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Western NSW Local Health District Awards

Western NSW Local Health District Awards

Our Awards

​​Our annual Western NSW Local Health District Awards, including a Symposium and Gala Awards Dinner, are highlights of the year for the District.

The Awards Program brings health care professionals together, to share and celebrate achievements in innovation and delivering world-class health care to our communities.



Our Award Sponsors & Partners

The Awards Program would not be possible without the ongoing support of sponsoring partners. This support allows us to offer an Awards Program that reflects the quality of the submissions from our healthcare teams.

Thank you to our 2022 Symposium partners

Gold partner – The University of Sydney, School of Rural Health

The School of Rural Health (Dubbo/Orange) offers medical students at the University of Sydney the opportunity to live and study in the thriving regional communities of Dubbo and Orange, while being supported by a local team of expert clinical, academic and professional staff.

Since 2001 around 1000 medical students from the University of Sydney have completed extended rural placements in their third or final year at the School of Rural Health in Dubbo/Orange. This year we are excited to now offer the entire four-year University of Sydney Doctor of Medicine (MD) at our Dubbo school, building on our long history of delivering medical education in the Central West and Western NSW. Special pathways, scholarships and other assistance are available for rural residents and Indigenous students.

Coffee Cart – I-MED Network 

Across the I-MED Network we are committed to supporting our referring practitioners through communication, connection, innovation and quality service to deliver the best health outcomes for patients. Our network of more than 250 clinics around Australia deliver high quality and expert care and we do that by putting the patient at the centre of everything we do.  

Lunch – QBE

QBE is an international insurer and reinsurer with a local presence in 27 countries. We are headquartered in Sydney. 

Leveraging our deep expertise and insights, QBE offers commercial, personal and specialty products and risk management solutions to help people and businesses manage risks, build strength and embrace change to their advantage.  

We are driven by our purpose of enabling a more resilient future – helping those around us build strength and embrace change to their advantage 

Morning Tea – Aware Super

Aware Super is one of Australia’s largest super funds and proudly represents those who care, nurse, teach, respond and help others in our communities. We’re entirely dedicated to their needs, their goals and their futures. We’ve made our members a promise: to do well for them by doing good for all. 

Thank you to our 2022 Gala Awards Dinner partners

Platinum Partner – Philips

Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s lives across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Applying advanced technologies and deep clinical and consumer insights, Philips delivers integrated solutions that address the Quadruple Aim: improved patient experience, better health outcomes, improved staff experience, and lower cost of care. Partnering with its customers, Philips seeks to transform how healthcare is delivered and experienced. The company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. 

Award Sponsor – Ochre Health 

Ochre Health was established by two procedural GPs in Bourke in 2002 and the company is still owned by them. Today, Ochre Health operates a network of over 60 medical centres around Australia, including practices in Bathurst, Bourke, Brewarrina, Boggabri, Collarenebri, Coonamble, Lightning Ridge, Parkes and Walgett. In most of those towns, they also partner with the Western NSW Local Health District to provide on-site cover for the hospital rosters. As well as focusing on delivering quality care and a great patient experience, Ochre Health is unique amongst its peers in measuring and reporting on patient health outcomes… which is exactly why they are proud to sponsor the Healthy and Well People Award!   

Award Sponsor – NTT

At NTT, we help you accelerate your business transformation through our industry-leading digital backbone, a secure multicloud platform and a broad portfolio of global services. We deliver global platforms and services to 11,000 clients across 200 countries. Formed as part of NTT Inc., along with NTT DATA and our Japan-based NTT businesses, we’re known as NTT. The NTT family has over 120 years of heritage, a total of USD 109 billion in revenue, over 300,000 people around the world and is recognized as a top 100 global innovator.

Award Sponsor – Spotless

Spotless is the Facilities Manager for Orange and Bathurst Health services under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with NSW Health.  Spotless has held the contract since 2007, with the contract period of 28 years.  Spotless prides itself on a strong partnering relationship with WNSWLHD for best holistic service outcomes. 

Award Sponsor – SC Johnson Professional 

At SC Johnson Professional®, we provide expert skin care, cleaning & hygiene solutions for industrial, institutional and healthcare users. Our product range incorporates the Deb range of specialist occupational skin care products, the well-known SC Johnson consumer brands enhanced for professional use and innovative specialist professional cleaning & hygiene products. 

Award Sponsor – Three Rivers Department of Rural Health 

Three Rivers DRH aims to improve recruitment and retention of nursing, midwifery, allied health and dentistry professionals in rural and remote Australia. It supports students in rural learning experiences, develops multidisciplinary resources, provides training for health professionals, and undertakes rural health research with regional communities. Three Rivers DRH is funded under the Australian Government’s Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program.


2022 Sponsorship Opportunities

A partnership with us for our 2022 awards program will provide you the opportunity to position your business as a market leader and a champion of rural health.

To learn more about our sponsorship opportunities please view our 2022 Sponsorship Prospectus.


2022 Finalists

​​A massive congratulations to our awards finalists in the following categories;​

Integrated Value-Based Care Award

​Rural Generalist Approach to Lymphoedema Surveillance

The Rural Generalist Approach to Lymphoedema Surveillance was developed to implement the Ministry of Health-led Early Intervention and Prevention of Chronic Lymphoedema Project pilot.  

Western NSW was one of 13 Local Health Districts included in the pilot. While many LHDs enhanced existing services or commenced single clinics, WNSWLHD established a network of seven screening clinics across the District, delivered by six specially-trained Allied Health professionals with clinical support and mentoring provided by an experienced clinical lead. 

In the project’s first year, new client registrations reached 138 per cent of the expected target, with previously unavailable lymphoedema surveillance services now provided across the WNSWLHD footprint. 

Who’s Who at the Zoo – WINNER! 

Coordinated by a small team based in the Integrated Care Directorate, Who’s Who in the Zoo was a Special Health Accommodation (SHA) program developed quickly to assist with the District’s COVID-19 response. 

Who’s Who in the Zoo provided health care and housing for COVID-19 patients or high-risk close contacts who were unable or unwilling to isolate in the community, whether voluntarily or in mandatory and custodial settings. 

After being requested to assist, the team had just three hours to implement plans and ensure services were operational at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo before the first patient arrived. 

The SHA admitted 54 guests over six weeks with staff coordinating all aspects of their day. All patients were discharged and linked with health services, with zero cross-infections or breaches of Public Health Orders occurring. 

Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award


COVID-19 Vaccination Program for Bloomfield Mental Health

The vaccination program aimed to systematically vaccinate inpatients who were deemed medium-to-high risk of serious complications from COVID-19, or who may face difficulties accessing a vaccine as outpatients. 

With identifying criteria developed, nursing staff were provided training to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible patients while pharmacy and administration staff were upskilled in booking systems and preparing vaccines. 

The program ensured a high rate of vaccination across the facility’s wards. In the first phase of the vaccination roll-out there was 148 vaccines administered, with 100 per cent of mental health rehabilitation inpatients fully vaccinated by December 2021. 

Family and Carer Friendly Spaces – WINNER! 

This project aimed to create culturally-safe, friendly meeting spaces to assist people staying in Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol units connect with friends, families and support networks. 

Using co-design methodology through collaborative partnerships with consumers, staff, non-government organisations, families and carers, Nurse Unit Managers sponsored the project and supported space creation to enhance experience.  

Workshops were held with staff, consumers, their families and carer to identify what was necessary and desired in the spaces, resulting in five spaces being created across the District. 

Positive outcomes and results have been reported through Carer Experience of Services, the Ngangkari traditional healers, WNSWLHD staff and the Family Carer Mental Health Program.

Who We Are and What We Do: Providing Health Literate Information in MHDA 

This Mental Health Literacy project aimed to improve availability and access to health literate, written information to support Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol (MHDA) consumers, carers and the community. 

By producing a suite of information surrounding MHDA services, carer supports, partnerships, inpatient unit guides and updated digital resources, the project addressed the scarcity of health literate information and improved accessibility. 

Co-design and co-production methodology was used throughout the project, with consumers and carers engaged in areas relevant to their experience and staff contributing their specialist expertise. 

With formalised feedback mechanisms available for consumer experience analysis, an annual review of resources will ensure information continues to be up-to-date, easily accessed and relevant. 

Health Research and Innovation Award

Beyond The Emergency Department – Bathurst Emergency Department to Community Initiative

The aim was to provide a multidisciplinary complex care management approach for people who present to a hospital’s Emergency Department ten times or more in a twelve-month period.  

Partnerships were formed to treat people holistically, outside of the hospital setting with a whole-of-person care approach, provided in the community, supporting the unique needs of the individual person.  

This initiative reduced acute health service utilisation, providing a potential cost saving of $678 672 over 12 months.  

Provider experience improved through education, pathway development and shared care planning. Patient’s experience Improved, with an improvement in health outcome data observed.  

This initiative demonstrates transferability across the LHD to people at risk of ED presentations. 

​Investigating the Under- Reporting of Aggression Related Incidents across WNSWLHD

In comparing the results of the 2018-2019 People Matter Survey (PMES) and reported IIMS in the same period, it was determined that only 7% of aggressive incidents towards staff within WNSWLHD were reported.  

The aim was to gain an accurate representation of aggressive incidents occurring and why these are under-reported.  

Qualitative research methods were used to through a survey to obtain workers opinions and views in Relation to aggression and violence in the workplace.  

Survey response rate – 5.49%. The results support that under-reporting of aggressive incidents towards staff is occurring within WNSWLHD.  

Based on this information a multi-disciplinary approach will need to be utilised in WNSWLHD moving forward to address aggression occurring in the workplace and its chronic under-reporting.  

Virtual Wound Consultancy Service – WINNER! 

Established in 2018 the virtual wound consultancy service aims to improve the way wounds are managed; delivering better experiences of receiving and providing care, enhancing outcomes and optimising the use of resources irrespective of  geographical location or social circumstance.  

