NSLHD News February 11 2022

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


Main story Short blurb jack calls time on distinguished career After close to 50 years of service to Mona Vale Hospital, Dr Jack Delohery has hung up the stethoscope to enjoy his retirement. Read more on Page 3 Read more on Page x

rnsh stroke patient makes miraculous recovery Page 4

New cutting-edge technology coming to the Kolling Page 6


Message from the Chief Executive Deb Willcox

As we continue to manage the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff wellbeing remains a priority. While it is reassuring to see a reduction in the numbers of patients requiring our care the sustained pressure and uncertainty is still hard. It is so important we continue to look after ourselves and each other so we can continue to look after our patients and our community. The Moments That Matter Portal and additional training and resources are there for staff to ensure you get the support you need. It aims to personalise resources and I encourage you to log in to the portal and try it out – https://balance2life.com.au/join/ nslhd I am pleased to let you know applications for the Northern Sydney Local Health District and NORTH Foundation grants program are now open to staff across the district. The program is a joint initiative designed to provide access to untied donations for philanthropic purposes. The program will run three times this year with a total of $300,000 to be awarded across a range of projects. Funding for the first round will be allocated to patient services and could include initiatives such as funding for new equipment or service improvements. For more information and to apply, please visit the NORTH Foundation website here: https://bit.ly/3Bjzo4x. To further support our culture of safety, integrity and the CORE values of our organisation, we are rolling out the second phase of the Speaking Up for Safety program known as ‘Safe Behaviours Together’. Safe Behaviours Together involves a new reporting system which allows staff to report on any behaviours, they have experienced or witnessed, that are not in line with our CORE values. It provides an additional confidential channel to raise

concerns where staff are unable to do so directly with colleagues, managers or People and Culture. The Safe Behaviours Together portal is currently being piloted at Ryde Hospital and will be rolled out across the district as services reach 70 per cent of staff trained in Speaking Up for Safety. Speaking Up for Safety training remains the foundation for our safety strategy and if you haven’t already done so, please access it as soon as you can. We understand that unfortunately speaking up is difficult. This reporting system is about keeping you safe, while at the same time saying to all of us – bad behaviour is not acceptable and we all have a responsibility. I would like to give a warm welcome to our new Graduate Health Management Program (GHMP) Trainees who started with us this week – Kimberly Attenborough, Abby Kalac and Peter Sutherland. Over the two years the trainees will be provided opportunities to gain work experience in a number of areas including executive and operational management as well as finance, and will learn from senior health executives across the district. They will also undertake a Master’s Degree in Health Service Management through the University of Tasmania. Finally, I would like to remind you of the importance of us all being cyber security safe. Cyber security is so important it is part of our staff mandatory training. This is about your patient’s safety and I know this is something that is really important to staff. Please watch the short cyber security video to see how you can help us protect our systems and our patients when online - https://bit.ly/3gBxnXL

Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District



Dr Jack Delohery started his career in medicine at Mona Vale Hospital as an intern in 1975

Jack calls time on distinguished career After close to 50 years of service to Mona Vale

“It is another way the district is supporting a culture of safety and integrity and the CORE values of our organisation in response to the People Matter Engagement Survey,” she said. “The program builds on the professionalism and commitment of the overwhelming majority of staff, while ensuring the actions of no one individual can undermine our culture of safety and reliability.” The SBT program applies to all staff members from all disciplines, excluding volunteers and agency or contract staff. It allows staff to document instances of purpose built rehabilitation ward, the Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit, at Mona Vale in 1987. Mona Vale Hospital General Manger Jennifer McConnell said Jack would forever be a part of the hospital, having helped create the positive culture that exists at the hospital today. “Jack is a most dedicated doctor and a quiet and considerate leader,” she said.

“He is tireless in his service and contribution to the Northern Beaches community.” Jenny said Jack was widely respected by his colleagues across multiple disciplines. “He has enormous respect from his colleagues who note his quirky sense of humour, and regard him as one of the world’s gentlemen,” she said. Happy retirement Jack!

