NSLHD News 22 March 2024


Main story Short blurb Exceptional People awards NSLHD celebrates success in healthcare - view our award winners Pages 4 and 5 Read more on Page x

NSLHD celebrates inaugural Planetary Health Showcase Page 3

hornsby opens a carers retreat Page 6


Message from the board chair Trevor Danos AM

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Exceptional People Awards (EPAs), an event that serves as a testament to the dedication and efforts of every member of our team here at the district. It was truly inspiring to witness the outstanding work being done across our district, and I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all who were nominated and awarded. The EPAs are a valuable opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible contributions of our staff. I also had the pleasure of participating in the NSLHD Board Strategy Day 2024 – Mental Health Drug and Alcohol and Wellbeing (MHDA). It was an enriching experience where we were presented with valuable opportunities to discuss enhancement opportunities for our services. One highlight was hearing a patient’s story, which served as a poignant reminder of the importance of our work in mental health. Another highlight was hearing from the NSW Minister for Mental Health, Rose Jackson, on her priorities. The Minister’s visit to our Macquarie Hospital site will no doubt be the first of many as the Board moves forward with planning for the hospital. Many good things already occur across the mental health drug and alcohol services in our district. At the Board strategy day, we were able to see the positive impact of our efforts. We have much to celebrate including the relocated drug and alcohol inpatient facilities on level 5 of the Douglas Building at RNSH, the modern acute mental health facilities at RNSH and Hornsby, the innovative PACER (Police Ambulance and Clinical Early Response) program, and the daily heroic efforts of our community mental health workers. Across our district, there are many commendable initiatives and achievements in our mental health drug and alcohol services. However, it is also important to

acknowledge the challenges we face. While the services provided to our consumers at Macquarie Hospital are exceptional, the buildings are old and no longer fully suited to their purpose, and we need to continue to advocate for additional funding for mental health services at the new Ryde Hospital. As we engage in discussions on MHDA, we are reminded of our responsibility to advocate for those who are most vulnerable in our community. It is our privilege to care for individuals who often have no voice, and as a Board, we must continue to amplify theirs. We are committed to raising awareness about mental health and prioritising it as a fundamental aspect of our healthcare system. Moreover, the increasing prevalence of mental health issues, including dementia, poses a significant community-wide challenge while advocacy for mental health funding that sometimes struggles to gain traction amidst competing priorities. Despite these hurdles, we remain resolute in our commitment to address these issues and advocate for the necessary resources to support the mental health and wellbeing of our community. Let us continue to strive to make a difference and advocate tirelessly for those who rely on us for support.

Trevor Danos AM, Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District



NSLHD Planetary Health Manager Nicola Groskops, Chief Executive Anthony Schembri AM, Director of Population & Planetary Health NSLHD Paul Klarenaar and Planetary Health Senior Project Officer Lynley Hurst

NSLHD celebrates inaugural Planetary Health Showcase The Northern Sydney Local Health District recently held the inaugural Planetary Health Showcase at Royal North Shore Hospital. The showcase featured over 20 presentations from leaders and champions in environmental sustainability across the district, the NSW Ministry of Health and the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. The showcase also featured a presentation from keynote speaker Associate Professor Angie Bone from Monash Sustainable Development Institute about changing mindsets, culture, policy and practice to shift to sustainable healthcare systems. NSLHD Chief Executive Anthony Schembri AM said the showcase offered great insight into planetary health and the work being undertaken across the district. “The event has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase the incredible work being led by NSLHD staff and partners to create a more environmentally sustainable health service,” he said. “I am very proud to work for a district that is a leader in NSW Health with our planetary health efforts and ambitious net zero target. “I look forward to seeing the outcomes of the many projects we currently have underway as we work towards net zero by 2035.” As part of the showcase, the district also launched the new NSLHD Planetary Health Framework 2024-2027, which builds on the success of the inaugural Planetary Health Framework 2021-2023. The Framework outlines the district’s plan to reduce its environmental footprint and support the health and wellbeing of the local population, whilst continuing to provide the highest level of care for patients. “Extensive consultation was undertaken over the last six months to develop this Framework, including interviews, workshops and a public survey,” Anthony said. “Thank you to all staff, partners, patients and community members who contributed their feedback and ideas.”



Exceptional People Awards 2023 The 2023 Exceptional People Awards were held on Thursday 14 March 2024 to celebrate and formally recognise staff and volunteers across the district. 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.

Safe and Connected Care Presented by Director of Finance and Corporate Services Jacquie Ferguson

Consumer Nominated Award Dr Irene Chen

Individual Award Halima Ahmed, Case Manager, Assertive Community Management of Drug and Alcohol services

Team Award Hornsby Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre

CORE Values and Behaviours Presented by Royal North Shore Hospital General Manager Heather Gough

Consumer Nominated Award Andrew Zhang, Senior Rheumatology and Back Pain Physiotherapist

Individual Award Meredith Oatley, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner

Volunteer Award Volunteer Pet Therapy Team – Ross Kretchmer and Duke

Consumer Nominated Award Rayna Shimakage, ICU Physiotherapist

Team Award RNSH Hepatology Nurses Team

Partnering with Consumers and Carers Presented by Executive Director Operations Alison Zecchin

Team Award Brolga Inpatient Unit

Consumer Nominated Award Hornsby-Brooklyn General Practice Unit

Individual Award Sue Williams, Project lead for the Parkinson’s Inpatient Experience project



