Grade 2 Radiographer – Sunshine Radiology
Adriana is consistently going out of her way to educate the Medical Imaging students that spend time at Sunshine Hospital. She demonstrates respect and compassion by unfailingly making sure they are engaged with the department and not left behind during times of increased work flow. By engaging the students and teaching them to the best of her ability, Adriana ensures that the medical imaging department continues to work seamlessly and our patients receive both excellent and safe care. She is a merit to herself and the Education team are very grateful to have her assisting us.
Associate Nurse Unit Manager – Footscray Cardiac Care Unit (CCU)
Adrienne has always been a shining light of the Western Health values of compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence during her time as Associate Nurse Unit Manager (ANUM) on the CCUs. Known for her unwavering respect and kindness towards her patients and colleagues, she has always provided exceptional support to her colleagues regardless of experience level. In her role as ANUM on CCU, Adrienne would always advocate for those who couldn’t, ensuring that all patients got the best care possible without compromise, and would always do so by supporting and guiding those providing the care to do so at the highest level. Through her years of hard work Adrienne has inspired excellence in a generation of CCU nurses to become better clinicians and is commonly identified by other staff members when we ask the question “who inspires you at work”. Adrienne has announced her retirement this year, her legacy of excellence kindness, and compassion to provide ‘Best Care’ will live on through the staff of the CCUs. Many of the staff on CCUs will share stories of when they were inspired to work towards being better caregivers, kinder people, and smarter clinicians from their time working with Adrienne.
Nurse Unit Manager – Williamstown Theatre
Alison is the Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) in theatre at Williamstown Hospital and is someone who really encompasses all of the Western Health values. With a smile always on her face, Alison is a caring and compassionate person to both the patients and staff in her department. From the patient’s waiting (sometimes nervously) for their surgery to patients in Recovery, Alison is passionate about the positive patient experience and is there to reassure and oversee the patient and their journey. If need be Alison also keeps family member’s informed of their relative’s journey in a caring and respectful way. Alison is highly respected by her staff who describe her as someone who is incredibly supportive, who listens to her staff, and likes to hear different opinions. The department is a happy place to work with a tea-room that often has an array of different goodies to eat. Alison is a humble achiever who sets about her work in a considered and methodical way; whether this is responding to a deteriorating patient, or being involved with surgical trials. Alison is a true advocate for her patients and her staff and is fair and equitable in all of her actions. In these unprecedented times Alison is leading her team in responding to the demands of COVID; keeping them informed and providing support despite the team now working in a number of areas across the organisation. As Alison’s time as a NUM extends, so too does her leadership capabilities. Alison is a wonderful role model for her staff and her actions each day exemplify positive workplace behaviour.
Western Health Breast Care Nurse Team
Alysha is the inaugural Western Health Breast Care Nurse Scholarship recipient. Western Health and BreastWest launched this innovative program in July 2019. WH & BreastWest are supporting the professional development of nurses at Western Health by supporting them to undertake further education. This means that Western Health will have a number of Clinical Champions in different areas of the hospital ensuring breast cancer patients receive specialised support across their journey. Alysha is improving her knowledge therefore improving the experience of the patients she cares for. Alysha is actively engaging with the breast multidisciplinary team to assist with her learning. Alysha is committed to her professional development and wants to ensure her learnings benefit patients of Western Health and the wider community. Alysha’s enthusiasm and energy for this scholarship experience are inspiring. Her willingness to learn and embrace opportunities is wonderful. Professional development ensures we offer the best, evidence-based care to our patients.
Administration Assistant – Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR)
Annette is a vital member of the very hard working Community Rehabilitation Administration team. Making the patient experience a positive one is really important to Annette. With her friendly smile and caring manner, she makes the clients that check-in at ease and helps them where she can. Annette always treats patients with respect even if they are rude or difficult. She understands they might have some cognitive impairment from a stroke or head injury (the reason they are attending Rehab) and doesn’t take it personally. If patients are impolite to her at the front desk or on the phone she will look beyond what they are saying and will still get to a positive outcome. Annette often goes the extra mile for patients. A great example of this is when a patient left a message on the voicemail after 11.00 pm one night saying he was scared as someone was about to kill him. When Annette took this off the Voicemail she slipped into action informing management immediately. She then proceeded to contact communications in an endeavour to find the number the call came from. When this was done she searched numerous ways in iPM to find the patient’s name and find the clinicians. The patient was called by one of our psychologists to complete a welfare check. The Unit Manager who was new to Western Health at the time was impressed with this level of commitment. This is only one example of what Annette does every day at work. This type of commitment is exemplary role modelling for our new and younger Administration staff. Annette is always looking for ways to improve work practices. She is innovative and comes up with systems to help the front desk run smoothly. Recently, Annette battled with a serious illness but continued to come to work, which was her way of beating the illness. It was her positive attitude that would not let her sit at home and be taken down by the disease. She worked to full capacity and was once again a great role model and an inspiration for her colleagues. During the time of COVID, Annette has been flexible and responsive, taking on the tasks of other redeployed staff. She, along with the rest of the admin team, has made a really important contribution during a very difficult time.
Associate Nurse Unit Manager – Footscray Emergency Department (ED)
Arthur was nominated for continually displaying excellence in his craft, as a senior Nurse, and predominately the Nurse in Charge of the shifts at Footscray ED. He has an excellent awareness of all the policies and procedures of the department and the wider organisation and he is calm, organised, and supportive of the team. This excellent knowledge base and approach to leading the shift allows the medical and nursing staff – working with Arthur to deliver ‘Best Care’. Essentially, through Arthur’s leadership organisation, professional knowledge, others around him can be their best and provide the best care to the patients that present to the Footscray ED. This year it has been excellent to see Arthur extend himself and take on the role of rostering, which is a complex task, with many challenges.
Registered Nurse – Ward 2 East
Ayusha is such a helpful, cheerful, and supportive team member. No job is ever too much and every task she does, she does with a smile. Ayusha shows Compassion by really listening to her patients and responding in a calm and positive manner, every time. As an EMR Super User, she displays Excellence in her EMR documentation. If I get a handover from her, I know that the information will be thorough and the documentation will be comprehensive and accurate. Ayusha always practices the highest degree of Safety, meaning that her patients feel safe in her care and that her colleagues are inspired to follow her lead.
Volunteer – Footscray Hospital
Barbara is a highly valued member of the volunteer team at Footscray. She completes a variety of tasks in the Health Information Centre, in addition to Visitor Guiding and ICU roles. Barbara is empathetic and always has time to listen and to help others, regardless of the task she is working on. She understands the anxiety patients and families experience, and how a simple act such as offering someone a cup of water and a quiet place to sit can make all the difference. Barbara is an extremely reliable and trustworthy volunteer. If something needs to get done on a Monday or Tuesday, the person to ask is Barbara. She is always on time and willing to cover gaps at a moment’s notice. Even though she is very knowledgeable, Barbara is a team player and embraces other people’s ideas and takes these on board to achieve the best possible outcome. She relates well to volunteers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, recognising that our diversity is our strength. Barbara has done a fantastic job organising all of the printed materials in the Health Information Centre at Footscray. This includes ensuring the fact sheets are up-to-date, relevant and neatly displayed. Barbara is an excellent role model for the Year 9 Maribyrnong College students who participate in the Marbi program. She encourages them to use their initiative and have the confidence to put forward their own ideas on how to make a positive contribution. Barbara’s friendly, positive and enthusiastic nature, her ‘let’s get it done’ attitude, and her ability to work without direction has been invaluable and is an indispensable part of the ACAS and broader volunteer teams.
