Senior Continence Physiotherapist
Alesha provides expert clinical advice and management to all her patients and is a fantastic resource for our team and the wider WH community. Her passion for improving the care for men with prostate cancer in the West has seen her drive a number of successful research projects at Western Health, which have been recognised locally and internationally. Alesha has recently attended the Asia Pacific Prostate Cancer Conference in Melbourne having been accepted for 2 poster presentations and presented on Radiotherapy and Incontinence. Alesha heads to Gothenburg in September to present at the International Continence Society Conference on her pilot study on ‘Pre-op functional pelvic floor muscle training vs static pelvic floor muscle training in men undergoing radical prostatectomy”. In her spare time Alesha is studying her PhD! Alesha’s compassion is reflected in the care she provides her patients. She understands the impact urinary incontinence and other bladder and bowel problems has on people’s quality of life. This has sparked her passion for pursuing research into clinical practice and to investigate treatments to improve patient outcomes. Alesha constantly demonstrates and promotes accountability in the workplace. Her clinical care is of a high standard and evidence based and she adheres to WH policies and procedures. Alesha consistently works in collaboration with her patients to ensure the care provided is patient centred and goal focused. She also ensures she provides an equitable and inclusive service and is respectful of the diversity and different cultures within our population. Alesha demonstrates excellence on a daily basis, striving to deliver best care to all her patients at all times. She is always willing to share her knowledge in regards to bladder and bowel health so others too can provide a high quality care service.
Volunteer – Social Support
Although Andy has only been a volunteer for a relatively short period of time, he has become an invaluable member of the team. He is efficient, responsive, flexible and always willing to help. Andy provides social support to patients at Footscray Hospital and also volunteers in the Health Information Centre on a weekly basis. Visitors describe him as “extremely helpful” and he has loyal community members who come in to have their blood pressure taken specifically by Andy and his shift buddy Michael, on Thursday afternoons. In order to strengthen his skills to interact with patients, Andy worked with a mentor to build his confidence in the initial stages of becoming a social support volunteer. He researched appropriate questions to add to his repertoire of conversation starters and to develop his own style. Andy has a gentle and calm manner which enables patients to relax and feel comfortable talking with him. Andy is thoughtful and sensitive in how he responds to patients and their suffering. Rather than trying to cheer people up, Andy recognises that genuine acknowledgement of another person’s pain can provide much needed comfort in difficult circumstances. Andy had barely been a Western Health volunteer for a week when he was asked to help prepare 500 participant packs ahead of Walkwest. His answer was, “Sure, many hands make light work!” He brings the same can-do attitude and initiative to everything he does. Andy connects well with people at different ages and stages of life. His generous spirit and willingness to extend himself for the benefit of others, are an asset to Western Health.
Andrew joined our team in May 2019 during a time when the ward activity volume and acuity level was high and the whole unit was under pressure. His overall demeanour of being calm and in control was a great support for the team as was his clinical knowledge, which enabled the nursing team to manage the patient cohorts that required extensive medical support, empowering them to deliver the appropriate care to their patients. Equally, his collaborative and inclusive nature meant that all stakeholders involved in patient care managed to achieve the care plans required to bring about best patient outcomes and staff satisfaction. Andrew is very compassionate and genuinely engages with his patients, making time for them no matter how pressured he may be. The following exemplar evidences his depth of compassion. We had a patient whose altered physical health status was significantly enhanced by her high level of anxiety. Her distress impacted the team and her family who felt overwhelmed by the depth of the patient’s distress. Andrew spent hours with the family and the patient. He constantly sourced clinical input to support the patient towards eliminating emotional and mental distress. He stayed well after he was due to go home. His compassion was captured when he said ‘’I do not want her to die distressed. I do not want the family to remember her distressed. I want them to remember her calm and that is why I am trying everything.’’ Andrew adopts a respectful persona with all of his patients and team colleagues. His language, tone, and natural engagement aptitude serve him well and his patients describe him in an endearing way. He is committed to doing the best for the patient and achieves this by entering into a collaborative relationship with all members of the team as well as the patients and their relatives. Andrew’s clinical knowledge and high level of compassion together with a passion for care of the elderly has enabled him to deliver consistently high care. His clinical practice is excellent in knowledge and application. In incidents where sound judgement is required as in a MET call, he evidences calmness, clear direction, appropriate treatment and ensures that safe clinical treatment is optimised for best patient outcomes. Andrew’s team describe him as a positive influence, simply because he chooses to listen to them and support them towards achieving the best for the patient. His natural ability to be kind and enable people to believe that he cares goes a long way to fostering a positive work place.
Bill has been an amazing support to all the teams that operate in the specialist outpatient clinic area. Bill always strives to achieve excellence in his role and he takes a huge amount of pride in his work. He is thorough in all his cleaning duties and he goes above and beyond to ensure the utmost cleanliness of each area he services. Bill has an extremely
compassionate nature. He has made himself aware of which areas start filling with staff and patients alike first and ensures those areas are clean and ready for operation in order to minimise any disruptions. He assists with stock delivery and removal of waste as soon as is feasible to keep areas clear and free of obstacles. He has gone above and beyond for the hand therapy room and even extends himself to helping keep the therapists alert by bringing the occasional coffee our way. Bill is always warm and welcoming to staff and patients alike. He always makes time to say hello, is a very approachable person and a delight to have around. Bill constantly strives to achieve the best in his role and in doing so he makes the lives of others around him much easier. When Bill has not been at work, his absence has been duly noted. He is a highly valued member of the specialist clinic outpatient services and we all feel he deserves to be credited for this achievement! Thanks so much Bill for all you do, our jobs have been made that little bit easier from the care you put into your work.
Registered Cardiac Nurse – Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR)
Braden manages the CBR codes (blue and Met) with the utmost professionalism. His knowledge and skill instils amazing confidence in the patients and staff. When there is a code it is such a relief when we see Braden arrive! While Braden is working his magic effortlessly, he never loses sight of the patient’s need to be included and informed at every stage. He has a lovely manner that is warm and inclusive, traits that are not always seen today. Braden is always cool and calm under pressure. No matter how stressful the situation may appear, he communicates to staff and patients with thoughtfulness and consideration. Braden is always happy to share his knowledge. Over the last few months he has been more than happy to share his knowledge with our three Year 10 Work Experience Students. The students have been lucky enough to attend the Cardiac Rehab Group run by Braden, giving them valuable insight to working as a Cardiac Nurse in a public hospital. I am not only nominating Braden for his clinical skills but also for his enthusiasm and commitment to a positive, happy work place. He is one of the happiest people in our team and he always greets everyone with a bright and cheery “good morning”. He constantly looks on the bright side of every situation and is an absolute pleasure to be around. He is always available to help in every aspect of life in CBR.
Associate Midwife Unit Manager – Birthing
Cara works as an Associate Midwife Unit Manager (AMUM) in predominantly high pressure areas including Maternity assessment centre and birthing. Most shifts she has a very junior workforces of graduates and midwives less than 3 years post-graduation and often very high acuity patients. Cara has an excellent ability to manage bed flow and workflow within maternity services, as well as providing safe compassionate care to women and supporting junior staff with strong leadership and direction. She has very strong clinical skills and is passionate about best outcomes for women and their families. Cara demonstrates compassion in many ways, including compassion for women and their families during a very special and vulnerable time in their lives. She will often care for a fetal termination or fetal death in utero whilst acting as the in-charge midwife and always provides women centred and holist care for these patients. However, I think her most important area of compassion is with the junior workforce, particularly the graduates. She is patient and supportive but also ensures that every experience they have is one of learning and growth. She also shows respect for all staff, regardless of ethnicity, gender preference, ability, demographic etc. Cara treats her staff as equals rather than subordinates and as such has earned a great deal of respect from them. Cara demonstrates excellence in her skills in birthing however she imparts her knowledge rather than standing on a pedestal and not sharing it. She is also aware that she doesn’t know everything and is always striving to grow and learn which is a great indication of a great leader. Staff wellbeing is a priority for Cara. This includes ensuring they have breaks, leave on time, debrief when an incident has occurred and supported when doing a task for the first time. Cara ensures that she is approachable and supportive for her staff. As such, staff feel safe to ask questions, work safely and escalate deviations without feeling like they may be judged or not supported. This creates a very positive and supportive workplace for all.
