Proserpine doctor Dr Deborah Simmons led the response after miners were severely injured in a blast. Photo: Daryl Wright
Proserpine doctor Dr Deborah Simmons led the response after miners were severely injured in a blast. Photo: Daryl Wright

‘Gold standard role model’: Prossie doctor honoured for work

A PROSERPINE doctor who led the response after miners suffered severe burns in the Grosvenor mine blast has been recognised for her service.

Dr Deborah Simmons has received an Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine 2020 Distinguished Service Award for her significant contribution to rural and remote medicine and general service to the community.

"I feel so honoured that I have been awarded the Distinguished Service Award," Dr Simmons said.

"I understand I was nominated for this award by my colleagues and I am humbled."

 

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Dr Simmons' notable contribution spans from developing ACRRM's rural anaesthetic crisis management course to her recent response efforts at a Moranbah mine.

Dr Simmons has extensively contributed to the delivery and implementation of ACRRM's courses including rural emergency skills training, advanced life support and rural anaesthetic crisis management.

She is also a Primary StAMPS examiner and presented a keynote speech at Rural Medicine Australia in 2016.

Her recent recognition also acknowledges the critical role she played in managing patients who suffered severe burns from a gas blast at Grosvenor Coal Mine in Moranbah earlier this year.

Dr Deborah Simmons from Proserpine has been presented with an Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine 2020 Distinguished Service Award. Photo: Contributed
Dr Deborah Simmons from Proserpine has been presented with an Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine 2020 Distinguished Service Award. Photo: Contributed

Dr Simmons, who has worked in Proserpine for almost seven years, was training staff at the local hospital when she was called to lead the hospital response.

"The breadth of medicine I get to perform now is amazing being a rural generalist," Dr Simmons said.

Award nominator Dr Shaun Grimes said Dr Simmons was always looking for practical ways to achieve patient care using what's on hand in a rural low resource environment.

"She is a gold standard role model for all and importantly for all junior clinicians and students looking to a rural career in medicine," he said.

Previously, Dr Simmons was a senior consultant anaesthetist at Flinders Medical Centre, specialising in liver transplantation, high risk obstetrics and bariatric surgery.


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