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Farewell Deborah Longmore

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27th September, 2022

A four-decade career of helping others draws to a close for Orange’s Deborah Longmore.

After a 41-year career in pub­lic pathol­o­gy, Deb­o­rah Long­more closed the door of NSW Health Pathology’s Trans­fu­sion Ser­vice based at Orange Health Ser­vice, for the last time recently.

Born and raised in Orange, Deb­o­rah says her job came with a bit of luck when at the end of her stud­ies she dropped into Orange Hos­pi­tal to enquire if they had any work and was asked to start Mon­day. And the rest, as they say, is history.

“Pathol­o­gy has giv­en me an oppor­tu­ni­ty to com­bine what I love – sci­ence and peo­ple. It has also enabled me to grow, net­work, learn and be part of projects improv­ing the ser­vice of pub­lic pathol­o­gy across New South Wales,” Deb­o­rah said.

“There is always some­thing inter­est­ing going on, and I would­n’t change it for the world. Being able to make a dif­fer­ence to patients is what I’ve loved about my career.”

For the past 33 years Deb­o­rah has man­aged the Trans­fu­sion Ser­vice, which plays a crit­i­cal role ensur­ing blood prod­ucts are avail­able to patients, many in life threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tions where every sec­ond counts.

While she is hum­ble about her career achieve­ments, Deb­o­rah can be cred­it­ed for the intro­duc­tion of the trau­ma esky on the Orange and West­ern NSW heli­copter ser­vices in the ear­ly 2000s. A life chang­ing ini­tia­tive, the trau­ma esky car­ries three units of O neg­a­tive blood, which is a blood prod­uct that can be used irre­spec­tive of blood type and enables trans­fu­sion on the spot rather than at the hos­pi­tal. Deb­o­rah saw the esky being used in a tri­al which was hap­pen­ing at West­mead Hospital.

Deb­o­rah says she also got lot of sat­is­fac­tion talk­ing at donor col­lec­tion ser­vice nights and answer­ing ques­tions and shar­ing her knowl­edge at con­fer­ences, pre-COVID.

“I was sec­ond in charge of bio­chem­istry when I was asked to look after the blood bank for what I thought was a week or two. While I knew a bit about blood, I have edu­cat­ed myself a lot, and net­work­ing and talk­ing to oth­ers in Aus­tralia and inter­na­tion­al­ly has been a tremen­dous expe­ri­ence,” she says. “In my career, I’ve seen pub­lic pathol­o­gy go from strength to strength and the gov­er­nance and stan­dard­i­s­a­tion of process­es has been a sig­nif­i­cant part of the change,” she says.

On her retire­ment, Deb­o­rah says she plans to ease into it.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to being able to go to the gym unin­ter­rupt­ed, do a bit of gar­den­ing and spend time with my grand­sons. And then who knows, we might trav­el,” she says.


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