The first recipients of the CQRH Scholarship for Rural Health have graduated and we couldn’t be more proud. Kiarne Dippel and Bretany Appel were the winners of the $1500 annual bursary in 2016.

Kiarne with her grandparents, Vicki and Milton Ainsworth

Kiarne is now an Advanced Care Paramedic with the Queensland Ambulance Service and currently stationed at South Rockhampton. She still retains her passion for rural healthcare, in particular, the ability that rural clinicians have to connect with their patients and follow-up on their care. She hopes to be transferred to a rural location someday. In the meantime, she is busy completing her post-graduate program and her Masters, intending to become a Critical Care Paramedic. We have no doubt Kiarne will succeed in her remaining studies.

Bretany is now a Podiatrist at North West Remote Health in Mount Isa, also servicing Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Camooweal, Boulia, Bedourie, Birdsville, Dajarra and Urandangi. She is the only podiatrist in their Mount Isa location and loves the challenge. She believes the biggest barrier to healthcare in rural areas is access and continuity of care. She talked about the high staff turnover in rural areas, with patients often seeing numerous clinicians in a single year. Understandably, this can mean patient cooperation with a service becomes low. She also talked about the difficulties in servicing a large geographical area.

Bretany at her graduation ceremony

“Whilst we try to see patients as often as we can often it’s probably not as often as we would like or the patient needs, as we cannot physically be there, which as a clinician is a hard pill to swallow.” she said

Bretany has the goal of increasing access to patients in rural areas while providing high quality and continuous care. She hopes to do that by opening rural clinics across Central Queensland. It sounds like Bretany hopes to provide excellence and sustainability in rural health. This is a very worthy mission, and we look forward to her success.

Scholarship applications for 2020 will open in January. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and our website for more information.