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Dr Sam Mathew has been a full-time staff specialist at Western Health for 5 years. Over that time he has repeatedly gone ‘above and beyond’ in his dedication to patients, trainees and colleagues. He is the embodiment of our CARES values. Regularly referred to as ‘one of the kindest doctors’ by colleagues, Sam’s commitment to the well-being of his patients is exemplary. He is always ready to ensure patients and family are fully informed of all aspects of their care, provides repeated counselling in the event of a complication or poor outcome experienced in childbirth and takes time at every opportunity to ensure the highest quality of care. Sam’s approach to his consultant role is also exemplary. He believes strongly in continuity of care and regularly attends to patients’ needs even when on a day off. He takes full responsibility for their care, remaining contactable and engaged at all times. His clinical leadership of Orange team is highly regarded, in particular his unwavering support for his medical and midwifery colleagues in the antenatal clinic. Sam lives by the highest standards of respect for all around him. He is eternally polite and composed in any situation. He does not select who he respects but provides this to anyone he comes into contact with. Sam is recognised as one of the most skilful surgeons in the department. He has advanced laparoscopic skills combined with extraordinary experience in open surgery. He is the ‘go to’ person in the event of an emergency, particularly in the event of an obstetric complication. With advanced skills in conservative measures to manage post-partum haemorrhage, he has prevented many hysterectomies that would have been necessary but for his skills in internal iliac artery ligation. Despite his extensive clinical commitments, often providing support and mentorship for colleagues in theatre, Sam still finds the time to be an active member of the SAFERMaternity program. Sam’s dedication to our trainees is exceptional. Time on his unit is highly sought after by trainees who appreciate his teaching whilst always maintaining a kind, sensitive and supportive manner. He is always ready to make himself available night or day, an approach that has supported Western Health’s becoming an employer of choice amongst O&G trainees.
Service Desk Team Leader – Digital Technology Services (DTS)
Frank led the setup of the Medical Imaging IT services in the Joan Kirner building for Integrated Ultrasound services, NICU/SCN mobile imaging, theatre imaging, and general x-ray. He was immensely helpful with everything that he did. Nothing was too much trouble for Frank. He went out of his way every day to ensure all the IT requirements were achieved and achieved in a timely manner. Every task he performed, he did so with a “can do” attitude and a smile on his face. Frank was extremely patient and kind to all staff while stress levels were high. He was understanding, empathetic and calm every time someone asked him a question or had an issue with a computer or device. During setup there were times where particular devices were not ready to go as the team thought they would be. Frank was completely accountable for the actions of his team and if something was not done to a high standard, Frank always offered a solution and gave a very reasonable time frame for the fix. He was always respectful to the needs of the department, even when they may not have been simple. Frank is a very friendly and respectful person and showed the same level of respect and professionalism to everyone he worked with. He is excellent at what he does; there is no problem too large for him. He always provided a solution on the spot and his IT knowledge was incredible. Frank allowed us to learn and get used to equipment but also answered any silly question we had. Frank fosters a positive workplace with every deed and action he undertakes. He is always respectful, helpful, and there is nothing that is ever too much trouble for Frank to do for you.
Volunteers – Visitor Guides
In April of this year, the Volunteer Coordinators were asked to provide Volunteers to assist in delivering Pizzas to the wards at Sunshine Hospital. This was a huge task which took quite some time to complete. Both Irene and Irma refused to go home until the task was completed, staying well beyond their shift time. These ladies continue to show their commitment and dedication to Western Health and always put their hand up to take on extra shifts and help on-board new staff. Nothing is too much trouble for these ladies and they are always willing to help in whatever they can. They have tirelessly devoted many years to being a Visitor Guide at Sunshine Hospital welcoming all that attend the hospital with a friendly smile. They are wonderful with the patients and relatives and both are a perfect example of the Western Health values. At all times, they strive to complete their roles in a cheerful, courteous and professional manner. They are very caring and compassionate and understand that members of the public can be anxious when entering the hospital, so they try to alleviate this stress by offering a welcoming smile and providing assistance. Both continue to display respectful and kind mannerisms throughout each and every day. We all enjoy working with both Irene and Irma and their peers and visitors comment regularly on the wonderful service these ladies provide daily.
Jacinta is a very compassionate person who is dedicated to providing ‘best care’ to her patients. On more than one occasion Jacinta has been found just lingering that little bit behind the ward round to check in again with patients and offer additional compassion and support. It is not uncommon for Jacinta to recognise the face of a previous patient who gets admitted down the track and cross-checks that they have all the required referrals in place as an inpatient. Usually, she will visit patients again and talk to them about their own needs and make sure that these needs are conveyed to the rest of the team. Jacinta routinely demonstrates excellence in her knowledge and advocacy for patients, ensuring that they can get as much support as possible on discharge. Jacinta is inherently caring for others, both her colleagues and patients. On a very large and multi-disciplinary team ward round she noticed that the timing of this round had meant that for a few weeks her colleagues had worked across lunch. The next week she arrived with a box of muesli bars to share. For the same team, she also baked and delivered a cake to a colleague to mark their last day before moving to a different department. These are just a couple of examples of how Jacinta’s kindness fosters a positive workplace for everyone around her.
Physiotherapist – Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR)
A patient nominated Jake for the care that he provided to them. This is what they had to say:
“Jake is an outstanding Physiotherapist who is passionate about his work and role in supporting patients. Jake was my physiotherapist after I suffered a slight stroke and spent some time in Western Health Sunshine Hospital. Staff at CBR rang and made an appointment for me to see a physiotherapist. I was initially reluctant to attend as I thought I did not need a physiotherapist. How wrong was I! Jake at our first appointment made me feel at ease, he was thoughtful and very respectful. He explained to me why I needed to have physiotherapy, but at the same
time, the decision was mine as to whether I wanted to continue. He spoke in terms that I could understand. Through Jake’s support, I am now fully functional and back to normal, leading an independent lifestyle. After our initial meeting, Jake established that I required the services of an Occupational Therapist (OT). He liaised with an OT from CBR and it was arranged that we would have back to back meetings so that I only had to attend on one day. He walked me to the booking area and ensured future appointments were booked and were suitable. Whenever I attended a session with Jake, he was always happy, positive and had a smile on his face. This made my sessions enjoyable. When I was unwell and had to cancel one of my appointments, Jake rang a few days later to see how I was going and suggested I should make an appointment with my GP, which I did. He seemed to understand what I had been through with the stroke and that I might have been a little reluctant to undergo physiotherapy, but I enjoyed the sessions and have improved in a very short timeframe. Jake built up my confidence to enable me to walk unaided, with no walking stick or frame. Jake was an excellent communicator, he is young, and I am much older, but this did not seem to matter as he was respectful and talked in terms I could understand and was happy to repeat instructions to questions. Jake is making my journey through CBR a very positive and optimistic experience. I feel I am at the centre of everything we do.”
Perinatal Loss Coordinator – Birthing
Judy supports women as they go through traumatic experiences losing their unborn babies for multiple medical reasons. Judy displays compassion to her patients every day. I have witnessed the care she delivers both clinically and from an administration perspective and it is above and beyond what could be expected, especially given what she supports women and midwives through every day that she comes to work, yet she continues to maintain a positive, empathetic outlook. I think that it is a testament to her resilience that she is able to provide such a high level of care and support to this cohort of patients, not just whilst they are inpatients, however, the follow
up care provided is just as important to Judy. Judy is always supporting team members around her and the respect that demonstrates to women is phenomenal. There is never judgement about what are no doubt extremely traumatic life decisions. Judy often stays to support women that have or are going to experience a fetal death. Whilst I know that it is a part of her role, Judy personally follows up with women and addresses any issues that they raise. She makes sure that they are supported emotionally and ensures that they do not ‘slip through the cracks’ of the system. Given the specialty that Judy works in, she always makes time to support midwives that are supporting women to deal with perinatal loss. Further, Judy advocates with passion for this cohort of women to ensure that they are getting the best care that we can provide. Judy assists co-ordinating the perinatal loss review committee and is never too busy to offer support/advice/education to members of the committee. She is kind, compassionate and respectful of the women she provides care for and the team that she works with.