Operations Manager – Emergency Medicine
Despite being Operations Manager of Emergency Medicine for less than a year, he has become an invaluable member of the team both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has worked tirelessly to develop governance processes that promote accountability as well as collaborative work practices to champion a culture that not only ensures safety but strives for excellence. He has demonstrated his leadership skills on a daily basis, throughout the challenges of ED performance issues, Hospital Accreditation, and now through the uncharted territory of a pandemic, respectfully challenging as well as supporting the ED leadership staff throughout this journey. The positive difference he has made to our combined vision is immeasurable.
Community Fundraising Manager – Western Health Foundation
As a long-standing member of the Western Health (WH) Foundation team, Danny is an invaluable addition to the WH workplace. Recognised and respected by all, Danny is the go-to person for many WH staff when they reach out to the Foundation. His positive attitude and desire to assist his colleagues is one of the reasons that the Foundation is respected by staff for the fundraising work that we do. Danny is the embodiment of positive WH values. He is respectful of colleagues, volunteers, patients, and community, always mindful of the needs of others, and aware of the impact of his actions. An example of this is the many years that he has spent working directly with our breast cancer patients on BreastWest fundraising. In what could be an uncomfortable environment for some men, Danny has always acted with the utmost respect and sincere consideration of the patients that we deal with for various fundraising activities. He is able to talk with them about treatment and the kinds of support that they need and goes above and beyond to respond to various queries regarding patient care. His compassion for workmates and the community is also very high. Danny cares deeply for the many volunteers that work closely with the Foundation, as well as many of our older or frailer donors. He takes the time to speak with volunteers, donors, and staff and is usually a member of the Foundation team who is aware of any personal issues that may be affecting our community. In recent months, as the Covid-19 crisis took shape across our community, Danny stepped up to take a leadership position for the organisation. In response to an urgent call-out for back-up PPE, Danny took on the management of a months-long campaign to secure donations of both disposable and handmade PPE items, reaching out to many of his community contacts. The response was overwhelming, with dozens of individuals and groups coming forward with offers of assistance. Managing these offers became a full-time job as Danny became the key liaison between generous donors and the WH COVID response team, ensuring that PPE guidelines and requirements were met, that deliveries were received and acknowledged, that all donated items were logged and stored appropriately and that the teams at the front line were kept informed. In total, Danny worked to secure over 90,000 items of PPE for WH, with an estimated value of over $150,000. He then coordinated a mailing of thank you letters to over 150 people, ensuring that they all received a personalised letter of thanks for their contribution – something that many have commented was really appreciated
Clerical Coordinator – Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s
Danika Janus has always maintained a committed, positive, caring, and professional outlook within her role as Clerical Co-Coordinator, and I believe she has always demonstrated a respectful and compassionate outlook toward her colleagues and the teams she manages. Danika’s support and knowledge are truly commendable, and her dedication towards educating staff, driving excellence, demonstrating accountability and performance, and implementing safety, are just a few of the qualities I have experienced, under Danika’s management. I want to thank Danika for being such a strong role model, and for being completely approachable and supportive, and for taking on the duties that she does without hesitation.
Volunteer – Visitor Desk, Williamstown Hospital
Dot has volunteered for Western Health for 16 years and is considered part of the fabric of the Williamstown Hospital. She has been relied upon as a source of information for staff and volunteers on many aspects of the hospital. Dot’s 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 a great resource at the central location of the Visitor Desk. She is extremely diligent and will always inform staff of any issues of concern, especially safety. She also offers support to other volunteers from practical assistance to empathy and compassion. Dot volunteers in other non-profit organisations that help those who are disadvantaged and she brings this understanding and compassion to her role at the Visitor Desk, whether she is helping a visitor to be able to get safely to their location and understanding their vulnerability, or offering moral support to other volunteers. She has an incredible ability to listen and genuinely connect to people from diverse communities. This often requires patience and the ability to communicate in multiple ways and she has demonstrated this many times in this people-based role. Her warm nature is showcased on many of Western Health’s marketing images and flyers. Dot is very compassionate and caring and has also donated coffees from Zouki Café for staff at Williamstown during this COVID-19 crisis to show her support and appreciation for them and increase morale during this difficult time. Dot absolutely goes above and beyond in her role and any staff member and the patients would say that having her smiling face on the desk to welcome them into Williamstown Hospital leaves a lasting impression and reflects the positive attitude and culture at Western Health.
Allied Health Assistant – Williamstown Hospital
Elaine is a dedicated, hardworking, and highly valued member of the Aged Care Occupational Therapy (OT) Cohort. Elaine’s work as an Allied Health Assistant at Williamstown Hospital makes a significant impact on the Occupational Therapists in her team as she is always looking for ways to help out and facilitate the workplace to run smoothly. Whether it be replacing forms, setting and cleaning up after OT groups, or providing great feedback to therapists on the patient’s progress. Elaine’s clinical role has resulted in a number of patient’s commenting on her positive attitude and ‘can-do’ approach. Recently her patients started to call her “Bubbles” because of her bubbly positive nature and colourful gown. Throughout 2020 Elaine consistently provided patient-centred, safe, and ‘Best Care’ through retraining patients to return to their everyday activities and helping them to return home faster, which has been vital in this COVID-19 pandemic. Recently at the Bed Based Transitional Care Program (BB TCP), Elaine assisted a patient to be able to dress and prepare a hot drink and meal independently again. Before the patient left she expressed her deep appreciation of the high standard of care she received, particularly from Elaine, who she said was like an “angel sent from heaven.”
Nurse Unit Manager – Footscray Day Procedure Unit (DPU)
Ewa embodies the Western Health Values through every action she takes. Despite conflicts and grievances, she treats patients, colleagues and other departments with the utmost respect and dignity. Whilst dealing with complaints can be difficult, Ewa not only handles herself professionally but always seeks a resolution and implements strategies to prevent further issues. She listens to what all parties have to say and never walks past any workplace issues. DPU has been the most positive and safe environment I have been a part of, especially during my graduate program when I needed kindness and support the most. While each and every staff member in DPU contributed to this, it is Ewa who provides the fundamental model for this positive behaviour. Despite the hustle and bustle of the department, conflicts, and difficult patient behaviour, it is Ewa who helps to keep the stress level of staff down through fun and laughter and she motivates and enables us to provide the best care that we all strive for.
Cleaner – Williamstown Environmental Services
Hari is responsible for ensuring that the patient equipment returned to Allied Health is thoroughly cleaned. It can be a tedious task but Hari achieves the task consistently, with great care and a smile. It’s so important for the Allied Health team to know that we can trust that Hari will consistently complete this task to a high standard in this COVID-19 environment. Hari shows excellence in his role and extra accountability by letting us know when he notices equipment is damaged, needing repair or missing parts. This also leads to good safety outcomes for the re-use of the equipment. When someone in the team approaches him with a query related to the equipment cleaning, he will almost always resolve the issue himself, help us find what we need, or point us in the right direction. Hari always communicates with us in a kind and helpful way, including letting us know if he has noticed a delivery for us in the delivery bay where his other duties often send him. Hari always spreads a very positive vibe in a role that can be challenging and sometimes taken for granted.
