NSLHD News November 7

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


Hornsby Hospital hits new high Staff and special guests celebrated the topping out of the new clinical services building at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital. Read more on Page 3

cancer centre success at Awards Page 5

Mona vale staff celebrate time in service Page 7

Leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing


Message FROM the acting Chief executive Dr Tamsin Waterhouse

message FROM the Chief executive Deb Willcox

Our stellar list of achievements in 2019 continues to grow, with Royal North Shore Hospital’s Northern Sydney Cancer Centre and Professor Anthony Gill both claiming NSW Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research. These awards, which are hosted by the Cancer Institute NSW, honour the achievements of individuals and teams working across the cancer research sector and are the leading NSW awards in celebrating excellence and innovation in cancer research. Royal North Shore Hospital’s Clinical Trials Unit Manager Sally McCowatt and her talented team won the Outstanding Cancer Clinical Trials Unit award against strong competition from across the state, while the Australian Pancreatic Genome Initiative, which Professor Gill has been heavily involved in, took out the Wildfire Highly Cited Publication award. These awards are the latest in a series of successes from across our district in 2019, but success is not just measured in trophies. Our district has excelled this year, and I want to thank you for all of your efforts in making this possible. As we enter November, I would like to take the opportunity to invite you all to our 2019 Annual Public Meeting on Friday 22 November. This year our meeting will focus on “our patients, their stories”. We are constantly striving to improve the patient experience, no matter what role we

play within the district. We will hear real stories from patients who have been to our hospitals; we will hear what we do well, but also what we can do better. The meeting will be at the Kolling Auditorium, RNSH Campus from 2.30pm on 22 November. If you would like to RSVP, please email NSLHD-AreaCommunications@health.nsw. gov.au or call (02) 9463 1722 by Wednesday November 13. Speaking of patient experience, I was delighted to see our district continue its strong performance in the Bureau of Health Information 2018 patient surveys. The Adult Admitted to Hospital survey and the Outpatient Cancer Clinics survey returned very strong results for our hospitals and our district as a whole. If asked by friends or family, 83 per cent of our patients would speak highly of their experience as an adult admitted patient at our hospital. In the outpatient cancer clinics survey, 93 per cent would speak highly of their clinical experience, with 86 per cent rating the care they received as very good. These results are better than the NSW average, and reflect the tremendous work you are doing every day. For more results, head to bhi.nsw. gov.au/Healthcare_Observer

Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District


Celebrating the milestone at the topping out ceremony

A TOP DAY FOR HORNSBY KU-RING-GAI HOSPITAL It was sight to behold: a crane manoeuvring a tree on to the top of the six-storey Clinical Services Building at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital.

closer to home and soon the local community will have a range of expanded health services in a new, state-of-the-art building.” In addition to the $200 million redevelopment which is on track for completion in 2021, the NSW Government committed in this year’s budget another $65 million to fund new and expanded services including day chemotherapy, renal dialysis units and a helipad. Mr Kean said the redevelopment is a fantastic boost to the local economy. “The Hornsby Ku-ring-gai redevelopment will provide 590 full-time equivalent jobs in the construction industry and generate new jobs for health care workers in the area,” he said. The medical imaging department is due to move into its new department later this month.

Marking a significant milestone to celebrate the completion of the structure’s highest point, the angopohra tree was craned in and witnesses by Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Member for Hornsby Matt Kean, Member for Ku-ring-gai, Alister Henskens, NSLHD CE Deb Willcox, HKH General Manager, Lee Gregory, redevelopment representatives and hospital staff. The topping out ceremony was to make the significant milestone for the Stage 2 redevelopment project, with the Clinical Services Building (CSB), the centrepiece of the $265 million project. With stunning views of the local district as the backdrop, Mr Hazzard told the gathering: “we promised to deliver world-class health care

An angophora tree craned to the top of the six- storey CSB

Ku-ring-gai MP, Alister Henskens, Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, and Hornsby MP, Matt Kean.



