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Exceptional People Awards 2020

​The 2020 Exceptional People Awards were held on Friday 11 December to celebrate and formally recognise staff and volunteers across the district. Although the awards looked a little different this year due to COVID-19, they were a huge success with 19 winners announced.

Congratulations to all our nominees, our finalists and our winners, who are all truly exceptional and make a positive difference in people's lives each day.

 

 

Healthy Communities Healthy Communities

  • Dr Anna Gill
    Dr Anna Gill – Staff Specialist in Paediatrics at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital

    Dr Gill is a dedicated Paediatrician and Head of the Paediatrics Unit at Hornsby Hospital and Hornsby Healthy Kids. Anna's commitment to caring for her patients and the community means she consistently goes above and beyond despite having a part time appointment.

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  • Social Work Department – Royal North Shore Hospital

    The Social Work Department at Royal North Shore Hospital won this award for their contribution to Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s bush fire relief. The department, led by Sandra Barr-Lynch, sent eight social workers on deployment to Murrumbidgee in early 2020 to help residents recovering from the devastating bushfire season. They completed rolling deployments for around two months. The staff remaining at Royal North Shore pulled together and supported each other, including the casual staff who backfilled for those deployed, as they maintained service delivery to patients at RNSH.

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Connected Person-Centred Care Connected Person-Centred Care

  • Sarah Ashcroft - Cardiac Rehab Team – Royal North Shore and Hornsby Ku-ring-gai hospitals
    Sarah Ashcroft - Cardiac Rehab Team – Royal North Shore and Hornsby Ku-ring-gai hospitals

    Sarah wins this award after being nominated by a consumer for providing exemplary service after their hospital admission.

    “My blood pressure has been significantly lowered and stabilised through her guidance in providing an individualised exercise program which I still follow daily... She had brought new ideas and innovation to how the team delivers their services, with ongoing phone calls, exercise suggestions and accepting my input on the exercises included. Sarah ensure to contribute her best effort every day and with every patient she helps. She will always go that extra step to make a real difference for the person, both physically and emotionally"

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  • Yvonne Spangler – Catholic chaplain – Mental Health Drug and Alcohol
    Yvonne Spangler – Catholic chaplain – Mental Health Drug and Alcohol

    Sister Yvonne receives the staff nominated individual award for her devotion to her role. At 85, this year celebrated 60 years of service as a Daughter of Charity this year. For 14 years, she has dedicated her time, often working outside her paid hours, to being with the consumers as a caring and compassionate listener.  Known by her ready smile, Yvonne does not just like the consumers – she truly loves them.

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  • Burns Unit Sewing Volunteers – Royal North Shore Hospital
    Burns Unit Sewing Volunteers – Royal North Shore Hospital

    After answering the call for help to make items that aid in care for patients with severe burn injuries, these volunteers were nominated by a member of staff for their willingness to help. The volunteers assist the Severe Burns Unit team in creating garments that help secure bulky burn wound dressings. They also make individualised splints, make accessible clothing and even provide clean covers for neck extension pillows using recycled sterile drapes.

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  • Tom Limburg – Royal North Shore Hospital
    Tom Limburg – Royal North Shore Hospital

    Tom has been a volunteer in the emergency department for approximately 16 years and is very good at being a calm informative voice as well as a listening ear. He is popular with the medical staff, patients and their carers being efficient, caring and genuinely interested. He lets the patients know what to expect if they are frightened or alone or will provide a cup of tea or a sandwich if it is permitted by the clinical staff.  Despite being officially retired, Tom chooses to work in the ED two evenings a week, and also runs the volunteer oncology driving team. He was also a committed and supportive member of the P.A.R.T.Y program for a number of years.

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Evidence-Based Decision Making Evidence-Based Decision Making

  • Mental Health Intensive Care Unit – Hornsby Hospital/Mental Health Drug and Alcohol
    Mental Health Intensive Care Unit – Hornsby Hospital/Mental Health Drug and Alcohol

    This win caps off an incredible successful year for the Mental Health Intensive Care Unit, after previously claiming a NSW Health and Quality Improvement Award. Since 2017 the MHICU has adopted a team culture improvement program using evidence based practice and clinical practice improvement methodology to ensure there is a continued focus on quality and safety for consumers. Using this methodology seclusion rates and time in the MHICU have been steadily decreasing and continue to be amongst the best in the NSW.

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Kate Ziser – Pharmacist – Royal North Shore Hospital

Kate wins this award after being nominated by a fellow staff member for her ability to educate and mentor. Her work with those new to cardiology, such as registrars and residents, includes innovative sessions using a case – based / problem solving learning approach. A strong component of this has been around preventing potentially damaging medication errors with DAPT (dual antipletelets).

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Responsive and Adaptable Organisation Responsive and Adaptable Organisation

 

Dr Melanie Figtree – Staff Specialist – Royal North Shore Hospital

Dr Figtree has established herself as an extremely approachable, level-headed, go-to person for all things COVID, having played a pivotal leadership role in the hospital's co-ordinated response to the pandemic. Her work is not limited to this however, having yielded impressive LHD-wide results since starting the antimicrobial stewardship program in 2014.