A component of Judy’s role is to supervise students on placement. As the in-charge in the birth suite, Judy created an environment where staff, students, and women felt comfortable and supported. She went above and beyond to ensure that students were able to access as many learning opportunities as possible, whilst still ensuring informed consent from patients and ensuring adequate supervision. Judy respected her staff by providing support to them and acknowledging when extra support was required, for example, to graduate midwives on night shift. Judy showed expertise in the birth suite and was able to stay calm during emergency scenarios and share her knowledge. Judy provided a welcoming and supportive environment for students on placement to assist in making their experience successful and enjoyable.
Prostate Cancer Nurse Coordinator
Lisa has taken on her new role as the Prostate Cancer Nurse Coordinator with great passion. She has been a great addition to the prostate cancer nursing service at WH allowing more men and their families to receive support and education through nurse-led clinics and phone consults. Lisa is very compassionate about the care prostate cancer patients receive, making sure that the patient and family are well educated into the care they require and are making an informed consent. She supports her patients through difficult decision making which helps relieve anxiety and reduces treatment regret. Lisa always refers to best practice when providing support to patients, always making sure she is following WH values and seeking support from her multidisciplinary team for further guidance as required. Lisa has great respect for her patients, their families, and the multidisciplinary team; she seeks out appropriate resources for CALD patients, respecting their values especially when discussing concerns with sexual health. Lisa is a strong advocate for patient education and has dived right into this area of her work. She has been pivotal in rolling out new education incentives with the service and allied health, with patient-centred care always as her priority. Lisa has embraced the WH positive workplace environment and will always address any inappropriate behaviour in a professional manner. Lisa is a delight to work with and she is always happy to fill in for sick leave so patients don’t miss out on their nursing clinic appointments. Lisa has developed great relationships with her patients so they feel supported throughout their cancer journey. She thrives on improving services for patients and their families and provides extensive survivorship support. Her passion for her work is to be commended. She inspires me every day to review what we do to make sure our patients are receiving best evidenced-based care.
Acting Ward Clerk Coordinator – Health Support Services
Marcelle has made a significant difference in the everyday lives of all ward clerks at Western Health. She has built rapport and formed good relationships with her staff by prioritising the wellbeing of her staff and making this evident in how she manages her and their duties. Marcelle treats everyone with compassion and respect, and her general nature at work is something to be recognised. Marcelle is extremely approachable and has a warm and welcoming energy about her that makes every interaction with her a pleasure, even if the things discussed aren’t particularly positive. Everyone feels their concerns are heard and validated, nothing is ever too much trouble and she takes action on what she can where she can. Marcelle makes an effort to catch up with her staff as frequently as possible to see how they are doing on top of her everyday work. When she hasn’t been able to reply to an email or text, she will find time to let you know she has read it and apologise for not replying yet. It is these albeit small efforts, that make all the difference. Marcelle fosters a welcoming and positive environment. She is very approachable and is excellent at listening to and actively working with the concerns her staff approaches her with. She will take the time to thoroughly explain processes and reasons behind the decisions she makes involving her staff, ensuring they understand why something has happened/will happen and what they need to know. Marcelle is consistent in her interactions with staff, the way she communicates makes you feel validated, appreciated and needed, not just as an employee being delegated duties. She will always answer all questions, hear any concerns and strives to ensure that all conversations end with both parties up to date and happy. Marcelle manages to fill vacancies and allocate shifts efficiently and has successfully dealt with all the hurdles hospital operations have thrown at her, as well as making sure her staff are alright and coping with them all. She does all of this and still keeps the show running. If that isn’t excellence I don’t know what is.
Marcelle consistently acts with integrity and empathy towards the ward clerks in all circumstances and situations. She demonstrates enormous respect, particularly through her communication with the staff and recognises diversity at all levels. Marcelle always demonstrates high standards of work and efficiency with regard to ensuring that shifts are filled in all wards across the organisation, which is a great support for the Nurse Unit Managers.
Radiographer – Medical Imaging
Michael led the opening of the Medical Imaging x-ray area in Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s (JKWC). He demonstrated enormous patience with all of the 60 plus staff who required rapid turnaround training in the use of the 4 new imaging machines purchased for the JKWC. Michael is incredibly supportive of all staff during the sometimes hectic Paediatric fracture clinics and he is caring and empathetic to all patients who come through the clinic. Michael demonstrates accountability every day. He is always looking to ensure that our processes and workflows are as smooth as possible to provide optimum patient care. Michael has led the change of undertaking paediatric fracture clinic in the JKWC rather than in the main Sunshine radiology department. Michael had to reinvent processes and workflows to ensure maximum patient throughput was achieved while still ensuring optimal patient care. Since the change to JKWC for paediatric fracture clinic, there have been no lengthy patient wait times for x-ray due to Michael’s diligence and hard work. Michael is extremely respectful to all patients, particularly the nervous patients and families coming through the paediatric fracture clinic. He practices optimal Radiation safety every day and ensures minimal radiation dose to our most vulnerable patients. Michael is a positive and productive Medical Imaging team member. Any staff member who has worked in the clinic or in the Joan Kirner has felt supported and appreciated by Michael. He is always in a positive mood and always willing to go above and beyond to support the work of Western Health and the Medical Imaging department.
Switchboard Operator – Communications Department
Mirella is a Switchboard Operator in the Communications Department at Footscray Hospital and has worked for WH for 31 years. Throughout all of her 31 years she has not changed a bit. She always has a smile on her face and will go above and beyond to help others, staff, patients and visitors. Whether it is on the phone or in person, Mirella always demonstrates professionalism and excellence in customer service and is a role model for everyone in the department. Her upbeat and comedic nature creates a positive environment for those around her. She also organizes social events throughout the year to bring everyone together as a team and boost morale. She inspires me to be a better person as despite going through significant health issues a few years ago, she always remained positive, treated others with respect and nothing was ever too hard for her. Her focus was still on helping others and making everyone else feel good. Mirella is a great asset to our department and is always making suggestions on how to improve our services to ensure our workplace runs safely and smoothly. Mirella was once a supervisor in the communications department and in that role she was respected and praised for her fair, equitable and respectful treatment of all of the staff. She continues to display these qualities in all of her interactions with others in her current role.
Intake & Assessment Clinician – Drug Health Services
Melissa has managed the Intake and Assessment role within Drug Health Services during a period where the team has been significantly understaffed. Melissa’s role entails triaging some of the State’s most complex Alcohol and Drug patients, providing high-quality care, assessment, and referral. I witness on a daily level the compassion she shows towards her patients. Her ability to engage clients both over the phone and in person, build rapport and provide treatment is consistently at a high level. Melissa demonstrates accountability through her management of a caseload of over 100 patients, providing high-quality risk assessment, triage, and assessment which results in high rates of retention in treatment. She consistently displays respect through all of her communications with colleagues, patients, and family members. During our clinical intake meeting, Melissa presents a large percentage of the clinical cases which incorporate assessment, triage, mental state examination, and risk associated with medication compliance. Melissa performs these tasks at a very high level. Melissa is one of our most popular and well respected Clinicians who has a very positive impact on all of those around her.
