Redcliffe MP and Health and Ambulance Services Minister Yvette D’Ath has congratulated Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young on being recognised for her exemplary leadership in managing Queensland Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Young was honoured with the of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Queensland Excellence in Health Care Medal.
Past presidents and councillors of AMA Queensland nominated people for the award, which recognises significant contribution to improving health or health care in Australia or health awareness, health policy and health delivery.
Dr Young said Queensland has a strong, cohesive network of medical professionals and she is fortunate to be a part of that.
“It’s always an honour to be recognised by your peers but as I have been saying all year, I’m just one person. I am fortunate to have a highly skilled and dedicated team,” she says.
“The challenges presented this year have been unprecedented and I’m immensely proud of how Queenslanders have banded together to keep each other safe.”
Dr Young says it is heartbreaking to see the impact of COVID-19 on other nations.
“I’m just so glad to be the Chief Health Officer for Queensland, where people are not only considerate but incredibly resilient, having dealt with emergencies like cyclones and floods in the past.
“I’m thankful to the AMA Queensland for this award and I’m grateful for their ongoing expertise and support as we continue to manage this pandemic.”
Ms D’Ath says Dr Young is a great Queenslander and her leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been world class.
“As Australia’s longest-serving Chief Health Officer, Dr Young has drawn on her vast experience to keep Queenslanders safe during a very challenging period.
“Her expert advice has not only saved many lives, it has also helped to keep the Queensland economy and local jobs on track.”
Ms D’Ath says the award is a great testament to Dr Young’s outstanding work."
AMA Queensland President Professor Chris Perry says Dr Young was a standout nomination.
“Dr Young has adeptly navigated the intensity and focus placed on her and public health and safety in 2020,” Prof Perry says.
“We applaud her unwavering professionalism, logic, compassion and resolve in protecting Queenslanders during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Dr Young has guided Queensland’s public health service for the past 15 years.
She started as chief health officer on Ekka Show Day in 2005 and has advised the state through natural disasters including Tropical Cyclones Larry and Yasi and the 2010-11 floods.
Dr Young has tackled record-breaking influenza seasons, the threats of swine flu and dengue fever, climbing obesity rates, the rise of online anti-vaxxers and COVID-19.
The AMA Queensland Gold Medal and the AMA Queensland Rural Health Medal were also awarded on the night.
Professor Noel Hayman received the Gold Medal for his tireless advocacy and work to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, while Associate Professor Alan Bruce Chater received the Rural Health Medal for his outstanding health and advocacy services to rural medicine and the community.
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