Prior to 2018 there was no wound support or consultancy for rural and remote Facilities.  

This service provides support to rural and remote inpatient, community and RAC consumers and clinicians. Provides expert consultancy advice. Guides staff in the delivery of evidence based wound care and guides assessment, identification of aetiology, escalation of care and selection of treatment pathways.  

This service was so successful funding has been secured, dedicating a FTE position to this service.  

Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare & Keeping People Healthy Awards

Marang Dhali Eating Well Program – WINNER! 

The Marang Dhali Eating Well (MDEW) Program aims to build the local Aboriginal Health workforce capacity and engage Aboriginal participants to support healthy family food behaviour by increasing food and cooking knowledge, skills and confidence. 

By providing professional development and networking opportunities, along with resources, the MDEW program supports the Aboriginal Health workforce and partner organisations to deliver nutrition programs in local communities. 

With 37 trained MDEW facilitators in 23 settings across the District, since 2018 there has been 33 programs delivered in 14 different communities contributing 603 occasions of service. 

Through post-program evaluations, positive outcomes have been reported surrounding cooking skills and nutrition while facilitators also report increased confidence levels within communities.

Covid Care in the Community- tackling a pandemic head on

The aim was to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on facilities in WNSWLHD by implementing a virtual model of care to support COVID positive patients at home.  

The COVID Care in the Community (CCiC) formed rapidly in August 2021, utilising existing integrated care resources to implement a risk stratified 24/7 multidisciplinary model of care. The CCiC was strengthened by integrating with the Remote in Home Monitoring Service, allowing virtual monitoring of patient vital signs.  

More than 13,000 patients have been managed by CCiC, many of whom were vulnerable with complex health and social needs.  

Almost 40% identify as indigenous, 31% did not have a GP, and 87% would have presented to an Emergency Department without CCiC.  

CCiC’s success is demonstrated by hospitalisation rates consistently lower than the NSW average.  

​Critical Care COVID-19 Refresher Series 

The Critical Care COVID-19 Refresher Series was created in collaboration with the Virtual Education Team and Intensive Care Clinical Nurse Consultants. Its aim was to upskill nursing staff providing care to COVID patients throughout the Delta outbreak were prepared to work in COVID hospitals, wards, intensive care units or other areas.  

The Critical Care COVID-19 Refresher Series involved two series involving seven learning modules. They were all delivered virtually, and filmed for viewing on YouTube at any time and available in My Health Learning modules and pathways.  



Following on from the first year of preparedness work carried out in 2020/21, around COVID-19, relationships were consolidated with 47 non-LHD RACFs, providing a strong foundation.  

The Team focussed on readiness and minimisation of transmission by: supporting access to vaccinations (residents & staff); ensuring outbreak management plans were current; refining IP&C compliance; and ensuring the residents’ care pathways are clear (via Advance Care Directives and GP communication) thereby reducing hospital admissions.  

The level of trust in the Team has grown, as each site experienced its own exposure/outbreak. In addition to the COVID response, other elements are now being managed collectively e.g. Influenza preparation/management, streamlining  

transfers of patients between hospitals/RACFs, and most recently GP shortages.

Patient Safety First Award

AMS mPage Project – WINNER! 


The aim of the AMS mPage project was to improve antimicrobial prescribing of medicines, improve the prescribing habits and increase the uptake of ID recommendations within 24 hours.  

The study took place for a 2 month period at Orange Health Service and Canowindra Soldiers Memorial Hospital, with two weekly audits.  

The audit data showed negligible improved in the initial antimicrobial prescribing but a high uptake of ID advice within 24hours. This ensured that patients were receiving evidence-based, world class healthcare regardless of the size and location of the hospital they were admitted.  

Blood ‘Box and Tag’  

WNSWLHD has 21 facilities approved to administer blood transfusions, without an on-site blood bank. Blood is delivered to these facilities in a specialised blood box.  

Nursing staff must unpack the blood box systematically to ensure blood product integrity and prevent wasting the expensive and precious product.  

The aim of the blood ‘Box and Tag’ simulation was to increase staff confidence with the mandated processes associated with blood deliveries.  

Participant’s confidence in the processes of unpacking the blood box and commencing a transfusion increased by 61% and confidence of reading a LogTag increased by 77%. 

Leading Specialists – CNS1 Assistance Program

Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Nursing Directorate had noted that nurses were not submitting adequate applications to meet the Clinical Nurse Specialist 1s (CNS1s) grade. This project aimed for 100% of CNS1 applications submitted in 2022 to be approved.  

A Microsoft Teams program was created to support the Clinical Nurse Specialist 1 applicants.   

As a result of the additional support, 100% of those who applied for CNS1 in 2022 met the standards to be awarded the grade.  

Say NO to Plastic Bags!

During 2021 legislation was passed to ban the use of single use plastics within NSW.  

The aim is to eliminate plastics within inpatient units. While also reducing the risk of harm to consumers and reduce our environmental impacts.  

Virtual falls monitoring for RACF residents in WNSWLHD MPS sites 

The aim of this project is to remotely monitor post fall residents in MPS sites in accordance with best practice guidelines ensuring 100% compliance with monitoring and review.  

Where deterioration is suspected or identified, the virtual care team will work with local nursing staff to provide support, treatment and referral for review.  

Wound Education Series

The aim of this program is to facilitate the development of fundamental, intermediate and advanced skills and knowledge critical in wound assessment and management.  

This also includes utilising informative and interactive sessions, with workshops which encourage delegate participation and challenges participants to translate knowledge and skill into practice.  

The Wound Education Series (WES) is a graduated education program that has been developed to increase clinician knowledge and skill base in the area of evidence based wound prevention and management.  

This wound education model of care is designed for health professionals in both acute and non-acute settings. 

People and Culture Award

Mental Health Drug and Alcohol New Graduate Nurse Program Redevelopment and Certification

The purpose of this is to strategically redesign the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol (MHDA) New Graduate Nurse Transition to Practice Programme (GradStart) in Western New South Wales Local Health District (WNSWLHD) to meet current and future workforce challenges.  

On review of other programmes, WNSWLHD lacked tertiary recognition and had lower perceived rates of retention post programme completion.  

The role of Nursing in MHDA is crucial to the consumer experience. Skilled and knowledgeable nurses are more able to make meaningful impact in a person’s life.

​Mental Health In Charge Of Shift

The aim of the project is to build an understanding and consistency in regards to the role of ‘In Charge of shift’ on a ward, for those in the position and those who are emerging leaders.  

We conducted anonymous surveys, capturing feedback from new and existing In Charge Of Shift, which highlighted the need for a structured program delivering consistent information. As well as clearly documented statement of the role.  

Information from The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, NSW Health CORE values, NMBA Nursing Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, Storage & Handling of S4D & S8 Medications in Patient Care Areas, Medication Handling in NSW Public Health Facilities and Capacity Building Frameworks were utilized to develop the clear outline of the roles and responsibilities of the In Charge of Shift position.

Physiotherapy Clinical School – WINNER! 

The aim is to provide rural learning opportunities and equip students in skills required for rural practice through: training, mentoring and creating appropriate resources.  

The school boosted additional placement opportunities, doubling placement numbers across participating facilities, and provided extended rural learning opportunities for students considering rural practice.  

Following the program the received overwhelmingly positive feedback with 50% of the students actively looking for work within the Western NSW LHD.

Rural Intensive Care - Nurse Residency Program

The Rural Intensive Care (RIC) – Nurse Residency (NR) Pilot Program is a 6-week innovative initiative, implemented within WNSWLHD Intensive Care Unit’s (ICU).  

RIC-NR is an accelerated pathway for upskilling Registered Nurses into ICU through extended clinical supernumerary time, targeted theory and structured learning opportunities.  

RIC-NR has demonstrated that early investment in nurse’s transitioning into ICU can significantly enhance their confidence, competence, safe clinical practice, job satisfaction and Pursuing an ICU career.  

The pandemic identified a shortage of experienced ICU nurses across Australia. The RIC-NR program successfully supported the transition of 8 RN’s into ICU (75% in their new graduate year) with a 60% retention of participants immediately following program completion.  

What keeps you mentally Healthy? WNSWLHD Photography Competition

The aim of the photography competition was to inspire and encourage all LHD staff to explore, think about, and manage their own mental Health and wellbeing during MH Month (October 2021).  

The Communications team helped develop flyers and entry forms; competition advertised via social media, mass email, and Intranet. All LHD staff invited were invited to take part. 

There were four wellbeing-focused entry categories; people, places, pets and pastimes. The competition ran for four weeks and with more than 270 entries submitted.   

Staff reported enjoyment and happiness in participation and appreciation for sharing their photos and activities with their colleagues. 

Transforming Patient Experience Award

Geriatric Medicine: An Enduring Partnership

The Specialist Geriatric Medicine Service is an innovative model established in Western NSW Local Health District, designed to provide specialist care to older people as close to home as possible. 

An integrated model in collaborative partnership with Sydney LHD, the service is a specialist diagnostic clinic aiming to assist General Practitioners in the diagnosis and management of people with memory loss and those with complex medical conditions. 

The service included a redesign of the District’s Aged-Care Clinician role during the pandemic and an e-Health, cost-neutral solution enables the model to provide care in rural settings, which is often difficult to achieve. 

The service has been highlighted as an exemplary model of care by the Agency of Clinical Innovation, with a spotlight on virtual care. 

Lived Experience Register

Aiming to provide a portal for staff to access registered consumers and carers for the purpose of partnering in service design and delivery, the Lived Experience Register acts both ways by facilitating input by consumers and carers. 

The Register was developed in consultation with consumers and carers as a system for registering interest for partnerships, with a staff information module also developed to educate staff on consumer and carer partnerships. 

