Epworth celebrates five years in Geelong
IN 2014 the Epworth hospital was just an empty paddock in Waurn Ponds, but Leonie Lloyd saw it as an opportunity to start employment as a clinical operations manager.
After opening its doors in July 2016, Epworth Geelong is celebrating five years of delivering better health outcomes to the region.
Ms Lloyd, who is now the hospital’s executive general managerm said the hospital had come a long way over the past five years.
“When we opened Epworth Geelong, we had 350 employees,” she said.
“We now have 1,100 staff members to meet the growing demand for cardiac, cancer, maternity, orthopaedic and emergency care.
“It is humbling to see the support we have received from the community in the past five years.”
The growing hospital employs locally while treating more than 120,000 residents from the Greater Geelong and surrounding areas since opening.
“Our employees are committed to the region so you could be caring for your next-door neighbour or your friend’s mum,” she said.
“There are so many local connections in a community like this.”
Ms Lloyd said on opening day in 2016, just three patients were operated on at Epworth Geelong, while there are 100 procedures now performed each day.
Along with its substantial growth, Epworth was the region’s first hospital to carry out neurosurgery, with more than 1,000 procedures undertaken during this time.
In five years, Epworth has admitted 122,000 patients, treated 50,000 emergency department patients, performed more than 10,000 scopes and removed 4,500 cataracts.
With more people choosing to relocate to the Greater Geelong region, Ms Lloyd said the hospital would only continue to grow from here.
“We’ve seen an influx of people moving, not only from Melbourne but from other regions into Geelong.
On top of that, we have families coming back as return patients, whether it’s to have another baby or to have other treatment after they’ve had a positive experience at Epworth Geelong.”
In the past 18 months the hospital has adapted to the changing circumstances of COVID-19, which involved hosting a University Hospital Geelong surgical team and expanding the intensive care unit, fitting out three new ICU rooms and three high dependency rooms.
As well as adapting to the global pandemic Epworth Geelong has welcomed a COVID-19 baby boom, with maternity bookings up 25 per cent.
“It is no surprise that expectant mothers are choosing Epworth Geelong to have their babies,” Ms Lloyd said.
“Our obstetricians, midwives and nurses provide exceptional prenatal, birth and postnatal care.
“Our birthing suites are five-star hotel-standard, with an abundance of natural light.
“The purpose-built suites create a welcoming and safe experience for birthing mothers.”