Volunteer – Sunshine Hospital
Monica is a volunteer who helps in CBR Administration every Friday. She is a delightful lady with a bright and cheerful personality. Friday afternoons are always a happy time with Monica in the department. She creates a positive work environment through her infectious happiness and brings a holiday feel to the day, which is wonderful for team morale. Nothing is too much trouble for Monica. She will help the Administration team with any task, no matter its simplicity or complexity. She is an excellent administrator with a wonderful set of skills that CBR is very fortunate to be able to access. Monica is extremely reliable. She always communicates her availability and we are never left wondering if she will turn up. Monica is dedicated to giving back to her community through her volunteering role. She has been volunteering for the past 12 years in a variety of roles including social support, assisting at fundraising functions, and for the past 6 years, assisting with visitor guiding at the hospital. Monica is caring and respectful in all of her interactions with visitors, staff, and patients, in particular, those that she assists to navigate their way around the hospital, ensuring that they reach their destination. She performs her role with a reassuring smile which instils an air of compassion and confidence.
Registered Nurse – Emergency Department
A patient’s family nominated Namrata for the care she provided to their mother. This is what they had to say:
“Nam was a positive, caring and empathetic nurse who looked after my mother during her time on the Short Stay Unit. She always spoke very respectfully to my mother and kept her informed about the care that she was receiving. My mother said that she did a great job – “10 out of 10”. Nam also spoke very respectfully to and about her work colleagues. It was very obvious to us how much she loved her job and it was reflected in the care that she provided.”
Patient Services Assistant – Radiology
Nick Bartolotta is a Patient Services Assistant in Radiology who also works as a courier on occasion. He was recently involved in an incident where his actions and quick thinking probably saved the life of a 3-year-old boy. Nick was arriving for work one morning when a couple arrived in a car at the Western Private Hospital side entrance thinking it was our Emergency Department (ED). They were screaming for help saying that their son was dying. Nick was down near the loading dock and ran to their assistance. He looked at their child who was very unresponsive and thought that calling code to the loading dock at 7 am was going to waste too much time given the state of the child. He immediately took the child in his arms and asked the parents to follow him while he ran around the back corridors through X-ray into the ED. They finally got there and the child was in the right hands for ongoing care. Nick understood how urgent and critical this situation was for this family and immediately took control to ensure that the child was able to get the right care, at the right place and at the right time. His actions provide an example to all about what is the most important thing that we do here at Western Health. Nick was very affected by how sick the child was and extremely relieved to find out that the child would make a full recovery.
Chief Sonographer – Medical Imaging
Nicole has only been with Western Health for about a year and took on the role of managing the cohort of sonographers. She has displayed honourable leadership and addresses issues raised promptly and diplomatically. Nicole is always kind and courteous to the sonographers. She has a great attitude, is always approachable and is a great listener, making her team feel comfortable to discuss issues with her. She takes on issues as they arise, such as patient complaints and workplace conflicts and deals with them immediately. Nicole is always mindful of her team’s working environment and is constantly checking in to make sure their well-being is maintained. Nicole was responsible for setting up the ultrasound in Joan Kirner and did an excellent job. Managing and dealing with excessive bookings is a difficult task, yet she manages to somehow make this happen. Nicole is responsible for making the ultrasound working environment a safe place and has made many changes based on the sonographer’s feedback. The Ultrasound department has improved greatly as a result. Nicole’s positive attitude and determination to make improvements with ultrasound has boosted the sonographer’s motivation and has created a positive work environment.
Nicole manages the Sonographers and the Ultrasound service across Western Health. There were many changes for the clerical and sonographer teams during the move into Joan Kirner. Nicole was new to Western Health before this transition and she did an incredible job learning about the department and providing support to her team. Nicole always has a positive attitude even when she is extremely busy or stressed. There is never an issue too small for Nicole to spend time-solving. Nicole has been a great leader for the Sonographers as they encountered a large change to their workflow. I watched Nicole have meetings with her staff where she was empathetic to them and made sure they were happy and supported. Nicole is accountable for the actions of her Ultrasound team. She always accepts responsibility if any errors are made and quickly works to correct them. If there are any patient issues Nicole takes charge and ensures that all patients receive high levels of care. Nicole is very respectful to all staff whether they are clerical, nursing, radiographers, sonographers or doctors. Nicole is very passionate and dedicated to improving patient care. She works with her Sonographers to make sure patient safety is at the forefront of everything they do. She follows zero-tolerance procedures and follows up with clerical staff or the Administration Manager when there are any booking issues that impact on the scan. Nicole’s positive and caring attitude helps to create a positive team environment for the whole department.
Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) – Ambulatory Cancer Services
Oanh has continued to be a great manager who constantly provides guidance, education, and support to her team. She strives to improve the unit, with the team and patients always at the forefront of her mind. Oanh has always worked with the belief that the care we provide to one, we should be able to provide to all. She always advocates for patients with a language barrier, ensuring that they have access to the same resources as our English speaking patients. Oanh is always available to her team. She is always timely and consistent in her approach and provides each and every staff member with her time and support. Oanh believes strongly in the nurse’s ability to be able to make a difference in the workplace. Her constant goal is to provide a well utilised Oncology Service in Melbourne’s West, which she works towards by always ensuring our practice is current and by taking apart in opportunities that will enhance our service. For example the participation in ‘Let’s talk about cancer’ pop up shop in Melbourne’s West and the LEAN initiate. She is always encouraging staff to take part in educational opportunities and to participate in research/projects. Despite Oanh having a complete administration role as NUM, she always helps out on the floor to keep her clinical skills up to date and to ensure that she is a role model for all nurses on the floor with her practice. Oanh believes in the potential of all her nurses in Ambulatory Cancer Services and encourages us to critically think and manage scenarios with support. With her support, nurses are able to develop their skills and be proud of their skills and expertise in cancer nursing.
Cleaner – Environmental Services
Reno is a casual cleaner who accepted the challenging task of cleaning the Portables at Sunshine Hospital. He cleaned the space thoroughly both inside and out and frequently reminded the portables staff that “this is your workplace”, “this is our hospital” and “this is one of the first impressions many people will have of Western Health”. Reno takes immense pride in his work and recognises the difference his cleaning can make to appearances and to workplace wellbeing. He is incredibly thorough and goes the extra mile to ensure his work is completed to the highest of standards. His work is also completed with a smile and with a friendly and respectful chat, sharing his hot cleaning tips along the way. More than anything, the day that Reno arrived at the Portables, everyone had a smile on their face and was in awe of what he achieved to improve our working environment. A huge thank you to Reno from all of the Portables staff!!
Volunteer – Williamstown Hospital
Sandra has been a volunteer for Western Health for 4 years. Her large smile always brightens staff, patients and visitor’s day and she always brings to her role enthusiasm, commitment and love of hospital environments. Sandra is extremely diligent and she will always inform staff of issues of concern especially safety. This is especially important in her role at the visitor desk. Sandra also performs a social support role and understands that patients may not feel well and not up to chatting. She is able to be practical in terms of her environment and offers engagement that is suitable to the patients’ needs and in line with how they are feeling, whether that is chatting or just handing them a magazine. She has great empathy for those who are not feeling well. Sandra is also respectful to other volunteers and mixes with a broad range of volunteers. She enjoys her independence, but she also is able to work within a team environment. Sandra is very methodical and she always ensures that library trolley books are all new and sorted and the books available will be of interest to the patients. She has taken ownership of the library trolley area and she ensures that the area is always neat and tidy for others. Sandra was photographed for the marketing collateral for Western Health’s library trolley role. Her big smile and her warm nature are expressed through these pictures and it promotes the volunteer program. All staff and volunteers know Sandra and they all feel that she is part of the broader team and I am sure all would all agree that she brings with her a positive attitude and love of the hospital to her role at Williamstown Hospital.
