NSLHD News July 18

Get the latest news from across Northern Sydney Local Health District.


NSLHD CELEBRATES NAIDOC WEEK 2019 Crowds flocked to NAIDOC celebrations featuring performances from Christine Anu and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dancers. Read more on Page 6 AND 7

surgeon’s touch helps to hang ARTIST’S archies piece Page 3

hornsby staff on winter watch Page 9

Leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing


message FROM the chairman Trevor Danos

It has been a very busy period in our District since my last column, and I just wanted to say thank you to all of our staff for their hard work. I know our frontline staff have been doing a wonderful job providing patient care during the busy flu season, while our support staff have also been marvellous in ensuring our hospitals and services continue to provide high quality and compassionate patient care. As Board Chair, I try to make it to as many events around the District as I can and I have recently had the pleasure of attending the NAIDOC Week celebrations at RNSH. Our Aboriginal Health team always does a stellar job organising this event. The traditional dancing, singing and didgeridoo performances drew a large crowd of staff, patients and visitors. Christina Anu’s performance was a highlight. We also celebrated the latest two additions to the Aboriginal Health Wall of Fame. I would like to congratulate the new inductees: our A/Director of Clinical Governance Anthony Dombkins and patient Natasha Drew who has been incredibly involved with the Aboriginal Health team. The Board was delighted to hold its most recent Emerging Leaders Breakfast at Mona Vale Hospital. General Manager Jacqui

Edgley took the opportunity to show Board members the gym in the Community Health Centre from which there is a spectacular view of the hospital site and redevelopment. The Board was able to visit the new Kiosk and the Urgent Care Centre where Board members inspected the newly refurbished rooms – they look great. There are just under two weeks left to submit your nomination for this year’s Exceptional People Awards. The Awards acknowledge and celebrate the great work of our staff and volunteers in delivering exceptional health and wellbeing outcomes for our patients and consumers. I encourage you to nominate your peers and any volunteers you know who deserve to be acknowledged. Finally, I would like to thank Tamsin Waterhouse who was our A/CE during Deb Willcox’s period of leave. Tamsin did a great job. The District is very fortunate to have a strong and capable leadership team.

Trevor Danos AM

Board Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District

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Artist Kim Leutwyler in recovery after her carpal tunnel surgery, performed by Dr James Ledgard

Artist’s masterpiece thanks to surgeon’s master stroke Artist Kim Leutwyler came to appreciate a medium of a different kind when she came to Royal North Shore stricken with carpal tunnel. James operated on Kim’s favoured right hand first, giving her the best chance at recovering in time to finish her submission. Her left hand would be revisited at a later date.

It was a crucial time for the emerging painter, who was trying to finalise her submission to the 2019 Archibald Prize. Her piece, featuring Ghanaian-Chinese, openly queer actor, broadcaster, television producer, writer and DJ Faustina Agolley was “90 per cent done” when the pain became too much. “When I was painting her hair, her hair is quite detailed, my fingers started going so numb during the day whereas it previously used to bother me at night,” Kim said.

Kim recovered well from the surgery and was able to finalise her submission with the help of James’ healing hands. “It was a huge relief (to submit the painting) but even more of a relief to not have carpal tunnel anymore in my right hand,” she said. “I feel like you have a special bond with someone, regardless of the Archibald Prize, when someone cuts you open and fixes you. “I mean ‘you’ve seen the inside of my limbs and you’ve worked your magic to fix it’ – it’s amazing and astounding to me what surgeons and their teams do.” Kim said her whole hospital experience had been a positive one. “From the moment I checked in to the moment I check out at the hospital, everyone was so lovely, they’ve made me feel so welcome; it’s been an awesome experience.” James said it was great to be able to help Kim with one of his favourite operations. “Carpal tunnel is one of my favourite operations because almost everybody gets better,” he said. “Usually the nicest thing is hearing they have a proper night’s sleep the night after the operation. That’s what everyone appreciates most, but having someone whose painting is a finalist in the Archibald is pretty special too. “I admitted to Kim that I haven’t been (to the Archibald) this year though.”

“It was permanent tingles throughout the day and shooting pain, which is when I knew I just had to stop.” Kim succumbed to the pain and downed tools for close to three months, but she was determined to finish. Enter hand, wrist and reconstructive plastic surgeon Dr James Ledgard.