Spreading Christmas cheer at Ryde Hospital Ryde Hospital is encouraging the local community to help others less fortunate celebrate Christmas by supporting Dignity this year. period. As part of the campaign, visitors and staff are being encouraged

and pyjamas in assorted sizes for men, women and children, as well as socks and jocks and non- perishable foods Your donations can be placed under the tree in the main entrance of the hospital from Friday 1 November. For more information on how you can help spread joy this Christmas, visit Ryde Hospital’s Facebook page. Hooray for healthy hips Staff from orthopaedics and paediatrics at Royal North Shore Hospital wore green to raise awareness for Health Hips Day on 1 November, while also raising more than $200. Parents in the maternity unit also attended an education session run by staff on the importance of being hip aware, while cupcakes were also sold to help spread the word.

to place their gifts under the Christmas tree in the main entrance before being collected at the start of December by Dignity to make into hampers. Items that can be donated to the Christmas with Dignity drive include new summer clothes

The hospital has partnered with its workplace giving charity partner Dignity to collect small gifts, non-perishable foods and essentials to help those who are homeless or in need of crisis accommodation over the festive

For more information, visit healthhipsaustralia.org.au


Kathryn Jenkins, Sally McCowatt and Sue Kirby Lewis

NSLHD cancer researchers honoured in Premier’s Awards Northern Sydney Cancer

Cancer clinical trials unit conducts a balance of commercial and investigator initiated studies. In 2019, more than 60 per cent of the trials recruited the amount of patients it set as its target – a remarkable achievement which demonstrates strategic trial selection. In addition, the trials unit has doubled the number of enrolments in investigator- initiated treatment trials. Investigator initiated trials are non-sponsored, in-house NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox said: “I would like to congratulate Professor Alexander Engel, Clinical Director of Cancer and Palliative Care, and his remarkable team on this wonderful achievement.” Professor Gill is part of the Australian Pancreatic Genome trials run by doctors or collaborative groups.

Initiative which took out the Highly Cited Publication Award. The initiative is a global research enterprise of more than 100 scientists, clinicians and allied health professionals – includes many NSW-based researchers. With over 500 citations, their recognised paper is ‘Genomic analyses identify molecular subtypes of pancreatic cancer’.

Centre and Professor Anthony Gill were honoured at the 2019 NSW Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research.

These awards, which are hosted by the Cancer

Institute NSW, honour the achievements of individuals and teams working across the cancer research sector and are the leading NSW awards in celebrating excellence and innovation in cancer research. Royal North Shore Hospital’s Clinical Trials Unit Manager Sally McCowatt and her talented team won the Outstanding Cancer Clinical Trials Unit award against strong competition from across the state. The Australian Pancreatic Genome Initiative, which Professor Gill has been heavily involved in, took out the Wildfire Highly Cited Publication award.

Published in 2016, it is a foundation for the next generation of pancreatic cancer research.

Professor Anthony Gill

Royal North Shore Hospital’



Patient Grant Mundell and Sandy Eglin (inset) address the NORTH Foundation launch

NORTH Foundation gains key support More than a hundred people attended a

stage 4 pancreatic cancer and is receiving ongoing care.

special event to mark the launch of the NORTH Foundation, the fundraising partner of the district and the Kolling Institute of Medical Research. Leading oncology clinician and researcher Dr Nick Pavlakis addressed the event, along with patients Grant Mundell and Sandy Eglin, who detailed their emotional journeys and gratitude for the expert cancer care they’ve received. Grant has had a long path to recovery after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He is now back at work after major surgery, nine rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. “The team works as one cohesive unit, offering a unique model of care. They are conducting clinical research as well, improving the treatment options for those with cancer. “I would encourage everyone to do what they can to support the foundation,” Grant said. Sandy Eglin shared her experience of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just years after suffering breast cancer. Sandy has developed Grant says the multi-disciplinary specialist team at RNSH was key to his survival.

