NSLHD News April 14 2023

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


Main story Wall of Fame recognition Three recipients have been inducted into the Theresa Durante and Alana Rousselot Wall of Fame. Page 4 Short blurb Read more on Page x

Time for a flu jab Page 3

fellows strengthening culture of research excellence Page 6


Message from the board chair Trevor Danos AM

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Adjunct Professor Anthony Schembri AM as the new Chief Executive of Northern Sydney Local Health District. Anthony is currently the CEO at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst and was previously General Manager at Liverpool Hospital. He is a social worker by background and his first managerial role was at Royal North Shore Hospital - something I know he is very proud of. Anthony is known for his commitment to, and achievements in the areas of, safety and quality, staff and community engagement, and diversity and inclusion. He is a good communicator and a good listener. While at St Vincent’s Hospital he introduced a program very similar to our Speak Up For Safety and has already achieved a great deal of leading- edge work at the hospital in the area of planetary health and sustainability. The recruitment process attracted a very strong and diverse field. Many highly talented people including from interstate and overseas applied to lead NSLHD. The Board gave considerable weight to the applicants’ background and experience in the areas of research and engagement with philanthropy and partnerships. These are important areas of focus for the next few years. Anthony has real and deep experience and strengths in these areas as well as, and no less importantly, a background in health leadership and operational roles. I want to sincerely thank Lee Gregory for leading the district since the departure of Deb Willcox, our former Chief Executive.

leadership team that the district has continued to be a high-performing health district, with a well-deserved reputation for excellence, compassion, innovation and living the NSW Health Core Values. I am immensely grateful that Lee has agreed to stay in the role as Interim CE until Anthony takes up his position on 17 July. Lee himself will be on leave for the month of July and acting arrangements will be put in place for the first half of July. When Lee returns, he will resume his substantive role as NSLHD Executive Director of Operations. Over the next few months, we will all continue to progress with the impressive schedule of work before us. It is through this work and your commitment and energies that the district enjoys its well-deserved reputation for excellence and for its great culture. I very much look forward with great positivity and confidence to the next chapter of the district’s history.

Trevor Danos AM Board Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District

It is through the work of Lee and the



RNSH transitions to paper bags In an effort to help reduce plastic waste, Royal North Shore Hospital has transitioned to using paper bags for patients’ belongings, replacing the former pink plastic versions. The bags were implemented across the hospital with the help of the clinical products team and are provided to patients to place their belongings in when visiting or staying at the hospital. RNSH Director of Corporate Services Amanda Harriss said the transition will reduce plastic usage considerably across the hospital. “In the past we were using 55,000 pink plastic bags per year for patients’ belongings,” she said.

“The new paper bags are just as sturdy and will help reduce our plastic usage considerably, which is something we are proud of.” This transition comes as NSLHD has been actively working on its sustainability efforts, committing to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2035, with most of the reduction – 70 to 80 per cent – to be achieved by 2030. Time for a flu jab The 2023 influenza vaccine is now available for all healthcare workers across Northern Sydney Local Health District. NSLHD Board Chair Trevor Danos visited nurse unit manager Gigi Kwok at the Royal

Staff from RNSH with the new paper patient bags

find out more about the district’s influenza vaccination program, please visit the Intranet page here: http://nsccrnsww08/WSForms/ FluVax

North Shore Hospital staff health clinic last week to receive his vaccine. Gigi said the clinic is ready for staff to come and get their jabs. “Come and visit us so you can protect yourself and your patients from influenza,” she said. All Category A healthcare workers are required to have the vaccination by 1 June 2023. Category A are staff in positions that brings them into contact with vulnerable patients. Vaccinations are now available at hospitals and services across NSLHD. To

NSLHD Board Chair Trevor Danos visited nurse unit manager Gigi Kwok at the Royal North Shore Hospital staff health clinic



Wall of Fame recognition Three passionate and committed recipients have recently been inducted into Northern Sydney Local Health District Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service’s Theresa Durante and Alana Rousselot Wall of Fame. Patient and community member Andrea Neville, NSLHD Director of People and Culture Paula Williscroft and NSLHD Director of Primary and Community Health Kim Field were formally recognised at a ceremony in early April. The Wall of Fame, located in the Royal North Shore Hospital foyer, honours staff and community members within Northern Sydney Local Health District for their continuous support and work in improving the lives and health outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service Peter Shine said all three inductees are passionate and committed to improving the health and wellbeing of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. “Thank you to Andrea, Paula and Kim for your contributions – we are very fortunate at this district to have your support and you are all very deserving of this accolade,” Peter said.

Andrea Neville Andrea provides support externally to the NSLHD Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service and the community through the ongoing promotion, participation and support for all events and programs. Andrea is a Bardi/ Jawi woman born in Broome in the Pilbara of Western Australia. She hosts a weekly radio program on Koori Radio, covering various topics affecting human rights and social justice issues. Paula Williscroft, Director of People and Culture, NSLHD Paula continuously provides dedication and support in increasing the NSLHD Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce within NSLHD. Paula has been a fantastic advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and has provided support and advocacy to assist the district to retain and grow the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce. Kim Field, Director of Primary and Community Health, NSLHD Kim is a great supporter of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service. She was one of the key leaders and driving forces behind the development of Bungee Bidgel and a great support to Peter Shine when he began his tenure as Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. She continues to support and understands the intricacies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS 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.