Creating a Culture of Recognition at NSLHD Recognising the

achievements and effort of those around us is important to help build a positive workplace culture. Nominations for Exceptional People Awards are open until 30 July. These awards recognise individuals and teams who go over and above to support our services, our patients and consumers. With seven categories to choose from, there is a category to suit everyone from our dedicated volunteers, support staff, clinical and non-clinical teams and individuals across the district. Complete the nomination form on the 2019 Exceptional People Awards page. The Compliment Portal was recently launched, where employees can send a compliment electronically to a colleague or volunteer. The compliment will be sent as an e-thank you card via email to the recipient. Employees can also pass on compliments from a patient or consumer, carer or family member by sending a card on their behalf. Visit the Compliment Portal quick link on the intranet to send your compliment. It’s up toeveryone to help build a great workplace and recognition culture at NSLHD, so if you haven’t been involved in recognition before, now is a great time to start. For more information on these initiatives, please email NSLHD-COREValues@ health.nsw.gov.au

RNSH’s Ambulatory Care team come together to farewell Megan Donnelly (front right)

RNSH midwife Megan Donnelly retires after more than 50 years

For more than 50 years, Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) midwife Megan Donnelly delivered hundreds of babies. Now entering retirement, Megan has decided to take on a new challenge – tackling the “one- day cupboard”. “I’m about to attack the one- day cupboard: a cupboard full of things that I promised myself I would get to one day,” she said. Megan’s first day as a trainee nurse was at RNSH on April 16, 1962, at a time when nurses lived on campus. After 10 years working as a nurse, Megan wanted to branch out and experience what it was like to work in the maternity ward. This is where she found her love for midwifery and women’s health. “It will keep me busy for a while.”

“I was home when I joined midwifery team and I never looked back,’’ she said. More recently, Megan set up a menopause clinic in the RNSH Ambulatory Care and was nickname Menopause Megan - an expert in all matters relating to menopause. She said the past 50 years had passed quickly and she was looking forward to retirement. “The people I have worked with over the years have become family and it has been an honour to serve my community – it has just been an absolute joy,” she said. “I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people who I helped deliver 37 years ago, some of which are now having their own babies. “I’ve loved every minute and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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Dr Claire Ashton-James will be hosting a webinar on clinician burnout

Good patient outcomes rely on wellbeing Clinician burnout and how to avoid it will be the focus of a webinar next week hosted by social psychologist Dr Claire Ashton-James.

your back, really helps clinicians cope with all sorts of physical and emotional challenges. “Importantly, a flexible approach is needed when addressing clinician burnout, as a standardised system will not work for all our healthcare teams, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. “Prioritising wellbeing will not only lead to better outcomes for individual clinicians, but there’ll be long term benefits for patients and the broader health system too, with more productivity, better staff retention and a more positive workplace culture. “We are well placed for improvements across our district, given the commitment to developing data-driven interventions for clinician wellbeing throughout our hospitals.”

Representing the Pain Management Research Institute, which is part of the Kolling Institute, Dr Ashton-James will host the webinar on Wednesday July 24 from 4pm. Claire said the webinar follows her research which indicates up to 50 per cent of physicians are at risk of burnout in Australia, compared to up to 80 per cent in the USA. “A host of issues contribute to clinician burnout such as team conflicts and emotionally challenging work,” Claire said. “The negative impact of these factors can be counter-balanced however by strong patient relationships, team camaraderie and intrinsically rewarding work.

To join the webinar, head to bit.ly/2LZQWuv

“Working with like-minded individuals, who have



Naidoc week celebrations prove popular with the crowds Yamaa Maliyaa, Wuu-ri Mari Yugal Yuluu-gi Wandabaa Ngindaay NAIDOC.

That means “hello friends, we share our song, our dance and our culture with you to share NAIDOC together” in Gomeroi. Royal North Shore played host to our health district’s NAIDOC Week celebrations for NAIDOC Week. A large crowd gathered to watch stellar performances from Christine Anu as well as dancers from Kiris an Tharan and Koomurri. There were also two new inductees into the Aboriginal Health Service’s Wall of Fame, with Acting Director of Clinical Governance Anthony Dombkins and patient Natasha ‘Tash’ Drew.

A/Director of Aboriginal Health Molly Florance presents Anthony Dombkins with his Wall of Fame certificate

Kiris an Tharan Dancers brought moves and colour to the celebrations

The Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags took pride of place

Traditional dancers from Koomurri thrilled the crowd with their storytelling

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Naidoc 2019: Voice. treaty. truth.

