Dr Denis Lennox was planning a career in “family medicine with obstetrics” when he returned to his home town of Bundaberg in the 1970s to practise as a junior doctor.
But his vocational course instead led him into medical leadership, shaping the delivery of rural and remote health care across Queensland, and winning him the AMA Excellence in Healthcare Award 2017.
The AMA Excellence in Healthcare Award is for an individual, not necessarily a doctor or AMA member, who has made a significant contribution to improving health or health care in Australia. The person may be involved in health awareness, health policy or health delivery.
AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, who presented the Award at the AMA National Conference 2017 in Melbourne, said that Dr Lennox had made an outstanding contribution to rural and remote health care in Queensland, and to training of rural doctors.
“Dr Lennox, an Adjunct Associate Professor at James Cook University and Executive Director of Rural and Remote Medical Support at Darling Downs Hospital Health Service, has had an extraordinary career since starting as a physician and medical administrator,” Dr Gannon said.
“His colleagues describe him as a visionary who has instituted significant evolution and advancement in the training of rural general practitioners and specialist generalists, producing tangible work force and health care improvements in all parts of Queensland.
“He is the genesis point of the Rural Generalist Pathway in Queensland, which is successfully delivering the committed, quality rural medical workforce that our communities both need and deserve.
“Since the Queensland Rural Generalist Program started in 2005, it has delivered more than 130 well-prepared fellows and trainees into rural practice across Queensland.
“As he prepares to retire from 40 years of public service, the AMA is proud to honour Dr Lennox with the Excellence in Healthcare Award.”