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NEWS NORTHERN SYDNEY LOCAL HEALTH DISTRICT NSLHD
Main story Short blurb NSLHD farewells professor marg fry Northern Sydney Local Health District recently recognised and celebrated the outstanding contribution of Professor Marg Fry. Page 3 Read more on Page x
RNSH neurofibromatosis clinic receives generous donation Page 6
NSLHD Clinicians recognised in Queen’s birthday honours Page 4
It was wonderful to see our staff and researchers acknowledged in the Queen’s Birthday honours. NSLHD Board member Dr Michelle Mulligan was recognised for her service to anaesthesia by receiving the Order of Australia medal (OAM). Michelle is also Clinical Director of NSLHD Surgery and Anaesthesia Network. Professor Sarah Hilmer was awarded a Member of the Order (AM) for significant service to clinical and geriatric pharmacology. Sarah has been the head of clinical pharmacology at Royal North Shore Hospital since 2005 and is also a member of the executive committee at the Kolling Institute. Also receiving a Member of the Order (AM) was Emeritus Professor Leigh Delbridge, who has been an endocrine surgeon at RNSH since 1998, and is also a visiting medical officer (VMO) at Hornsby Hospital. While I know none of our staff do what they do for accolades like these, such acknowledgements are so very deserved. Our district has farewelled Professor Marg Fry, who has decided to retire as Professor of Nursing and Midwifery, a position that she has held since 2015. Many of Marg’s colleagues, including NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce, and former district director of nursing and midwifery, Anthony Dombkins now Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer ACT came to a special ceremony to acknowledge Marg’s significant contribution to nursing and midwifery research. Our district has been so fortunate to have someone of Marg’s calibre dedicated to supporting a culture of safety and person- centred care. Marg has inspired so many nurses, providing them with confidence and
courage to engage in research to improve patient outcomes. We wish Marg well as she enjoys the next chapter in her life. Also leaving our district is Professor Michael Nicholl, who has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Clinical Excellence Commission. Many of you will know Michael well in his current role as Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Sydney, Northern Clinical School at RNSH, and Clinical Director, Maternal, Neonatal and Women’s Health Network, Northern Sydney Local Health District. We have been immensely fortunate to have benefited from Michael’s leadership, expertise and commitment to promoting excellence in safety and quality in clinical care, for consumers, their families and our staff. The district and RNSH are leaders in maternal care because of him. His care of so many thousands of mothers, families and their newborns can never be fully acknowledged. Michael will start his new role on Monday 1 August 2022 and will continue as NSLHD Clinical Director, Maternal, Neonatal and Women’s Health Network while we appoint a new clinical director. We are only weeks away from finding out the winners of the Quality and Improvement Awards. I am so impressed with the calibre of entries I have seen this year, considering the immense challenges our staff have faced in the past 12 months. Congratulations to our finalists and I look forward to seeing everyone at the award ceremony. Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District
NSLHDNEWS | ISSUE 11 | 17 JUNE 2022
(Left to right) Professor Marg Fry views her tribute illustration alongside NSLHD CE Deb Willcox and NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce
Farewell Professor Marg Fry The outstanding contribution of Professor Marg Fry was recognised recently at an event held to celebrate her remarkable achievements and her retirement from her role as Professor of Nursing and Midwifery. Marg was appointed to the newly created professorial position in 2015 which was a joint appointment between NSLHD and The University of Technology Sydney. Before that appointment Marg was NSLHD Director of Research and Practice Development. NSLHD Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Claire Harris, said Marg leaves a proud legacy of outstanding commitment to innovation, excellence, leadership and teamwork. “Using her academic expertise, Marg has built clinical credibility in many areas of nursing research and enabled the development of interdisciplinary research partnerships,” Claire said. Marg was instrumental in the development and delivery of the researcher education program, which is highly acclaimed throughout industry and attended by multidisciplinary teams and demonstrates the level of respect gathered by the program over the years it has been running. NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox said the district has been so fortunate to have someone of Marg’s calibre dedicated to supporting a culture of safety and person centred care.
“Marg has shown the power and importance of research for the nursing profession and has inspired so many nurses providing them with the confidence and courage to engage in research to improve outcomes for patients,” Deb said. Marg has attracted significant research grant funding and been at the forefront with many nursing research publications to her name, as well as being the recipient of many prestigious awards. These have most recently included NSW Health Awards and the 2021 Health Dean’s Academic Excellence Award - Research Excellence (Research Leader), University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Health 2021. Marg will be greatly missed and will be enjoying some well-deserved leave before she officially retires in August.
