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Barwon Health / Barwon South West Public Health Unit

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COVID Commander tours region to thank staff

Friday, 22 April 2022

The Commander of the Department of Health’s COVID19 Response, Jeroen Weimar, visited Geelong today to thank the hundreds of health staff that helped protect, vaccinate, test and support people in the Barwon region.

Over the past year, he has become a familiar face to many Victorians, with frequent updates and appearances on our television screens. Jeroen was keen to say thank you in person to those that worked on the frontline in the state’s COVID response,

“Every test, every vaccination, every contact trace has been delivered thanks to real people on the ground in health services across the state. Our health workers right across the whole service, in wards, and in our testing and vaccination hubs, have worked for two years to help keep Victorian’s safe,” he said.

“Restrictions have eased, and I really wanted to take the time to personally thank every worker who has been our frontline of response to COVID-19.”

“The Barwon South West Region has powered ahead with vaccinations with more than 1,071,000 doses delivered across the region over the past year in vaccination centres, GPs and pharmacies. This has been an exceptional effort by staff and residents in the region. We are now seeing the impact of what vaccinations are doing to keep hospitalisations down, even as cases rise.”

Barwon South West Public Health Unit Director Professor Eugene Athan OAM said it was also great chance for the team to meet Jeroen and discuss the future of public health in the region and the big part the Public Health Unit has to play in the future of the community’s health going forward,

“As the way we manage COVID changes, the priorities of the local public health units will also change. There will always be emerging diseases or chronic health conditions to manage and our team will continue to support our community. It’s been a great opportunity to meet with Jeroen and discuss how our team will grow and develop to support the region’s public health needs into the future”, he says.

Vaccination hub Nurse Unit Manager Angela Hayes believes Jeroen’s visit has been a great morale boost,

“Our vaccination teams made up of administration support, immunisers, nurses, pharmacists, traffic management, security, environmental services staff, students and many more, have worked so hard over the past year. It’s been nice to meet Jeroen and acknowledge the difference we have all made in this history-making vaccination program,” she says.