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Rural Northwest Health has topped its cache of awards after being announced the Premier’s Small Health Service of the Year.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy presented the award to RNH CEO Catherine Morley and board chairman Leo Casey during a gala ceremony for the 2015 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards at the MCG. The award is the highest recognition achievable for the RNH team.

RNH was pitted against fellow finalists West Wimmera Health Service and Moyne Health Services for the award. Ms Morley said she was so proud of everyone at RNH.

“It’s an amazing feeling knowing that we have been judged the very best by our peers,” Ms Morley said.

“We got a little bit excited and we all screamed when it was announced,” she said.

“It was very special because we were up against some very strong competition and everyone was a little shocked when we won.”

Ms Morley said the award was the result of a great deal of hard work at all three campuses and across every department.

“We’ve all been working very hard to make Rural Northwest Health the best it can be and now our efforts are being recognised on a grand scale,” she said.

“We have been innovative with the programs we have introduced and the staff have involved themselves in those programs and made them even better.

“And the community has embraced the changes which is why we are getting such great outcomes.”

Mr Casey said the entire region would be able to share in the success of RNH.

“This award is for the innovative achievements at Hopetoun, Beulah and Warracknabeal,” Mr Casey said.

“It’s a fantastic achievement and I could not be more proud of the entire RNH team and the communities that support them,” he said.

“Next year we will be commemorating 125 years of health services to the region and the completion of the stage two development at Warracknabeal.

“Much is planned to mark the occasion and now we will be doing that as the reigning health service of the year.

“It couldn’t be better.”

Ms Morley said the Grampians region had good reason to be proud of its health services with West Wimmera Health Service being a fellow finalist and East Grampians Health winning the medium health service of the year.

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