Professor Marg Fry celebrates with NSLHD Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Claire Harris
Remarkable service recognised in Queen’s birthday honours This year’s Queen’s birthday honours roll features three exceptional NSLHD representatives, highlighting an extraordinary commitment to the health of our community.
pandemic as Clinical Lead of the Clinical Advisory Group. Michelle has been a NSLHD board member since 2017 and is a board member of the Agency for Clinical Innovation and Clinical Excellence Commission. She is also a member of the district’s Finance, Risk and Performance Committee. Michelle has had many roles with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, including as its Director of Professional Affairs. Michelle said being included in this year’s Queen’s birthday honours was quite a surprise. “I’m totally humbled, and it was completely unexpected,” she said. “It is a privilege to be an anaesthetist and to be able to contribute. I’ve enjoyed every minute. “To get an award for doing something you love is very unexpected.”
Dr Michelle Mulligan has received a prestigious Order of Australia medal (OAM)
Professor Sarah Hilmer was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
Dr Michelle Mulligan OAM Dr Michelle Mulligan has received a prestigious Order of Australia medal (OAM) for her service to medicine, particularly to anaesthesia. As a specialist anaesthetist in both the public and private sector, Michelle is the Clinical Director of the NSLHD Surgery and Anaesthesia Network. She had a key leadership role during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping the district navigate the challenges of the
Professor Sarah Hilmer AM Professor Sarah Hilmer has been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to clinical and geriatric pharmacology. She has worked as the Head of Clinical Pharmacology and as a geriatrician at Royal North Shore Hospital since 2005. Her research and clinical expertise is respected both nationally and internationally.
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NSLHDNEWS | ISSUE 11| 17 JUNE 2022
Sarah leads a research program in ageing and pharmacology at the Kolling Institute and has contributed widely to the management of medication. She chairs the RNS/Ryde Hospital Drug and Therapeutics Committee, the NSW Therapeutic Advisory Group, and initiated the NSW Health COVID-19 Drug and Therapeutic Advisory Community of Practice. Her research focuses on understanding and optimising medication use and improving outcomes in older people, particularly those living with multiple conditions. She developed the Drug Burden Index, a tool to measure the overall risk of a person’s medicines to their physical and cognitive function. This tool is being used widely across NSLHD and the Central Coast Local Health District. Sarah has welcomed her award. “I am lucky to have worked in clinical practice, research and policy, with a wonderful network of mentors, colleagues and mentees,” she said. “I am particularly glad that I have helped train
clinicians and researchers with backgrounds in medicine, pharmacy, nursing and basic science in geriatric pharmacology, who can help build this emerging field. “I hope that our work improves medicines use and outcomes for older people, whether they’re at home, in a residential aged care facility or in hospital.” Professor Leigh Delbridge AM Emeritus Professor Leigh Delbridge has been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to endocrinology and medical education. He has been a senior endocrine surgeon at Royal North Shore Hospital for more than 20 years, including a decade as Head of Surgery. He has also been the Professor of Surgery at the University of Sydney for more than 20 years. He is Australia’s most experienced parathyroid first minimally invasive parathyroidectomy in Australia using endoscopic techniques. and thyroid surgeon and performed the He has completed more than 10,000 parathyroid
and thyroid operations, and continues to do over 500 such procedures each year. Leigh has been the President of the International Association of Endocrine Surgeons, founding committee member of Australia and New Zealand Endocrine Surgeons, and Chairman of the Endocrine Surgery Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. His research interests include the epidemiology of thyroid and parathyroid neoplasia, as well as the development of minimally invasive surgical techniques. He has over 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Professor Leigh Delbridge was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
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RNSH neurofibromatosis clinic receives generous donation Royal North Shore Hospital’s
“Our clinic at RNSH is the specialised service for adult NF care in the state – with huge thanks to the Health Minister, Deb Willcox, and John for advocating and helping to make that a reality,” she said. Yemima said NF is an incredibly difficult disease to live with and to manage. “The NF service is working hard to try to improve the lives of people with NF through multiple avenues,” she said. “Our clinic supports a national laser skin clinic for NF1 that is providing a service only available in a handful of places in the world – treating disfiguring skin tumours in people with NF1. “The NF care achievements at RNSH are a fantastic example of the medical system, clinicians, and patients working together to achieve true clinical impacts.”
neurofibromatosis (NF) clinic has celebrated major donors John and Robyn Hughes for their contribution to the clinic. The Hughes family helped fund the NF Centre for Translational Research – which now has many research projects underway including clinical trials. At an event earlier this month, John, who was previously Chairman of the Children’s Tumour Foundation, received a plaque in honour of his contribution. The plaque also commemorates John’s mother Shirley and a patient of the NF clinic, Belinda Weihen who passed away due to complications of NF. Clinical Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Clinical Genetics Dr Yemima Berman said she was incredibly grateful for the support.