With over 50 people enlisted, some consumers and carers have also indicated they are more informed by receiving emails, while others are active, contributing participants. The register has successfully facilitated participation of consumers and carers who have the skills and abilities to inform, guide and evaluate service delivery and implementation as a partner. 

Making it Count for Clients and Assessors: Improving Processes in Aged-Care Assessment

This process improvement aimed to streamline the process of Aged-Care Assessment Team (ACAT) Support Plan Reviews (SPR) to reduce the number of unnecessary re-assessments which had no impact on current care approvals.  

Following review, it was decided all ACAT SPRs would be conducted by two senior clinicians, the Nurse Manager of Assessment Services and the Clinical Nurse Consultant of Aged-Care Services, and dedicated days each week were allocated for SPRs to be conducted. 

The change had a broad, positive impact, leading to additional senior assessors being allocated specific days to conduct SPRs.  

Improving processes led to a reduction in assessments of older people that resulted in no change to client’s care approvals, in turn reducing the amount of time clients and assessors were dedicating to those unnecessary assessments and increasing access to other services. 

Telehealth Early Talking Group – WINNER! 

The Telehealth Early Talking Group (TETG) aims to reduce the intervention wait time for early language clients, by providing an accessible telehealth model of care while on the wait list for individual Speech Pathology service provision. 

The TETG involves five, weekly, small group sessions via PEXIP, with a qualified Speech Pathologist supporting parents or carers to implement taught intervention strategies with their children at home. 

The TETG has developed into a value-based service providing essential early intervention to clients and improving health literacy and, in turn, self-efficacy of parents and carers, with strong results. 

To date the service has welcomed six groups with three to six parents or carers in each, had 100 per cent positive engagement with reported client improvements, a number of clients discharged from wait lists due to improved skills and increased accessibility thanks to the group’s flexibility.

Teletrials: Bridging the Gap

A new model of care introduced by the Orange Hospital Clinical Trials Unit, Teletrials aimed to decentralise the traditional clinical trial model in a patient-centric way by delivering experimental treatments more conveniently and reducing travel time for patients. 

The program had to overcome concerns from trial sponsors and regulatory authorities to ensure it could be delivered safely and reliably, and the COVID-19 pandemic helped to accelerate the adoption of the Teletrial model, with remote visits becoming the norm.  

The method used was one of multi-team collaboration, with stakeholders internal and external to the LHD such as Ministry of Health, other LHDs, clinical trial sponsors and Office for Health and Medical Research. 

Toolbox to Strengthen Health Literacy

The Toolbox to Strengthen Health Literacy aims to address a lack of information for staff about health literacy and easily accessible, health literate information for consumers, as identified by a District health literacy gap analysis. 

The toolbox is a collation of highly-relevant resources for staff to strengthen their communication skills and provide consumers with meaningful, health literate information to manage their own healthcare. 

Staff awareness of the toolbox is embedded in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 2: Partnering with Consumers QARS audit ‘attributes of a health literate service’. 

The average compliance rate of this audit for 29 services is 79 per cent, and ongoing toolbox updates and evaluation informs further actions to strengthen health literacy within District services. 

Volunteer of the Year Award

Bill SloanWINNER! 

William Sloan, affectionally known as Bill, became a volunteer after joining the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program in 2012. Bill decided he wanted to give something back to the service for providing him with wonderful Rehabilitation care.  

Bill has now been a volunteer for over ten years. Throughout that time, Bill has completed advanced levels of training as a Community Exercise Leader and Aqua fitness leader.  

On average, Bill conducts at least two classes a week, sometimes leading the groups independently.  

Bill is highly motivated and attends any additional training required to keep his skills UpToDate. Bill enjoys being a volunteer. He has a positive outlook and a cheeky sense of humour.  

Bill’s contribution is highly valued by the team and the Community.

Christine Hannus

Christine has worked tirelessly as a volunteer in numerous roles for Orange hospital

Christine’s commitment over the last two years supporting the COVID-19 response in the hospital has stood out. Christine recognised that the hospital auxiliary provided an important service in providing staff, patients and the occasional visitor access to fresh food.

In response, Christine reopened the hospital auxiliary cafe with reduced hours, a window service, electronic payment transactions no cash and implemented all public health precautions.  Christine worked extremely hard to make this service possible. 

Geoffrey Beath

Geoffrey Beath leads the Canowindra Health Council with diligence, fairness and transparency.

Geoffrey always encourages new and innovative ideas. Geoffrey has volunteered his time to assist by being an independent panel member on various recruitment panels. 

Geoffrey even helped out by being the Master of Ceremonies for the recent Centennial celebrations. 


Collaborative Staff Member of the Year Award

Anosh Sivashanmugarajah 

Anosh is a dedicated and skilled clinician who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to working as part of a team to achieve the absolute best for his patients and colleagues. 

Anosh’s aspiration to pursue a combined clinical and academic career as a consultant and cardiologist is a testament to his commitment to working collaboratively with both patients and healthcare colleagues alike. Alongside practising medicine fulltime, Anosh works tirelessly, teaching at James Cook University, Queensland University, and the University of Sydney. Anosh’s commitment to high quality education is a notable example of how much he enjoys working with others and sharing his knowledge to improve patient care.  

Anosh shows an eagerness to work with and learn from colleagues across the multidisciplinary teams to achieve the very best outcomes for his patients. Anosh has contributed to several departments across the Western NSW Local Health District, spending 2021 working across Dubbo Base Hospital in general medicine, the coronary care unit and intensive care unit and now working in cardiology at Orange Base Hospital.  

Anosh works to empower his colleagues and patients through education. Anosh has an outstanding ability to share his expert knowledge with people from a range of backgrounds and with varying degrees of health literacy.  

Debbie Beahan

Debbie Beahan (Deb) started her career in health at the age of 17. Deb’s first role was as a Trainee Enrolled Nurse based at Narromine. Deb committed herself to the nursing role for 18 years before moving into the Narromine Aboriginal Health Worker role. Deb was instrumental in improving health access and outcomes for Aboriginal people in Narromine and surrounds.  

After another 11 years, Deb then moved to Dubbo and commence working in the Dubbo Diabetes Unit where she worked as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner for 15 years.  

Throughout this time Deb and the Diabetes team have provided front-line clinical services and prevention programs for Aboriginal people with chronic disease and diabetes-related illnesses.  

Recently, Deb has taken up a new role as the Aboriginal Well-being Coordinator in Planned Care for Better Health (Integrated Care Team).  

As within all of Deb’s roles, she continues to work within the Aboriginal chronic disease and lifestyle illness space. In total Deb has worked within the Local Health District for 43 years and she is an inspiration to family, community, Aboriginal Health Workforce, and the Local Health District.  

Throughout Deb’s 43 years of service, she has been a dedicated staff member who is passionate about the healthcare of her mob and the communities she has worked in. Deb is considered a leader within her community and Aboriginal health.

Dr Melanie Berry – WINNER! 

Dr Melanie Berry has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the district and beyond, by leading the way in the rapid development and implementation of a safe and effective model of care for the holistic management of COVID-positive patients across our geographically vast district on the background of a never seen before the worldwide pandemic.  

At the start of the COVID (Delta) outbreak in WNSWLHD in August 2021, and despite being a busy senior clinician juggling multiple roles, Melanie demonstrated extraordinary clinical judgement to pull together a multidisciplinary team from across several directorates, Local Health Districts, the CEC, and the Ministry of Health to respond to the escalating outbreak in Western NSW. Melanie’s ability to collaborate was far-reaching and extended to consultation external to NSW Health to involve the Western NSW Primary Health Network, the Rural Doctors Network, and the Aboriginal Medical Services. Melanie reached out to experts in the Office of the Chief Health Officer and on occasion the chief Health Officer herself, she engaged with the LHD Public Health Team, the Sydney Local Health District, particularly Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Virtual, Public Health Unit, and Sydney Children’s Health Network (SCHN). She used the knowledge gained through this extensive and rapid collaboration to inform and drive the development and implementation of the COVID Care in the Community (CCiC) program, a virtual model of care providing holistic, patient-centred care to the communities of the WNSWLHD. This multidisciplinary virtual model of care was able to be tailored to the differing needs of the various rural and remote communities across Western NSW and was successfully pulled together in a stunningly brief period.  

Melanie took personal responsibility for the medical leadership of this highly challenging and rapidly changing situation. Initially, she was “on call” for the service 24/7 and devoted a huge amount of personal time and effort to make sure that the service was safe and able to meet the demands of this rapidly developing critical situation. Melanie’s exemplary leadership has been a key enabler in the delivery of a model of care that supports an exceptional patient experience. In a recent survey of high and very high-risk COVID patients from across the district, patients were asked if the CCiC service helped them to safely manage their COVID symptoms – 96% responded yes. One patient said, “I felt safer and valued having the doctors and nurses regularly checking on me and guiding me. They helped me through my multiple complications and recognized and asthma flare up early.” 

Emily Davis

Emily has worked as a Speech Pathologist for over 10 years. Since 2012, Emily has been the Speech Pathology Manager at Bathurst Health Service. 

Throughout her career, Emily has made many contributions to NSW Health and the health sector more broadly. She has been involved in award-winning projects such as the TRGS (Translational Research Grants Scheme) Project “Waiting for Speech Pathology: Advice vs Device.” This project was the 2020 winner of the WNSWLHD Health Research & Innovation Award and won Best Scientific poster at the 2019 Speech Pathology Australia Conference.  

Emily believes strongly in working in collaborations and always consults with a variety of stakeholders when required. Emily recently took the lead role in developing the inpatient dysphagia guideline. She organised a working party of various stakeholders. At every stage of developing the guideline, Emily readily sought feedback and took it onboard. The result being the delivery of an excellent guideline that provides high-quality care for all inpatients with dysphagia.

Kathryn Perry

Kathryn (Kate) Perry demonstrates a strong commitment to student, colleague, and cadet supervision. Throughout her career Kate has made many contributions to NSW Health and the health sector more broadly, but one of her most significant areas of contribution would be supervision.  

