Innovation and Excellence Awards 2021
Celebrating achievements during the COVID-19 response.
Sydney Local Health District's Innovation and Excellence Awards recognise, celebrate and encourage healthcare innovation and excellence.
Delivering Integrated Care
The District is committed to collaborating and purposefully working in partnerships across government and community organisations.
National Centre for Veterans' Healthcare – Pilot
Residential Aged Care Facility Outreach Team – Expanding non-COVID Activity to respond to COVID-19
Women's Health, Neonatology and Paediatrics – Leading Better Value Care - Bronchiolitis
Winner: Community Paediatric School Clinic - Ngaramadhi Space
The Paediatric team worked with education, social care, and the Wouwanguul Kanja – an Aboriginal community steering group – to provide integrated care which significantly reduced the behavioural difficulties experienced by 79 children.
Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The District is committed to ensuring the services it provides are inclusive of all people in the community regardless of race, gender, sexuality and ability and that everyone is accepted, welcomed and valued.
BreastScreen NSW – Aboriginal Shawl Project
Health Promotion and Population Health – Aboriginal Bowel Screening Project
Winner: Aboriginal Health Unit and Executive Support Unit – COVID-19 Aboriginal Cultural Response Team
The Aboriginal Cultural Response Team provided cultural support to COVID-19 positive Aboriginal patients and assisted rpavirtual and Special Health Accommodation with patient engagement reducing the potential for large-scale outbreaks.
Excellence in the provision of Mental Health Services
This award recognises and showcases innovation in improving the quality and safety of mental health patient care.
Mental Health Services – Project ECHO
RPA Institute of Academic Surgery – Surgical outcomes for patients with serious mental illness
Winner: Mental Health Services - Providing psychological care for patients in Special Health Accommodation
The team provided psychological support to help people cope with the stressors of quarantine. They’ve supported more than 7,000 people – helping them manage anxiety, claustrophobia, depression, insomnia, substance withdrawal, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Education and Workforce Development
Support for its people is one of the District’s most important investments in delivering of excellence in healthcare for all.
RPA Emergency Department – Closing the feedback loop between patients and paramedics
Special Health Accommodation – An innovative model of care to support the community during the response to COVID-19
Winner: Carers Program – Carers as Partners in Care
This year, Carers NSW recognised the importance of the District’s Carers Program, with the District becoming the first Local Health District in Australia to achieve Level Two accreditation as a carer-friendly employer.
Health Research and Innovation
Collaboration between clinicians, researchers, policy makers, service users, health managers and consumers in healthcare is critical and can lead to service improvements and research findings that improve outcomes for patients.
RPA Vaccination Research Unit – Only In Australia: Novel research is breaking ground in the pandemic fight
Winner: RPA Hospital – Cell and Molecular Therapies
The RPA Cell and Molecular Therapy team is leading the way in innovation and translating research into improved health outcomes for patients. They’re involved in clinical trials, treating diseases like haemophilia, cancer and dementia.
Keeping People Healthy
Keeping the community healthy is one of the District’s key priorities. This includes raising awareness of healthy choices and improving the overall health and wellbeing.
Drug Health Services - Harm Reduction Program
Winner: ICT Services - Turning the other cheek on COVID-19 quarantine testing
A collaboration led by Sydney Local Health District and NSW Health Pathology created a COVID-19 saliva testing system, for daily use by airport, quarantine and border workers. The innovative ICT solution made testing accessible, easy and faster to get results.
There were also two Chief Executive Awards for Excellence in this category.
Winner: Canterbury Hospital – Emergency Department enhanced triage during COVID-19
In response to increased infection risks during the Delta outbreak, Canterbury Hospital overhauled its triage process and location – ensuring people who potentially had COVID-19 were able to wait in areas that did not increase the risk to other vulnerable patients.
Winner: Child Protection Strategy Unit - Innovations in Sydney District Pregnancy Family Conferencing
Pregnancy Family Conferencing is a trauma-informed program offered to women and their families where significant child protection concerns have been identified for their unborn or newborn baby. A partnership between the District and the Department of Communities and Justice, it aims to increase the likelihood that babies are able to remain safely in the care of their parents.
Patient Safety First
Patient safety is one of the most important parts of providing excellent care. This includes engaging patients as partners in their care and delivering care in ways that they find relevant.
Disability Inclusion and Strategy Service – Keeping Me Safe in my Home: Protecting people living with disability in shared living accommodation safe during COVID-19 outbreak
Winner: NSW Health Pathology – Laboratory testing boosts public safety during COVID-19
NSW Health Pathology was responsible for increasing lab testing for COVID-19 from a few hundred tests a day to 5,000 per day. This kept people safe by getting their results sooner and providing valuable insights to contact tracing teams.
There was also a Chief Executive Award for Excellence in this category.
Winner: Special Health Accommodation – Keeping COVID-19 out of the community
The innovative Special Health Accommodation model fast-tracked conversions of hotels into field hospitals. It kept patients safe by providing a place for them to quarantine in isolation while receiving care.
Transforming Patient Experience
Patient-centred care is at the heart of the District’s strategy. This category recognises the projects which have transformed patient experiences.
Canterbury Hospital – Canterbury Antenatal Postnatal Service
ICT Services and Nursing – Wound Care Command Centre
RPA Virtual – enhancing patient and staff experience through value-based virtual care
Winner: COVID-19 Operations – Welcome to the NSW Health Mass Vaccination Centre
The NSW Health Vaccination Centre at Sydney Olympic Park is capable of vaccinating up to 10,000 people a day. From its inception, the community was at the heart of decision-making, with the Centre's welcoming environment ensuring a positive experience for everyone being vaccinated. It has delivered more than 1.406 million vaccine doses.
