NSLHD News October 7 2022

parents thank RNSH NICU with donated artwork Sydney based artist Jennifer Lia has recently donated a piece of artwork to the RNSH neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Health District Aged Care and Rehabilitation Network Clinical Director Professor Sue Kurrle’s huge devotion to improving older peoples’ lives has been recognised with one of Australian healthcare’s top honours. Sue has received the 2022 Sidney Sax Medal, which is given to individuals who have contributed outstandingly to the nation’s healthcare system, from the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association. A practising geriatrician at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital, Sue has undertaken extensive research for more than 30 years into areas including successful ageing, dementia and frailty and improving care for older people in residential care. “I am pinching myself,” Sue said. “It’s very satisfying to do something you really enjoy while trying to make a difference to an area you care passionately about. The artwork, titled ‘Little Miracles’, is dedicated to Jennifer and her husband Hayden’s two children, James and Matilda, who both received care at the RNSH NICU. The piece beautifully depicts Sydney Harbour across three canvases and even has a special touch from James and Matilda, with both of their handprints featuring on the first canvas. Creating the piece had Jennifer reflecting on her personal experience in the NICU and she was hoping to capture these emotions in the piece to provide comfort

Jennifer and Hayden with their children James and Matilda

“It’s such an interesting area of work and it is terrific when you are able to help instigate policy change. “I could not have received this award without the great support of the teams and people I have worked alongside over the years. It is fantastic news and I am hugely delighted.” The annual Medal was created in honour of geriatrician, writer and researcher Sidney Sax, who played a leading role in transforming Australian healthcare over several decades. Sue also holds the Curran Chair in Health Care of Older People in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney, where she previously led the National Health and Medical Research Cognitive Decline to other families. “It symbolises a great journey, sometimes tumultuous but ultimately full of hope, love and connection,” she said. “The NICU journey is such an unexpected path and I wanted to instil a feeling of comfort, family and home in it.” Jennifer said she donated

Home for 4 Year Olds and Old People’s Home for Teenagers. “The message I want to promote further is that good brain health and good body health are linked with exercise as the common factor,” she said. “This is my goal for the next few years. “We have to continue working towards getting older ‘successfully’ and improving services so that we can all benefit from them. “Receiving this award is a huge honour and I am very grateful.” the piece to thank the RNSH NICU staff for the work they do and the support they provide. “I wanted the opportunity to thank the incredible doctors, nurses and staff for all the amazing work they do - truly miracle work,” she said. “This was my own way to give back and show our deep appreciation and gratitude.”


Partnership Centre. She has written and

contributed to hundreds of research papers and more recently contributed to the ABC shows Old People’s

Professor Sue Kurrle



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