 This year Kate has been supervising an Aboriginal Allied Health Cadet at Cowra Health Service. She has provided the cadet with high quality supervision and been proactive, innovative, and collaborative in championing cultural awareness for herself and her team to provide a positive experience for the cadet.  

For many years Kate has supervised undergraduate Speech Pathology students from various universities. Kate has continued to do this, even during COVID-19, demonstrating her strong commitment to the growth of the profession through the supervision of Speech Pathology students, and the importance of taking students to promote workforce growth in our District.  

Kate is always willing to assist and is extremely dedicated to peer collaboration.

Mary-Anne Spence

Since joining the Aged Care Team, Mary-Anne has worked tirelessly to create and combine a team located in a vast area. Her expertise in coaching and mentoring has improved the culture and staff retention. Through an open communication style and the lens of keeping clients as the focus, Mary-Anne instils a passion for supporting older people in the district.  

Mary-Anne’s passion for better outcomes for people living with dementia is resulting in changes in how capital works are undertaken.  

Staff members comment that Mary-Anne always has time to discuss, guide and support all team. 

Mary-Anne goes above and beyond. She is always willing to assist with assessments to share the workload fairly and equitably.  

One team member said, “Working with Mary-Anne is a pleasure, the workplace is a happy one with the management team working together to improve client outcomes and service delivery. It is an exciting time to be working within Aged Care Services! Having Mary-Anne at the helm there is an assurance change will be managed well and everyone in the team will be informed of the processes.” 

Priscilla Stanley

Priscilla Stanley, Director of Public Health, has worked collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders across two Local Health Districts. This means that Priscilla covers 55% of the state’s land mass and includes 42 inpatient facilities, 30 Local Councils and hundreds of schools.  

Priscilla’s usual role is complex and varied, requiring strong public health skills. It includes overseeing a small team responsible for environmental health, vaccination programs, Communicable Disease Control and Public Health emergency preparedness.  

In 2020, with the outbreak of COVID-19, Priscilla’s technical expertise, collaboration and commitment were seen by a larger group: she became pivotal in guiding the district’s response to COVID, and was the source of advice to GPs, ED staff, community nurses, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, the Primary Health Network, Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs), HSMs, Police, Education, Ambulance, the media and many others.  

With a focus on preparedness, Priscilla collaborated on multiple strategies to ensure the district was able to minimise the impact of COVID on its population.

She also supported the establishment of COVID Care in the Community (CCiC), as recognised by the CCIC Medical Lead, Dr Melanie Berry: “Priscilla was integral to the successful working of the CCIC. Her collaborative style led to our team having a finger on the pulse of where the outbreaks were taking place. Always available to take a call rain or shine meant that we could easily navigate the complicated public health laws as they changed, and change they did, usually on Friday at 5pm. She never gave up in the face of a huge wave of disease when we felt overwhelmed. Her commitment to the Western Local Health District is unwavering. It is a privilege to work with her.”   

Sanu Joy

Sanu is an amazing Health Service Manager (HSM) at Narromine.  Sanu is always willing to help the Narromine team in any situation.  

Sanu leads by example and willing to tackle any challenge head-on. Sanu is respected by everyone for his calm, kind and professional manner.  

Sanu can only be described as having outstanding leadership.   Sanu is a true leader.


Inspiring Team Award

Aboriginal-led COVID-19 response –WINNER! 

The Aboriginal Health Team led the rapid, urgent development of innovative services to provide culturally-competent and person-centred care aimed at addressing the disproportionate number of Aboriginal people impacted by the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Western NSW.  

To support vulnerable populations amid many complexities, the team provide novel services like mobile in-home testing, social and wellbeing screening, hospital care and specific communications to empower communities to make informed choices about their care. 

Mobile vaccination clinics and education were coupled with the establishment of a logistics centre to provide essential supports like food, medicine, toiletries, children’s packs and medical equipment like monitoring devices. 

Working long hours and covering huge geographical distances, the team helped to protect highly vulnerable populations and minimise the impact of the outbreak by providing high-quality care at home. They even went as far as dropping birthday cakes to home for young kids, so they could celebrate their birthday in isolation. 

This resulted in a lower hospitalisation rate for Western NSW compared to NSW overall, almost half of the state-wide rate. As of March 2022, a total of 83 per cent of the Aboriginal population in Western NSW 16 and over had received two doses of vaccine compared to 8.5 per cent at the start of the outbreak. 

Cardiac Cath Lab: Dubbo Health Service

Aiming to avoid preventable transfers for cardiology patients, particularly from northern and central regions of the District, the Cardiac Cath Lab at Dubbo was identified as a requirement and progressed through pandemic-impacted circumstances. 

To ensure an appropriate model of care within a District-wide service, the team was required to recruit adequate staff and provide training, develop guidelines and protocols to suit and undertake procurement, capitol, risk assessment, documentation and orientation works. 

With analysis from Orange’s cath lab showing 70 per cent of individuals were residents of the northern and central regions where Aboriginal populations are high, developing a culturally-appropriate model of care and support through an Aboriginal Liaison Officer was crucial. 

The Cardiac Cath Lab at Dubbo opened on 8 June 2022 and, at time of nomination, had provided diagnostic services to 64 individuals, including from remote areas like Walgett and Lightning Ridge, all of whom would have previously required transfer to Orange.  

Of these cases, 70% were sent directly to Sydney, thus avoiding unnecessary Orange transfers. Since nomination, the number of diagnostic services provided has increased to more than 100. 

COVID Care in the Community and Remote In-Home Monitoring Team

This team and service was rapidly established in August 2021 in response to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to provide the right care for COVID-positive people in their own home to reduce the burden on health facilities. 

Delivered virtually, CCiC utilised existing resources Integrated Care to innovatively develop and implement a risk-stratified, 24/7 model of care and hospital avoidance strategy that was predominantly nurse-led. 

With team members from more than 13 disciplines providing comprehensive assessment and ongoing clinical support and escalation where required, CCiC was strengthened by integration with the Remote In-Home Monitoring service, providing surveillance. 

Between 10 August 2021 and nomination date, over 13,000 COVID patients had been cared for CCiC. During the busiest months of the outbreak 500-600 patients were actively managed each day. Between August 21 and June 30 2022, CCiC Medical Officers conducted more than 17,000 patient consults. 

This service significantly reduced the number of presentations to WNSWLHD facilities and care for a substantial number of vulnerable patients, helping the LHD experience a lower COVID admission rate than the state average.  

eSafety Huddles

eSafety Huddles were developed to increase reliability and consistency of data collation generated at daily huddles, and to provide data in a straight-forward, meaningful way that enhances and broadens reflection on safety behaviours and trends. 

Using an easy platform interface, any staff member can lead the eSafety Huddle using a mobile device or computer by accessing a QR code, ensuring consistency and ease of data collection for further reflection. 

Data is then stored on a secure platform, removing privacy vulnerabilities and allowing enhanced discussion with reduced risk, also allowing data to be used as evidence for accreditation or to identify trends. 

With monthly reports and detailed quarterly summaries provided for reflection and improvement, eSafety Huddles have shown a strong correlation to teams building gratitude and appreciation, enhanced communication and shared awareness of harm and improved team culture and patient safety.  

Ultimately, increased focus on the safety or quality improvement is leading to better outcomes for patients. 

Expanding Radiation-Oncology across the WNSWLHD

The expansion of Radiation-Oncology services across WNSWLHD aimed to ensure patient outcomes were not impacted by their postcode, and to ensure rural and regional patients could access world-class care as close to home as possible.  

Radiation-Oncology services at the Western Cancer Centre Dubbo commenced in October 2021, with staff embracing an innovative, collaborative approach to quality improvement to meet demand and implement evidence-based, best-practice approaches to treatment planning and delivery. 

A robust, District-wide approach has allowed for improved quality control, with capacity increasing quickly and staff at Dubbo and Orange able to support one another and collaborate, also allowing for new team members to bring innovative process. 

WNSWLHD Radiation-Oncology services expanded by 33 per cent with the opening a new Linear Accelerator and Superficial/Orthoviltage X-ray treatment unit in Dubbo. The District now has three Linear Accelerators and, importantly, a PET diagnostic service – one of few within a therapeutic cancer centre in Australia. 

From 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022 the sophisticated delivery of Radiation Therapy treatment has been safely delivered to over 500 patients across the largest health district in NSW. 

Less Than 24 Hours in the Emergency Department: Orange Health Service

Orange Health Service embarked on a quality improvement project to ensure no patients remained in the Emergency Department (ED) for more than 24 hours, aimed at improving patient safety, experience and outcomes and significantly reducing extended stays. 

This required hospital-wide consultation across all disciplines from ward to executive level to identify relevant and achievable aims. To achieve those aims, a facility-wide Short-Term Escalation Plan was developed, tested strenuously and implemented across all departments, disciplines and wards.  

The success of the STEP was based on clear identification of actions for positions and timelines to achieve, as well as a clear escalation process to position holders to create capacity in wards and to facilitate discharges and transfers. 

From January 2016 onward there have been just 19 patients that have remained in the ED for greater than 24 hours, compared to 646 between 2013 and 2015-2016. In the 2021-22 financial year, there has been only one patient who remained in the ED for more than 24 hours, while awaiting transfer to a tertiary facility. 

From 2017 to 2021 there has been one harm score 1 in Orange ED, compared to five between 2012 to 2016. 

Murrungadhinya (Wiradjuri word for Inspiration) | Pronounced Murrun/gad/hinya

Richard Simpson and Loretta Stanley completed their Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (practice) and consistently embrace Living Quality and Safety in their daily practice.  

They have a daily presence in the emergency department and wards, visiting and checking on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and completing follow ups too. They work closely with staff and teams to support clients and patients with complex health needs in the hospital and community, also consistently yarning with stakeholders to share learnings and experiences, and improve service delivery. 