“Every day I get up is a miracle, and while I still have many challenges, my love for my family keeps me going. We have become very close. “I am very grateful for the care I have received from the world leading experts at RNSH. They are at the forefront of research in this area and they are consistently broadening treatment options. “As a way of giving back, we have raised more than $100,000 for the Bill Walsh Lab, and I would urge the community to back the foundation. Research developments can save lives and make all the difference,” Sandy said. The NORTH Foundation has unveiled its five-year plan to enhance healthcare services across the district. It is committed to becoming a major contributor to world class medical research and helping ensure the community receives excellent care throughout their lives. Events have also been held at Ryde and Hornsby Ku-ring-gai hospitals in recent days, celebrating the launch of the foundation.


SIGNIFICANT MILESTONES REACHED BY MONA VALE STAFF Mona Vale Hospital celebrated significant milestones.

some of its longest serving staff at the annual Time In Service Awards. All up 17 staff were recognised for their achievements, including After Hours Nurse Manager Anne Hutchinson who clocked up 35 years of service. Mestrov and Deborah Miller all celebrated 30 years at Mona Vale, while Emma Allan, Anthony Bernard, Jeanette Jusic, Bradley Lloyd and Jonathon Uren all notched 20 years. General Manager Jacqui Edgley she was very proud of all of the staff celebrating their Laura Bate, Karen Birrell, Elizabeth Grigg, Frances

“Time In Service awards are a chance for us to recognise the significant contributions our staff members have made to our hospital and district,” Jacqui said. “They offer so much to our patients but also each other so it’s nice to celebrate with them, especially those clocking up significant milestones.” Rounding out the recipients were 15 year club members Susan Chapman, Susan Lambert, Colin Oxford and Denise Williams, while Salina Badam and Homa Gaire celebrated 10 years.

Anne Hutchinson

Karen Birrell

Elizabeth Grigg, Susie Lambert and Deborah Miller

Laura Bate

Mona Vale’s 2019 Time in Service recipients



allied health advances

October was a big month for our allied health team, celebrating the inaugural Allied Health Professionals Day, as well as the NSLHD Allied Health Research Workshop. The aim of the workshop was to use the NSLHD Research Strategy to determine the strategic direction of allied health research for 2019-2021. All up 84 allied health clinicians, managers and research leaders from varying NSLHD sites and across more than 12 allied health disciplines worked together to conceptualise an allied health research action plan. The recipients of the Allied Health Kick-starter Research Grants, supported by the Faculty of Medicine and Health at University of Sydney and NSLHD were also announced. Congratulations to Irene Rulli, Emma Tan, Ashley Crook and Akane Katsu on receiving a grant to aid with conducting the early stages of research in their chosen field.

Allied health staff at the NSLHD Allied Health Research Forum

research grants awarded A team of NSLHD clinicians working to minimise the number of falls suffered by older adults with mental illness, and a project to standardise the treatment advice for patients with musculoskeletal conditions, have received large grants from the Federal Government. Sydney Health Partners has awarded a total of $330,000 to the projects to help apply research breakthroughs to health care. One project, led by principal investigator Dr Meryl Lovarini, is adapting and evaluating a group-based program to prevent falls in older adults with mental illness.

The program, Stepping On, runs in community locations, and helps participants to understand their falls risk and explore safety strategies. The program is currently offered by Mandy Meehan, occupational therapist and team leader at Ryde Specialist Mental Health Service. Funding has also gone to Professor David Hunter and Associate Professor Manuela Ferreira from the Kolling Institute of Medical Research. The pair is leading a group of musculoskeletal researchers and clinicians to develop new evidence-based training resources and patient information to promote musculoskeletal health.


Professor Carolyn Sue, with Tom Vanderspuy and his mother Martine at the Art with Heart launch

Creativity driving new research trial A special art exhibition has been launched to raise money for a trial of an innovative treatment for Mitochondrial disease.

organ dysfunction.

