Year-end interviews with aged care leaders: Anne McCormack – mecwacare

Anne McCormack, Chief Executive Officer, mecwacare

In our final end-of-year Q&A, we hear from Anne McCormack, CEO of mecwacare, a non-denominational and not-for-profit organisation providing residential, community and in-home nursing, care, and support services to more than 20,000 people across Victoria each week.

1. What were your highlights of 2023?

I became CEO in September of this year. mecwacare’s focus continues to be client experience, staff experience and strategic growth for our organisation. To that end, our highlights are listed below:

The implementation of the federal government’s reformed Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS) has seen large success at mecwacare. Designed to facilitate volunteer visits and provide friendship and social connection to isolated older people, the ACVVS is a free service that helps to improve the quality of life and reduce loneliness in those visited by volunteers.

Our wonderful Volunteer Services staff have been matching volunteers with their perfect companions, pairing people with shared interests and language backgrounds, providing further chances to build strong bonds.

mecwacare started 64 years ago with a small group of volunteers who came together out of concern for local elderly citizens. Our now 500-strong volunteer base has always been a dedicated and generous bunch. It has been wonderful to see the connections beginning to flourish between our volunteers and their older companions.

For aged care providers to remain relevant, build an advocacy platform and have a voice to contribute to shaping the aged care sector, mecwacare has focused on acquiring facilities where we can contribute to the community ecosystem by building a density of clients and as a result, increasing density of workforce and innovating on our model of care.

mecwacare acquired three new residential aged care facilities and three new retirement facilities. We broke ground on our new aged care facility at Richmond Hill, which introduces the ‘small home’ concept and removes the institutional look and feel of a facility.

Environment, together with excellent care, is the foundation of mecwacare’s philosophy.

Simon Price Centre in Melbourne’s Mont Albert North

We also began developing our existing Ballan aged care facility and completed our largest investment to date – the new Simon Price Centre aged care facility in Mont Albert North.

We are thrilled to be continually increasing our service capacity in line with another of our strategic priorities; to innovate and adopt solutions that positively impact the consumer experience.

2. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

I am looking forward to seeing our organisation build out our back and middle office to match our growth ambitions. We are embarking on a digital transformation project, re-engineering processes and workforce experience activities. We continually review and test our models of care and workforce training to exceed compliance requirements and to contemporise and advance our understanding of client expectations.

One of our key areas of focus is an ‘integrated client journey’. This connects services from home care through to residential care, with the possibility of introducing additional services, really making mecwacare a partner for our clients and prospective clients’ life journeys.

3. What book/s will you be reading over the summer holiday break?

I’m currently reading The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes, a fast-paced spy thriller, and re-reading an old book, The Genesis of Civilisation, which takes archaeology, geology and theology, brings it all together and tests what and where key historical events may have happened.


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