primary Matters – 21 May 2020

Welcoming back Rowena Clift as the New CEO of Western Victoria PHN

It is with great pleasure that Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) Board Chair Lynne McLennan today announced Rowena Clift’s appointment as CEO of WVPHN after a very competitive recruitment process.

Rowena has been Acting CEO at Ballan and District Health Service for the last ten months, and will bring significant experience across primary care, aged care and acute health to the CEO role at WVPHN. Rowena has previously worked in a variety of senior roles in the health sector, including, prior to her secondment to Ballan, as the Director of Service and System Integration at WVPHN, and Executive leadership roles at Ballarat Health Services and the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Our Region’s Response to COVID-19

The collaborative efforts exhibited by the primary health sector during this time of COVID-19 have been exceptional. All health care services involved in setting up respiratory and assessment clinics in response to the pandemic deserve recognition and our thanks for working in what is both a challenging and at times exhausting environment.

At the time this blog was published, the respiratory clinic at Kardinia Health (Geelong) has completed over 1300 tests, UFS Respiratory Clinic (Ballarat) over 2000, and Bellarine Respiratory Clinic (Ocean Grove) 350 since opening eight days ago, which is a huge body of work. As of 21 May, there have been 111 confirmed cases in WVPHN’s catchment, an increase of just seven in 28 days. These are promising signs on the back of the blitz, but as social restrictions ease there is certainly no time for complacency.

We encourage all western Victorians to download the COVIDSafe app onto their smartphones so we can further our understanding of the pandemic and protect our community.

Commending HealthPathways

In response to the pandemic, our team of GP Editors have been stringent in collating vital clinical information on HealthPathways to ensure health practitioners have access to the most up-to-date resources and information specific to our region.

As detailed in the 21 May edition of Westvic News, our editors are constantly working to expand the database for the convenience of western Victoria’s health professionals by adding new suites of information such as Dermatology, simultaneous to the arduous task of managing the COVID-19 suite on HealthPathways.

Additionally, the team was able to continue with the launch of the new mobile-friendly site without a hitch amidst this hectic time.

Well done to the team for providing such a fantastic service, and we encourage all health practitioners in western Victoria to continue to use HealthPathways as the central source of clinical and referral information.

To access the western Victoria HealthPathways portal, contact our HealthPathways team via email at or via telephone at 03 5222 0800


Tony Ficca

Acting CEO

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