Proceedings began at the flag raising ceremony

Kiris an Tharan were all smiles

Koomurri’s Didgeridoo performance in the foyer

Christine Anu captured the attention of young and old during her performance

Molly Florance with Wall of Fame inductee Tash Drew



HKH Pink Ladies and Men Volunteer Auxiliary AGM Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital’s volunteers came together recently for their Annual General Meeting families in need.

where a number of Pink Ladies and Men were recognised for their long service to the hospital. Long-serving volunteer Helen Henderson (pictured) received an award for her 40 years of service to the hospital. Helen assists with the flower trolley, but spent many years raising funds for the auxiliary. The full list of recipients is featured to the right (See inset) The AGM also farewelled much-loved volunteers Gwen Moore, Patricia Totman, Estelle Jeffreys, and Michael Rhys who after decades of service to the hospital are now enjoying a well-earned break. Support Services Manager Marie Perkins thanked the volunteers on behalf of the hospital for their invaluable contribution. “During these past months I have conducted two orientations resulting in 17 new volunteers working across the hospital in areas including patient feeding, patient companion, pastoral care, mental health, community health, the florist shop, the Bernard Curran Unit and the transit lounge,” Marie said. “I would also like to extend a warm welcome to our new volunteers. I hope you have settled in and been well received by our current volunteer and hospital workforce. “To our existing members, your smiles, friendship, dedication and commitment to share your time and your talents say a lot about you as human beings. No matter where you volunteer you are part of this hospital’s community and we value your contribution.” The Auxiliary donated $2000 to the hospital’s Samaritan Fund, which assists patients and their

President Brian Minnett thanked the retiring members, Estelle Jeffreys and Marje Mullaney for their service to the Auxiliary Committee and welcomed new members Maria Favara, Jacqueline MacRitchie and Margaret Pile

Time in service 25 years Joy Turner and Marcia Wood 20 years Margaret Terry 15 years Mal Barratt and Gary Horvai 5 years

Doris Buzinskas, Graham Lloyd. Anne Rayment, Helen Seally, Virginie Norgate, Beryl Simpson, Amanda Illingworth, Margaret Green, Janelle Bruce, Sandara O’Donoghue, Joan Robertson and Hilda Dorn

Nominations for Child WELLBEING AND PROTECTION AWARDS OPEN When Kerry Gwynne of Dalwood

appreciation for the work you do, it is a great feeling. Kerry encouraged those thinking of nominating someone for an award in 2019 to do so. “Working in child protection and support can be quite emotionally demanding and stressful, so these kinds of events are really important for morale,” she said. Nominations are now open and close on Friday August 2. For more information, head to the intranet.

Spilstead Service accepted a Child Wellbeing and Protection Award last year, she was thrilled. The service took out the service category of the 2018 awards as well as the Overall Child Wellbeing and Child Protection Award. Kerry said it was a great chance for staff to see the hard work and passion of the staff in the field,” she said.

“To have your peers and management show their

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Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital staff are supporting winter watch

Winter WATCH – watching out for patients and each other

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital is going back to basics this winter to improve patient safety during the busy period. The new initiative is targeting allied health, nursing and midwifery, and medical teams to focus on key activities that address safety and patient care which go towards reducing infection, preventing falls within the hospital, improving communication and delivering quality patient care. General Manager Lee Gregory said the hospital was undertaking a refresh of its quality and safety program during winter 2019 with the “back to basics” program entitled Winter WATCH. “The aim of Winter WATCH is to improve the delivery of safe, quality healthcare during the winter period where increased demand and risk of adverse events is higher than normal,” he said. “During the winter WATCH program our medical, nursing and allied health staff will focus on some key activities including improved communication and interdisciplinary team work to enhance safe, quality patient centred care. Clinicians will be supported by corporate services and clinical governance to ensure a whole of hospital

approach to this program.”

Posters targeting the WATCH aspects for each discipline have been placed around key areas of the hospital to remind staff of what they need to, such as `wash hands’, `assess risk’ and `check catheters and cannulas’. Each year the hospital places an emphasis on winter preparedness given the increase in patient presentations. Lee said he hoped among the many benefits of Winter WATCH there would be a reduction in adverse outcomes, decreased number of hospital-acquired infections, improved handovers, and improved communication with patients and carers regarding their care. “Winter WATCH is a simple message that says to our staff and to our patients, that our nursing, allied health and medical teams are working together to deliver high quality and safe patient care,” he said. “It also reminds our hard working teams of some of the basic activities that can sometimes get overlooked.”