Richard and Loretta, as part of the Aboriginal Health team, are involved in a number of quality improvement activities to develop initiatives to strengthen cultural safety at Bathurst Health Service, including reviews of service delivery model, advocating for change, design and delivery of workshops, analysis of data and reporting and delivery of the Marang Dhali lifestyle program in the community. 

Richard and Loretta were also heavily involved in the COVID-19 response on a broad and localised scale, particularly in the establishment and coordination of a logistics centre which provided food hubs, medications and remote monitoring kits and support to residences in lockdown and with mobile testing clinics. 

Paediatric hips

With input and collaboration from sonographers, radiologists and surgeons, the overarching aim of this activity was to all children receive the same high stand of imaging and care across the District and as close to home as possible. 

Led by a core team of five, in response to a 2020 audit this activity developed a District-wide Local Operating Procedure (LOP) to standardise imaging, measurement techniques, reporting and management pathways. 

Over the past two years, that has involved consultation, an overhaul of auto-populating electronic reporting package, practical training and education opportunities for sonographers and constant collaboration to ensure success. 

The introduction of the procedure into clinical practice has resulted in improved workplace culture and professional bonds, ownership of improved patient care and outcomes and improved scanning quality which reduces workload and upskills staff District-wide. 

Importantly, successful execution has resulted in many young children being correctly scanned in their hometown, reducing their need to travel to Orange and improving the patient experience but also reducing the number of misdiagnoses resulting in additional scans. 

Planned Care for Better Health Team

The Planned Care for Better Health Team is a team made up of multidisciplinary clinicians and administrative staff who aspire to deliver quality health care to some of our most vulnerable and marginalised people living in Western NSW. 

Whether it’s operating across the complex justice health system, working with patients in the NDIS, seeking advocacy for LGBTQ+ or socially-disadvantaged people, navigating aged-care or working acute care and mental health, the team continues to rise to any challenges in front of it. 

In August 2021 the team was instrumental in standing up the immediate response to COVID-19 in the District and is now moving towards managing those with long-COVID, with client and patient-centred care. 

The team has been instrumental in shaping state-wide Integrated Care initiatives focusing on care in the community, operating under a comprehensive clinical services framework promoting safe, quality and accountable care using methodology developed in the District. 

With strong monitoring and evaluation framework in place, the team continues to grow and transform and remains focused on improving Aboriginal health outcomes, with around 50 per cent of clients identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. 

The team is well-positioned to continue growing in the community, identifying gaps and capturing opportunities to improve access to services and support, and drive innovative change at both service and system levels. 

Specialist Intellectual Disability Health Team

The Specialist Intellectual Disability Health Team (SIDHT) consistently strives to provide world-class rural health and, as the only entirely-rural SIDHT team in NSW, recognise the importance of person centred care. 

Covering a large and diverse geographical area, the WNSWLHD SIDHT team have considered and made key adaptations to the metropolitan focused SIDHT model of care to meet the needs of rural and remote communities, establishing the first virtual service.  

In the 18 months since the service was launched, the team has focused on a culture of quality improvement; developing clear, operational processes which are regularly audited and refined, established local monitoring and evaluation framework in the absence of state-wide framework and adapting feedback tools specifically suited for the communication needs of people with intellectual disabilities. 

This focus on elevating the human experience has not just resulted in overwhelming positive feedback, but also national recognition from peers including invitations to present a number of forums, opportunities to consult on the development of virtual care guidelines, and research grants to continue improving the service. 

‘TheraPUPPY’: Bathurst Hospital

The ‘TheraPUPPY’ program aims to provide safe access to the benefits of engagement with a canine friend by, in compliance with all relevant guidelines, introducing therapy dogs to help inpatients reduce anxiety, engage with care and reach rehabilitation goals. 

The team consists of staff across a range of disciplines and six therapy dogs, with evidence-based proposals provided before compliance processes were established and the program ultimately introduced.  

Despite being rolled out in challenging circumstances amid the pandemic, teams have embraced the program since the first visit in October 2021 and it has since grown from the rehabilitation unit to other areas of the hospital and become a monthly fixture.  

The presence of a TheraPUPPY never fails to bring a smile to people’s faces, and the program has been overwhelmingly successful with a number of patient-based examples: 

  • A young girl receiving regular and painful burn dressings found the TheraPUPPY enabled her to remain calm and endure procedures. Her mother described the TheraPUPPY as a ‘game-changer’. 
  • A gentleman in ICU receiving significant medical intervention to help him breathe found the TheraPUPPY contact gave him hope to continue his recovery, it reminded him of his connection with his dog at home. 

Virtual Rural Generalist Service

The Virtual Rural Generalist Service (VRGS) was developed in February 2020 to support local hospitals in Western NSW where local, on-site doctors were unavailable, providing a first-of-its-kind solution to longstanding and system rural health workforce shortages. 

The VRGS leverages advances in technology, with doctors working both virtually and face-to-face to provide rural generalist medical coverage to vulnerable communities, allowing people in rural and remote areas to get specialist care as close to home as possible. 

The VRGS played a significant role in WNSWLHD’s COVID-19 response and, since February 2020 to February 2022, we have seen a 39 per cent increase in service demand, with the service effectively scaling up to meet this increase. 

VRGS also supported staff COVID vaccination consultations, created virtual meeting rooms and, during the Omicron breakout in 2021, with 24 hours’ notice VRGS scaled further to staff an entirely new service, COVID Care in the Community. This facilitated thousands of medical consultations to patients at home with COVID-19. 

Where possible, the service provides culturally-safe care for First Nations people, allowing them to receive care while remaining on Country – particularly important for end-of-life care. 

Patients’ reported experience measures across all VRGS sites have been maintained or improved since implementation, and 97 per cent of patients rated their care as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in four high-use sites in 2020. 

Doctors at 22 communities have improved work-life balance and afterhours support due to VRGS afterhours coverage. VRGS is able to assist with medical officer fatigue management, preventing medical officer burn out and dissatisfaction.

Western NSW Aged-Care Team

Made up of a number of teams with more than 60 total staff, the WNSWLHD Aged-Care Team works across the entire District to ensure each client has a positive journey throughout their ageing process, with older people’s needs being continually met. 

The team works with older people to achieve their goals, providing support and services to focus on wellness and re-ablement while maintaining independence, dignity and identifying cultural needs to allow people to live independently within communities and remain on Country. 

During the District’s COVID-19 pandemic response, on top of ever-increasing demand, the team adapted significantly to provide safe, appropriate care in challenging conditions, particularly with increasing complexities of clients in crisis during social isolation. 

Changes to service provision included developing existing virtual services by becoming more mobile to allow Geriatric Medicine consultants to connect into clients’ homes, conducting comprehensive assessments over the phone or virtually and taking other ‘out of the box’ approaches amid continuing uncertainty surrounding reform and direction. 

The team continually support COVID response workforces, including assisting with outbreaks in Residential Aged-Care Facilities, and created a new program conducting AN-ACC assessments in those RACFs while also continuing to deliver and enhance transitional aged-care programs. 

The team’s access centre had an increase in volume of calls, referrals and general enquiries, while the geriatric medicine program also continued to grow, enhancing awareness around cognitive improvement and providing diagnosis for people living with dementia. 



2021 Finalists and Winners

​​A massive congratulations to our awards finalists and winners in the following categories;​

Philips ANZ Integrated Value-Based Care Award

​Take a Walk in My Shoes

Integrated Care in partnership with the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network, developed a model of care for custodial clients with complex health and social needs to provide multi-disciplinary, cross sectorial coordinated care post- release into Western NSW. The project demonstrated a reduction in ED presentations and recidivism. Clients reported feeling trusted, included and having an understanding of their care plans and health care pathways. Families, Carers and providers reported a better experience of care, along with increased satisfaction from integrated care coordinators delivering the care. The project successfully demonstrated positive experience and outcomes for clients, promoting person-centred and team based care, enhancing access and engagement with primary care services, improving health literacy with complex health and social needs post release from custody.

​Maternal Transfers Redesign – WINNER!

The Maternal Transfers Redesign (MTR) initiative was developed in response a number of issues that impact negatively on the transfer of women experiencing complications in pregnancy. The initiative aimed to promote a systematic approach to consultation, referral and transfer of pregnant women; and ensure pregnant women receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time, as close to home as possible. Solutions for the implementation included clinical resources, teamwork and partnerships, and eHealth technologies. Outcomes include financial efficiencies and better outcomes for women such as a reduction in unnecessary transfers. This initiative has resulted in a sustainable model for the coordination of maternal transfers for Western NSW LHD which will be of interest to other LHDs wishing to implement a similar process.

​Partnership in Aged Care Emergency Service using Interactive Technology

Partnerships in Aged Care Emergency services using Interactive Technology (PACE-IT) Project aimed to:
1. Prevent avoidable transfers from Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) to the Emergency Department (ED) and
2. Improve communication between the ED, RACFs, residents, their families and General Practitioners.
Orange is part of a stepped-wedge cluster randomised controlled implementation study that evaluates uptake of telehealth and ED avoidance. Initial results for October 2020-March 2021 have shown that 27% of PACE-IT Telehealth Consultations have resulted in ED avoidance and 60% of residents transferred to ED, the RACF​s have communicated with the ED. Collaborative use of telehealth assists with improving outcomes for residents and assists with unnecessary transfers to the ED.

​Remote Video-Assisted Chemotherapy (RVAC) Program

Outcomes for cancer patients living in rural/remote areas are worse than their metropolitan counterparts due to disparity in access to treatment. A study in remote Queensland using non-oncology, community-based nurses with basic training in safe handling of chemotherapy was successful in delivering low/moderate intensity anti-cancer therapies. This research was translated into practice as the Remote Video Assisted Chemotherapy (RVAC) program; which provides a safe and effective platform for the delivery of much needed cancer treatments in WNSWLHD. In the first 2 years of the Coonabarabran RVAC program, 206 treatments were delivered to 26 individual patients, saving 820 hours and 68000km of travel. Referrals per capita to cancer services in towns with an RVAC facility is now similar to Dubbo. Positive qualitative outcomes were also reported.

