Vale Heather Pollock
Vale Heather Pollock
The passing of Heather Pollock occurred recently. Heather was Queensland Fertility Group’s second Senior Nurse Coordinator, occupying the role from October 1988 to 2005.
Heather was a nursing graduate of Royal Brisbane Hospital and received her Midwifery training in Hobart. She then returned to Royal Womens Hospital in Brisbane, established the RWH home visiting service for postnatal women. When the legendary Sister Rose Liebke left the RWH antenatal clinic to work for Dr. John Hennessey’s private practice, Heather took over the RWH outpatient clinic supervisor role. There she came under the notice of the Infertility Clinic Senior Consultant Dr. John Hennessey. Heather was soon recruited to the fledgling Queensland Fertility Group following the resignation of the first Nurse Coordinator Sharon Fuller.
Apart from managing the increasing number of infertility patients, Heather became integral to the organization and running of regional satellite clinic sessions which had just commenced several times a year in Mackay. Heather organized the fourth ever four week Mackay clinic just three weeks after commencing with QFG. These clinics ultimately expanded to include Townsville, Palm Beach and Rockhampton. Heather’s ingenuity, good humour, and love for her patients inevitably triumphed over the many small issues that arose during the conduct of these clinics. By 2000 the clinics in Mackay, Townsville and Cairns became full-time, staffed by local personnel, with Gold Coast and Toowoomba also becoming part of QFG. Heather provided all of these sites with support and expertise, ensuring their success. Heather was greatly loved by patients and was a tireless supporter and advocate for the Friends of Queensland Fertility Group patient support group.
Professionally Heather was highly respected by her peers and was very active within the Fertility Society of Australia. She was the Queensland state representative on the committee that created the Nurses Special Interest Group (NSIG) in 1990, later renamed Fertility Nurses of Australasia (FNA), within the Fertility Society of Australia. Heather subsequently became chairperson of the NSIG and established Australia’s first register of fertility nurses which, in the era before email, contributed greatly to communication within the fertility nurse profession. Heather thought deeply about patient issues in assisted reproduction and presented many scientific studies at both national and international scientific meetings. At the 1993 FSA Scientific Meeting in Sydney she received the inaugural award for the Best Paper on Psychosocial Issues.
Heather was a leader in Fertility Nursing in Australia and a valued asset to the Queensland Fertility Group. In a period where assisted reproduction was evolving, Heather was innovative and industrious and her pleasant cheerful manner was greatly appreciated by both patients and her work colleagues. Her memory and legacy will endure.