Intake and Assessment Clinician – Drug Health Services
Sara works within a high energy team assessing and triaging a caseload of well over 100. This involves triaging clients over the phone, providing face to face assessments, managing risk, brief interventions, family work and working with a number of external key stakeholders. Sara completes these tasks at a high standard and is a fantastic team member. Sara has worked within the Intake and Assessment team during a period of being significantly understaffed. She has consistently worked at an outstanding level working with a large caseload of the State’s most complex Alcohol and other Drug clients. Sara demonstrates enormous compassion and respect in the way that she engages with clients over the phone and face to face. She provides a high level of clinical care, is considerate in her approach and provides excellent risk assessment. Sara presents clients at our clinical Intake meeting twice a week and the standard in which she does this is at a consistently high standard. Sara is a popular team member who provides excellent clinical care. Her ability to build rapport with clients is consistently at a high level.
Clinical Trials Pharmacist – Pharmacy
Shani oversees pharmacy clinical trials at Footscray Hospital. This requires precise and accurate record keeping and medication dispensing for clinical trial medications. As a young leader in our pharmacy department, Shani goes out of her way to help others in need within the department, including in dispensary when prescriptions are piling up so that patients can receive their discharge prescriptions and inpatient medications sooner. Shani is diligent in sourcing medications from alternate sources when commercial supplies are interrupted and this enables continuity of care for our patients. Shani also helps oversee pharmacy university student placements and co-hosts intern pharmacist tutorials to ensure our students and interns have a good learning experience at Western Health. Shani demonstrates accountability for her work every day and is reliable in getting tasks done. The very nature of clinical trials work requires a high degree of accuracy with major consequences if standards slip. Shani has a good rapport with clinical trial development. She always has a positive attitude and is an excellent team player and role model who always puts the needs of our patients first.
Pharmacist – Sunshine Hospital
Stephanie was the pharmacist at Westside Lodge (WSL) when the unit first opened. She embraced the manic of opening a new unit with no structure and made it her own. From the very beginning, she treated the clients with respect, compassion and without judgement. She would sit with the clients on admission and throughout their stay, regardless of her own time limits, to ensure the clients were aware of what medications they were taking and when they had to be taken. Stephanie was an enormous help to our Psychiatrists with the implementation of EMR and documenting medications correctly. Again Stephanie made herself available regardless of her own time limits. Stephanie recognised the specific and diverse cohort of clients at WSL and acknowledged that WSL clients did not always comply with their medications and did not judge them for this. Stephanie’s approach to the clients enabled her to build a good rapport with them. She always had a positive outlook when a client would have an unplanned discharge. This was the complexity of our clients and Stephanie would ensure the client’s transition was as smooth as possible back into the community for continued support by the community pharmacist or doctor. Stephanie very quickly became a team member at WSL. Her professionalism and great personality is the epitome of what WHS excellence stands for. Stephanie was never too time poor to ensure the client always received the best care and she was very focused on their safety. She would arrive each morning to receive a handover and if there were unplanned discharges over the weekend, she would call the client to ensure they had a doctor’s appointment and follow up with the pharmacy if needed. Stephanie would often stay back beyond her working hours to ensure the client’s medication charts were up to date, correct and supplies were available for nursing staff to administer. Every day on the unit was a challenge and Stephanie took it in her stride. She was able to put on a smile and work through these challenges and come back the next day to do it all again.
Blood Management Clinical Nurse Consultant
Susan has led Western Health’s commitment to high standards in Blood Management through her diligence, vast experience and dedication to enacting ‘Best Practice’ in our policies and has driven a number of innovations to improve patient care. Susan’s first and foremost concern is with regard to our patients. This was evidenced by our involvement in World Blood Donor Day, where we focused on the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital and made a particular emphasis on the diversity of the ethnic background of our patients and how blood transfusions rely on donors from all backgrounds donating to Red Cross to enable appropriately matched transfusions to occur. As secretary of the Blood Management Committee, Susan leads the drive to ensure our clinical teams continue to meet the requirements of Standard 7 of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. She regularly collates Clinical Audits of blood use and feeds back to clinical teams the ways in which they can improve. Western Health was able to attain four “Met with Merit” standards in Standard 7 of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards at our last Accreditation in 2016. This is the highest category and reflection of the esteem that the accreditors viewed Western Health’s Blood Management. Susan led the development of a policy regarding the use of fibrinogen concentrate in our Obstetric patients who have heavy post-partum bleeding. This is a novel product that is not funded by the National Blood Authority, but through savings made in reducing the overall blood product use at Western Health, we were able to access this product and institute a procedure to use this in order to provide more timely blood product support.
Manager Events and Production – Public Affairs
Susan was responsible for leading and implementing all arrangements for the Ministerial Official Opening of Joan Kirner and the Open Day. To celebrate the opening of a major new facility such as the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s in a way which honours the efforts of all involved and welcomes the community in the most positive way is a major challenge and involves highly complex logistics. Susan managed all of the complexity and challenges that arose and created and led a joyful, engaging and extremely well-received set of two major functions in one day. Compassion was shown through the involvement of a diverse array of community groups and also through the involvement of a large contingent of volunteers who radiated support for all aspects throughout the day. The arrangements for the Open Day came in within a very tight budget and with no issues of waste of resources. Susan was highly accountable for all aspects. Respect was shown through the arrangements to enable our community to see and enjoy their new hospital building and through the arrangements made to accommodate the varied needs of any groups in the community who wished to visit, with consideration for special needs and for the needs of parents of young children. The official Ministerial opening was described by the Joan Kirner Project Director Liz Maddison, as the best hospital opening she had seen in her career – and she has been directly involved in the opening of at least ten major hospitals in Australia and New Zealand. She said it was the warmth and atmosphere and genuine nature of the event that made an impression on her. An Open Day where some 3000 people including babies, young children, and older people are coming through a new building is a major feat and involves a high degree of attention to safety. Every occupational health and safety requirement was addressed and full safety briefings were delivered to all suppliers, which ensured that there were no safety issues on the day. The Open Day was highly effective in promoting a positive workplace at Western Health as dozens of staff proudly brought their families in to show off ‘their’ new hospital and this had a significant follow-on ripple effect across the organisation, as the event was widely publicised on TV news that evening.
Associate Nurse Unit Manager – Ward 3E
Tharushi has been an integral member of the Resource Design and Development Group for ‘Improving the inpatient experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)’: A co-design project. Tharushi has attended the resource design group on her days off. At every group meeting, Tharushi demonstrates fantastic clinical knowledge alongside empathy for the patient population. She is so committed to improving the patient journey and improving the workload for her nursing peers. Tharushi was proactive in identifying an Autism Care Questionnaire to improve the experience of patients with ASD so that the health care workforce know their triggers and provide reasonable adjustments to care. She has been fantastic in working in the Resource Design group with consumers. These consumers have found engaging with hospitals distressing and Tharushi has shown them full respect in her language and communication to make their participation possible. Tharushi has fostered a positive workplace through her commitment to her work and the welfare of patients in getting to know their needs. This has ensured a safe work environment for her colleagues by highlighting the triggers and making reasonable adjustments to care for ASD patients.
Acting Service Desk Team Leader – Digital Technology Services (DTS)
Vanessa led the Service Desk team during the implementation of EMR to the organisation, which involved changes in processes and extending operating hours. The leadership shown by Vanessa during this demanding time has resulted in a positive, hardworking and well organised team. The common feedback I hear from Western Health employees is their satisfaction when dealing with the Service Desk, which is largely due to the procedures Vanessa has implemented and her continuous hard work in improving processes. Vanessa is extremely compassionate when dealing with IT issues and requests raised by Western Health staff. Every time she deals with a call that requires urgent attention, she always seeks a DTS staff member who can assist if she cannot resolve the issue. If a staff member calls stressed and in a panic, she will always do whatever she can to get the issue fixed, and calms the situation. Vanessa is respectful to both her colleagues and staff who call for assistance. She is always kind, polite and makes time for everyone. She is non-judgemental and treats everybody the same, no matter what job title. Vanessa works hard to create a positive work environment for her staff. She is a very well-liked and respected individual within the department because of the care and respect she gives to others. She has a unique ability to put people in a good mood whenever they are in her presence. Vanessa is a big supporter of Western Health’s positive workplace strategy and works hard to ensure this filters through the department.