​Utilising remote monitoring to optimise patient care at home

COVID-19 created the need for population wide monitoring. Realising this need, Western NSW Integrated Care developed a remote in-home monitoring (RiHM) program that aimed to optimise virtual care technologies for patients and clinicians to minimise exposure to COVID-19, enhance usual care, and ease the demand on hospitals; while ensuring the safe delivery of patient-centred healthcare. As part of the evaluation, quantitative data were extracted on patient enrolment, patient and clinician activity (experience and patient health outcomes). Qualitative interviews were undertaken with patients, and surveys with patients, carers and clinicians. Patients, carers and clinicians reported positive experiences with using remote monitoring technology, management and improvement of health condition(s). The RiHM program successfully demonstrated that patients can be safely monitored and cared for using remote monitoring technology.

Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare Award

​Breast Screen Aboriginal Engagement – with a digital difference

​The Aboriginal Engagement Projects aimed to increase Aboriginal women’s participation in Breast Screening. This was achieved through the use of culturally
appropriate community led ‘Yarning Circles’ (YC); which provided a safe space to discuss the importance of and also addressed any fears and barriers to screening. This initial project showed excellent results. Like many other services,
COVID-19 grounded BreastScreen NSW (Greater Western) including suspending our YCs. Cancer would not be put on hold so we had to find a new strategy to connect to Aboriginal women. We trialled Virtual Yarning Circles (VYCs) which ensured we
maintained engagement and kept us on track with our goal of increasing the participation rates of Aboriginal women.

Collaborative Impact – Making a Difference (CI-MaD)

Maranguka uses the collective impact methodology in its day to day operations. This Local Health District (LHD) submission is called ‘Collaborative Impact- Making a Difference’
(CI-MaD) because of the LHDs active participation with Maranguka Community Hub in Bourke. Maranguka’s model of Aboriginal self-governance empowers the Bourke Aboriginal community, to coordinate the right mix and timing of services. It is a
community owned and led, multi-disciplinary team working in partnership with relevant government, non-government agencies and philanthropic. Our LHD sees this as a way forward addressing closing the gap and ensuring sustainable and
appropriate health outcomes for our most vulnerable. Maranguka is supported by a cross-sector leadership group which our LHD is part of, which assists in authorising and facilitating the work in Bourke including removing any potential


​Stop Smoking, Start Living program – WINNER!

The Stop Smoking, Start Living (SSSL) program aimed to combat the effects of intergenerational smoking in Aboriginal families living in the Western New South Wales Local Health District (WNSWLHD).
SSSL collaborated with eight communities to create and promote Aboriginal targeted smoke-free family resources. Training developed the capacity of Aboriginal Health Workers (AHW) to provide smoking cessation brief interventions (SCBI).
Through yarning, 18 community assets (videos, banners and calendar) were created, empowering community members to share their stories and ideas. Assets were approved by the community and the Cancer Institute​ NSW, then launched. Social
media assets, launched on the WNSWLHD Facebook page, had an initial reach of 102,364 users and generated a minimum of 14,934 instances of engagement. 21.5% of Aboriginal Health Workers (AHW) attended SCBI training.​

Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services Award


​Cloz Encounters of the virtual kind – WINNER!

The Adult Clozapine Service aimed to align with WNSWLHD Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025 goal of having ‘one service across many places’ for the care of consumers in rural areas experiencing treatment-resistant Schizophrenia by 30th April 2021. Through the registration of GPs to prescribe clozapine for easy transfer to primary care at Dubbo and weekly and 6 monthly virtual psychiatry reviews for better access to psychiatry at Bloomfield. As a result, there was the transfer of 21 patients from the Dubbo Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) to primary care and 100% (n=39) patients, with up to date 6 monthly reviews in Bloomfield. Dubbo and Bloomfield Centres have now merged under the same model of care leading to the formation of a new Western NSW LHD Clozapine Centre.

​Dougie the wonder Dog – Using pets as therapy for therapeutic engagement​ – WINNER!

In 2019-20, teams at Bloomfield collaborated on ways to effectively engage therapeutically with clients.
Macquarie unit clients identified an interest in pet therapy. The aim was to engage the clients by using a pet companion as evidence showed the value of pet therapy. An initial dog was deemed inappropriate to the program due to its size and age and was subsequently re-homed. A small breed was found and Dougie arrived in the unit as an excited 9-week-old puppy. 88% of client’s reported they liked having Dougie on the unit and 83% reported that they felt happier having him there. Caring for Dougie has provided patients with ​shared responsibility and has enhanced collaboration among clients and staff report enhanced wellbeing on the unit.
Charles Sturt University Health Research and Innovation Award

​Improving the safe accelerated discharge of low-risk chest pain from a regional emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID pandemic placed pressure on clinicians to rationalise diagnostic investigations and minimise the length of stay to reduce hospital overcrowding. The project aim was to enable the accelerated discharge of low-risk chest pain presentations at Bathurst Emergency, by increasing clinician use of risk stratification tools. Our project improved the risk stratification of chest pain presentations from 21% to 77%. This resulted in a 12% increased accelerated discharge of patients from 16% to 28%and a reduction in the average length of stay from 6 hours 5 minutes to 4 hours and 45 minutes, without any adverse outcomes. This project showed that increased risk stratification of chest pain presentations enables clinicians to better identify those at low risk of ACS  who may be suitable for accelerated discharge.

​Telehealth Adult Oral Health Assessment

The NSW Priority Oral Health Program requires adult patients needing dental care to be clinically assessed for treatment prioritisation. In response to COVID-19 restrictions, Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) Oral Health Service implemented telehealth phone calls for these assessments. In the past 12 months, 3113 patients have been involved in telehealth assessments completed by a roster of 17 clinicians. Of the 128 patients surveyed, 78% preferred a telephone consultation for these short appointments, stating improved convenience and reduced travel requirements. Benefits as reported by clinicians also included better delivery of oral hygiene instructions, dietary advice and smoking cessation intervention. Improved time utilisation and cost-saving were reported by both patients and clinicians. The WNSWLHD telehealth process has been adopted by Far West LHD and is under consideration by three other Local Health District’s.​

​Virtual Clinical Pharmacy Service – WINNER!

To improve medication management and detect preventable medication-related harms through the implementation and evaluation of a Virtual Clinical Pharmacy Service (VCPS) at rural and remote health facilities. The virtual pharmacists utilise the electronic medical record and video conferencing carts to provide a clinical pharmacy service at eight trial sites. A mixed-methods study design was developed to evaluate the virtual pharmacy service, utilising eMR patient data, surveys and focus groups.  The VCPS improved medication reconciliation, medication error detection rates and compliance with health standards. The VCPS was found to be acceptable.  A virtual pharmacy model of care has been successfully designed, implemented and evaluated in rural and remote health facilities and proved to be a valuable service to the LHD.​

Keeping People Healthy Award

​Cigarettes, You Take My Breath Away. Implementation of a Pharmacist Led Nicotine Replacement Therapy Intervention on the Medical Ward in a Regional NSW Hospital – WINNER!

To evaluate the impact of pharmacists on the provision of the 5A’s of smoking cessation and determine if their involvement contributes to increased screening, documentation of smoking status and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) uptake for inpatients on the medical ward between June 1st-August 31th 2020.

Pharmacist standing orders for NRT were developed. A retrospective pre-and-post intervention audit compared the delivery of smoking cessation interventions against the 5A’s of smoking cessation.

In comparison to baseline data, there was a 35.5% increase in smoking status documentation, a 43.3% increase in assessment for readiness to quit, a 56.8% increase in the assessment of nicotine dependence, a 16.3% increase in NRT prescription and an increase in patient education on admission and discharge.

Collaborative patient-centred approaches to smoking cessation management can improve outcome measures compared to baseline.

​Paediatric Speech Pathology Student Community Clinic

Orange Health Service (OHS) Speech Pathology Department developed and implemented the “paediatric speech pathology student community clinic’’. The project aimed to increase the engagement of developmentally vulnerable children and families through a community-based service provision whilst also creating a sustainable approach to student placements. Plan, do, study, act cycles were used to monitor the project, with two key strategies implemented:

1. Establishment of a community-based student clinic within local preschools attracting a high number of Aboriginal children; and

2. Development of a streamlined and structured approach to the management of placements (including booking, orientation and timetabling).

The project resulted in increased service provision to developmentally vulnerable children within the community and high levels of student satisfaction. The project has been continued and further developed in 2021.


​Virtual Antenatal Education

The Virtual antenatal education program aimed to provide antenatal education to women and their partners across a large geographical area using virtual technology. Following the development of the program, the Virtual Antenatal Education program was launched on the 1st of April 2020. Following evaluation, this program has:

  • Created a sustainable education program
  • Created significant cost reduction for women, and the organisation
  • Developed greater patient experiences
  • Increased health literacy, and health promotion
  • Increased skills and collaboration between staff

In conclusion, this project has met the needs of the community, has empowered women and their partners by providing information and advice that is easily understood, accounts for risk and meets the needs of women and their families across Western NSW Local Health District.

​Western NSW COVID 19 Call Centre March to June 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic created an urgent need for additional support to the Western NSW Public Health Unit (PHU) and health facilities to address the high volume of enquiries. The aim was to establish a COVID-19 Call Centre (CC) to manage all COVID enquiries/calls entering the LHD.

The HPU was tasked and established a functional CC within 24 hours. Prior to going live locations, staff, training, equipment, communications and information& technology infrastructure were sourced and implemented.

