NSLHD News March 12

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


Main story Short blurb hor by covid vaccine hub open Heal hca e workers rolled up their sleeves to receive the first jabs of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Read more on Page x

Read more on Page 3

Kolling unveils new research strategy Page 6

international women’s day Page 7


Message from the board chair Trevor Danos AM

It has been a huge week in the district with a significant step forward in the fight against COVID-19. The vaccination hub at Hornsby Hospital is now up and running. The hub opened this week to health workers in Phase 1b with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. It has been a huge effort to get to this stage, so I would like to thank all staff who worked so hard to set up and get the hub ready as well as the staff who are on the ground managing the vaccinations. I would like to acknowledge our Chief Executive Deb Willcox who was asked by the Secretary of NSW Health to undertake a short secondment as Deputy Secretary Patient Experience and System Performance. This request reflects well on Deb and on the district. Deb is currently relieving Susan Pearce who has taken on full-time responsibility for the operational implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine in NSW. Thank you to the whole executive team for stepping up during this critical phase of the COVID-19 vaccination roll out and during the period of the secondment. I know the district is in very capable hands. NSLHD Medical Executive Director Tamsin Waterhouse will be Acting NSLHD Chief Executive while Deb is on secondment until April 16. More than three quarters of NSLHD’s workforce is made up of impressive women. This week across the district we celebrated these women on International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is ‘Choose to Challenge’, based on choosing to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. The day is an occasion to celebrate what has been

achieved but also to acknowledge that more needs to be done by all of us to create an even better workplace. As part of our celebrations, and in line with our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy 2020-2022 , the district launched its new Women in Leadership network. I am particularly delighted that Chief Executive Deb Willcox has taken on the position as Executive Sponsor of the network. This network is employee-led and will provide a collaborative, safe space to capture and to amplify the voices of women and those that identify as female. I am pleased to announce another new network for staff – the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) network. More than a quarter of our staff identify as having a CALD background, so this network aims to bring people together so they can share and learn from their experiences. All staff who are interested in getting involved in either of the networks can contact NSLHD-ODTeam@health.nsw.gov. au. The launch of the CALD network ties in with Harmony Week which will be celebrated from 15 to 21 March. It is a time to celebrate Australia’s rich cultural diversity and I encourage you all to think about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians. Keep your eye out for events being held to mark Harmony Week. Please show your support by wearing something orange on Friday 19 March. Trevor Danos AM Board Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District




Peter Shine was the first to receive the vaccine in northern Sydney

hornsby vaccination hub open Healthcare workers rolled up their sleeves to receive the first jabs of the Oxford/ AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital Vaccination Hub this week. The Hornsby Vaccination Hub is one the

ancestors provided a future for us; this vaccine will ensure that I can provide a future for my children and grandchildren. I want to watch them grow.” Northern Sydney Local Health District A/ Chief Executive Dr Tamsin Waterhouse said opening the hub was an exciting time for important milestone for our district and NSW as we continue to rally against COVID-19,” Tamsin said. “A number of staff across our district have been affected by COVID both personally and professionally, so it is really rewarding to see them get vaccinated and further protect themselves from the virus.” staff and the broader community. “The Hornsby Vaccination Hub is an The first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been imported from overseas, but ongoing supply will be manufactured here in Australia. Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are very good at protecting against severe illness and death, which is great news for all Australians. The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be given to people in two doses.

latest hospitals set up to provide vaccinations to people as part of phase 1b of the vaccine rollout. Northern Sydney Local Health District Director of Aboriginal Health Peter Shine was the first to receive the vaccine in northern Sydney. He said it was important for everyone able to be vaccinated to do so in order to protect each other from COVID-19. “I was excited to roll up my sleeve this morning and play my part in helping to protect our community, and I would encourage everyone to do the same,” Peter said. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are an at-risk group when it comes to COVID-19, so being vaccinated is the best thing you can do for yourself and your mob. “I trust the researchers, the medical experts, epidemiologists and the vaccine. Our

