NSLHD News March 17 2023

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


Main story Exceptional People awards 2022 Staff and volunteers who go above and beyond were recognised at Sydney’s Luna Park. Pages 4 & 5 Short blurb Read more on Page x

NSLHD LGBTIQ+ Employee Network Host First Symposium Page 3

RNSH archives celebrate Northern Clinical School’s 75 years Page 3


Message from the board chair Trevor Danos AM

It has been an exceptional time for our district with so many wonderful achievements of which we can all be so very proud. I had the pleasure of attending the Exceptional People Awards 2022 at Luna Park and was once again in awe of the calibre of all the worthy individual and team recipients who every day go above and beyond in caring for our patients and community. I was joined by NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce AM who was equally impressed by the people who make up our diverse and talented organisation. The annual awards (for individuals and teams) are made by reference to the pillars of the district’s Strategic Plan. There are two other general categories of individual and team awards based on leadership and our CORE values. There is one other award, the Board’s commendation award, which I was especially delighted to present to Dash Gray and Tidge Backhouse who are co-chairs of the NSLHD LGBTIQ+ Committee. On behalf of the Board, I would like to congratulate all the nominees and recipients of the Exceptional People Awards. These awards are just one way we can celebrate and recognise the wonderful work of staff across our district. Our district held its first LGBTIQ+ Health Symposium with great success at the Ministry of Health headquarters. More than 50 people attended to hear from industry leaders speak of their experience (as both staff and as health consumers) and guide our district on what it needs to do meet the NSW Health’s LGBTIQ+ Strategy 2022-2027 and be an inclusive organisation. The symposium was an important step in our district’s journey as it prepares to launch the Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging Strategy soon. This is a priority focus of the Board and one for which I look forward to seeing more achievements in 2023. In May we will be holding the Advancing Women in Medical Leadership conference, a showcase event that will provide an opportunity for our female medical leaders to network and hear from a talented line up of internal and external speakers on how they managed to break barriers and advance their careers. This is another example of the tremendous work that is being done at our district to create a diverse and equitable work place where everyone feels they belong.

The 2023 NSLHD Board Strategy Day was recently held with more than 50 people attending including board members, the district executive, clinical network directors and university partners, along with clinicians and researchers from across the district.

2023 NSLHD Board Strategy Day

Themed around Research, Innovation and Technology, the strategy day was a great success and will help inform the district’s agenda in these key areas. NSLHD Chair of Research Professor Bruce Robinson AC gave a fabulous and informative address showcasing the district’s current research and future directions. We also heard about current fundraising and philanthropy trends by NORTH Foundation CEO Gilbert Lorquet. We were honoured to welcome Susan Pearce AM to our strategy day to give an overview and update on NSW Health’s 2022-2032 Future Health Plan. There is an opportunity for the district to aim for an even higher reputation through an innovative research agenda alongside its excellent clinical care. Our partners, specifically Macquarie University, Sydney University and UTS have good links to our district and the Board wants to focus on how we can strengthen those links and ensure we are a partner of choice for opportunities. I would like to thank everyone who participated in this very important day.

Trevor Danos AM Board Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District



Smiles were aplenty at NSLHD’s inaugural health symposium

NSLHD LGBTIQ+ Employee Network Host First Symposium Northern Sydney Local Health District’s LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer) employee network held NSLHD’s inaugural health symposium last week. The event involved staff, consumers, and representatives from ACON, Pride in equally as interesting discussions. “We look forward to completing a report of the day and are looking to use it as a resource across the district and for future planning of our delivery of care.

“I am excited to see what the district does to improve the experiences of LGBTIQ+ people accessing healthcare.” Heather Gough, executive sponsor of the NSLHD LGBTIQ+ Employee Network said the symposium provided a great opportunity to come together. “The event provided the space to listen to clinicians, healthcare workers and people who have lived experience and learn from them,” Heather said. The NSLHD LGBTIQ+ Employee Network involves a group of passionate and engaged LGBTIQ+ people and allies. If you want to get involved, contact NSLHD- LGBTQIPlusEmployeeNetwork@health.nsw. gov.au Head of the Northern Clinical School Associate Professor Margaret Schnitzler said she is proud of the amazing work done by clinicians and researchers at the clinical school, including several hundred unpaid affiliates who teach in the medical program. “It is a genuine privilege to educate the doctors of the future and to know that we are contributing to delivering high quality healthcare to people in northern Sydney and the wider community,” she said. To celebrate the 75th anniversary, RNSH archivist Cate Storey (pictured on front cover) held an exhibition of the hospital’s archives featuring many Northern Clinical School documents since its inception.