The CC received 3292 calls, made 2671 referrals to PHU fever clinics, General Practitioners, HealthDirect, other government agencies, and Crime stoppers/police.

The CC achieved its aim of managing large volumes of enquiries, plus establishing rural health infrastructure, processes and skills that can be reactivated quickly in another emergency.

SC Johnson Professional Patient Safety First Award

​Dubbo Health Service Tracheostomy Committee – WINNER!

In 2018, the Dubbo Health Service identified that tracheostomy care was not well-coordinated, with limited communication and collaboration across health professionals. The formation of a Tracheostomy Management Committee aimed to improve patient outcomes by the provision of high-quality care through the provision of clinical and executive leadership, development and review of guidelines and policies, provision of education including management of emergencies, management of equipment issues, and collaboration of multidisciplinary team members. This project has resulted in a dedicated pathway for admitting patient’s with a tracheostomy, the development of a dedicated Local Operating Protocol to guide patient flow and bed placement of tracheostomy patients and the standardisation of equipment to ensure wards maintain stock levels to appropriate levels.​

​Engineering Down the Risk

This project aimed to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections for both staff and patients by minimising the spread of airborne infectious particles in a clinical space in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major variation request was made to the Australasian Health Facility Guidelines (AHFGs) Steering Committee to change the construction of the ventilation system in the new Intensive Care Unit under construction as part of Dubbo Hospital Redevelopment.

A statewide reference group was formed. Recommendations from the reference group resulted in the new ICU ventilation being redesigned to provide a ‘pandemic mode’ increasing the number of negative pressure rooms from one to six.

A building design change engineered down the risk of airborne infectious particles being spread via ventilation ductwork.

​G Ward #EndPJparalysis 90-day challenge

To get patients up, dressed in day clothes and moving when in hospital. This promotes confidence and independence, however, most importantly reduces patients from deconditioning.

At 12:00hrs each day staff audited the:

1. Number of patients up and mobile

2. Number of patients dressed

3. Number of falls in the past 24 hours

4. Number of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in the past 24 hours

Of the 2137 occupied beds for General Ward, 85% of patients were up and mobilised by 12:00hrs, 43% of patients were dressed in day clothes and a total of 11 falls occurred during the Challenge.

There has been a reduction of inpatient falls of 82% on General Ward since the commencement of the challenge.

​Save Our Skin (SOS)

Save Our Skin (SOS) is a multidisciplinary, multi-site project developed to tackle the incidence of healthcare-acquired pressure injuries (PI) and incontinence associated dermatitis (IAD).

IAD can be difficult to diagnose and differentiate from other skin conditions and is often mistaken for a PI. Prevention is the primary goal in the management of IAD, and should consist of evidence-based (EB) strategies. The SOS project, provides clinicians with a structured way of implementing collective and reliable EB practices, to improve care processes and patient outcomes.

Pre-project, the identification and treatment of IAD was varied and did not align with best practice guidelines. The assessment of IAD was based on experience, not on a validated IAD tool. Treatment was based on habitual nursing practices rather than current evidence.

Spotless People and Culture Award

​Developing Rural Generalist Nurses through tailored and flexible education delivery

Providing world-class rural health care close to home for the population of Western NSW relies on the attraction and retention of nurses, as well as the development and ongoing maintenance of the unique skills required by this workforce. The Rural Generalist Nursing (RGN) program is an innovative education and support initiative designed to provide clinical assessment skills, supporting full scope of practice and effective collaboration with on-site, virtual medical and clinical health services. The 12-month RGN program for enrolled and registered staff was rolled out in August 2020, and completed in all 29 target sites by July 2021. It was designed in collaboration with nurses, virtual medical staff and facility management and has received overwhelmingly positive feedback to date. ​

​The mentoring program

To create a mentoring program in Western NSW Local Health District that connects staff professionally through a structured platform, to develop new professional network links and sharing professional wins and challenges. Due to the large geographical area, an innovative approach was taken to use the Organisational Development Unit as the connector, a third party – to link staff together across disciplines, directorates and towns. Using the Public Service Commission capability framework, cultural advice, disability information and previous experiences, professional development in leadership and management have been sought and shared by over 180 participants across the LHD. Empowering professional growth through safe conversations.​

​Stop the Bloody Waste – WINNER!

Parkes hospital has no on-site transfusion laboratory to store or supply blood products. Alternatively, Parkes red blood cells (RBC) are stored in a satellite blood fridge for planned and emergencies transfusions. Emergency red blood cell wastage at Parkes was 37.7%. A waste benchmark of 3% is set by the National Blood Authority for the laboratory which supplies the RBC to Parkes. The excessive waste at Parkes negatively impacts the supplying transfusion laboratory wastage results. The aim of ‘Stop the Bloody Waste’ is by December 2021, Parkes Hospital Emergency red blood cell wastage will be reduced to 6%. Using quality improvement, change ideas were implemented and evaluated. The project has achieved a 47% reduction in Emergency RBC wastage from the Parkes blood fridge.​

SalaryPackagingPLUS Transforming Patient Experience Award


​Feeding our mothers

To provide meal options to boarder mothers that are more accessible, cost-effective and reduce waste.

Boarder mothers are discharged from maternity with babies in the nursery. Instead of plated trays, they receive breakfast packs, vouchers for hot meals from the hospital cafeteria, and frozen dinners. Beverages/snacks are provided. Posters that communicate food options available.

An audit in July 2019 showed maternity has the largest amount of untouched plated meals (30% of 5608 meals). The change was made in August 2019 after consultation with maternity staff. A reduction in untouched meals for the maternity ward has occurred. An estimated $6000 has been saved over the past 12 months from reduced waste. Meals are more flexible and accessible. Food waste has reduced leading to financial savings.​

​Improving patient flow in speech pathology outpatient services

The aim of this project was for “100% of outpatients referred to speech pathology services to be seen for an initial assessment within locally defined clinical benchmarks”. This involved developing clinical benchmarks targets and commencing an Allied Health Assistant (AHA) run clinic to manage and prioritise referrals.

The project resulted in:

  • Initial assessments scheduled within benchmarks
  • Consistent service delivery across team members
  • Client satisfaction with AHA- run clinic
  • Efficient and cost-saving model

Due to the success of this project, it is being shared across the district to support the use of AHA’s inpatient flow. Future directions of the project will continue to review current service delivery processes to improve value-based care.

​Subcutaneous home injection program

Western NSW Local Health District has patients eligible to participate in the National Blood Authority’s Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin (SCIg) Home Injecting Program. Treatment is managed in the home with education and support provided by the patient’s local facility, partnering with CSL Cares Program. This treatment option improves the quality of life for patients.

Bathurst Ambulatory Care provided the first SCIg home injecting program in WNSWLHD. 100% of participants surveyed confirmed SCIg was effective at treating their condition and felt confident to manage SCIg after completing the home education program. 83% stated the treatment was easy to fit into their life.

The SCIg home program has an estimated saving per patient of $3,522pa (Year 1). It also reduced time off work/school to attended long clinic appointments every 4 weeks.​

​Telestroke – Providing World-Class Stroke Care

Background: Stroke is a medical emergency that requires rapid access to diagnostics and specialist management.

Aim: The NSW Telestroke model of care offers a way to deliver access to timely specialist diagnostics and management and deliver evidence-based treatment closer to patient’s homes.

Method: Telestroke involves linking specialist stroke physicians to regional sites to support the provision of stroke care via telehealth technology.

Results: Improved access to reperfusion therapies and reduced variation in thrombolysis administration times.

Conclusion: Telestroke has been shown to improve access to stroke therapies and improve patient outcomes.​

​Virtual Paediatric Feeding Pilot – WINNER!

Paediatric feeding challenges are common, but specialist clinics are scarce in rural settings. In response to service and workforce gaps, an existing interdisciplinary Feeding Clinic was expanded into a virtual ‘hub and spoke’ model to service seven community health sites and upskill local clinicians.

The research pilot evaluated the accessibility, acceptability and effectiveness of a virtual service. 33 clients from outside of Orange were referred in an 8 month period, 174 appointments offered and 24,536km saved in travel. Statistically significant improvements in children’s growth, number of accepted foods and overall feeding behaviours occurred. Key themes from semi-structured virtual interviews with clinicians emerged: high benefit for client outcomes, benefit to clinician’s knowledge and confidence in treating feeding difficulties and reduced professional isolation through connection with discipline-specific colleagues.​

Ochre Health Excellence in MPS/Rural Facilities Award

​Caring for Carers – Residential Aged Care (RAC) COVID-19 Response Initiative

In 2020 the COVID–19 Pandemic caused RAC facilities to implement tight restrictions on face to face visitation. Restrictions resulted in carers and family members experiencing anxiety, distress, and disconnection with loved ones, fearing for their health and wellbeing. The CSP responded by initiating widespread engagement with carers. Individual phone conversations with carers provided an opportunity to discuss how they were coping, and for the CSP to ensure carers were aware of pathways for further support. Carers were offered the opportunity to share feedback about what they felt facilities were doing well or could be doing differently to improve the wellbeing and care of residents. The initiative resulted in significant meaningful engagement with carers. Feedback gathered was used by facilities to make changes and enhance care.​

​For the love of Nanna: A collaboration to protect our most vulnerable – WINNER!

The COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for unprecedented collaboration with independent Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) across the LHD. A team of experts from three directorates was brought together to support RACFs with COVID-19 outbreak management planning and preparation. Challenges dealing with the private sector were diminished, given the magnitude of a potential outbreak. This presented an opportunity for accelerated relationship building. Support included: readiness assessments, desktop scenario exercises, infection prevention and control (IP&C) audits, guidance around outbreak management plans and establishment of a Community of Practice (COP).