Maternity services staff celebrate Professor Michael Nicholl’s last clinical day
RNSH Farewells long serving professor michael nicholl If Royal North Shore’s Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Professor Michael Nicholl was hoping to leave his position quietly, his colleagues had other ideas. Michael is well renowned for his national leadership in quality and safety of
maternity services and was also the first Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) Fellow to gain admission as Fellow of Australasian Association for Quality in Health Care. NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox said the district and RNSH are leaders in maternal care because of Michael. “His care of thousands of mothers, families and their new borns can never be fully acknowledged. We have truly benefited from Michael’s leadership, expertise and commitment to promoting excellence in safety and quality in clinical care, for consumers, their families and our staff has been so very special,” she said.
On his last clinical day, the maternity services staff donned on t-shirts with Michael’s face emblazoned on the front to send him off. Michael has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC). Michael has a clinical career of over 40 years, 30 of which have been in specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist roles and 15 years as a senior clinician. Before taking on the role at the CEC, Michael was the clinical professor at RNSH’s department of obstetrics and gynaecology and the NSLHD’s maternal, neonatal and women’s health network clinical director.
NSLHDNEWS | ISSUE 11| 17 JUNE 2022
Health Information Services Celebrates 10 Years of Scanning Northern Sydney Local Health District Health Information Services (HIS) recently celebrated 10 years of document imaging. well as a drop-in day at Royal North Shore Hospital, which allowed staff to complete a quiz and receive prizes for taking part.
Document imaging, sometimes referred to as scanning was implemented across NSLHD for community health services, acute services and outpatients in 2012. The project involved scanning paper health care record documentation into electronice medical recrod (eMR) rather than storing them in paper medical records. HIS has taken steps over the past 10 years to reduce NSLHD’s environmental footprint such as transitioning to eDocuments, using recycled paper and recycling all printer cartridges. As a result of these steps and document imaging, HIS has saved 846 million pieces of paper– which is the equivalent of 510 trees and 150 million litres of water. To celebrate the milestone, HIS set up stands at Ryde, Hornsby and Mona Vale hospitals as
To acknowledge HIS’ efforts, Bunnings joined the celebrations and donated 50 trees across the district.
HIS staff from Ryde Hospital celebrate 10 years of scanning
Optimising Parkinson Disease Medication Management at RNSH A team at Royal North Shore Hospital is on a mission to improve the care of patients living with Parkinson disease with a new project focused on improving medication management for patients.
“It is crucial that these medications are administered on time by nurses, are prescribed accurately by doctors, and are reviewed efficiently by pharmacists – it is a team effort,” she said. Sue said the project has derived six solutions that are being implemented across the hospital. “We have begun implementing electronic prompts for nurses, an electronic prescriber alert, a medication label alert, formalised identification of Parkinson patients, education for staff, and increased imprest supply of Parkinson medications,” she said. “We are hopeful that these measures will reduce Parkinson patients’ symptoms and their length of stay.” Sue said staff caring for Parkinson patients should look out for prompts in the electronic medical record. “Nurses should look out for order comments on the medication administration record and should administer Parkinson medications on time to prevent the administration tile from turning red, which will now occur after 15 minutes, as opposed to one hour,” she said. “Doctors should look out for an alert to promote accuracy when charting Parkinson medications.” The project will continue to be rolled out throughout 2022.
The Parkinson Inpatient Experience Redesign Project, led by Parkinson nurse Sue Williams and pharmacist Marissa Sakiris, is being rolled out across RNSH. The project’s goal is to achieve better health outcomes, experience of care and service efficiency through excellent inpatient medication management for Parkinson patients. Marissa said Parkinson patients have highly individualised medication regimens, and ensuring they receive medications in hospital is critical to symptom control.
RNSH PD Nurse Sue Williams and pharmacist Marissa Sakiris
TAX APPEAL 2022
If you’re grateful for the care
that you or your loved ones
have received at one of our
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Within the NSLHD, providing a good patient experience is at the
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d often this goes beyond just
immediate medical care.
For us, the general wellbeing, rehabilitation and mental health of
everyone is just as important as the medical treatment we provide.
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