Volunteer – Williamstown Hospital Opportunity Shop
Helena has volunteered for Western Health for over seven years and has been based at Williamstown Hospital in multiple roles during this time. For several years she has been undertaking the Volunteer Meals Assistance Program (VMAP) role as well as and her ongoing role in the Williamstown Hospital Opportunity Shop. Helen is a compassionate local who is driven to make a difference to her local hospital. When the idea was raised to organise a mother’s day plant stall to raise money for the Hazeldean Recreation Program, Helena, with her extensive networks with the garden community, immediately came to mind. Helena had a hands-on understanding of the need for the Recreation Program to have extra funds and understood the positive impact this type of initiative could have on the vulnerable patients, the hospital, and staff. Helena approached Bunnings independently to obtain in-kind donations of pots and plants and also turned to her local networks through the garden club. The patients in the Recreation Program created gift cards that were added to the plants so they could be purchased as a gift for mother’s day, which was sold from a trolley just outside of Hazeldean Transition Care Centre via a donation tin system. During the early stages of COVID-19, this contactless social distancing option of purchasing a plant at a reasonable price for mother’s day was appreciated and well supported. The project had widespread local community, volunteer, and staff support and lifted morale at Hazeldean in multiple ways. The success of this project would not have been possible without Helena’s expertise, initiative, enthusiasm, and support. Overall, the Plants for Mother’s Day initiative raised $320 for the Recreation Program. This money has been directed toward the purchase of three DVD TV units for the patients, which has helped the staff to manage the difficult situation of limiting access to the TV in the shared lounge area due to COVID-19 restrictions. Helena is a very kind and supportive team member. Her compassionate nature and ability to be empathetic enabled her to understand the need for support of this project and she was dedicated to its success. Helena engaged respectfully and collaboratively with all partners involved in the project to ensure that positive relationships and partnerships were fostered. Her hard work and dedication enabled her to deliver the project in a timely way which ensured that it was a great success.
Radiographer – Footscray Radiology
Jacqui is a part-time radiographer with more than 20 years’ experience. Her experience provides a valuable asset for what is typically a young department and her capability across modalities allows for flexibility of rostering and ensures a level of experience that can be maintained throughout the department. Jacqui is an experienced and excellent radiographer and mother of two daughters and sets an exemplary standard and is a terrific role model for our young radiographers. She demonstrates outstanding communication skills and is excellent with her patients, demonstrating the levels of empathy, care, and respect that represent our department to our students and younger radiographers. As an experienced radiographer, Jacqui demonstrates accountability for her decision-making that is expected of our team, which sets the standard for our students and young staff to aspire to and is an incredible resource and support to our General Radiography, CT, and Education teams within the department.
Allied Health Assistant – Williamstown Allied Health
Earlier this year I moved to Williamstown and found Jane to be very welcoming not only to myself but to other staff who have moved across or had recently started here. Jane has made sure new staff had everything they needed and were invited to local social events – showing her compassion for others. Jane organised an appropriately socially distanced Easter egg hunt earlier in the year and ensured that everyone was included. It is the small but very important efforts like this that have helped to keep spirits high during COVID-19. Jane is always upbeat and her positive attitude rubs off on the entire department. I have overheard Jane speaking of her interaction with patients and noted the respect she has for others and the extra effort she puts in to help them achieve their goals. I think it is important to recognise the hard work she is doing and her efforts which have obviously been a major part of the fantastic culture at Williamstown.
Emergency Physician – Sunshine Emergency Department (ED)
Jamie is consistently working to try and improve the systems and processes within the Sunshine Emergency (ED). Particularly, he plays important roles, in the areas of Clinical Excellence and Accountability – in managing the rosters for the Junior Medical Staff. Jamie understands the positive influence he can have on the whole department as a Senior Clinician and in the last three months, he has really owned his role and position and is continually showing strong leadership traits that improve the workplace culture within the Sunshine ED. It is through this leadership, and his strong commitment to improving the clinical systems at Sunshine Hospital ED, that Jamie, supports the provision of ‘Best Care’ at Western Health. He collectively supports others to deliver ‘Best Care’ in the complex environment of the Sunshine Hospital Emergency Department, while also displaying individual excellence and a high work ethic and commitment to the patients in his own craft.
Associate Midwife Unit Manager – Maternity & Gynaecology
Jen is team-oriented and demonstrates the ability to plan, prioritise and time manage in a highly challenging operational environment. She ensures the delivery of high-quality care aligned with Western Health’s Best Care Framework, core values, and legislative requirements. Her greatest strengths include her ability to provide woman-centred care, work cohesively within the multidisciplinary team, effective clinical decision making, and promote a positive learning environment. Jen displays her ongoing commitment towards her Infection Prevention portfolio which has been invaluable for our staff during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Jen is a highly respected role model and clinical resource within Maternity and is an asset to our team on JKWC Level 7.
Associate Nurse Unit Manager – Footscray Emergency Department (ED)
Jess continually displays excellence in her craft, as a senior Nurse, and predominately the Nurse in Charge of the shifts at Footscray ED. She has an excellent awareness of all the policies and procedures of the department and the wider organisation. Jess is a fierce advocate for excellent patient care and staff support and she works tirelessly to improve outcomes for patients shift to shift and in the long term. This year it has been excellent to see Jess take on the role of rostering in the Footscray ED for a period, a difficult task but one she handled very well.
Pharmacist – Renal Services – Sunshine Pharmacy Services
Nomination 1: Julina is a highly valued member of the pharmacy department who is supportive of her colleagues and is always willing to step up and assist the department, even on short notice. She demonstrates a positive, ‘can-do’ attitude, even in the most difficult of situations. Julina played an integral role in the successful implementation of the Best Pharmaceutical Care – Admission Medication Reconciliation, thereby reducing the risk of medication-related harm. Julina was also able to support the department during accreditation week by seamlessly stepping into the Clinical Co-ordinator role when the incumbent staff member was on unplanned leave. During this time, the Pharmacy department experienced an unprecedented number of staff on unplanned leave in the Sunshine Hospital Pharmacy Department with up to 9 pharmacists on any given day.
Nomination 2: Julina is an inspirational pharmacist who is a wonderful teacher and mentor to junior pharmacists, always lending a helping hand. Whenever there are any issues, you can always rely on her, as she always takes the time to listen and takes it upon herself to try and solve the situation. This year her work was exemplified by her efforts in helping to set up the pharmaceutical aspects of the new COVID-based ward 2G, working after hours to ensure patient care is achieved in this time of a pandemic crisis. Julina always demonstrates respect and integrity in all her interactions with staff, patients, and carers, and is always striving to help others learn and improve, evidencing herself as a positive role model in the workplace.
Nomination 3: Julina is the Head of renal services in pharmacy who assisted to set up the pharmaceutical aspects of the new COVID-based ward 2G. Julina always listens to colleagues and assists with issues. She offers support to junior staff, makes them feel valued, and gives them a sense of belonging. Julina is dedicated to the improvement of people’s skills and encourages ‘Best Care’ to be given to patients. When you have made an error or mistake, she will respectfully bring it to your attention and work with you to do better in the future.
Associate Nurse Unit Manager (ANUM) – Ward 2 East
Karen is an excellent team member and is always the first to help the staff she is working with. As an ANUM she oversees the running of the ward but is always very conscious of the quieter staff member who won’t always ask for assistance and makes sure they are okay. She is very organised, has well-developed communication skills, and is an advocate for both staff and patients. Karen consistently demonstrates high standards of work and patient care and is always willing to help others learn and improve to ensure ‘Best Care’ is provided to patients.
Occupational Therapist – Williamstown Hospital
Karen has worked at Western Health for numerous years and is appreciated by her colleagues as a person who truly cares about the staff that she works with. Karen promotes ‘Best Care’ for patients in not only her own interactions with patients but also through the way that she develops people in supervision and improvement initiatives. Karen displays compassion for staff and patients through truly listening in conversations and trying to help, support, and encourage where possible. She promotes accountability and excellence through her leadership in connecting people to provide ‘Best Care’ for patients and provide support for colleagues. Karen leads the Occupational Therapy standards and safety committee and does an amazing job of ensuring that we are maintaining effective and safe standards and systems to support ‘Best Care’. Karen is always respectful in her interactions with colleagues and patients.