Pharmacy Technician – Sunshine Hospital
Vince has been responsible for the imprest medication management in Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s hospital immediately following the opening of the building and in the first few months of operation. During the change, there have been challenges with changes in imprest medications and stock levels required to meet the new service requirements. Vince’s attention to detail and work ethic means that he practices in a way to minimise stock wastage, but ensuring that the right medications are available at the time the medical, nursing and midwifery team need them, avoiding unnecessary delays for patients. When this aspect of supply works well it is easy to take it for granted, but without someone like Vince doing an exceptional job, the patient experience may be very different. Vince is fastidious with complex stock management (particularly SAS drugs) and chases the necessary documentation to ensure the continued supply of restricted medications. He has been exceptional in managing refrigerated stock when a temperature excursion occurs his appropriate and thoughtful quarantining and rotation of refrigerated stock after such an event means that patient safety is not compromised and the costs are minimised. Vince’s work ethic is outstanding. He continually goes above and beyond to make sure that medication stock is in the right places and maintained correctly. Vince is always obliging and is willing to go out of his way to help anyone he encounters, even if it inconveniences himself. He always keeps the patient at the centre of his decision making and problem-solving. Vince has worked hard to build extremely positive relationships with the Nurse Unit Managers and Midwife Unit Managers in Joan Kirner. His attention to detail and pride in his work is infectious and he encourages the other members of the Joan Kirner Pharmacy team to always strive to meet and exceed his high standards. He is a team player, who encourages a positive team mentality.
The Western Aged Care Assessment Team provided incredible and invaluable support to a member of their team who was injured in a dog attack that tragically took the life of her beloved husband in July of this year. The team wanted to acknowledge the courage of their friend and colleague, and arranged a fund raising lunch to show their support for her as her life has been drastically changed by this event. The generous staff provided the catering by bringing in home-made sweet and savoury treats to tempt attendees in exchange for a donation. Large numbers of staff attended from the across the services at Footscray Hospital and over $1500 was raised to support their colleague. The event was highly inclusive and enabled a large number of staff from a range of services to demonstrate their support by attending and making a contribution. The work of the team in supporting their colleague with flowers, fundraising and messages of support was truly inspirational. The ACAS team demonstrated enormous compassion as a collective group, taking the time to acknowledge the difficult situation being faced by their team member and supporting her in her time of need.
Bernabe (Jon) Paller, Sweta Sharma, Karen Pinkney, Jane Mosely, Ruth Gallant &
Under instruction of occupational therapists, and physiotherapists, this team conduct assessments and provide group therapies to enhance the functioning of the patients that attend. They provide warmth, compassion and acceptance to people often in very vulnerable positions. They use gentle encouragement and humour to increase people’s participation in physical therapy groups and consistently engage with their patients and other staff members respectfully and with kindness and patience. This team often assist other staff members or members of the public who need information, and at times play important roles in carrying the institutional knowledge of how things work within Williamstown. This team attend to things in a timely manner, and with little apparent fuss, despite at times tight time lines and role responsibilities. They take an active role within the Williamstown campus, and are very willing to try to help out or provide resources that might enable patients to feel more settled or occupied during their inpatient stay. As staff they often form a lynch pin of continuity within the allied health treating team, as they don’t rotate through roles as a number of the allied health roles at Williamstown hospital do. They combine to create a warm, accepting and at times humoured backdrop for the other staff present there.
Dr Forbes McGain and Dr Irma Bilgrami – Medical Donation Specialists
Louise Watson, Sarah O Conner, Meaghan Bruns and Briony Gardner – Donation Specialist Nurse Coordinators
The Western Health Organ Donation team helps coordinate all aspects of the organ donation process from participating in end-of-life conversations, seeking consent for donation and supporting donors and their families, to arranging compatibility testing for organs and tissues and organising surgical staff for theatre. So far this year at Western Health, four very generous families, honouring the wishes of their deceased loved ones, have donated organs and tissues from Sunshine and Footscray hospitals, saving and transforming the lives of multiple recipients. The Western Health Organ Donation Team plays a pivotal role in supporting these families. The team acknowledges the significance of all individuals and families loss and situation and they provide them with the opportunity to make informed and enduring decisions at a very difficult time in their life. The Team demonstrate respect by acknowledging families, listening, offering and supporting family’s decisions while also providing information allowing them to make decisions they will be comfortable with irrespective of religion and or culture. The team foster a positive workplace by establishing strong relationships with the extended organisation through their provision of education and sharing of expertise, and the recognition of contribution to the organ donation process through the donation outcome letters to key stakeholders.
Jennifer Wort, Stella Nelson, Kirsty May, Sharon John, Eloise Silburn & Peter Heald
This Allied Health team demonstrated incredible commitment to best care for patients when managing a very complex general medicine patient. The patient was admitted from his community residence following a period of behavioural changes. Prior to his admission the patient required 24 hour care from two carers to meet his premorbid care needs. Upon admission the patient’s behaviour resulted in a risk to care providers and himself – leading to his need to be restrained and provided with security special. This significantly impacted on the patient’s ability to participate in daily occupations and negatively impacted his mood. The allied health team, in conjunction with other health service staff, worked extensively with the patient in an attempt to ensure that he was treated with compassion, dignity and respect whilst ensuring a safe working environment was maintained. The team sought to develop rapport and re-engage the patient in his valued daily routines and interests within the restrictions of the hospital environment, whilst assisting him with emotional regulation. The team worked extensively with family, community care providers, DHHS and the NDIS supporting team to develop a highly individualised approach to the provision of care in an attempt to safely meet the patient’s needs within the hospital environment, and to ensure that the patient could return safely to his preferred living environment within the community.
Lucky Karunaratne and Anita Richardson
Sunshine Rehabilitation Ward
Each week Lucky and Anita, in consultation and supported by the Occupational Therapists on the ward, provide weekly activities which encourage the patients to socially interact with other patients and staff. Often a ward can be quite clinical with not a great deal of focus on social activities or interaction with other patients. These volunteers ensure that all suitable patients have the opportunity to participate in the group and will visit each nominated room and notify the patients of the commencement of the session. During the interaction with the different patients, both Lucky and Anita deliver the activities to the patients with their abilities always in the forefront to ensure that no patient feels isolated. The inclusion of all patients, regardless of their disabilities is paramount and displays the compassion and empathy that they demonstrate each week. Staff have commented that both Lucky and Anita engage with the patients before the activity commences and create rapport with them, which encourages participation. On this ward, both volunteers will encounter a range of different nationalities and beliefs. Lucky and Anita will listen to each patient without judgement and create an atmosphere that fosters a sense of respect and safety for each person. The weekly commitment that these two volunteers display to providing a positive hospital setting full of laugher and social interactions is a welcomed distraction from the usual background noises of alarms and buzzers ringing. Other patients within the ward have heard the laughter and conversations and have commented how nice it is to hear people having a chat and a laugh. Lucky and Anita’s ongoing commitment to supporting the Rehabilitation Ward patients through this program enables the provision of holistic best care through leisure. The group continues to be well attended and the feedback received about the program demonstrates how much of a positive impact it is having on both staff and patients alike.
Carolyn Wockner, Xueling Gu, Allison Scholey, Amardeep Brar & Elizabeth Hristov
Over the last 12 months this team managed to complete their usual daily work of triaging, auditing and booking WH patients to WH procedure rooms as well as manage the bookings for a public-private partnership. This involved setting up new processes, auditing the waiting list, receiving and collating medical records and managing bookings for an additional 1285 patients above their usual workload. The team provided consistent information to patients and their families who were concerned that procedures were being performed by a private provider and not WH. They consistently responded respectfully to multiple phone calls from patients who had questions about the process and also went above and beyond to train and assist the staff members of the private provider to successfully navigate WH computer systems. They ensured audits were completed monthly of all privately completed cases to ensure pathology had been appropriately followed up and that the patients had been discharged from the waiting list. This team demonstrated excellence and safety by checking that medical records had been returned, pathology had been followed up and follow up procedures or appointments had been made. They displayed a solutions focussed, ‘can do’ attitude and continuously found innovative ways to solve the issues that were encountered. This contract would not have been able to have been completed without the attention to detail that this team provided.
