message FROM the board chair
In what has been a challenging year for everyone, but especially our health system, there have been some remarkable feats of achievements within our District. We should all feel incredibly proud of our doctors, nurses, allied health workers, engineers and support staff who showed what can be achieved when working together under difficult circumstances. If this year has proven anything, it is that our district has such a resilient workforce that can endure any challenge thrown at it. From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the leadership shown by the Chief Executive, Deb Willcox, the district and hospital executive teams and senior clinicians across the district has been superior. The board would like to extend its gratitude to all staff in how they came together and were able to prepare our hospitals and services for an anticipated surge in COVID patients. The district showed leadership in working with community and partner organisations, including the Northern Sydney Primary Health Network, to support aged care facilities in our district in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak. We have established a strike force response to provide a 24/7 immediate response to the 112 aged care facilities in or local health district; and we are working with GPs and aged care providers to ensure they are kept informed of the latest advice in relation to COVID-19. Importantly, throughout this pandemic, we have kept business as usual and one of our achievements has been the release of the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy. The strategy contains the voice of our staff and offers a wonderful opportunity for us to show our community, and employees, that we are prioritising diversity and inclusion in our organisation. The benefits of diversity and inclusion are multiple for our organisation. Diversity brings new perspectives and with new perspectives come the opportunity for better problem solving and increased productivity. We made several partnerships while developing the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy for guidance and support, including the Male Champions of Change. I am proud to be the district’s Male Champions of Change and help to drive our mission to achieve gender equality, advance more and diverse women into leadership and build safe, respectful and inclusive environments for all.
Another investment in our staff which continues to grow is the Leadership and Talent Program, identifying and investing in our leaders. Our staff are our most valuable asset and by investing in their talent and supporting future leaders, as an organisation we are laying the foundations for the district’s future. This year we also began a project the board is very excited about, planetary health. This recognises the inextricable link between the health of our planet and the health of our population, with a focus on the importance of climate change and environmental sustainability. The district continues to strengthen its research capabilities with the release of the Kolling Institute’s Research Strategy . This outlines the areas of excellence the Kolling wants to prioritise, positioning the institute as a centre of translational research excellence improving patient care. The strategy will improve research outcomes by harnessing the strengths and expertise of the district and The University of Sydney. The board is incredibly pleased the district has unveiled plans for the Northern Sydney Health, Education and Research Precinct Plan for Royal North Shore Hospital. By forming a precinct it will enable the hospital and the district to be more competitive for research and grant funding, attract leading researchers and create strong academic linkages with universities and create employment opportunities that will benefit our Northern Sydney communities and patients. On behalf of the board, we look forward to seeing the progress of some of these great initiatives in 2021. We would like to thank all our staff, volunteers, researchers, and everyone associated with Northern Sydney Local Health District. You should be so proud of what you have achieved this year during such challenging times.
Trevor Danos AM, Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District Board
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