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  • NSWHP Pre-Analytical and Microbiology – Royal North Shore Hospital
    NSWHP Pre-Analytical and Microbiology – Royal North Shore Hospital and Virtual Hospital setup team – District wide services

    These two teams were unable to be separated by the judges after a year of tremendous achievements.

    When COVID-19 struck, the Microbiology lab had to confront challenges that usually take months resolve in setting up new analysers and methods and be ready to commence testing within days. The team are a knowledge and information source to medical, surgical and allied health teams and all staff feel empowered to work effectively within this positive, encouraging and close-knit work environment.

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  • The Clinical Informatics Unit team consisting of Business Analyst, eMR Technical Specialist, eMR Application Specialist and Clinical Liaison Officers worked tirelessly to provide exceptional support and service in the delivery of the Virtual COVID-19 Hospital. The details of this eMR build were shared with eHealth and other LHDs who adapted the model to suit their requirements.

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Engaged and Empowered Workforce Engaged and Empowered Workforce

  • Ffion Jones – Clinical Lead (Nursing) – Child Youth Mental Health Service/Mental Health Drug and Alcohol
    Ffion Jones – Clinical Lead (Nursing) – Child Youth Mental Health Service/Mental Health Drug and Alcohol

    Ffion wins this award for her exceptional capacity as the clinical lead of the Outreach Support for Children and Adolescents team in providing clear vision for the service and a level of clinical supervision and care for staff that is always above and beyond what is required. She makes herself available to debrief team members who have been in high-risk or stressful situations within the workplace, and goes out of her way to check in, rather than waiting for staff to come to her.

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  • Ward 8D – Royal North Shore Hospital
    Ward 8D – Royal North Shore Hospital

    The nursing team on 8D, led by NUM Jacqueline Hextall, win this award for ensuring the absolute highest standard of patient care for all patients admitted for post-operative care. The nursing team respect the individual knowledge and skills of all various health professionals managing different aspects of their patients' care and utilise these team members appropriately. They offer assistance, advice and collaboration during patient care, both during procedures and also in decision making related to complex care decisions and discharge planning.

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CORE Values and Behaviours CORE Values and Behaviours

  • Dr Andrew Brown – Emergency Department – Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital
    Dr Andrew Brown – Emergency Department – Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital

    After starting his new role in 2020, it hasn't taken Andy long to make his mark, winning the consumer nominated CORE Values award. He has performed with excellence and gone above and beyond in everything he has done, despite the chaos that COVID has thrown at him. At the start of the year he coordinated plans to structurally and partially transform the ED into zones for safe working practice. Additionally, he has been instrumental in the whole hospital response coordinating or heavily involved with many projects such as COVID wards, CERS and rapid response, staffing and PPE plans.

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  • Emergency Department team – Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital
    Emergency Department team – Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital

    The ED team win this award after being nominated by a consumer for their professionalism and friendliness in performing their role.

    “When arriving at the emergency ward I was just glad to know the pain had been dealt with, however, on the day of the surgery I did feel a sudden sense of alarm that an organ was going to permanently removed. The doctor on duty, who was also there during the diagnosis, patiently talked me back into the surgery after I'd probed him for any possible alternative out there. I really honestly hoped he'd have some other alternative to present me with so I appreciate his professionalism during the conversation as it really was a conversation we should have had the previous day.

As for the entire team, the aptitude and efficiency as well as the friendliness were constant throughout the entire experience. These qualities make a huge difference on the impression the experience leaves on you; to know that you're both in capable hands and also not viewed as a burden and bother really stood out to me.

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Leadership Leadership

  • Jo Tallon – Director, Infection Prevention and Control – District wide services
    Jo Tallon – Director, Infection Prevention and Control – District wide services

    Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Jo has provided leadership, high-level advice, guidance and direction, including to the Chief Executive and the COVID-19 Clinical Advisory Group, combined with a direct, hands-on approach, to help assure the best-possible organisational response. Her contributions to the pandemic response have been instrumental to the robustness and success of not only the Northern Sydney Local Health District's response but also to that of the NSW Health system and, in part, to that of the aged care sector in NSW. Jo's leadership and ability to form highly functional working relationships across all clinical disciplines, as well as management and non-clinical, was crucial to the overall success of the health service's pandemic response.

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  • Executive Team – Ryde Hospital
    Executive Team – Ryde Hospital

    The relatively newly formed Ryde Hospital executive management team demonstrated their outstanding commitment to delivering a high quality health service in the most trying of times during the COVID-19 pandemic. They displayed exemplar leadership in dealing with an emerging crisis and continued to maintain the high standards of care for all patients as well as staff visitors and carers despite the physical infrastructure. They continued to meet all KPIs and to deliver on all operational goals including planning for a new hospital.

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Special Commendation

  • Dr Michael Staff and the NSLHD Public Health Unit – District Wide Services
    Dr Michael Staff and the NSLHD Public Health Unit – District Wide Services

 

Chief Executive Award

  • COVID-19 Testing Clinics – District Wide Services
    COVID-19 Testing Clinics – District Wide Services

A big thank you to our 2020 sponsor AMP Capital

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Past Awards & Gallery