Wide Bay health board chief on a steep learning curve
LEADING a team of 3500 employees in a population of more than 250,000 is no mean feat for the new Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Board chief, Dominic Devine, who has only been in the job six weeks.
"It's been a steep learning curve but it's been pretty rewarding as well," he said.
Mr Devine, a property valuer by profession, was born and bred in Bundaberg, finishing his schooling at Shalom College.
The Devines moved out west to Charleville in 1991 and stayed there for the next 20 years.
"We've got an agribusiness consultancy company and our main office is in Brisbane now," he said.
But what made the businessman become involved in the health sector came four years ago, when Mr Devine was a seemingly healthy 38-year-old and the father of two young girls.
"I think a lot of people don't think a lot about health until it hits you at home," he said.
"Unfortunately, I had a major health scare about four years ago."
Mr Devine found himself struck down by legionnaire's disease - a potentially fatal pneumonia-like illness.
"I caught it from an air-conditioning system somewhere in Brisbane," he said.
"When I had legionnaire's, I picked up a virus that attacked my heart and I ended up with heart failure.
"I was lying in Charleville Hospital in intensive care, my heart doing 308 beats per minute for about 45 minutes."
His near-death experience was the primary reason Mr Devine decided to get involved in the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Board, that consists of 10 members including four of the original five inaugural members.