Ella Smith, Thomas Jones, Renee Jennings & Anthony Hew
This multi-disciplinary team provide support and treatment to people who use alcohol or other drugs admitted to Footscray and Sunshine Hospitals (including Joan Kirner and Sunshine Acute Psychiatric Unit), with focus on the Emergency Departments. Their work manifests compassionate engagement with clients, high quality evidence based treatment of substance use disorders during hospital admissions, and motivational interviewing and connection to appropriate services for clients looking to make changes to their substance use. This team demonstrate gentle and respectful engagement and communicate with clients who are often faced with (and expect to face) stigma and judgement. Their compassionate engagement extends to clients with a range of psychosocial complexity and marginalisation, and clients with challenging behaviours. The team’s focus is on supporting their clients with their own goals rather than imposing on them external goals. They have an organised, structured, consistent team approach that ensures follow-up and support for clients during and after hospital admission. They ensure high quality evidence based treatment is offered to clients in the face of complex interaction between medical, psychiatric, social, behavioural, and cognitive and substance use disorders. The team demonstrate awareness of a range of relevant risks both in hospital and after discharge, and ensure engagement of clients with a range of harm reduction strategies. They also ensure safe and skilful prescribing of high risk medication for clients in context of ongoing substance use. The team’s appropriate management of withdrawal syndromes ensures a much more positive experience for clients and also for treating nursing and medical teams. They also support teaching programs for medical, nursing and allied health staff which increases confidence for a range of staff in engaging and understanding challenging clinical situations.
The compassion, kindness, skill and dedication displayed by the entire team on Upper West Ward (UWW) is incredibly inspiring. This team not only provide comprehensive and quality care to our elderly patients, they are super passionate about achieving the best possible outcomes for them, and will often go above and beyond to achieve this. UWW team have demonstrated they are a high performing unit, achieving excellent results across the board with sub-acute KPI’s, but also displaying awesome attitudes, teamwork, compassion and respect. It is clear from patient feedback that staff continue to deliver ‘best care‘ on a daily basis and adopt the attitude that ‘nothing is too much trouble’ and ‘no problem is too big’. For example: One employee often (quietly) brings in toiletries for patients without family or resources. One of the ANUM’s is so caring and passionate about ‘best care’ for our elderly population that he can often be found assisting patients with showers, meals or attending other care needs, whilst also running the shift. These are only 2 examples however I could provide similar examples for every member of the team. UWW Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy teams are regularly praised by our patients for helping them regain their confidence and achieve a level of function they didn’t believe they would ever achieve. UWW Social Workers are dealing with multiple complicated patient situations and deliver amazing outcomes in very short timeframes. Recently, UWW medical staff were particularly challenged with limited resource issues, but they were brilliant in supporting and assisting each other to get through that difficult week, whilst safely meeting the needs of the patients. All members of the UWW team demonstrate respect and kindness when communicating with each other and the patients. It takes A LOT of effective communication to deliver the complex care that many of our patients require. Under difficult circumstances, the UWW team pull together. Recently, the entire Multidisciplinary team had to spend many hours, at short notice, working together to plan a patients discharge back to Bosnia. This was an extraordinary example of team work and the most complex discharge planning I have ever been involved in. Everyone’s contribution ensured an excellent outcome for the patient, where he was able to be reunited with his family.
Ward 2B – Footscray Hospital
Joanne Kha and her nursing team on 2B worked together to provide care for a patient who had a complex medical history, combined with challenging and difficult behaviours. His Acquired Brain Injury contributed towards his physical aggression towards staff and himself. Despite this, the team worked together above and beyond expectations to ensure his and their safety was met throughout his lengthy stay. The patient was attended by numerous external carer’s each shift, and an extensive health care team involved with his care. The staff were more than accommodating with this and worked hard to build ongoing, collaborative and professional relationships. The 2B team improved the experience for this patient by ensuring his complex care needs were met by working with him, his parents and carer’s and ensuring he was included in his own plan of care. They supported him in identifying his “actual goals” which was to live in his own home, and by working together with all teams they helped achieve this. They remained positive during planned code greys which occurred regularly for even the most basic nursing care of this patient and remained respectful at all times. They supported each other to continue to provide quality care each shift despite being confronted with a patient with varying and complex needs and they worked with all health care team members to develop a safe environment for the patient and themselves. The 2B team fostered a positive attitude and actively collaborated with all teams, including external clinicians and DHHS to facilitate a safe discharge plan for the patient. The 2B team always demonstrate a fantastic “can do” attitude and deserve to be recognised for the care they provided, which ensured this patient had a positive outcome and was able to move into his own home, set up for his unique needs.
Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s – Women’s Clinic
Kylie and her team have been responsive and supportive of the Wellbeing Screen Clinic. The Screen Clinic is a pilot program lead by the Health Equity Team to screen all women antenatal for mental health, legal concerns and family violence. Kylie and her team encourage their patients to attend the wellbeing clinic and promote it as a supportive service. They always ensure that the clinic is a priority and go to great lengths to find a safe space for the clinic to operate. They have demonstrated a shared passion and understanding for the goals of the wellbeing clinic and genuinely care about the safety of their patients. Kylie and her team have worked with the Health Equity Team as peers and in a respectfully partnership offering support and assistance. They have contributed to a positive workplace by working in collaboration and supporting the Health Equity Team to achieve the outcomes of the clinic.
A patient’s family had the following to say about the care provided to their father on Ward 1 West:
“I would like to take the time to express on behalf of our whole family how incredibly honoured we all feel about the unrivalled service, compassion, understanding and genuine love that Doctors, Nurses and admin staff showed towards our father during his 5 weeks at 1 West, Footscray Hospital until his subsequent passing in May of this year. The public hospital system has certainly copped its fair share of criticism over the years but we as a family cannot speak higher of our personal experience. Nothing was ever a problem. We had family members in literally every day for 5 weeks and were always welcome with open arms. Questions were always answered, requests were always met and we ended up on a first name basis with all regular staff members, even down to the small coffee shop in the foyer, we were welcomed and felt so at ease. As a family we would like to express our extreme gratitude to all our regular staff Nurses and Doctors – Dr Ben, Dr Chris, Dr Jenny, Gertrude and Cathy on the main desk and just to name a few of our regular Nurses- Gemma, Jerry, Alan, Missy, Loraine, Jackie, Gail and of course the lovely Marty, who was by our fathers side with my sister at his peaceful passing, and later, shedding a tear with both of us. There are certain things you cannot fake. One is genuine care and understanding. I once walked into dad’s room unannounced and found Gail sitting with Dad, holding his hand and comforting him with Elvis playing on the hospital computer (they all knew he was an Elvis fan). Marty organized and watched the footy with him (he was a mad Essendon supporter), even though, with his brain injury, he would doze off and really not remember anything, they still put in all the effort above and beyond what was asked of them. The care my father and we as a family received at the hospital was exemplary. Dad had full private health cover and could have gone anywhere. After the first week at Footscray; there was never a doubt in our mind that he could get better care and more to the point, compassion and understanding than where he was. Thank you ALL once again and we feel privileged to have made your acquaintance.”
