In the lift with… Janette McCabe

April 1, 2020

‘In the lift with…’ provides an opportunity for you to learn more about the VHA board members, employees, members and partners.

This week, we meet Janette McCabe from the Rural Northwest Health board. She is also a Board Director of the VHA and started her career as a nurse.

As a member of the VHA board, tell us a little bit about your background?

I have been in healthcare all my adult life, and embarked upon a nursing career that could only be described as a “Jill of all trades”. Intensive care was my great passion but after moving to Horsham in the late 70s my horizons necessarily broadened. I helped to set up a small intensive care unit, taught nursing skills to trainees, basic and advanced life support, worked clinically in ICU, did research with the LIPID study, co-ordinated project work which included clinical pathways and Stroke telehealth, both unit and clinical management all within a regional healthcare setting.

Can you tell us a little about your education?

My nursing career began with my general training at Prince Henry’s Hospital followed by a critical care course at St Vincent’s Melbourne, which cemented my love of acute care. I completed a Bachelor of Nursing during the 90s and my Masters in Management (Health) in 2004. The step to becoming a Board Director of Rural Northwest Health in 2012 seemed a logical move to use my experience and broaden my knowledge of the healthcare system. I completed the AICD course and joined the VHA board as the small rural board director representative in October 2014.

What are you most proud of in your career?

In the year 2000 I developed the Clinical Pathway program at Wimmera Health Care Group, which is an integral part of the organisational quality of care in acute. Working with multidisciplinary teams we developed evidence-based pathways, key performance indicators and an ongoing evaluation and analysis system that has been peer reviewed, won state awards and sustained for 20 years.

I also particularly enjoyed my Unit Manager role, on a general ward of 34 beds. Five of which were intensive care and 29 medical/surgical/palliative and with an additional day oncology unit. I worked with a wonderful team and life was never dull.

What’s something you would like to talk about in the lift?

In this time of COVID-19 I hope not to be in the lift with anyone at all but would like to thank all those people in healthcare who are working so hard to provide safe, quality care in this time of crisis.

But in my new life as a sea-changer and in more convivial times I would like to talk about my new interests. So if you could cope with my limited French and basic knowledge of Bridge, I am always happy to learn.