Grade 2 Speech Pathologist – Sunshine Hospital
Kathryn was actively involved with a complex GEM patient with significant cognitive-communication deficits. She displayed exceptional patient-centered care and advocacy. She provided intensive speech therapy to achieve patient identified goals and optimise patient function to ensure a safe and successful discharge. Kathryn always involves family and Multidisciplinary team members in the management of her patients, fostering a collaborative approach to treatment and discharge planning. Kathryn always displays compassion and respect for her colleagues by checking in with the rest of the Speech Pathology (SP) team throughout the day, especially junior staff, and assist others with patient management. She has gone above and beyond by providing support and a listening ear to junior members of the SP team as they navigate through COVID-19, ensuring all team members maintain self-care practices. She contributes to a positive workplace by promoting strong team functioning including open and clear communication within the SP and wider team.
Lisa Matar – Breast Care Nurse and Darcie Vogan – Breast Care Nurse Administrative Manager
Western Health Breast Care Nurse Team
The compassion, kindness, skill, and dedication displayed by Lisa and Darcie are incredibly inspiring. Each day, they demonstrate Western Health’s core values. This team not only provide comprehensive and quality care to women and men of the west who are affected by breast cancer, but they are also passionate about achieving the best possible outcomes for them, and will often go above and beyond to achieve this. Lisa and Darcie seem to provide endless compassion with their interactions with patients and families. They are very approachable and display a warm manner toward their patients and encourage them to contact the office and openly speak about any issues they may have. They ensure that patients understand and are provided with comprehensive information and often follow up with phone calls and extra consultations. They are the utmost professionals at all times, always ensuring that they maintain privacy and confidentiality. The Breast Care Nurse Team as a whole work with many other disciplines and have built up an excellent rapport with other medical, nursing, and administrative staff. Lisa and Darcie contribute to Western Health GP information sessions and community-based breast care advocacy and support groups. They engage with community partners and represent Western Health at community events. The Western Health Breast Care Nurse Team has supported each other through significant staff changes in 2019. Lisa and Darcie extend a warm welcome to all new staff members and demonstrate enormous patience during their orientation period which contributes towards a positive work environment.
Ward Clerks – Sunshine ICU
Every time I call ICU they make me smile. They are so
professional and helpful, I feel like I am speaking to someone at a 5-star hotel. They make me feel like anything I ask is no trouble at all and that they are really happy to help me out. For example, they will say things like “of course I can, I will just transfer you over to the other phone, and I will walk you down to the other end of the ward, and we can find the nurse that you need to speak to”. When I go into ICU they are just as helpful when I need information about a patient or where to find the things I need. I am new to Western Health and this has been a really positive introduction for me, especially in such a challenging time of working with COVID. They show respect for me as a member of the wider multidisciplinary team and for the role, all of us play looking after the patients in ICU and their families. They show excellence in their customer service, communication, and ‘front of house’ role that really helps people to feel comfortable in a potentially stressful location. They demonstrate the value of safety by always being able to confirm with me the current correct PPE to be worn in different areas of the ICU and wearing it themselves. This helps me to feel safe in ICU. It’s amazing the difference friendly and positive interactions make to my day as I settle into a new workplace and work with COVID patients and COVID restrictions.
MRI Radiographer Supervisor – Footscray Radiology
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Louise displayed the CARE values of Accountability, Excellence, and Safety through the implementation of a required process in order to meet a clinical need under difficult circumstances. Under great pressure and with the desire to maintain the high standards on MRI safety that is embedded within the MRI team in Medical Imaging, she researched, developed, and implemented MRI scanning on patients with MRI compatible pacemakers to meet an emergent clinical need. Traditionally Pacemakers had been considered a complete contra-indication to an MRI referral. Newer generations of pacemakers have changed this allowing some patients that meet specific conditions and have a compatible device to be able to undertake MRI imaging. Up until April 2020, such a request had not been received by the MRI team. However, during the Pandemic, an ICU patient with COVID-19 precautions that had a pacemaker required MRI imaging. This clinical need necessitated the requirement to implement a safe process to ensure that the pacemaker was safe to be scanned on the MRI scanner and that the specific conditions of how to scan the patient were identified through manufacturer communication and adhered to. Louise handled this in her stride ensuring that a safe process was developed to allow imaging to occur without compromising patient care for this patient as well as for any future patients.
Western Health Learning Designer – Clinical Education
Majd oversees WeLearn. Not only does he oversee WeLearn, but he was also fundamental in the move to the new platform and he designs content for learning packages for Western Health. When Covid-19 raised it’s head and classroom training could no longer be supported in its previous capacity, the education team in EMR looked to alternative methods of ensuring the workforce were ready for working at Western Health and were competent and confident in the use of the EMR. The current online EMR learning package was outdated and needed to be revamped. We had noticed that some of the mandatory training packages had been updated, were interactive, and interesting and we knew we needed someone’s expertise to help design and build something similar. I was quickly put in touch with Majd. From a scrappy, rushed script of an introduction to EMR training, Majd was able to put together a professional video that blew us all away, all within 24 hours! He built it to be interactive and reflective of workflows and this was all done whilst he was building new content on WeLearn for Covid-19 and managing Western Health through the move to the new learning platform. He worked an incredible amount of overtime to complete this for us and even though we have made numerous changes, nothing was ever a bother to him. He has even started to train up one of the EMR staff members to assist with building content for online learning to future proof our training design needs. Majd flies under the radar at Western Health and does not expect to be given credit for the incredible work he does, but his work touches every single person here. He is one of the most professional, humble, and respectful people I have ever had the pleasure to work with.
Assistant Director of Nursing – Working Together project
Melody has driven the Working Together project (which Western Health has been awarded as the State-wide lead) and has proactively engaged with nurses, midwives, and Unit Managers to run a co-design process to support and empower staff to identify issues, design solutions, implement and evaluate to enable success. This process had led to significant change being implemented through the empowerment of staff – with ‘nurses and midwives leading changes in nursing/midwifery’. This has resulted in amazing engagement and passion to improve from the nursing/midwifery teams, driving the pursuit of excellence in a psychologically safe and compassionate manner. Throughout her work Melody always lives the WH values. She leads, listens, and guides others with great emotional intelligence, which has led to teams wanting to be part of her project and wanting to succeed.
Senior Physiotherapist – Sunshine Hospital
Mel recently facilitated the transition of care from a physiotherapy perspective from ICU to the acute wards of a COVID-19 patient who spent 48 days in the ICU. This patient became incredibly debilitated and weak as a result of his illness and required significant physiotherapy input for both his tracheostomy care and physical rehabilitation. Mel helped lead her colleagues to organise training and upskilling on the new 2G ward for nursing staff to ensure this patient was as safe as possible in this environment. Mel also continued to advocate for ‘best care’ and excellence throughout his acute stay despite multiple setbacks and challenges associated with his care.
Clinical Nurse Specialist – Footscray ICU
Michelle is consistently supportive of her colleagues and very respectful of all visitors and employees of Western Health. Michelle goes above and beyond her role as a clinical nurse specialist, to provide excellent care and support for patients, visitors, and colleagues and she seeks out opportunities to help others, and improve her working environment. She is an excellent role model for Western Health values, encouraging positive behaviours from others, and giving respectful and professional feedback, when these values are not being displayed. She is always available to support others, without being asked and seeks out learning opportunities, and personal feedback, to improve her own practice. Michelle is an asset to Footscray ICU. I personally enjoy working with her and aspire to have the same work ethic, and motivation, that she displays, every time she comes to work.