Staff member being vaccinated at Hornsby

Staff member being vaccinated at Hornsby



aussie first: project to establish full body imaging Quick whole-body scans will soon be a reality at the Royal North Shore Hospital. Australia’s first Total Body Positron Emission Tomography (TB-PET) scanner will be established in a joint venture between NSLHD and the University of Sydney. The machine, which will be a flagship of the National Imaging Facility (NIF), is expected to be operational by 2022. The $15 million TB-PET scanner project will greatly enhance Australia’s biomedical imaging capabilities, deliver improved patient outcomes and boost medical and health science research programs. Associate Professor Paul Roach, Clinical Director of Nuclear Medicine at NSLHD and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, said Royal North Shore Hospital has a proud history of delivering world-class imaging to improve patient outcomes. “The TB-PET scanner will revolutionise patient care by producing faster and higher quality clinical whole-body PET/CT scans compared with currently available scanners,” he said. “Patients will undergo their cancer scans Congratulations to Northern Sydney Local Health District Director of Campus Strategy Allana Thompson who has been awarded Willoughby Local Woman of the Year at the NSW Women of the Year Awards. Allana was nominated for the award by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Member for Willoughby. Allana has held various positions during her career at NSW Health. She completed her nursing training at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital and worked in a number of nursing roles at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital before moving into capital works. “Whilst I enjoyed the career change I continued to work as a bedside clinical nurse on the weekends to keep my skills current,” she said. “I continued to work as a nurse in this capacity until 2020.” Throughout 2020 Allana played a key role within the COVID-19 logistics team, where

(Left to right): Associate Professor Paul Roach and Professor Dale Bailey

in about a quarter of the time they take currently, with some scans taking only a couple of minutes. “There is also the benefit of lower radiation doses, which is a great outcome for all patients, especially children. “To have a facility in Australia where we can perform our clinical scans faster, produce superior quality images with less exposure to radiation than currently in addition to having a dedicated research capability for researchers throughout Australia, will be a first.”

Unlike traditional PET scanners, the TB- PET will capture the whole body in a single scan, allowing doctors to diagnose, guide treatment and track patient’s progress more accurately. willoughby local woman of the year: allana thompson

(Left to right): Allana Thompson and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

she was tasked with rapidly increasing bed capacity at Royal North Shore Hospital. Allana said it was nice to be recognised for her work and accepted it on behalf of the team. “I’m pleased about the message to my daughters - who are just starting out in the workforce - that women who aren’t necessarily in the top executive positions nor have public profiles are getting recognised for the work that they do,” she said.



CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE EMPLOYEE NETWORK Rooppreet Goraya, known as Roop by her colleagues, moved from India to Australia in 2002 to pursue her Master’s degrees in Business and Accounting.

Two years later, Roop and her husband decided to settle down and call Australia home. “We found Australia very friendly, open, fair and full of opportunities,” she said. Roop has been working the NSW public sector for the last 14 years, recently joining the team at NSLHD Primary and Community Health as the finance and performance manager. “I have been lucky enough to work with and continue to work with amazing people,” she said. “I believe we all have unique qualities and talent, all we need to do is believe in ourselves and support each other in our journeys helipad passes with flying colours A new helipad at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital has been put to the test before it becomes operational. For the first time the hospital will have a rooftop helipad allowing for helicopters to perform medical transfers and retrievals, instead of landing in nearby James Park. The helipad has been built as part of the redevelopment of the hospital and sits above the new Clinical Services Building, which is due to open mid-year. Transition Redevelopment Manager Adrienne Stern said the number of helicopter

Roop is the executive sponsor of the CALD network

– no matter what your background is.” Roop has recently taken on the position as executive sponsor of the new culturally linguistic and diverse (CALD) employee network. She has a real passion for creating a culturally safe and inclusive workplace for all staff. “With more than a quarter of our staff identifying as having a CALD background, this network aims to bring them together and talk about their experiences,” she said. “We want to create a network where CALD staff can come together and

have a voice, feel valued and supported.” From 15-21 March NSLHD will be celebrating Harmony Week. It is a time to celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity and think about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians. Keep your eye out for activities taking place across the district – and wear something orange on Friday 19 March to recognise the celebration. To find out more or to join the CALD network, please contact NSLHD-ODTeam@ health.nsw.gov.au.

Helicopter landing at night above Hornsby Hospital

landings is not expected to be any more than currently lands in the oval, which is about eight a year. “Both day and night landing and take-off testing took place with the Avipro consultant and Toll pilots very complimentary of the planning, consultation,

design, function and quality of the hospital’s helipad,” Adrienne said. “The new helipad will mean a smoother medical transfer for patients and medical teams, instead of having to perform the transfers with Ambulance NSW vehicles at the nearby park.”



