2022 - Year in Review

Madeleine Borys, Deb Willcox and Felicity Smith Strong ideas mark Innovation Program’s comeback

Pitches came to life as staff battled it out to win a share of cash for their innovative project. RNSH physiotherapist Charis Tse came out on top with her idea ‘Power Up!’ Power Up! is a district-first, one stop shop, small group program for older people living with mental illness, allowing them to have their physical, psychological and social needs met. “When the idea first actualised, I thought that a group environment will help our older, frail mental health consumers learn life skills to cope with their mental illness,” Charis said.

“Through further discussion with an Older Persons Mental Health occupational therapist, I realised how powerful social connection is in helping older people recover from their complex mental illness.” Charis’ idea removes barriers for participants, with the $8100 she was awarded able to cover transport for participants to and from the sessions, as well as funding a psychologist to devise the program. Participants will also engage in a strength and balance exercise group run by an aged care physiotherapist. RNSH ED’s Bright Lights for Kids pitch from Alison Partyka, Danielle Coats and Stephanie Millet finished second and took home the audience- voted Best Presenter category.

Hornsby Hospital’s 4C diversional therapist Felicity Smith and Clinical Nurse Educator Madeleine Borys finished third with their idea ‘Healing Hands’, while Best of Both Worlds from RNSH Cardiology’s Maura Farrell and Chris Bruntsch also impressed. Charis encouraged others to apply if they have an idea that could change patient care for the better. “I didn’t apply for the pitch expecting to win – I merely dared to dream. No idea is too small and anything is possible,” she said. “And if you’re lucky enough to be invited to speak at the pitch event – practise, practise, practise – my team, my friends and family, including the family dogs have heard my speech many, many times.”

33 NSLHD 2022 Year in Review

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