Volunteer – Williamstown Hospital Opportunity Shop
Muoi has volunteered for Western Health for over five years and she is considered part of the fabric of the Williamstown Hospital Opportunity Shop. Muoi is a hard worker who is very efficient in all that she does and is very much an integral part of the team. Her compassion and need to support and care for others and her dedication to her community within the Williamstown Opportunity Shop and hospital led Muoi to put her efficiency skills to use to sew masks for Western Health. She also created scrub bags and these recently have been given to Hazeldean, which helped build morale during the onset of COVID-19. Muoi didn’t stop there though. She was also driven to create an extra 60 handmade masks for her friends at the Williamstown Hospital Opportunity Shop. She used her own material and supplies for this generous project and even made sure that the material she used matched the Western Health Logo. This generous gift of friendship was very reassuring to her fellow team members, many of whom were also isolated and had not been able to access reusable masks. This act of kindness led to phone calls of thanks and social connection between her and her team members and it has helped strengthen the volunteer community at Western Health. In total, Muoi has made approximately 100 handmade masks for the community and approximately 30 scrub bags for Hazeldean. Her generosity and care for others made a difference in the impact of COVID-19 on the hospital system on many levels and helped to boost morale.
PA to Director of Emergency Medicine – Sunshine Emergency Department (ED)
Narelle has worked at Sunshine Hospital Emergency Department (ED) for 27 years as the ED Personal Assistant and has dedicated herself tirelessly and wholeheartedly to providing support for the ED staff. Narelle ensures that the ED runs smoothly and the staff always feel welcome. There is a saying in the Emergency Department “if you don’t know, ask Narelle!” She has developed a close rapport with the ED staff and has become a sounding board and a communication conduit for their general issues. The ED staff have come to recognise Narelle as the voice of comfort and wisdom, and many hours have been spent in Narelle’s office for support, problem-solving, and some good old fashioned laughter. There are numerous occasions where Narelle has gone above and beyond to provide assistance and support to her colleagues when they are experiencing difficult times or personal hardship. Her compassion and genuine care for her colleagues in these circumstances, along with her discretion and respect for their privacy, is truly admirable and is a reflection of her phenomenal character. Her pro-active support for all ED staff has resulted in her becoming the integral “glue” which helps bind the team together and she will often participate and organise lunches/social gatherings to boost morale and well-being. She is loved and appreciated by all ED staff from nursing to medical, ward clerks, and is even on a first-name basis with the cleaners, delivery, and IT personnel. Years after our ED staff leave or rotate, she will still often receive, thank-you, Christmas or greeting presents from those who have worked with her. Sunshine ED is synonymous with Narelle.
Executive Director Operations
Although it may not be the norm to nominate a staff member at the Executive level, on this occasion it seems pertinent to nominate Tash to acknowledge the amazing leadership she has provided Western Health staff throughout the various phases of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tash has provided calm, methodical, and consistent leadership throughout Covid-19, not just to her direct reports but to all Western Health staff. Tash has consistently provided up to date information, ensuring clarity of our surge plans, clinical guidelines, provided rational and sound decision making, and provided any relevant updates from teams such as DHHS, Executive, and Infectious Disease. We all feel very fortunate to have had Tash at the EDO helm to lead Western Health through these challenging times and beyond.
Associate Nurse Unit Manager – Footscray Emergency Department (ED)
Nerina provided a Christmas BBQ for all three shifts on Christmas Day. She came in at 2 am to prepare and cook for the busy night shift team and made sure that no team member went hungry. She was not asked to do this but did it of her own accord demonstrating her enormous compassion and commitment to her team. Christmas is seen as a time for family. Nerina’s actions demonstrated to us all that we are part of her work family who is also very important. In ED we care for each other regardless of role. Security staff, orderlies, and admin as well as nurses and doctors were included in the Christmas BBQ breaking down siloes. Each and every one of us who worked on Christmas Day felt valued and appreciated. Their happiness and feelings of wellbeing were contagious and made it a very special day for us all.
Director Nursing & Midwifery – Sunbury Day Hospital and Division of Emergency, Medicine & Access.
Nicole Davies led Western Health’s COVID Planning response working with diverse stakeholders across the organisation to ensure that all risks were identified, plans were developed and actions were put in place. Under Nicole’s direction, the Pandemic Plan was developed, as was our surge plans, the establishment of testing sites, and an astonishing and rich library of resources and staff information. Nicole used her leadership, resilience, determination, and communication to ensure that a dedicated team and the wider leadership group achieved great things in an environment where there were significant uncertainty and time pressure. As a result, Western Health has had a proactive, planned, and well thought through approach to COVID and have been able to manage any challenge that has come our way.
Urogynaecology and Obstetrics Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynaecology
During a period of 4 weeks leave, Oliver continued to come into work, for long hours, within the Medical Workforce Unit, to assist with setting up rosters and processes in order to help plan and prepare for COVID-19. Once his leave was over, Oliver has continued to perform his normal duties as a consultant within the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department, as well as continuing to help the Medical Workforce Unit, often staying onsite overnight. Oliver’s commitment and dedication to Western Health and the teams he is supporting have been greatly appreciated and has been invaluable during this time.
Radiographer – Footscray Radiology
Parveen is a part-time radiographer of more than 10 years’ experience who provides consistency, leadership, support, and teaching to our young department of radiographers that are typically rostered across many areas within the department. Parveen provides an excellent resource for our young and developing radiographers and students and supports our education team immeasurably. Her focus toward placing the patient’s needs before all else is exemplary and this is passed onto our students and younger staff members, ensuring positive experiences for our patients. The consistency of having Parveen rostered to the same days on the department roster provides accountability in an area that has a large variation of staff rotating through.
Emergency Volunteer and Maternity Volunteer Partner – Sunshine Hospital
Pat has been a volunteer at Sunshine Hospital since April 2017. She commenced in the Emergency Department, and now also volunteers in one of the Maternity Wards at Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s. Pat, in a relatively short time, has become one of our go-to volunteers when it comes to ad hoc roles (like the Cancer Pop-up Shop), or to mentor new volunteers. In her roles, she offers a friendly welcome to patients and their support people as they are waiting to be attended to. She offers support to patients, maintaining the human contact necessary for patients to feel heard. She treats all patients and visitors as individuals and is very empathetic to their situations. Pat encounters the full range of culturally and linguistically diverse people who access our hospitals and she treats everyone with whom she interacts with respect. She is equally comfortable dealing with the high-stress Emergency Department, and the patients who present there, and the emotional roller-coaster ridden by new parents in the Maternity ward. Everyone is an individual in Pat’s eyes, and she is never judgemental. Pat has proven to be a very reliable and capable volunteer. She is a mentor for new volunteers in both Emergency and Maternity. She is patient and takes time to explain procedures and processes to new volunteers and is able to give honest and unbiased feedback to both the volunteers and the coordinators. Pat is always vigilant with safety. She works in areas where the safety of staff, patients, and visitors is paramount. She strictly follows instructions from staff and does not take shortcuts. She is careful to teach new volunteers the correct way to do things right from the very start. Pat promotes a positive workplace through her caring attitude which is exhibited to patients, families, staff, and fellow volunteer team members.
Allied Health Assistant – Upper West Ward – Williamstown Hospital
Ruth is always very committed to providing positive outcomes for her patients and she works hard to empower patients to reach their goals. Recently, Ruth supervised a student placement during COVID and provided a very positive experience for that student despite the limitations of the pandemic on the placement. Ruth is enthusiastic and committed to positive student outcomes.
Emergency Physician – Sunshine Emergency Department (ED)
Ruth runs an excellent Education Program at Western Health for the Registrars in Training – Emergency Medicine. The feedback about the quality of teaching via the Australian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM) is excellent and she should be commended for the culture of education and training she is continuing to propagate. This year one of the graduating Registrars was recognised as the top Registrar in the class, while four of the Registrars in training received Fellowship. This continues a strong track record for Western Health, for Registrars who successfully achieve Fellowship in Emergency Medicine. While the success of the Education Program speaks for itself, it is the ability that Western Health trainees show on the floor on a day to day basis, which clearly drives Ruth. She is dedicated to increasing the skill and competence of the Junior Medical Workforce in Emergency Medicine to ensure the quality of care provided to the patients is always improving. A special mention to Ruth and the broader education team who adapted their teaching methods with aplomb during the ever-changing rules and requirements of COVID which demonstrated excellence, accountability, and incredible agility. Additionally, Ruth never fails to lift the spirits of all team members at Sunshine ED with her regular baking and the broad sharing of the goodies.