Kolling unveils new research strategy The Kolling Institute Research Strategy launched at the end of February, setting the strategic framework for the next five years and broadening opportunities Three research priority areas have been identified during the formation of the strategy including musculoskeletal, neuroscience and pain, and cardiovascular and renal research. Kolling Institute Executive Director Professor Carolyn Sue said these areas of research investigate some of the biggest health challenges of our time. to achieve high-quality translational research. “Collectively, they cost the community billions of dollars a year in health, personal and economic costs,” she said.

The Kolling Institute’s Renal Research Team

a unique breadth of skills and knowledge and globally recognised expertise. “By focusing on these areas, we are moving to strengthen our ability to achieve game- changing research and ultimately improve the health of our community.” A key component of the new strategy is the provision of research enablers, which will be instrumental in providing collaborative opportunities, modern platforms and infrastructure, and diversified funding. The research enablers will focus on the following areas: • Clinical trials and translation • Data and informatics • Research infrastructure and support services • Recruitment and retention Carolyn said the

extensive access to patient groups and state of the art facilities,” she said. “This means our teams can directly incorporate scientific discoveries and evidenced- based improvements into patient care. “We expect there will be a greater involvement in industry trials by building on our expertise and reputation as a leader in clinical trials. “The measures incorporated in the new strategy are aimed at assisting teams to increase the impact of their research. “They will provide a robust strategic framework, delivering new opportunities, greater assistance, access to high quality facilities and new partnerships both within and outside the organisation.”

strategy will identify opportunities for the Kolling to become a national leader in clinical trials and translational practice, building on existing strengths in this area. “Our researchers work within Royal North Shore Hospital, one of Sydney’s largest tertiary hospitals, with

Kolling Institute Executive Director Professor Carolyn Sue

“There is tremendous expertise across these

disciplines within the Kolling, with many researchers world renowned in their fields. Our research teams have a track record of success,

A/Prof Sarah Glastras, Prof Manuela Ferreira, Prof Robyn Ward, Prof Paul Glare and Dr Belinda Di Bartolo


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



QUALITY AND IMPROVEMENT AWARDS NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN Nominations for this year’s Northern Sydney Local Health District Quality and Improvement Awards are now open.

The awards celebrate the excellence of our nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, support staff and researchers. They put a spotlight on the hard work and delivery of programs and services which have made a real difference to the patients and families we care for. Our Royal North Shore Hospital intensive care unit was one of our 2020 winners. The team went on to win the NSW Health Award for the Patient Safety First category. The team’s project focused on introducing a number of interventions to shift the culture in the intensive care environment by reducing the need for unnecessary arterial blood gas testing, without demonstrable negative effects international women’s day Northern Sydney Local Health District celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8. This year’s IWD theme ‘Choose to Challenge’ is based on choosing to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. Everyone can choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Women make up more than 76 per cent of NSLHD’s workforce. Thank you for all that you do and the contribution you make every day for our patients, consumers and the community. Here are some photos of staff from across the district with their own IWD messages.

2020 Quality and Improvement Awards Patient Safety First category winner

on patient outcomes. Team leader Dr Jonathan Gatward said the project exceeded in meeting its objective and demonstrated a statistically significant reduction of inappropriate blood gas testing performed from 27 per cent to 10 per cent, and a 31 per cent reduction in the overall number of tests performed. This effect was sustained over a 20-month period. “Patient benefits include the avoidance of anaemia due to the need for blood transfusions, reduced risk

of infections and improved patient experience,” he said. “The project has also significant cost savings to the organisation.” Jonathan urges others to submit an application. “It’s a great way to promote your hard work, but more importantly gives you the ability to share and spread your ideas for others to adopt,” he said. Entry forms and further can be found here or contact nslhd-awards@health.nsw.gov. au.



Healthy and Active for Life Online

What’s included?

A 10-week online program

Are you 60* or over and want to be active and healthy? Join our free online healthy lifestyle program in Term 2 ! Courses start the week beginning 12th April 2021 Find out more and register at: www.activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au *Aboriginal people aged 45+ can register.

Exercise videos to do at home each week Online healthy eating and lifestyle sessions Support from a trained Phone Coach

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