Sustainability and Planetary Health Presented by Director of Population and Planetary Health Paul Klarenaar

Leadership Presented by Chief Executive Anthony Schembri AM

Team Award Royal North Shore Sustainability Committee

Team Award Net Zero Lead Respiratory Team

Individual Award Erin Foulsham. Clinical Nurse Educator, RNSH

Winner Jenny Crane, Director of Pharmacy, RNS

Research, innovation and digital health Presented by Chief Digital Health Officer Ann Mirapuri

Engaged and Supported People Presented by District Director of People and Culture Paula Williscroft

Individual Award Solly Geddam - Nurse Unit Manager, RNSH Ambulatory Care Centre

Team Award Engineering Department, Macquarie Hospital

Team Award NSLHD Long COVID service

Individual Award Dr Mark Montebello, Clinical Director, Drug and Alcohol Services

Healthy and Well Communities Presented by Ryde Hospital General Manager Jennifer McConnell

Chief Executive Commendation Presented by Chief Executive Anthony Schembri AM

Board Commendation Presented by Board Chair Trevor Danos AM

Individual Award Jason Levy, Physiotherapist Virtual Care Service A big thank you to our sponsor for 2023

Team Award RNSH Specialist Palliative Care: Clinical Nurse Consultants

Awarded to Associate Professor Naomi Hammond, Executive Director of Research

Awarded to Barbara Lewis, Manager, Carer Support Service



Hornsby’s Pink Ladies volunteers in the new carers retreat

Hornsby opens carer’s retreat Families of patients will now have a place they can rest and recuperate while their loved ones are receiving end-of-life care at Hornsby Ku- ring-gai Hospital. Angophora House has opened to relatives and carers of patients and provides them with a welcoming space for respite where they can have a shower, make a cup of tea or just rest. Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital General Manager Simon Hill said Angophora House is a cottage located on the hospital grounds that is designed as a place for family members and carers to rest away from the clinical setting of the hospital. “Family members and carers will be able use the house to prepare and eat meals, shower and refresh and relax in a comfortable space,” Celebrating our social workers Social workers at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) recently came together to celebrate World Social Work Day on 19 March. The day, which acknowledges the contributions social workers make to communities around the world, celebrated this year’s them ‘Buen Vivir: Shared Future for Transformative Change’. Chief Executive Anthony Schembri AM, who has been a social worker for 30 years, thanked all social workers across the district for their ongoing efforts. “My very first management and leadership role was as a senior social worker at Royal North Shore Hospital managing a team of three social workers,” he said. “A privilege of working in the field for so long has been seeing the impact social workers make across our health systems. “I’d like to thank all of our social workers

he said. “Our hope is that by providing a private space for families and carers to gather and care for each other, we can support them to create a positive memory of their family member’s last days.” The house has been named Angophora House to align with the end-of-life symbol and image of the Angophora tree used at Northern Sydney Local Health District hospitals, which also has cultural significance for First Nations people as an ascension tree for spirits. The hospital’s volunteers, The Pink Ladies and Men Auxiliary assisted with the furnishing of the cottage.

across the district for your constant contributions to patients, their families and the wider community.”

To mark the special occasion, social workers at RNSH set up at stall where visitors could ask questions and take part in a quiz



Board Chair Trevor Danos AM, Board member Donna Lynch and Chief Executive Anthony Schembri AM and team welcome the new vehicles

NSLHD welcomes first set of electric fleet vehicles Ten new electric vehicles (EVs) have been introduced to Macquarie Hospital’s passenger vehicle fleet as part of the district’s ongoing planetary health efforts. The NSW Government has committed to electrifying its passenger vehicle fleet by 2030, with an interim target of 50 per cent EV procurement by 2026. This target is supported in the new NSLHD Planetary Health Framework 2024-2027 as the district works towards net zero by 2035. The cars will replace existing vehicles in Primary and Community Health (PACH) and Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services (MHDA) currently operating out of the hospital and visiting patients in their homes or care centres. The 10 new Kia Nero EVs have a range of up to 460 kilometres with a full charge and charging stations are onsite across three different locations on the campus. NSLHD Director of Asset Management James Sue said the new vehicles mark a significant milestone for the district. “It is very pleasing to have 10 brand new EVs as part of our fleet here at Northern Sydney,” he said. “We are proud to be playing our part in working towards net zero in emissions we can impact. “I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping us transition our fleet vehicles.” The district has been transitioning all passenger fleet vehicles to hybrid and EV models and has ordered a further 102 hybrid vehicles. Once the new cars arrive, 59 per cent of NSLHD’s total fleet will be hybrid or electric, marking significant progress for the district. SPREAD THE GOOD Share your news and achievements. Contact the Media

and Communications team on 9463 1722 or email NSLHD-media@health.nsw.gov.au to submit your news.



NSW Health | Our planet, our health

NSW Health Sustainable Futures Innovation Fund

Our planet’s health affects our health. As Australia’s largest health system, we can make a positive difference. We’re backing our staff with both innovative ideas and funding to drive change. Apply now for up to $25k to fund your idea. All NSLHD applications must be submitted to the NSLHD Planetary Health team in the first instance, via email to NSLHD- PlanetaryHealth@health.nsw.gov.au by COB 15 April 2024.

For more information visit: www.health.nsw.gov.au/ netzero

February 2024 © NSW Ministry of Health.

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