Rural reward: Queen's Birthday honour for Orange doctor Gabriel Shannon

CLINICAL INNOVATOR: Dr Gabriel Shannon has been honoured for his services to medicine, with a Member of the Order of  Australia (AM) in the general division. Photo: STEVE GOSCH  0608honour

CLINICAL INNOVATOR: Dr Gabriel Shannon has been honoured for his services to medicine, with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the general division. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0608honour

ORANGE hospital clinician Dr Gabriel Shannon has been recognised for his significant service to medicine and clinical innovation with the bestowing of a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Dr Shannon said yesterday he felt humbled and a little embarrassed when named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2014.

“This is a big surprise as there are plenty of other doctors here at the hospital who have given so much of their time to medicine and the community,” he said.

Dr Shannon’s work as a clinician is split between  his role as staff specialist at Orange hospital and his work at the University of Sydney School of Rural Health. 

It  is there he has been the catalyst for encouraging young doctors to train in Orange and ultimately return to work in rural medicine.

Parallel to his love of medicine throughout his life has been an enthusiasm and passion for trains.

“The two things I really wanted to do with my life was be an engine driver or work in medicine, but I chose the latter,” he said.

Dr Shannon says10 years ago when he set aside his private practice to work in the public health system he could not have envisaged he would be working in a hospital considered to be at the top of its class in rural medicine.

“This hospital is far beyond anything any of us could have hoped for and it is great for the community,” he said.

“The size, skill and level of the work force here is truly amazing.”

Dr Shannon says he is also inspired in his work through the University of Sydney School of Rural Health.

“I find this part of my work, guiding the training of young doctors, to be truly invigorating and they are starting to come back now to return to the bush,” he said.

Dr Shannon said the highlights of his medical career were setting up the University of Sydney School of Rural Health 11 years ago, the opening of the new Orange hospital and the establishment of the Structured Inter-Disciplinary Bed Round (SIBR) model in Orange, which led the state in its model of care and inspired 47 similar models across the state, including some of Sydney’s most high profile hospitals.

Dr Shannon’s other achievements include his role as a board member of the Clinical Excellence Commission since 2008, current chair of the Clinical Council, his involvement in state and regional patient safety programs including the “In Safe Hands” concept, being a board member of the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and sub-dean and adjunct associate professor of the Orange campus of the University of Sydney School of Rural Health since 2002.

He is also credited with playing an important role in the establishment of diabetic and renal dialysis services in Orange since 1983 and has been director of physician training from 2001 to 2013.

Dr Shannon is also clinical leader of the governance unit of the Western NSW Local Health District.

The Order of Australia is a way for Australians to recognise the achievements and service of their fellow citizens and once a nomination is submitted, the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat at Government House in Canberra conducts further research and contacts referees.

janice.harris@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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