Clinical Nurse Consultant (Delirium)
Sharon has been a long-term Western Health employee, who led Ward 2A with great skill for an extended period. Sharon moved outside of her comfort zone and expanded her horizons to lead the implementation of best-practice Delirium prevention and management strategies across Western Health. Delirium is a complex and poorly understood condition with a high prevalence rate, which is under-diagnosed. In this role, Sharon has proactively engaged with Western Health’s experts and the multi-disciplinary team to develop a plan, strategies, and tools – pilot them on a few wards and then roll-out as ‘mainstream’ practice across Western Health. Through Sharon’s steadying hand, staff have been educated, supported and empowered staff to go on am improvement journey to enable success. This process had led to significant change being implemented through the empowerment of staff, with great results. Sharon’s intervention has halved falls on the pilot wards and led to excellent compliance with the new best practice tools to screen for delirium. This has resulted in amazing engagement and passion to improve, with Sharon educating multidisciplinary teams and many staff (including surgeons) commenting on the amazing impact that her intervention and involvement is having on patient outcomes. Throughout her work Sharon always lives the Western Health values. She leads, listens, and guides others with great emotional intelligence, which has led to teams taking on the new tools and work-flows, inspired by her commitment to patient safety and excellence.
Radiographer – Williamstown Radiology
Siphoi is dedicated to the provision of high-quality patient care and is continuously finding ways to improve department workflow and improve the clinical experience for our patients. She is also dedicated to the development of our staff, creating educational ways to encourage them to achieve more. Siphoi created user-friendly databases to allow staff to voice any concerns and insecurities with regard to their clinical skills and competencies. This assisted the department to identify potential gaps in clinical skills within the team and address these potential risks in a clear and concise manner. Siphoi treats all patients and staff with the same high level of respect, care, and consideration regardless of job description or health status. She consistently goes above and beyond in work practices and provides constant communication, encouragement, and feedback to her team. She ensures that she acknowledges all staff within the department for their efforts in creating a positive environment for all.
Storm demonstrates enormous compassion every day for her patients and their needs and is committed to providing excellent patient care. She listens to her patient’s concerns and is committed to giving the right information to them and their family. Storm is extremely patient and is happy to take the time to explain things carefully if they don’t quite understand the first time. Every day Storm strives to provide a respectful and professional approach to all of her interactions with staff. She is more than happy to share her knowledge with anyone that asks her to explain why a particular treatment is ordered or an anatomy and physiology question from staff. She is a great supporter and member of the “team” and ensures that she treats every staff member she interacts with the same, from Patient Services Assistants through to senior medical. Storm is not afraid to call out inappropriate behaviour and does so in a very professional and respectful manner, quickly deescalating potential conflict. I observed her intervene in an inappropriate interaction between two employees in the hallway outside a patient room. Storm was very clear that the interaction was not the correct way to manage the patient’s care and then clearly explained to both staff the required way to progress. She also offered her assistance if required. This was for a different unit than the one she was currently working with. She managed to deescalate this potential conflict which contributed to a more positive outcome for both the patient and staff involved.
Manager of Aboriginal Health, Policy and Planning – Wilim Berrbang (Aboriginal Health Unit)
Tanya joined Western Health in late 2019 and has since consistently demonstrated her excellent leadership skills, warm personality, and strong moral compass. Tanya has achieved huge things in a short period of time, including organising multiple cultural safety audits and improving hospital-wide cultural safety in JKWC. Patients have been invited to walk through spaces and provide feedback as to how we can improve environments/services. Policies have been improved, and new staff have settled in. Meaningful connections have been forged between the Wilim Berrbang and JKWC staff, which has led to improved communication between teams. Alongside all this, Tanya has made herself available to support patients and families at the bedside. I personally witnessed a patient in the JKWC pregnancy clinic who was going through a tricky time, re-engage with the hospital through Tanya and Wilim Berrbang. Tanya created a welcoming and safe space, provided practical resources and emotional support, empowering this young woman to have her voice heard. I truly admire Tanya and feel extremely lucky to be working with her.
Intern – Acute Aged Care
A patient’s family had the following to say about the care Dr Varun Buhariwalla provided to their father:
Dr Varun was incredibly kind and gracious in his communications with us. I wanted to personally show my thanks for the effort he took to answer every one of our questions and provide me and my niece with comforting words, overt kindness, and heart during a difficult time for us. In the days and hours leading up to my father’s passing, Varun went above and beyond the call to give us peace of mind and ensure that my father was comfortable. The Vaotangi family will be eternally indebted for his generosity and means for us to see Daniel before he passed, even if it was just by phone. We take comfort knowing that a fine doctor like him and the rest of the ward staff were there to take care of my father.
3 East – Footscray Hospital
3 East is a surgical ward that deals with challenging patient care on a daily basis. However, two recent patients that were very long-term and extremely challenging were treated on this ward. Both patients had complex abdominal wounds, fistulas, drain tubes, and stomas. Managing large abdominal fistulas and problematic stomas can be very labour-intense when constant leakage means many hours of attempting to contain bodily fluid to protect the patient’s skin and provide some degree of dignity. However, the nurses on 3 East went about their tasks with such a high level of nursing expertise that this makes me proud to be a member of the Western Health organisation. Compassion occurred naturally. The patients were treated like the nurses would treat a family member and respect was evident by the daily nursing interaction and specialised care provided. Excellence in nursing was demonstrated by sheer endurance and fortitude for these vulnerable members of our community and accountability was demonstrated by ensuring that wounds, drains, fistulas, and stomas were promptly attended to. A positive workplace is fostered every day on this ward. I am always greeted with a smile from everyone. I know that this positive attitude assists their challenging patients to be nurtured and supported towards their recovery and rehabilitation back as members of the community. Well done everyone on 3 East.
Gita Castellas, Jo Ciantar , Warren Fuge, Dr Kelly Sinclair, Vanessa Smith, Linda Gibb, Stephanie Haering, Dr Jagadeesh Herur, Dr John Guinine, Dr Liz Feher, Dr Lauren Nacey, Dr Mizhgan Fatima, Clara Luu and Nhi Phan.
During these difficult times, this team has maintained and displayed a very high level of care to our patients. Lots of processes were changed and adapted to continue with this clinic over the COVID-19 period which is still ongoing, with challenging and overwhelming situations to deal with on a day to day basis. Even though these are uncertain times the patient and family have always been the focus for this team who consistently displays the values of respect, compassion, and accountability during the delivery of best and safe care to their patients. The support of the entire team of administration, social worker, occupational therapy, medical, speech pathology, and neuropsychology working together and upholding all Western Health values has been amazing to see as the clinic evolves into this “new normal”.