A/Prof. David Krieser – Director of Paediatric Emergency Medicine and Dianne Patterson – Paediatric Services Development Lead
David Krieser and Dianne (Di) Patterson have both worked at Western Health over a long period and in the course of their wonderful and exemplary careers, have made an impact upon many of their colleagues. In their years of service they have also made many long standing friendships that bring us to the reason for this outstanding nomination today. This nomination represents their collective, Compassion, Respect, Kindness, Courtesy and Care for their former colleague, Francis Sweeney, who left Western Health, also after many years of dedicated service, in February this year, due to ill health. Francis was the Paediatric Clinic Coordinator at Sunshine Hospital until his health prompted an early end to his clinical career. He had dedicated 26 years of his working life to Women’s & Children’s services and departed before the Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s hospital was completed. David and Di both knew how much the new hospital meant to Francis, so they set about organising a visit for him in April, just prior to it opening to the public. After gaining the appropriate approvals and liaising with the building manager of JKWC regarding access and authorisation to attend the building site, Di and David drove to Francis’ house and picked both him and his daughter up to take them for their own private tour of the hospital. They made sure that Francis had his wheelchair and that they had spare oxygen to ensure that their colleague was “safe” and comfortable throughout the visit. They also organised for some of his colleagues to take part in the tour and had a group photo taken as a memento for both Francis and his colleagues. It truly was a special day for all that had worked with Francis over the many years in Women’s and Children’s services and most importantly, for Francis and his family. It was only 2 weeks after that, Francis passed away due to his long term illness. The effort, time and care that both Di and David took to acknowledge Francis’ contribution at WH and ensure that he was able to see the hospital that he was so passionate about, was truly inspirational. We would like to acknowledge that care and compassion shown by them and recognize both David and Di on behalf of all of us here at WH as role models for caring for your colleagues.
Consultant General Medicine Physician and Nephrologist
Dr Nicole Lioufas received two nominations for an Inspire Award.
Dr Nicole Lioufas is a Consultant who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty for her patients, her junior medical staff and medical students, regularly giving up her own time to arrange clinical tutorials, frequently sharing the load of junior medical staff duties, and always encouraging a positive workplace through her own exemplary advocacy for her patients and junior medical staff. As our most recently appointed General Medicine Consultant at Western Health, Nicole is seen by many of our registrars and interns as symbolizing the future of General Medicine at Western Health, and if that’s the case, the future is bright. Nicole is very compassionate. When a junior medical staff member needed to leave work mid-shift for personal reasons, Nicole immediately returned to the hospital, taking the time to console that staff member personally and then facilitate them leaving to attend to their personal situation without the added guilt of burdening their colleagues with extra work, as Nicole of course also stepped in and completed their shift without any complaints or hesitation. Nicole always acts respectfully in all interactions with colleagues and patients. She is an example to her junior staff in respectful communication, particularly in times of breaking the bad news to patients and their families and discussing open disclosure. Nicole regularly runs clinical tutorials out of her own time with both medical students and interns and even coming in on weekends to assist registrars in their preparation for exams, exemplifying her extreme kindness, selflessness, and generosity. Nicole regularly checks in on her junior medical staff in terms of the manageability of their workload, including safe working hours and appropriate breaks between shifts and in switching from night shift to day shift. She also advocates on their behalf for continued review and improvements in rostering and equitable division of workloads, and always ends every such conversation with the open question “What can I do to help?” Nicole’s permanently positive attitude and optimism are infectious. She has an uncanny ability to improve the day of all around her, including her patients, registrars, interns, and allied health colleagues. She is tireless and relentless in her efforts to improve the way things are done, never accepting the standard others walk past, but rather exemplifying the standard we should aspire to set, and always seeking to make positive changes at every opportunity.
Dr Nicole Lioufas is passionate and committed to the training experience of all junior medical staff. She often comes in on her days off to run tutorials with medical students, interns and registrars. Dr Lioufas is incredibly thoughtful and devoted, demonstrating her leadership and level of care for her trainees when she drove back to Sunshine Hospital after hours to cover her Registrar’s evening ward duties, due to unplanned personal leave. In addition to the usual duties of the two medical registrars, Dr Lioufas also covered four other medical subspecialties simultaneously due to an absence of staff cover. Despite the substantial work load, Dr Lioufas effectively completed her duties. Dr Lioufas is also dedicated to her patients. During our time with a particularly challenging patient and their family, she led multiple family meetings a week (including impromptu meetings on her non clinical days), to strengthen the rapport between Western Health and the patient. Dr Lioufas champions the core beliefs of Western Health, and is an advocate for safe working hours. Her dedication to providing the best care for her patients and to the training and well-being of junior medical staff has been inspirational.
Deputy Directors Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine
David and Liz are the Deputy Directors of Anaesthesia. Both provided a crucial role in the design and commissioning of JKWC. In particular, they drove a program of orientation and simulation that identified key ‘no-go’ issues that could have jeopardised a successful move in and go-live. They volunteered to increase their workload significantly on top of their usual day to day responsibilities in order to ensure a successful outcome for Western Health, it’s staff and patients. In doing this they led by example demonstrating enthusiasm and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. They did not ‘walk past’ potential issues that could have been seen as ‘someone else’s problem’. This is one example of many that demonstrate both Doctor’s engagement throughout Western Health. Their professional behaviours allow their team members to feel safe to raise issues of concern and know they will be listened to with respect. They both are true examples of the definition of good leadership as being people who will leave their teams and organisation better than they found them.
Chris is a phenomenal leader of medical teams – proactively nurturing and empowering junior and peer-level colleagues. He acts as a teacher, a mentor and a friend to medical, nursing and allied health staff. Junior staff talk of feeling well supported in their clinical practice and their learning when working alongside Chris on the wards. Chris models a kind and compassionate disposition towards his patients and their families, handling complex and emotionally fraught circumstances with sensitivity. Chris also takes a sincere interest in the wellbeing of his colleagues and will go out of his way to advocate for intervention in circumstances or systems that impede the best outcomes. He won’t ‘walk past’ poor behaviour by senior staff towards juniors, and questions the design of systems that impede on patient and employee wellbeing. Chris has invested significant time and emotional energy in advocating for better working conditions for junior medical staff, for which many of us are very appreciative. We recognise that he has been an important driver of roster change for medical teams and for greater awareness of the stressors of working in many junior medical roles.
Volunteer – Visitor Desk, Williamstown Hospital
Dot has volunteered for Western Health for 16 years. She is considered part of the fabric of the Williamstown hospital and she has been relied upon to be a source of information for staff and volunteers on aspects of the hospital. Dot is extremely efficient and she has helped medical admissions for years by arranging back up packs for them and manual administrative tasks. Dot can always be relied upon to help out when an electoral commission comes or when other tasks that relate to advocacy and positive workplace support is involved. Her smile always brightens staff, patients and visitor’s day and she always brings to her role enthusiasm, commitment and love of hospital environments. Dot is extremely diligent and she will always inform staff of issues of concern especially safety (this is especially important in her role at the Visitor desk). She has been a great resource at the central location of the Visitor desk and she offers support to other volunteers (from practical assistance to empathy and compassion). Dot has been relied upon to manage the bus list for years for National Volunteer’s Week Luncheon and she is training others in that role. Dot volunteers in other non-profit organisations that help those who are disadvantaged – she brings this understanding and compassion to her role at the volunteer visitor desk. Whether it is helping a visitor to be able to get safely to their location and understanding their vulnerability, to offering moral support to other volunteers and genuinely connecting to people that need her. Dot always goes to her training and even attends extra non-mandatory training sessions. She is committed and accountable for learning and developing. Dot is able to listen and be able to connect to diverse communities and she has shown this through her people based role at the Visitor Desk. Often this role requires patience and the ability to communicate in multiple ways. Dot is an asset to Western Health. Her warm nature is showcased on the marketing images and flyers. Dot has been part of the Williamstown hospital community for years and as the longest-standing volunteers at the Williamstown site and that in itself demonstrates excellence. Dot is very thorough in her approach and will always notice things that require attention that impact safety. This spans from calling security when required about concerning issues to ensuring visitor safety gets into the taxi/ transport. Dot absolutely goes above and beyond in her role and any staff member and the patient would say that having her smiling face on the desk to welcome them into Williamstown Hospital leaves a lasting impression and is reflective of a positive attitude and culture at Western Health.