“We are committed to innovative research, like this light therapy trial, to find new ways to manage the disease. “There are currently very few effective treatments for mitochondrial disease, demonstrating the importance of investing in new clinical trials like this one.” The light therapy could potentially treat patients with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Motor Neurone disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Donations can be made to neurogenetics. everydayhero.com.au/martine

Art with Heart is being hosted by the Martine Gallery at Northbridge, with all proceeds going towards an LED light therapy trial for the disease. Gallery owner Martine Vanderspuy has co- ordinated the exhibition, inspired by the positive impact of light therapy on her 16 year old son, Tom, who has Mitochondrial disease. Martine has raised more than $300,000 to date for research, and has a $100,000 target for this exhibition. Kolling Institute Director and international mitochondrial disease expert Professor Carolyn Sue helped launch the exhibition, thanking all those involved. “It is absolutely fabulous to have supporters, like Martine and the community, raise awareness and funds to improve treatment for patients with mitochondrial disease,” Carolyn said. “It’s a debilitating genetic disorder which robs the body of energy and causes multiple


We know our staff do amazing things and we want to hear about it. Share your news, achievements and events with your District colleagues. Contact our team on 9463 1722 or email NSLHD-media@ health.nsw.gov.au to submit your news.



Staff celebrate the kind donation from the GBS Association NSW and Masonic Lodge West Epping

Strong community support for Ryde teams Speech pathology services at Ryde Hospital have been bolstered following a generous donation.

Many patients experience these difficulties as a result of medical conditions including Motor Neuron Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke, spinal injuries, burns or respiratory diseases. The new therapy tools are being used across the acute, rehabilitation and outpatient services. They will ensure patients continue to receive the best possible care.

The GBS Association NSW and Masonic Lodge West Epping donated funds for a collection of new therapy tools for patients with swallowing and communication impairments.


Happy diwali Staff from across Ryde Hospital treated each other with street food and a vegetarian feast in the name of celebrating Diwali. Diwali is a festival of lights celebrated not only in Indian sub- continent but also in Singapore and Malaysia. Ryde’s multicultural workforce embraced the celebration, which were led by Rachna Garg with the support of Director of Nursing Drew Hilditch-Roberts and General Manager Heather Gough.

Diwali celebrations at Ryde Hospital

forum to tackle domestic violence NSLHD staff are invited to attend the second annual 16 days of activism to end gender- based violence event.

Robyn Laughton-Smith said this year’s focus would be on the Workforce Strategy to support staff experiencing domestic and family violence. “Staff who attended this event last year will remember hearing from our courageous staff member Dr Jay that one of the keys to her recovery after experiencing domestic violence was the support from our workplace that enabled her to remain employed and continue successfully on her career path,” she said. “This year the launch of the NSLHD Workforce Strategy to support staff affected by domestic and family violence will ensure that all staff affected by domestic and family violence will have an understanding of the workplace support and entitlements that are available.” The event will run on Tuesday 26 November in the Kolling Auditorium at the Royal North Shore Hospital campus from 12pm to 3.30pm. Bookings not required.

Three guest speakers will present, including domestic violence death review team (DVDRT) representative Anna Butler, CEO and founder of the Kyup! Project Mel Thomas and Voices for Change advocate Mel Wojtas. Thomas started Kyup! Project as a grassroots campaign to empower the next generation and champion their safety and wellbeing. Thomas has more than 15 years’ experience as a practicing martial artist and teaches young women self-defence and self-worth. Wojtas is a survivor-advocate for Voice for Change and is focussed on using her own experiences to create positive change in others. Anna is from the DVDRT, will discuss findings from their review that inform health staff of opportunities to improve services and provide effective interventions to support people experiencing domestic violence.

NSLHD Domestic Violence Coordinator


Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12


Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online