Warren Fuge and Gita Castellas – The Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service (CDAMS) Team PICTURE CREDIT : PENNY STEPHENS / WESTERN HEALTH. THURSDAY 8TH OCTOBER 2020
Amy Busby, Julie O’Connell and Jenny Ratcliff
Amy, Julie, and Jenny’s roles as Medical Education Officers (MEOs) involves pastoral care for approximately 200 junior doctors at Western Health. They have gone above and beyond in this role and demonstrated care and compassion on countless occasions. This has included supporting junior doctors with physical and mental health issues and liaising with multiple staff in various hospital units to ensure these doctors received appropriate assistance to continue their work. They have also worked to support junior doctors during COVID-19 by providing welfare checks and providing PPE training at short notice across multiple campuses and adapting various education programs and training requirements due to COVID-19 restrictions. Amy has taken a pro-active role in coordinating the August orientation for the 60+ junior doctors who are starting at Western Health at that time, ensuring these new doctors are welcomed to our organisation and receive appropriate training as required, despite the massive change from in-person orientation to delivering it online due to physical distancing requirements. Amy has been meticulous in planning for orientation to ensure this runs smoothly and is a positive welcoming experience for our new junior doctors. Julie provides immense support to International Medical Graduate (IMG) doctors at Western Health, many of whom need extra training and encouragement to find their feet in a new country and new working environment. This is a challenging and sometimes thankless task but her role is a vital one to maintain our junior doctor workforce which relies on IMGs to fill areas of workforce need. Julie’s support enables these doctors to adapt and rise to meet the challenges of working in a new medical system and meet their full potential. Jenny provides both educational and emotional support to our interns which is vital to ensuring that they quickly find their feet in the role and in the organisation. She achieves this via the provision of orientation, simulation sessions, weekly intern training sessions, and regular welfare checks. Jenny is a very caring and compassionate person who ensures that the interns know that she is available to support them if and when needed. Jenny, in conjunction with our admin team, was also involved in the design of an innovative Western Health Intern Smartphone Application that provides a variety of cleverly curated resources at hand, which were previously difficult for the interns to find on our WH Intranet. The app has been received with universal praise by our 60+ interns. In summary, Amy, Julie, and Jenny are certainly inspiring team members, whose work makes a substantial contribution to fostering a positive workplace for >200 junior doctors at Western Health.
Cathy Sommerville, Susan Negrau, Evonne Madden, Claire Moody, Ellise McLoughlan, Cindy Medved and Madeleine Mittas
The coronavirus pandemic has projected a spotlight firmly on health care and health care institutions. An intense amount of media and general public interest has heightened the need for stakeholder engagement and particularly public affairs, resulting in an escalating workload for Cathy and her team. In inventing a new medical device to help healthcare workers, Dr Forbes McGain needed assistance from Cathy and her team to initially elevate awareness of the invention to wider stakeholders. Cathy & her team not only managed to engage media interest but continued to navigate the storm of further media interest that ensued. Her management and skill working with media to promote strategic messages and aims have been exemplary. In particular, there were sensitivities about respecting patient privacy in the ICU during filming, and Cathy made sure that all policies were adhered to, providing oversight every step of the way. She ensured that at all times, the excellence in care that Western Health employees provide was highlighted. Cathy also managed to produce and release a podcast during this intense time, on her new release of Western Health Stories. A brilliant initiative to showcase and explain healthcare in a new media format. Cathy and her team have also managed to skilfully assist many other media engagement in relation to the escalating admissions of COVID patients to the ICU and other ward areas. This included navigating live crosses to national news services and internationally on CNN broadcast. I believe Cathy and her team have managed to engage public awareness of Western Health brilliantly under some very intense and hectic periods. As healthcare workers, we are often humble in our ability to provide ‘best care’. Cathy and her team showed compassion to us, as healthcare worker colleagues, in overseeing media engagements to make sure that the burden of engagement was as minimal as possible and relieved our stress considerably. Thank you Cathy and team for keeping Western Health engaged with our community and with each other across the network.
Rehabilitation Ward – Sunshine Hospital
The Rehabilitation Ward Multi-disciplinary team is committed to providing excellent, person centred care to all their patients. Many of the patients that spend time on the rehabilitation ward have complex medical, functional, and social factors that are always very carefully assessed, reviewed, addressed, and considered by the multidisciplinary team (nursing, medical and allied health) on the ward. More recently the team has become experts in facilitating the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) processes and enabling many people to leave hospital and transition into the community with supports and services. The team’s dedication to ensuring that all avenues are explored to maximise patient’s independence and support their families/carers is admirable as is their ongoing team effort to providing high-quality ‘Best Care’.
Sarah Cornish, Maria Kasambalis, Victoria Pearson and Chris Poropat
The Sunshine Emergency Department (SHED) Education team provides continuous education and encouragement to nursing staff during various stages of their careers. From Graduate Nurses, Discoveries, post graduate students, and staff returning to work after maternity or lengthy personal leave, the SHED Education team provide education over multiple platforms to make sure everyone is included and can learn to the best of their ability. The educators have had a particularly challenging year so far with the increase in staff along with the stress of dealing with a pandemic and ensuring all staff keep themselves, our colleagues, and our patients safe. The SHED educators are friendly, approachable and they encourage educational interactions that further nurses’ knowledge. The education team shows compassion to their students and nurses, ensuring those who appear to be struggling to receive additional educational support. They also take the time to care for each other and make sure they are coping with their workload and current stressors. With education comes knowledge and confidence – all of which lead to excellent patient care. I continuously see the educator team encourage staff to be the best they can be which is really lovely. Multiple education sessions this year have been specifically related to COVID and safety from simple donning/doffing PPE principles to running negative pressure room simulation sessions. All of these learning activities make the ED safer.
2020 for the SHED education team:
• 14 Post Graduate Nursing students start of year intake then 20 additional post-graduate nursing students midyear intake due to COVID surge and the need for critical care qualified nursing staff;
• 20 discovery nurses and 13 graduate nurses
• Paediatric Emergency Program – 10 in January and 10 in July
• 20 Triage Upskill-COVID
• 14 Full triage qualified post graduate nursing students
• 14 full qualified non-invasive ventilation plus practice sessions
• 20 Advanced Life Support upskill- plus ALS practice sessions
• 30 new ED staff since January
• PPE training (lots of COVID training in general) and negative pressure room simulation sessions related to COVID
• General staff Advanced Life Support assessments – everyday
Ward 2A – Sunshine Hospital
The Ward 2A team has been a very dynamic and flexible team while also continuously demonstrating their commitment to providing Best Care, particularly to the Acute Aged Care patient cohort. The team has pulled together to support each other and welcomed staff, particularly during the COVID response, and have also been open to learning new skills to ensure they are providing ‘best care’ to the patients with neurological/stroke conditions. The team takes on a positive approach to challenges that arise and are always willing to contribute to ensuring Western Health patients receive the Best Care they need in a timely manner.
Richard Bartolo, Bernadette Brogan, Maureen Canning, Tania Daly, Anie Edward, Bethlehem Gormiesa, Silvia Lazarevska, Kim Nash, Katerina Perkovic, Terri Reilly, Robyn Starr, Jenney Wong, Susan Micallef, Rhiann Connor, Anna Marshall, Cassandra Raios, Sandra Peros, Terri Butcher and Simon Kokobu
Over the COVID period, Infection Prevention has been all things to everyone! The team has worked tirelessly to ensure that our patients, staff, and visitors remain safe during these unprecedented times. They have worked long hours, expanded to a 7 day a week service covering extended hours to ensure that they are responsive to the needs of the health service. They have written and developed, or contributed to pretty much every piece of information on the Coronavirus Microsite, to ensure that staff is informed and kept updated. They have been our very own detective force by busily contact tracing when patients and staff have been positive for COVID, which has evolved into a full-time team to ensure that risks are managed and we retain a proactive approach. They have patiently answered thousands of queries and concerns, and proactively educated and empowered staff to be safe, effective and informed.
