A lifetime of devotion to the sustainability of rural health in the Wimmera has once more been recognised with the renaming of Wimmera Medical Centre.

Alan Wolff Medical Centre will be an infinite monument to the 37 years of commitment and achievement of recently retired Wimmera Health Care Group director of Medical Services Professor Alan Wolff OAM.

Despite his deteriorating health, Professor Wolff and his family including wife Dr Yvonne Cymbalist officially opened the renamed centre on the weekend.

WHCG board chair Marie Aitken, director Clinical Improvement, Risk and Innovation Sally Taylor, director of Finance and Corporate Services Mark Knights and Dr Cymbalist all spoke at the event.

Guests travelled from across the state to attend and many were invited to share stories and memories of Prof Wolff during the dedication.

Professor Wolff is widely recognised for his role in introducing clinical risk management programs into health services across Australia developed from his 20 years of extensive research. He developed and refined an integrated and sustainable quality improvement and risk management program for Wimmera Health Care Group.

The model was implemented extensively in Victorian, national and international hospitals and was supported by a relevant evidence and theory-based book, journal articles, lecturing and numerous presentations aimed at sharing his expansive knowledge for the enhancement of patient care.

In 2009, Prof Wolff and WHCG director Clinical Improvement, Risk and Innovation Sally Taylor wrote “Enhancing Patient Care: a practical guide to improving quality and safety in hospitals".

The book provides a comprehensive review of the quality and safety literature distilling the practical aspects of designing, implementing and maintaining an effective quality and safety program in a hospital and describes in detail, the Wimmera quality and safety programs.

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