There was also a Chief Executive Awards for Excellence in this category.
Winner: Residential Aged Care Facility Outreach Team – Expanding non-COVID Activity to respond to COVID-19
The team kept patients safe by providing care in aged care facilities, and helping them avoid hospital admissions. They addressed care concerns in their early stages and minimised the risks to vulnerable elderly people.
Volunteer of the Year
This Award recognises the contribution of an individual who provides excellent support for patients, carers and families and acts as a role model for volunteering in the District.
Concord Hospital – Dr Diane McPhail
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital – Geoffrey Lean
Sydney Dental Hospital and Oral Health Services – Ann-Mason Furmage
Winner: Wafa Zaim – Canterbury Hospital
As a consumer representative at Canterbury Hospital for more than 25 years, Wafa Zaim supports and empowers families of diverse needs and cultural backgrounds. During COVID-19, Wafa shared the District’s Arabic-language resources with the community.
Cleaner of the Year
This category recognises a hospital assistant who demonstrates excellence in their cleaning role.
Balmain Hospital – Eric Lambert
Concord Hospital – Purisima Nunal and The-Ha Tran
Drug Health Services – Ran Budhachhatri
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital – Harvie Cordova and Lena Dimovska
Special Health Accommodation – Dewa Ayu Komang Septu Apriyani and Renato Riccotta Camargo
Sydney Dental Hospital – Jin Hong Mok
Winner: Joshua Antonio – Croydon Health Centre
Joshua has worked as the leading hand across the Health Centre sites for a year and has delivered excellence, enthusiasm, and support for all staff, patients and families demonstrating exceptional standards at all times.
The leaders from the Special Health Accommodation Environmental Services team also received special recognition. They are:
Alina Roka Magar, Ashar Ashar, Bijay Magar, Krishna Neupane, Pabitra Bhandari, Rina Tamang, Rubbendra Maharjan, Shanti Tamang, Subin Gyawali, Sukmawati Sukmawati, Sukriani Masse, Umesh Tamang, Vyna Giri Lawu, Andi Pangerange Datti, Indra Suryadi Raysid and Manpreet Kaur.
Environmental Services played a vital role in setting up and supporting Special Health Accommodation. The team members provided exceptional leadership, helping everyone to understand new processes and maintain excellent levels of care.
Collaborative Staff Member of the Year
This award recognises employees who have made an exceptional contribution to the services provided by the District.
Bradley McEntee – Special Health Accommodation
Claire Devonport – Women's Health, Neonatology and Paediatrics
Danielle Morris – Workforce Services
Dr Joseph Lawler – RPA Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Dr Michael Paleologos – RPA Anaesthetics
Elizabeth Ryan – Canterbury Hospital Patient Surgical Flow
Professor Armin Nikpour – Neurosciences Ambulatory Care Unit
Regina Nagy – Drug Health Services
Sinead Sheils – Gastroenterology and Liver Service
Winner: Joseph Jewitt – General Manager, Special Health Accommodation
As General Manager of the District’s Special Health Accommodation (SHA), Joseph has played a pivotal role in the response to COVID-19. He has overseen more than 20 SHAs and police run quarantine hotels, ensuring air travellers and vulnerable community members could safely quarantine.
Recognition of Excellence in COVID-19 response
These awards recognise the outstanding contributions in the District during the response to COVID-19.
Dr Timothy Gray and Karen Sherwood – Canterbury Hospital
Michael Sullivan and Anne-Louise Allan-Georgas – Capital Assets Property and Engineering
Lainie Anderson and Sue McGrady – COVID-19 Vaccination and Screening Program
Marilyn Richardson – Drug Health Services
Corey Moore – Marrickville Community Health Centre
Jane Massa – Mental Health Services
Shih Chi Kao – Population Health
Arun Parasuraman – Public Health Unit
Jacqui Moustakas – RPA Dialysis Service
Merryn Sheather, Peter Linnegar, Kirrily Stewart and Erin McSweeney – Special Health Accommodation
Haley Bruce – Strategic Relations and Communications
Winner: Barbara Luisi – Director, Diversity Programs and Strategy Hub
Barbara led to integration of the District’s culturally and linguistically diverse workforce in the COVID-19 response. She has demonstrated outstanding agility and responsiveness to meet rapidly changing health care demands.
There was also a Chief Executive Award for Excellence in this category.
Winner: Richard Taggart – Chief Information Officer
With Richard at the helm, ICT Services is the digital force driving awareness, uptake, compliance and adoption of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. The team also delivered business as usual projects to ensure patients continued to receive excellent care.
Chair of the Board’s Award for Excellence
This award recognises a team that the Chair of the Board felt has made significant contribution in 2021.
Winner: Sydney Local Health District’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program
This award recognises all those involved in the vaccination program from community pop-ups, to outreach to respond to localised outbreaks, vaccination in the District’s services and facilities, through to vaccination centres at RPA, Sydney Olympic Park and Sydney Airport.
Chair of the Board’s Award for Lifetime Achievement
This award recognises an individual dedicated to providing care through their chosen profession and who has made significant contributions to their field through their work at Sydney Local Health District.
Winner: Rosemary Burke, Director of Pharmacy and Chief Pharmacy Information Officer
Rosemary began her career in public health in 1985 and has seen the District’s pharmaceutical service through many changes. Prior to COVID-19, Rosemary split her time across Concord, Canterbury and RPA hospitals supporting District pharmaceutical staff. She has played a pivotal role in the development of the District’s COVID-19 vaccination program. She is an inspiring leader to the pharmaceutical workforce in the District and other Districts.
To view more images of the award winners, please click here.