Lisa Gatzonis, Michelle Read, Mariann Trinh, Tegan Ang, Lucy Bowden, Wendy Demetriou, Magda Eyles, Liz Goga, Monique Hollis, Sime Mardesic, Elizabeth Millar, Lachlan Millen, Mary Nigro, Giulliana Oliveira Cardoso, Colleen Pavia, Lauren Storey, Stav Talevski and Kristine Wycherley
Under Lisa’s leadership, and the hard work and responsiveness of Michelle Read and the entire Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Unit (NMWU) team Western Health has met the significant workforce challenges that COVID-19 has introduced. Through proactive planning, innovation, determination, and hard work the NMWU have been extraordinarily busy supporting the health service’s unprecedented workforce requirements due to COVID-19. The vacancies filled by the unit averaged 185 shifts per day, peeking on three days at over 205 shifts. This equates to providing 283 FTE of supplementary staff – effectively staffing more than 7 x 32-bed wards entirely each day. The team has utilised the excellence systems and processes put in place over the past 2 years, including specialised software, centralised recruitment, and workforce strategic planning to proactively increased the workforce to meet the health service’s needs. They have increased Bank in headcount by 306 nurses since the beginning of COVID-19 in March. The Bank now comprises over 750 nurses, 44 student nurses, and 42 personal care assistants, with a high proportion of these staff working regularly at Western Health. The NMWU has placed less experienced surge nurses into the wards as an additional resource to both support the ward’s higher level of patient acuity and complexity and to facilitate induction, orientation, and build the capability and confidence of this workforce. These surge nurses will benefit greatly from this opportunity to both learn and be a part of a team, and will then be able to replace staff if we need to expand services or if our personal leave rates climb. Without their actions and work, staffing levels would have been compromised long ago. The actions of Lisa and the NMWU team have ensured that we have the volume and quality of staff to ensure that ‘Best Care’ has continued.
Director – COVID Response
Kate commenced as the COVID Response lead for Western Health in June of this year. Kate has been amazing at working with diverse internal and external stakeholders to ensure that Western Health’s response has met the needs of our staff, patients, the government, and the community. Kate oversaw the significant expansion of testing sites within the community, including door-to-door testing of high-rise commission flats within high-risk areas. Kate has used her leadership, determination, innovation, analytical prowess, and communication to ensure that a dedicated team and the wider leadership group achieved great things in meeting the needs of the West of Melbourne when it was needed most.
ICU Liaison Team, Coronary Care Nursing Team and the Anaesthetist Team
The Critical Care Outreach Team was established in the midst of the latest Covid-19 surge. The ward environment was experiencing significant increases in clinical acuity, evidenced by increased MET calls, Code Blue, and increased incidents such as falls. The ICU Liaison Team, Coronary Care Nursing Team, and the Anaesthetist team combined resources to provide enhanced support to the ward teams 24/7 with the care of our unwell patients, supporting both a proactive management approach to prevent patient deterioration, and to provide a rapid clinical response in the event of code blues and MET calls. This is has been further supported by the education team with supportive follow up education, taking the opportunity to educate ward staff about the patient’s illness progression and proactive strategies to prevent deterioration in the future. The ICU Liaison Team plays an important role within this new model of care. They are a dedicated and experienced group of nurses who provide clinical support to clinical staff, patients, and families to provide a comprehensive rapid clinical response service. They champion clinical staff on the wards to manage complex unwell patients in the ward environment, often resulting in the prevention of an ICU admission. The ICU Liaison Team act as strong advocates for our staff, patients, families, and carers often in clinically complex scenarios, and demonstrate a strong commitment to the prevention of clinical deterioration by providing a comprehensive rapid clinical response service aimed at supporting, and the prevention of the deteriorating patients on the wards. They demonstrate respect on a day-to-day basis by acknowledging clinical staff in their environment, by listening whilst providing clinical support to empower ward staff to formulate clinical management plans to optimise clinical outcomes for our patient’s families and carers. The CCU Nursing team have been working hard over the past few months to up-skill with the support and guidance of the ICU Liaison Team to take on the role of MET responders (in addition to their role as Code Blue responders) so they can provide additional support the organisation when it was required. They have taken on more responsibility in their new role to work with the ICU Liaisons and other staff across Western Health (WH) to deliver ‘Best Care’ to as many patients as they can through the prevention and escalation of care when patients show signs of clinical deterioration. Like so many other nurses around them, the CCU nurses continue to be positive and display a can-do attitude as they rise to the new challenges and adapt to the ongoing changes to their roles while they continue to provide the best care possible to our patients at WH. The feedback the Critical Care Outreach Team as a whole has received from the ward staff has been a testament to both their clinical expertise to support the deteriorating patient but also their supportive, compassionate, and collaborative approach to ensure ward teams feel supported in an interdependent model. This team has risen to the challenges of health care in COVID times and their hard work inspires others to come to work, play their part, and strive for improvement in knowledge and the delivery of patient care.
Residential In-Reach Team
The work that Kirsty Barnes, Clare White, and her team of Geriatricians and the Residential In-Reach team have undertaken over the past months has been nothing short of amazing. Residential aged care facilities have been significantly adversely affected by COVID-19, with many residents and staff within these facilities testing positive to the virus. Under Kirsty’s leadership, the team was proactively expanded prior to this occurring – which led Western Health to be able to support every facility that requires assistance during this incredibly challenging period. There are 97 facilities in the Western metropolitan region and the team, including the Geriatricians supported the vast majority of the facilities that needed support – sometimes over 25 at a time, with teams spending long hours in the facilities ensuring that care standards are met, infection prevention was being adhered to, educating, assessing residents, developing plans, ensuring resident wishes were being met. All of this occurred in a chaotic environment, without certainty and support from other external bodies – they truly have saved many lives. They also have played a leadership role, with the In-Reach model and the coordination that they introduced into the broken system around them being adopted by DHHS for replication across the state. They have also cared for each other during this challenging time – the sights that the team was seeing cannot be ‘unseen’, so they ensured that the wellbeing of the team was at the forefront. Sterling leadership – delivering ‘Best Care’ beyond our walls to societies most vulnerable.
Sunshine and Footscray Hospitals
The Western Health Intensive Care team has absolutely shone throughout the COVID pandemic. Situated within the main hotspots our ICUs have cared for a large percent of the total number of COVID positive patients across Australia. The ability of the ICU multidisciplinary team to work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for critically ill patients, both those with COVID and without has been a credit to them. From Intensivists, Intensive Care Registrars, Nurses, Physiotherapist, and Patient Services Assistants, the team have worked seamlessly together to achieve these outcomes in challenging times. The ICU team also developed the ‘Iso Hood’ to protect staff and patients through the COVID pandemic. The unit is sharing this innovation across Australia and around the world, currently in the process of distributing ‘Iso Hoods’ to multiple Intensive Care Units. Western Health’s ICU’s was recently acknowledged by Dr. Stephen Warrilow, the current chair of the ICU Directors Victoria and former president of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) who stated “your team is surely the most experienced in the critical care management of COVID-19 in Australasia. The outstanding outcomes for our ICU patients are largely due to the high standards of care delivered by the ICU multi-disciplinary team. Congratulations to this team who have worked so hard for quite a sustained period to manage these challenges in such a professional, gracious, and effective manner.
Clinical Nurse Educator
Simone was seconded at short notice into the ICU Registered Nurse (RN) upskill program during the COVID-19 surge preparation. I observed her throughout her impromptu role and she worked her heart out providing the best education to the RN’s who were upskilling and I could see the care and devotion that went into the program. She has a young family and did all of this while managing them and missing out on opportunities to be with them. Simone had an amazing input into nursing development during her time in this role. When Simone was compiling her information for the RN’s to upskill, she expressed to me how she needed to get this right because patients were on the other end of this and the RN’s that would be seconded into this role needed the right information. The thought of patients being on the other end of her education weighed heavily on Simone, she took her role very seriously and was incredibly productive, making multiple resources for Western Health nurses that are relevant now and will be in the future too. This demonstrates her accountability and high regard for patient outcomes. Throughout all of this Simone remained respectful to her colleagues and her candidates despite the complicated and difficult process it was at times. Her focus and concern for the safety of the potential COVID patients that we may get affected her personally, which made her strive for the best in this role. I enjoy working with Simone – apart from her knowledge and experience that I, other staff, and patients benefit from; she has a positive mindset and is realistic about expectations and advocates for everyone around her. Simone inspires me to be a good nurse/nurse educator and this inspires me to come to work.