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Grampians Health’s Regional Director – East is committed to equalising healthcare for rural communities 

1 August 2022

When Kate Pryde returned to Australia after working in the Middle East and China, she made a conscious decision to work in public health, in regional areas.

It’s a decision that led her to the role of CEO of Stawell Regional Health, and now to her new role as Regional Director Hospitals – East for Grampians Health.

“When I came home to Australia, I saw that the public health sector was changing and it was something I wanted to be part of,” Kate says. “I was really shocked by the disparity between metropolitan and rural health services, and I became really passionate about equalising healthcare for our rural communities but also for those working in the sector.

“Public healthcare also creates opportunities for connection to community, and that’s something that really motivates me and is important to me in healthcare. It’s a really important piece of Grampians Health too, as we build our structure and our services based on a lot of community and consumer feedback.”

In her role, Kate is responsible for the day-to-day operations of hospital services in Ballarat, and also strategic oversight of medicine, specialty medicine and emergency services for Grampians Health as a whole.

“I think my appointment as Regional Director Hospitals – East has been very strategic for Grampians Health, as I have come to Ballarat with a solid understanding of the challenges and benefits of our western campuses and I’m a voice for the west in the east,” Kate says. “I have a very strong partnership with Carolyn Robertson (Regional Director Hospitals – West), in the way we work together to uncover challenges but utilise our region-wide connections to find solutions too.

“I talk a lot about the mind and the might of Grampians Health – the coming together of great minds from what were four separate health services to strategically work together for the service, growth and development of healthcare of such a big region is what it’s all about.”

Kate sees the development of the Grampians Health structure as providing opportunities for healthcare workers to stay and work locally, or regionally, and progress their career without having to change organisations.

“Our early integration project brought a lot of key stakeholders in the region together, and has already created opportunities for professional development and transition out of Ballarat into the region to share the knowledge of and access to experts in all sorts of areas – from speciality care to things like occupational health and safety as well,” Kate says. “We have an opportunity now to achieve so much more on the back of innovations like telehealth, whereas smaller health services it would have been really hard to capitalise on those things.

“We’re redeveloping and redesigning services for our communities in our western region, so they can have greater access closer to home. It’s not all going to happen at once, but it’s something we’re working towards and it’s all underpinned by strategic planning for our region.”

Kate has a well-rounded experience in nursing and the health industry, beginning as a Registered Nurse (RN) specialising in critical care, emergency and trauma nursing, outback nursing and midwifery, hospital management and consulting in the private and public sectors. She also has a degree in education, and a Master of Business Administration.