Are you up for a challenge to support world leading research? There’s an opportunity to support

“Mitochondrial disease is no longer considered a rare disease, with one in 200 Australians carrying the gene which increases the risk of developing the neurological disease. “It can be very difficult to diagnose so some patients are mistreated for

research into Mitochondrial Disease – a debilitating and potentially fatal disease that can affect any organ of the body at any age. The Kolling Foundation is joining with ID Events Australia and Be Challenged to host the Beanstalks Team Challenge event at Luna Park on September 19. It will see competing teams work through a fun and interactive virtual reality challenge – The Infinity Loop. Kolling Foundation CEO Gilbert Lorquet said the challenge will give teams the chance to test their leadership and strategic skills, while also supporting innovative research. “We’d love to see teams from across the district enjoy the challenge of competing against each other,” Gilbert said.

This year’s beanstalk challenge willl be a virtual reality Infinity Loop.

years, and not given access to the specialist treatment they require. “The disease can greatly affect energy levels, general function and eventually organ systems fail. “By supporting this event, you’ll be helping the development of more accurate methods of diagnosis and new therapies to treat the disorder.”

Organisers are looking for 50 teams (with five people per team) to participate in the challenge. To register for the Beanstalks Team Challenge visit bit.ly/2WzRYmU You can also email the Kolling Foundation at foundation@ kolling.org.au for more details.

palliative care plans earn tick of approval from community

care closer to their home and loved ones, during difficult and challenging times. “Engaging with community groups such as these on the design of the building is so important and the feedback on the floor plans from members the Friends of Northern Palliative Care and the Inpatient Facility Working Group has been invaluable and greatly appreciated,” she said. Kay Millar, Chair of the Northern Beaches Palliative Care Inpatient Facility Working Group, said it was pleasing to see progress on the building, and that the group’s recommendations on the floor plans had been incorporated, where possible. “This service is something the community has been wanting for a long time so it is great to see the progress being made,” she said. “We look forward to continuing to work with the hospital over the coming months as the building takes shape.” Construction for the 10-bed Palliative Care Unit and 10-bed specialist aged care unit building is currently underway with expected completion by the middle of next year.

Detailed floor plans of Mona Vale Hospital’s new 10-bed Palliative Care Unit and 10-bed Geriatric Evaluation Management Unit have been presented to the Friends of Northern Beaches Palliative Care and the Inpatient Facility Working Group. The revised floor plans were shown by the hospital’s General Manager Jacqui Edgley at a recent meeting and had been updated following input from the groups and the members of the hospital’s volunteer auxiliary. Jacqui said the new 10-bed inpatient palliative care service will enable more people to receive

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Yaser Gholami, Kelly McKelvey, Bryony Winters presented with their travel awards by Professor Carolyn Sue AM.

Travel program creates new international opportunity A generous travel award is helping three Kolling Institute researchers broaden their experience and develop closer international partnerships. early diagnosis and treatment of cancers which have metastasised within the lymph nodes. formalising our international partnerships with UK institutions and extending our experience with the Small Animal Radiation Research Platform,” Kelly said.

“The aim of the project is to complete phase II of our animal studies ahead of the first human clinical study in Australia,’’ Yaser said. “I’m really pleased to be leading one of the first trials in Australia using new nanotechnology for cancer imaging and therapy.” Kelly McKelvey will use the travel award to attend the International Congress of Radiation Research in Manchester in August. Kelly will also visit brain cancer research labs at The University of Manchester and The University of Leeds.

Kelly McKelvey and Yaser Gholami from the Bill Walsh Translational Cancer Research Lab and Bryony Winters from the Pain Management Research Institute will share in close to $20,000 after receiving the Beryl and Jack Jacobs Travel Award. It’s an initiative to support early to mid-career researchers by funding their travel and education expenses. Yaser Gholami will spend two months at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, preparing for the clinical translation of a new technology to help the

The travel award will also enable Bryony Winters to attend the international conference

Pharmacology 2019 in Edinburgh in December.

“The trip will give me the chance to meet world- leading neuroscientists and pharmacologists, and establish a long term research partnership looking at epigenetic links between stress and chronic pain,’’ she said. “The links are very complex and I hope to be able to extend Kolling’s cutting edge research in this area through this collaboration.”

“I’m looking forwarding to




Healthy Communities

Connected Person-Centred Care

Evidence-Based DecisionMaking

Responsive &Adaptable Organisation

Engaged& Empowered Workforce

Winners Announced at Award Luncheon 27 September 2019

Nominations Close 30 July 2019

Finalists Announced 16 August 2019


NOMINATE NOW Click the banner on the NSLHD Intranet

Thisprogramhasbeen developedaspartofthe NSLHDresponseto PeopleMatter surveyresults

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