The staff at the Centre for Remote Health (CRH) would like to express their sincere sympathies to all those affected by the tragic death of Gayle Woodford, a past graduate, much loved colleague and friend, and a well-respected and dedicated Remote Area Nurse (RAN).
Terrie Ivanhoe, Topic Coordinator for Flinders University Remote Health Practice, Chronic Disease Coordinator for Nganampa Health Council (NHC), and a colleague of Gayle’s expressed her heartfelt thoughts in this way. “Gayle was a loving mother and wife, sister, aunt and cousin, but I knew her as a committed, proactive, sensitive, professional RAN. She joined the remote team 5 years ago – part of her ‘dream’ to do community work with disadvantaged people. She came with 30 odd years of experience, and a positive ‘can do attitude’. She was well educated and well-prepared, was a Diabetic educator and a graduate of the CRH – with a Grad Certificate in Remote Health Practice. Gayle exuded enthusiasm and kindness in a gentle, quiet manner and always saw the bright side. Gayle loved her work and the community people where she worked and they loved her back. In the 15 years I have been involved with NHC I would go so far as saying that Gayle was one of the BEST nurses and kindest person we have had the pleasure of employing. In addition she was the BEST gardener and had the BEST desert garden!!!!! We will all miss her and she will be always in our hearts as someone we can strive to be like!! I feel a better person for having known her and I mark her loss as one of the darkest events in my nursing career”.
Centre for Remote Health Academic Leader Sue Lenthall said “Everyone is terribly upset about Gayle. Remote Area Nursing is a very small community; we all know each other. It’s hit home on a number of levels”.
The Centre for Remote Health is working with others in improving the safety of health professionals in remote areas.