Hospital, Dr Jack Delohery has hung up the stethoscope to enjoy his retirement. Jack started his career in medicine at Mona Vale Hospital as an intern in 1975, and briefly left during his registrar years before returning as a consultant in 1984. A champion for rehabilitation, Jack was instrumental in the opening of NSW’s first

RYDE PILOTS SECOND PHASE OF SPEAKING UP FOR SAFETY STRATEGY Ryde Hospital is piloting the second phase of the Speaking Up for Safety (SUFS) Strategy: Safe unacceptable behavior which could include any breaches of the CORE values such as yelling and verbal aggression, undermining colleagues, belittling or putting

Behaviours Together (SBT). The second phase involves the SBT observation portal, a reporting system which allows employees to report on any behaviours, they have experienced or witnessed, that are not in line with our CORE values. Director of People and Culture Paula Williscroft said the SBT provides an evidence-based framework that builds a high performance culture of safety and reliability, and addresses individual behaviours that may undermine it.

someone down or excluding colleagues from information, communication or action. The SBT portal will be rolled out across NSLHD as the services reach 70 per cent of staff trained in SUFS. SUFS training remains the foundation for the strategy and all staff are encouraged to access the one-hour session as soon as possible. For further information about the SUFS strategy, please visit https://bit.ly/3381MtD.



Stroke patient makes miraculous recovery following game of Oztag

It was during a social game of Oztag that Alessandra Marcelo started feeling pain in her neck, but she didn’t think much of it until a few hours later when she realised the pain was something much more serious. When she got home from the game, the 28-year-old physiotherapist said the room started spinning. “I had to lie down and I was vomiting,” Alessandra said. “As a physio, I started thinking this could actually be a torn artery in my neck, or a vertebral artery dissection, which is classified as a medical emergency. “I told my partner to call an ambulance straight away and I was taken to Blacktown Hospital to be assessed and a CT scan showed the dissection.” A vertebral artery dissection is considered a medical emergency due to the risk of a blood clot and the risk of the clot dislodging and going up to the brain, like it did for Alessandra. “As a result of the dissection, I had a basilar ischemic stroke where a blood clot blocked off my basilar artery which provides oxygen-rich blood to the brain,” she said. “Thankfully I was already in hospital when I had the stroke, and at that point the doctors knew I had the dissection so were already consulting with my specialist at Royal North Shore Hospital and discussing my treatment and planning my transfer from Blacktown.”

Royal North Shore Hospital Interventional Neurologist Dr Alice Ma said Alessandra was lucky to survive the catastrophic stroke. “What was initially a small injury to the vertebral artery developed into a severe stroke,” Alice said. “Alessandra’s case was particularly complicated as she had bilateral vertebral artery dissections further compounding the effects of the clot blocking blood supply to her brainstem. “Fortunately the stroke thrombectomy procedure was successful and we were able to reperfuse the brainstem and the visual cortex. “After the procedure I was still uncertain whether she would have sustained a severe brain stem injury from the stroke but to everyone’s great relief she woke up completely neurologically intact.” Alice said Alessandra’s recovery is a result of the teamwork and close collaboration of multiple specialty teams at Royal North Shore Hospital. “The ICU team were particularly crucial in her post-operative care, optimising her hemodynamic management to allow time for her blood vessels to start healing,” she said. Alessandra spent nearly two weeks in the ICU following

Alessandra Marcelo had a stroke following a game of Oztag

her surgery. “I received the best care from all the doctors and nurses who were all so kind and compassionate towards me,” she said. “The surgery itself was incredible, it just blows my mind to think that Dr Ma went through my leg all the way up to my brain and dissection during a game of Oztag is very unusual, and I’ve got an appointment with the genetic clinic to see if I have any predisposing genetic factors.” A keen ballet dancer, Alessandra said she is excited to get back into dancing and, of course, Oztag. “Dr Ma said the vessels are healing up nicely, so hopefully at my next appointment I get the all clear,” she said. removed the clot. “To suffer an artery


