The North West Hospital and Health Service has a new top medic.
Scottish born Dr Karen Murphy has been confirmed in the role of Executive Director Medical and Clinical Services after acting in the position since January.
NWHHS Chief Executive Lisa Davies Jones said Dr Murphy was a medical leader for a number of years in many healthcare settings and her clinical experience goes back to the early 1980s.
"Prior to coming to Mount Isa, she spent nine years as an Executive Director of Medical Services in Western Australia," Ms Davies Jones said,
"Her passion has always centred around supporting medical and multi-disciplinary teams to focus on patient care as a priority, and she understands the need for a team-based approach to the patient journey in all of the sites and countries in which she has worked, within both public and private sectors."
Ms Davis Jones said Dr Murphy had a strong belief that the 'team' supporting patients and their families consists of every person working in healthcare - from gardener to security to the executive team.
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Dr Murphy credits her varied background before becoming a doctor, which has given her an ability to see healthcare in a holistic way.
"Before I studied medicine I worked in a number of jobs, from paramedic to cleaner to truck driver as well as in a number of national and international healthcare organisations in clinical, advisory and executive roles," Dr Murphy said.
"So I didn't come to medicine in the 'traditional' way, straight from school to university, and I think that lived experience has helped give me a very pragmatic approach to health care, and an ability to work out what is best for the community and for the patient, rather than just what medicine has traditionally dictated."
She said her goal was to deliver more healthcare closer to home.
"One of the challenges here in North West Queensland is our high burden of chronic disease - diabetes, and heart disease, and another is the remoteness of the communities in our health service," she said.
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