Diversity, Pride in Health and Wellbeing, The Gender Centre, South Western Sydney Local Health District, St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney, and across the NSW Health Service and NSW Public Service coming together to talk about LGBTIQ+ health and discuss ideas and requirements for delivering best practice care for LGBTIQ+ people. Co-chair of the employee network and emcee of the symposium Tidge Backhouse said the day was a huge success. “We are absolutely stoked with how the day went,” Tidge said. “With over 160 participants in-person and online, the presentations were met with Diamond Jubilee marking 75 years since the first students commenced on March 15th 1948. The school has a dedicated team of professional staff who support nearly 250 students undertaking the University of Sydney’s four year Doctor of Medicine program as well as over 100 higher degree research students. In addition to providing teaching, the academic staff of the Northern Clinical School are involved in world-leading research which is supported by millions of dollars in competitive grant funding each year.

Northern Clinical School celebrates 75 years The Northern Clinical School of the Sydney Medical School recently celebrated it’s



Exceptional People Awards 2022 The 2022 Exceptional People Awards were held on Thursday 9 March 2023 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. To read more visit the NSLHD EPA awards page on the website or click here: https://bit.ly/EPA-2022 Safe and Connected Care Presented by District Director of Allied Health Julia Capper

Consumer Nominated Award Dr Vincent Oxenham, Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist, RNSH

Individual Award Trisha Rimmer, NDIS/SASH Coordinator, Primary and Community Health

Team Award Graythwaite Day Rehabilitation Team, Ryde Hospital

CORE Values and Behaviours Presented by District Director Finance Jacquie Ferguson

Consumer Nominated Award Therese Jepson - Clinical Nurse Consultant, ARRT, RNSH

Volunteer Award Brian Collier - Ambulatory Care Centre Volunteer, RNSH

Team Award Intensive Care Unit - Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital

Individual Award Danielle Fera RN - Revenue Manager, RNSHHospital

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

Leadership Presented by Interim Chief Executive Lee Gregory

Individual Award Alison Hession, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital

Individual Award Dr Michelle Mulligan OAM - Specialist anaesthetist, RNSH

Individual Award Sakibul (Ovi) Chowdhury - Environmental Services Manager, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital



Sustainability and Planetary Health Presented by Acting Executive Director of Operations Heather Gough

Partnering with Consumers and Carers Presented by Deputy Director Clinical Governance Vicki Fox

Individual Award Rado Nikic - Environmental Services Manager, Ryde Hospital

Team Award Capital Works Team - Northern Sydney Local Health District

Individual Award Joanne Francis - Clinical Psychologist, RNSH

Team Award ISBAR Supporting Safe Transition to Care MHDA

Healthy and Well Communities Presented by District Director of Health Promotion Paul Klarenaar

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

Individual Award Sarah Childs - Allied Health Performance Analyst, NSLHD

Team Award Aged Care Rapid Response Team (ARRT) - RNSH

Individual Award Dr Seeta Durvasula

Team Award Grand Stand Against Domestic Abuse

Board Commendation Presented by Board Chair Trevor Danos AM

Chief Executive Commendation Presented by Interim Chief Executive Lee Gregory

Individual Award Katherine Clark - Clinical Director for Supportive and Palliative Care services

Awarded to Tidge Backhouse and Dash Gray

Individual Award Rachel Wolfe - COVID-19 Clinical Lead - District Services

A big thank you to our sponsors for 2022





Dr Sumit Sahni, Dr Jillian Eyles, AProfessor Sarah Glastras, Dr Chia- chi Liu, Dr Yandong Shen, Dr Danielle Stone and Dr Michal Lubomski