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



NSLHD and NORTH Foundation Grants Program open Applications for the Northern Sydney Local Health District

have been so clear that Australia Post has already implemented the program for injured workers across the country. support, injured workers are getting back to their job in less than half the time of those receiving usual care,” he said. “We have shown that by adopting this additional “Workers felt the connection to positive people and the consistent reassurance were particularly helpful. “This is a wonderful example of robust research influencing healthcare models and health outcomes, and improving real-life workplace protocols. “Importantly, the benefits of this research will not just impact workers and their individual organisations, but will extend to the broader community as well.” There has been further recognition of Michael’s contribution to healthcare with the announcement that he is to receive the International Association for the Study of Pain’s John D NORTH Foundation CEO Gilbert Lorquet said staff who have been looking for funding for a particular project or initiative are encouraged to submit an expression of interest to receive funding. “The two-stage application process is quick and easy for staff to complete,” he said. “Once you have submitted an expression of interest, a shortlist of candidates will be selected and invited to submit a formal application. “The applications will be reviewed and awarded by the funding advisory committee and the NORTH Foundation. “These are philanthropic grants so we are focused on demonstrating meaningful

impact for patients and the broader community.” Relevant projects for the current program focusing on patient services could include funding for new equipment, service improvements, feasibility testing, expansion of services or staffing. Projects which have already secured part-funding from other sources will be looked upon favourably. Expressions of interest for round one (patient services) will be open until 1 March. Visit the NORTH Foundation website for more information and to apply – https://bit. ly/3Bjzo4x Find out more about successful projects funded in 2021 here – https://bit. ly/3JfK1rL

competitive, national award for an innovative program helping people get back to work after injury. Professor Michael Nicholas and Dr Manasi Mittinty from the Pain Management Research Centre were part of a team which received a National Safety Award of Excellence for their initiative. The program was trialled with staff from Australia Post and involved early identification and intervention for workers at risk of delayed recovery following a work-related injury. Participants in the intervention arm of the trial were offered up to six sessions with a psychologist or counsellor, and a workplace rehabilitation provider to assist with barriers returning to work. This was in addition to the medical and physiotherapy care normally provided for such injured workers. Michael said while the long- term follow-up is continuing, the benefits of this approach and NORTH Foundation Grants Program are now open to staff across the district. The program is a joint initiative designed to provide access to untied donations for philanthropic purposes. The grants program will run three times this year – in February, June and October – with a total of $300,000 to be awarded across a wide range of projects. This year funding will be allocated to innovative projects across three funding rounds – patient services (February), education, community wellbeing and outreach (June), and research (October).

Research program supporting injured workers wins top award Kolling researchers have taken out a highly-

Professor Michael Nicholas

Loeser Prize for 2022. This award recognises the recipient’s distinguished lifetime achievement in the clinical science of pain and Professor Nicholas is the first Australian to receive the accolade. He has welcomed the honour, saying it reflects the standing of our work at the Pain Management Research Centre in pain education, research and clinical services.



Kolling researcher to join Harvard Medical School program Congratulations to Kolling Institute researcher Dr Manasi Mittinty who has been selected for the Advanced Global Clinical Scholar Research training at Harvard Medical School. Manasi is a medical trained researcher with the Pain global scale. Places in the program are highly competitive with only established academics and leaders in their field selected. The program has previously attracted participants from

more than 40 countries in high profile positions such as chief physicians, medical directors, fellows, scientists and medical specialists. Manasi has welcomed the opportunity to join the program. “I feel very excited and privileged to be selected from a global pool of scholars for this training. I look forward to learning from the distinguished faculty at Harvard Medical School,” she said. “This training will help

Kolling Institute researcher Dr Manasi Mittinty

Management and Research Centre and a University of Sydney lecturer. She has a keen interest in translation research and the connections between musculoskeletal conditions, pain science and neuropsychology. The one-year training program provides clinicians and clinician-scientists with advanced training in health care research. One of its key aims is to help participants develop cutting-edge translational research on a world-leading technology, boosting our cancer and neuroscience research capabilities. The Digital Spatial Profiling System has been made possible following a $535,000 grant from the Australian Research Council LIEF scheme. The project is being co-funded by the University of Sydney with a $250,000 contribution, and Macquarie University with a $50,000 commitment. Cancer researcher Professor Mark Molloy has welcomed the establishment of the microscopy system, which has been recognised as one of the most exciting technological advances in the investigation of biological samples globally. “This is wonderful news for our researchers, the Kolling, our partners and ultimately the community of patients we serve,” said the Lawrence

me develop and lead transformative research to promote enhanced wellbeing for people living with arthritis and their families.” Manasi has received several prestigious awards including the Australian Post-graduate award and the Commonwealth funded Endeavour Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, and can now add this opportunity to her list of achievements.