Staff at Ryde’s fall prevention stall

Ryde staff get involved In April Falls prevention Every year staff across Ryde

Hospital get involved in April Falls Day to raise awareness about the impact of falls and to promote the latest best practice falls prevention strategies. This year staff celebrated with a blazing balance challenge and a stall in the hospital foyer with crosswords and quizzes with prizes. Ryde Hospital Director of Nursing and Midwifery Alecia Daly said falls prevention would be promoted across the hospital throughout the month. “We are focusing on targeted education on all wards on falls risk screening and ensuring staff have up-to-date training,” she said. “A huge thank you to all our staff who got involved on April Falls Day, and to all staff for your ongoing commitment to educate patients on falls prevention.”

Staff from Ryde celebrating April Falls Day

Hornsby Hospital Mona Vale HOSPITAL nslhd mhda


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Julia Pilowsky, Dr John Atyeo and Dr Louise Hansell

fellows strengthening our culture of research excellence In an exciting announcement, three clinical research fellows have been appointed within the Northern Sydney Local Health District. investigative projects has historically been one of the barriers to the expansion of research activity and impact,” he said.

The positions are part of an initiative developed by the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Northern Sydney (Arabanoo) Precinct and the NSLHD. The new roles will drive interdisciplinary research activity, develop research capabilities and increase opportunities for research training of staff. The successful applicants include Senior Research Radiation Therapist Dr John Atyeo, Senior Physiotherapist Dr Louise Hansell and Clinical Nurse Specialist Julia Pilowsky. Over the next two years the fellows will pursue their individual research projects while also collaborating on an interdisciplinary research initiative focusing on functional wellbeing. Interim NSLHD Chief Executive Lee Gregory said the fellows will continue their clinical roles within the district and will now also have time to pursue their individual and collaborative research interests. “We are pleased to be able to provide funding for the dedicated research time as we know that having specific blocks of time for Vale Joanne Sunners Northern Sydney Local Health District would like to express its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Joanne Sunners. Joanne worked across various nursing and midwifery positions throughout her 40 year career and became the first clinical nurse educator for child and family health nursing in the district. Educating was a passion of Joanne’s and alongside her roles at NSLHD, she also taught students at the University of Technology Sydney Joanne was a mentor to many and her generosity and kindness has left a profound impact on everyone she worked with at NSLHD. Vale, Joanne Sunners.

“We are sure this group will help extend our research capabilities and strengthen the culture of quality research across the local health district and the university.” The fellows have embraced their new roles. Dr Louise Hansell has worked as a physiotherapist for 13 years with a focus on acute respiratory care. Dr John Atyeo works in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre and drives radiation therapist led research. Julia Pilowsky works in the Intensive Care Unit at RNSH. Her research involves understanding how mental health disorders impact patient outcomes during and after an ICU admission and how clinicians can better support these vulnerable patients. She is also developing techniques to use the information in clinical progress notes for research and quality improvement purposes.

Vale Joanne Sunners



Global recognition for musculoskeletal researcher In a sign of the international impact of research at the Kolling Institute, a prestigious

osteoarthritis joint damage and pain,” Chris said. “The basic science research that my team and I have been recognised for is influencing the models that are used worldwide to improve the translation of basic science discoveries to new treatments. “Our research is making these models more predictive and identifying specific patient groups where the therapies will be effective. “We hope that this will have a major impact on osteoarthritis discovery and drug- development research. “As the Kolling Institute is located on a healthcare campus at Royal North Shore Hospital, we have the privilege of interacting closely with clinicians, surgeons and the osteoarthritis patients they manage. “Importantly, this influences the type of basic science research we do, and ensures that we are addressing the problems our clinicians and patients face in trying to manage osteoarthritis. “The OARSI award is recognition by the osteoarthritis research community that the work we are doing is relevant and important, and I’m thrilled that it’s highlighting our exciting progress and my extraordinary team.”

award has been presented to Professor Chris Little during the World Congress on Osteoarthritis in Denver, Colorado. More than 700 researchers and clinicians attended the event where Chris was presented with the 2023 Basic Science Research Award by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI). Chris said he was delighted and honoured to receive the award, which acknowledges outstanding research and progress. “OARSI is the premier international organisation dedicated to osteoarthritis research, so it is a particularly great honour to receive this award recognising our discovery science into this debilitating disease,” he said. Osteoarthritis is a major cause of individual pain and disability worldwide and is the number one disease contributing to healthcare expenditure in Australia. There are currently no treatments to halt osteoarthritis progression and long-term management of associated pain is very poor. “We will only be able to develop new treatments once we have a better understanding of the cell and molecular mechanisms that initiate and drive

Professor Chris Little (left) with the other international award recipients



Human Experience Week

It’s more than the way care is provided or received, it’s about all those interactions in between. Share messages, stories, pictures, and videos of your experiences with MOH-PatientExperience@health.nsw.gov.au

#humanscaringforhumans March 2023 © NSW Health. SHPN (SPB) 230163

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