Kolling awards unveiled An impressive group of researchers has been congratulated through this year’s Kolling Institute awards program. Launched in 2021, the program has been expanded to acknowledge a greater number of researchers and their individual contribution. The awards aim to recognise the many outstanding achievements across education, clinical practice and service, publications, research, as well as overall accomplishment. This year, seven researchers were presented with awards across the following five categories: PhD impact Dr Danielle Stone - Clinical Speech

Best clinical output Dr Jillian Eyles - Physiotherapist, RNSH and SHPs Research Translation Fellow, Osteoarthritis Research Best EMCR basic science paper Dr Chia-chi Liu - Senior Research Fellow, Cardiac Membrane Biology Laboratory Best basic science paper overall Dr Yandong Shen - Postdoctoral Researcher, Northern Blood Research Centre

Pathologist, RNSH, and PhD candidate, Neuromuscular Imaging Research Lab Dr Michal Lubomski - Neurologist, RNSH and PhD Candidate, Neurogenetics Research Supervision impact A/Professor Sarah Glastras - Endocrinologist, RNSH and Postdoctoral Researcher, Renal Research Laboratory Dr Sumit Sahni - Senior Research Fellow, Bill Walsh Cancer Research Lab

Kolling Institute Academic Director Professor Jim Elliott congratulated the researchers for their invaluable contribution over the past 12 months. “It’s encouraging that we have so many dynamic researchers working across the Kolling and the district, and this impressive group has had an intrinsic role in our progress, impact and research success,” he said. “Each of these award winners is driving substantial improvements in their individual areas of expertise, and I’m pleased that through the Kolling awards program we’re able to direct the spotlight to their significant achievements.” AYAH PATIENT DELIVERS GAME BALL FOR MANLY’S OPENING MATCH WIN

Jamieson Leeson, the Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice’s first patient, had the great honour of delivering the game ball at the Manly Sea Eagle’s opening rugby league match last month. Twenty-year-old Jamieson spent two weeks at the AYAH where she received holistic and specialised respite care. AYAH Community Partnerships Manager Laura Grant said: “Jamieson absolutely loved the experience and we’re so appreciative of the support we have received from the Manly Sea Eagles.”

Jamieson Leeson delivers the game ball



Staff from RNSH celebrate IWD 2023

NSLHD celebrations for International Women’s Day Women make up 77 per cent of Northern Sydney Local Health District’s workforce,

Advancing Women in Medical Leadership (AWiML) initiative. “For the past 12 months, a group led by senior female medical leaders has been working to identify and address barriers that prevent women holding senior positions. “Some great work has occurred as part of this initiative and I am looking forward to hearing about outcomes achieved in 2023 that will help address gender equity in medical leadership.”

marking the huge difference they make to the district’s patients and communities every day. Earlier this month staff celebrated women’s achievements and reinforced a commitment to women’s equality as part of International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is Embrace Equity. Morning teas, displays, and pledges were made across Royal North Shore, Ryde, Macquarie, Mona Vale, and Hornsby hospitals, as well as the Primary and Community Health Service. Staff were invited to make pledges at the stalls, stating what action they would take to promote equity for women in the workplace, with hundreds of pledges made on the day across the district. Interim Chief Executive Lee Gregory said equity can be achieved by creating more opportunity for those who have historically had less. “An area of focus for our district is increasing the number of women in senior medical leadership positions,” he said. “Which is why we have embarked on the Ryde Hospital doctor awarded local woman of the year When Dr Linda Xu isn’t working as a geriatrician and general physician at Ryde Hospital, she spends her time volunteering with St John Ambulance NSW. Her dedication and commitment to her voluntary work led Linda to receive the 2023 Ryde Local Woman of the Year Award. Linda has volunteered with St John Ambulance NSW since 2003. During this time, she has dedicated more than 2500 hours to the community. “It is an honour to be recognised for doing something I enjoy,” Linda said.

Staff from Ryde Hospital celebrate IWD 2023 with General Manager Jennifer McConnell

Linda Xu and NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce



Official charity partner

The NORTH Foundation annual report is out now!

As the official charity partner

of the NSLHD, we raise funds

to support innovative health

research and excellent

patient care.

Read our annual report to find

out how the NORTH Foundation

supported the NSLHD in


Scan the QR code to read or click here


(02) 9436 0162






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