New cutting-edge technology coming to the Kolling The Kolling is set to be one of the first institutes in New South Wales to introduce new Penn Chair of Bowel Cancer Research.

“It will significantly extend our research capabilities and represents an important step towards new treatments. “The digital spatial profiling technology will allow researchers to divide tissues into spatial regions to study how proteins and genes are regulated within parts of the tissues. “Importantly, this will address the limitations of conventional gene and protein profiling methods that produce averaged data which fail to consider the discrete spatial organisation that occurs within tissues. “This will lead to new discoveries around the intricate biological processes that go wrong in diseased tissues, a key step towards finding new drug targets and treatments.”

Cancer researcher Professor Mark Molloy

be used in the study of cancers and neuroscience. This will be extended to include investigators from molecular biosciences, bioengineering, plant biology and bioinformatics. The Kolling’s Executive Director Professor Carolyn Sue and her neuroscience team have welcomed the chance to utilise the new technology in their innovative research projects, especially with their Parkinson’s disease research.

During its initial phase, the new equipment will



ROYAL NORTH SHORE’S PAEDIATRIC HOSPITAL IN THE HOME A paediatric service that started as a project back in 2016 is now caring for over 500 children in the community every year – allowing patients and their families to receive care and support in the comfort of their own homes. Royal North Shore Hospital’s Paediatric Hospital in the

Home (PHITH) has grown over the years to provide another level of support for children in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the PHITH service within NSLHD cared for every child who received a positive result. The PHITH team comprised a small team of nurses and medical staff who performed up to 50 reviews daily during the height of the pandemic in September and October this year. Clinical Nurse Specialist 2 at the service, Heather Grigg said the majority of reviews were performed by telehealth, but the team frequently attended patients’ home to collect swabs and blood tests. “The service at RNSH cared for over 300 COVID-19 positive paediatric patients up until November 2021,” she said. “Keeping children at home when possible enables the family to support each other through the challenges of a COVID-19 diagnosis. “Working alongside the

Baby Marcus with the Bilisoft at home

Virtual Hospital and our local Public Health Unit ensured families felt supported throughout their isolation period.” Beyond COVID-19, the service continues to expand, having recently acquired a portable Bilisoft phototherapy unit. The Bilisoft is used as treatment for babies with jaundice. It is a very safe and effective treatment in reducing serum bilirubin levels. “Babies require the Bilisoft at all times until their serum bilirubin levels come down, most of the time this takes just a few days, but for some babies it can take longer,” Heather said. “The portable Bilisoft means families don’t need to stay at hospital for extended periods, and can treat their baby at home so the family can stay

together. “We educate the parents on how to use the Bilisoft at home, but if they need to come into hospital at all they still can. “We make daily calls and frequent home visits to collect blood samples and review the infant’s progress.” Michelle and Bryan Lee have experienced this first- hand. Their five-week-old baby Marcus has jaundice and requires the Bilisoft for treatment. “We have a three-and-a-half- year-old at home as well, so being able to use the portable Bilisoft at home makes it so much easier,” Michelle said. “The portable system works really well and we are very grateful this service is available to us.”

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Supporting your financial wellbeing

Online webinars

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Topic1: Better Money Habits When: • 8 th February 2022 at 12-12.45pm • 25 th February 2022 at 12-12.45pm • 9 th March 2022 at 4-4.45pm • 24 th March 2022 at 12-12.45pm Topic2: Planning for Retirement When: • 9 th February 2022 at 5:30 – 6.30pm • 23 rd February 2022 at 5:30 – 6.30pm • 28 th February 2022 at 5:30 – 6.30pm • 16 th March 2022 at 8 – 9.00am • 31 st March 2022 at 5:30 – 6.30pm Topic3: Superannuation: What is it? How do I make it work for me? When: • 21 st February 2022 at 12 – 1.00pm • 10 th March 2022 at 8 – 9.00am • 22 nd March 2022 at 5:30 – 6.30pm Topic4: Protecting your wealth When: • 22 nd February 2022 at 12-12.45pm

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• 4 th March 2022 at 12-12.45pm • 17 th March 2022 at 12-12.45pm

For more information and to register click: https://aware.com.au/member/workplace- seminars/northern-sydney-local-health-district


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