On behalf of the Border Medical Association we wish to express our profound sadness on the death of Mr Michael Kalimnios.
In his two and a half year tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Albury Wodonga Health, Michael oversaw tremendous changes to the service for the betterment of our community.
This growth and change came despite an unprecedented period in the history of our health service: from bushfires to pandemics, border closures to the overwhelming constraints of our infrastructure.
Regardless of the challenges presented, Michael endeavoured to improve how we deliver health care to a vast region.
From the moment Michael stepped foot into Albury Wodonga Health, clinicians were left in no doubt his keen understanding of the overwhelming challenges our service faced, whilst being optimistic of the potential for health care on the border.
Michael recognised in order to fulfil this potential the need to engage and promote clinical leadership within the organisation, and made significant strides in changing the culture of AWH by empowering those that were passionate about improving the wellbeing of our patients and staff.
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He had a quiet determination and passion to see Albury Wodonga Health become a respected leader in regional health care.
Whilst a quiet man, clinicians appreciated his open approach to having forthright discussions, his willingness to be challenged, his dry and at times self-deprecating humour.
His razor sharp intelligence was respected, and he had a capacity to process issues that arose and rapidly find a solution.
This remained evident even when in the most stressful of circumstances.
Through his experience, intuition and his tenacity, Michael had an ability to navigate through the myriad of issues that arose at Albury Wodonga Health in what have been unique and challenging times.
His ability to engage with both the NSW and Victorian health departments raised the plight of our health service on the bureaucratic and political level.
His advocacy has seen the new health facilities for our region move closer, with the completion of the Masterplan calling for a new hospital a sentinel moment in the history of our health service.
Known to many as "MK", we hope his family appreciate the fierce loyalty and care that many of the staff in his office felt towards him.
We hope our community understands the ripple he helped create to improve care for our region.
There are many serious challenges that remain, however the efforts of Michael Kalimnios sees the health service in a much better place to meet them.
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