Marisa scores Q?land businesswoman award
MARISA Vecchio, a former Tweed River High student who grew up in Banora Point, has won the prestigious Telstra Queensland Businesswoman of the Year award.
Mrs Vecchio is the daughter of retired Coolangatta police officer John Preston and Romana Preston of Banora and the sister of Kingscliff real estate agent David Preston.
She is chief executive officer of Australian General Practice Accreditation Ltd, a Brisbanebased firm providing best-practice accreditation for GPs around Australia.
Mrs Vecchio yesterday said AGPAL, owned by medical professionals including the Australian Medical Association, was Australia's "leading patient safety body", providing regular inspections of GPs' surgeries.
Sterilisation procedures, vaccine storage, medical record-keeping and doctors' and staff communication are included on the AGPAL checklist.
"There is more to business than being successful - there's a responsibility to make communities better places," Mrs Vecchio said.
Previously the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Queensland manager, she said there was some resistance to accreditation among doctors when AGPAL was set up in 1998 on the advice of the Federal Government.
"I was told that getting GPs to agree on anything is a bit like herding cats, but we now have more than 90 per cent accredited."
Mrs Vecchio attended Tweed River High School from 1978 to 1983.
She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and a Master of Business Administration from the Queensland University of Technology.
"With a small team of 20 employees and a large external team of 250 surveyors we sell the quality message in every general practice in every town throughout Australia," she said.
"Internationally, AGPAL has put Australia on the quality map. Similar models are now being adopted in France, Ireland and Norway."