All 49 facilities have actively engaged with the LHD team. The project has paved the way for ongoing collaboration between the LHD and RACFs: a timely victory with the ongoing pandemic and impending aged care system reform.​

Volunteer of the Year Award

​Louise Keady

Louise has been a member of the Coonamble Health Council since 2005. Louise is open, respectful and supportive towards all staff. She collaborates with the community to bring concerns and community issues to the attention of the Health Council. ​

​Christine McIlvain

Christine was an inaugural member of the Cabonne Health Council in 2013 which supported Canowindra, Molong and Eugowra. Christine later joined the Canowindra Health Council and has become an integral part of this group. Christine’s passions align with improving Mental Health Wellbeing and outcomes in Aboriginal health.

​John Bentley

John has been a vital member of the Mudgee Hospital Health Council since 2013 and chaired the council from 2015-2020. John actively sought community input into the Mudgee Hospital redevelopment and advocated for improved facilities and access to rural health care.​

​Kate Winders

Kate Winders has been a member of Cobar Health Council since October 2012. Kate is a well-respected member of the Cobar community due to her honesty, eagerness to help and pursuit towards the safety and wellbeing of communities. Kate is passionate about providing all individuals access to appropriate health care and ensuring the community are well informed on services available.

​Peter Harris – WINNER!

Peter Harris has been a constant presence at Nyngan Health Service since the admission of his wife, Beth, in 2018. Peter has demonstrated a commitment to rural health far beyond expectations and continues to advocate for patients and residents, in honour of Beth’s journey. In everything Peter does in the health space, he is committed to empowering patients, residents and their families, respecting health care workers, collaborating with the community and sharing his and Beth’s story openly.

​Linda Taylor

Linda has been an inaugural member of the Trundle Health Council since 2008. Initially, she joined as a representative of the Trundle Hospital Auxiliary. However, Linda has stayed on the Health Council as an interested community member. Linda has promoted the work of the Health Council and Hospital Auxiliary, volunteered for fundraisers and welcomed new staff to the community through her role as a Publicity Officer and Secretary since 2014.

​Grenfell Multipurpose Health Service Hospital Auxiliary Committee

The Grenfell Multipurpose Health Service Hospital Auxiliary Committee have offered their active support for many years. They fundraise tirelessly for the Grenfell Multipurpose Health Service and are always willing to contribute to the facility. The committee has kindly purchased a number of items to ensure provide services and equipment for the facility over the course of their support.

​Don Reid – Cowra Health Council

Don initiated and led a community survey to better understand the views and needs of the people in Cowra and outlying villages in preparation for the redevelopment of the Cowra Health Services supported by the willing band of health councillors. Following the collation of the results, Don and three health councillors analysed the responses with the volunteers.  These results were presented to the Health Council and LHD and have been considered as part of the Ministry’s subsequent community consultations.

​Greater Western Area Human Research Ethics Committee (GWHREC)

The Greater Western Area Human Research Ethics Committee (GWHREC) reviews applications for research projects taking place across the LHD as well as those proposed for Far West, Southern and Murrumbidgee LHDs. Members are located in Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Bega, Broken Hill and Mulwala and meet 10 times a year via videoconference and once a year for a face-to-face meeting. Apart from their commitment to the full committee meetings, members are also called on to attend a number of sub-committee meetings to review low-risk applications. The committee is well-balanced with some members having served for many years and others recently appointed and bringing a fresh outlook to the reviews.​

Staff member of the Year Award

​Kirsten Davis

Kirsten is a role model for demonstrating the CORE values of NSW Health. She deals with multiple challenges on a daily basis always with courtesy and individual attention to both clients and clinicians. Kirsten goes out of her way for staff functions with her cooking and catering. Even on the busiest of days, Kirsten is always friendly and caring.

​John Chamberlain

John is considered a valued team member within the site of Bloomfield Hospital. He is well known for his polite and non-judgemental demeanour to all staff and consumers. He has often received a nomination from his peers in rounding and compliments.

​Dara Hobden

Dara has been the Acting Manager of Application Support since 2019. Her role is to manage the eMR Business Analysts and iPM Analysts, located in 􀃕five different towns, as well as the team of Application Support Officers that provide 24 hour help with clinical IT issues. Dara has been instrumental in bringing these teams together to develop strong working relationships. The rapport amongst approximately 40 people has improved significantly since 2020 and enables us to all to work together more effectively to bring about excellent results in IT systems that are now an essential part of patient care. This has been achieved through Dara’s creation of a daily virtual huddle which is attended by most.

​Leanne Stimpson

Leanne’s work in integrated, chronic and complex care reaches across many facets of the District; contributing to integrated care priorities including clients and carers, supporting health literacy, aged care, disability strategic planning and avoiding hospitalisation. Leanne is a strong advocate for rural health. Leanne leads effectively by example thereby encouraging others to take the journey with her. Her approach is steadfastly embedded in enhancing patient care and she is a strong advocate for our vulnerable clients across all cohorts within our District including mental health and disability.

​Shannon Nott – WINNER!

Shannon takes a ‘whole of health’ view of rural healthcare which encompasses not only the hospital sector but also primary care. He is a natural collaborator who listens and seeks advice from communities, GPs, representative groups, and parliamentary representatives across government jurisdictions. Beyond Shannon’s role as Director of Rural Medical Services, he provides extensive support to Operational Managers and other Clinicians as he recognises to achieve improvements in rural health, we need genuine multidisciplinary collaboration and innovation.

​Paul Elbourne

Paul has held various frontline and senior-level management positions, currently holding the position of Aboriginal Workforce Manager, where he is responsible for informing and guiding the strategic direction for District in Aboriginal workforce and culture. At the core of Paul’s work and evidently demonstrated to those who have been fortunate to work alongside Paul, is his passion and drive to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples and communities. Recently in 2020, Paul led the negotiation and development of a partnership with TAFE NSW, to increase the opportunities for Aboriginal employees to engage in further tertiary studies to support career progression.

​Ann Jones

Ann Jones is an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse who since 2013 has been part of the Canowindra Community Health Nursing (CHN) Team. She regularly demonstrates exceptional collaboration within her role in the nursing team, the wider multidisciplinary team, and with the patient and their families. Ann regularly goes above and beyond for patients/ clients and their families, and has a very high level of emotional intelligence regarding ‘our team’. Ann is a great advocate for the patient and is proactive in management and discussions with the patient and family about all aspects of their care.

​Tiffany Charlton

Tiffany has been employed in the district for nineteen years in a variety of roles, working her way to her current role as Manager Human Resources. In this role, Tiffany is responsible for leading the Human Resources team to ensure continuous effective service with a responsive, innovative, performance-based and accountable customer focus; and working with business units to help them achieve their strategic, operational and performance goals and to build a constructive workplace culture through good leadership and coaching of people.

​Kira Leonard

Kira Leonard is a Speech Pathologist with WNSWLHD, she commenced in Canowindra 2014 as a full-time speech pathologist as a new graduate and embraced the challenges that a generalist sole position has, and soon became a leader in our team. She has relocated to Lachlan Health Service recently. Kira has excellent communication skills and spends a significant amount of her time liaising with external providers such as preschools, families and other multidisciplinary team members to ensure optimal care for her clients and patients.

​Leanne Casey

Leanne was seconded into a role in 2020 initially to coordinate the supplementary workforce demands that the COVID-19 pandemic was thought likely to incur. Leanne’s work has had to be both highly strategic, and very tactical. Her responsibilities have extended from representing the District on the State Health Emergency Operations Centre (SHEOC) through to working on communications assets to promote supplementary workforce opportunities. The changing nature and demands of the pandemic have meant that Leanne has had to both manoeuvre her own work around those changes, as well as assist collaborating partners to keep pace and respond appropriately.​

HESTA Super Fund Inspiring Team Award


​Palliative Care – Centre of Excellence

The Bathurst Hospital Medical Ward deserve to be recognised for their Palliative Care Approach. Their collaborative efforts led to the implementation of PCOC which educated staff about the different stages of Palliative Care and adopts an approach aimed at minimising adverse reactions from symptoms and optimising quality of life.

​Virtual Antenatal Education

The Virtual Antenatal Education Team rose to the challenge of developing, implementing and delivering a district-wide antenatal education program within four weeks to ensure women and their families had access to antenatal education following the uncertainty of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This initiative saw a collaborative partnership created between the Midwifery and Paediatrics Strategy team, four birthing facilities and twenty WNSWLHD midwives.

​Southern Sector Dietitians

The Parkes Community Health Centre highlights how dietitians at Condobolin, Cowra, Forbes, Parkes, Molong, Canowindra and Wellington united as a team to improve patient safety, increase their knowledge as a team and work to live well with each other and the communities in which they support.

​Working to enhance the eMR

The Clinical eHealth Projects team implement changes within clinical systems, particularly the electronic medical record (eMR). Their primary role is to enhance usability for clinicians which assists in their ability to deliver high-quality care to patients.

​Leading the way in Quality Care – Bathurst Medical Ward

The Bathurst Medical Ward has worked extremely hard over the past two years to build a strong safety culture, reliable systems, and encourage improvement – ‘living’ quality and safety in their everyday work. The leadership by the NUM and the Educator has been continuingly transforming this ward into a safe and reliable unit providing high quality patient centred care to all patients whilst ensuring staff engagement and ongoing professional development. Collaborative partnerships between teams has helped drive the team to reach remarkable goals with the support of the Executive Team.

​Mudgee Maternity Unit

The Mudgee Health Service Maternity Unit has implemented a number of changes to serve patient safety, improve quality of care, build reliability and resilience, and foster person-centred care. This is demonstrated through new rostering systems; monthly Maternal Clinical Risk Management Committee ( Meetings; the introduction of new processes around Quality Audit Reporting System  audits; Induction of Labour Safety Huddles; Midwifery Antenatal Postnatal Program; and many more projects which aim to deliver high standard clinical care while maintaining strong community ties.

​Cobar Health Service

The Cobar team have demonstrated resilience and resourcefulness through their ability to meet increasing work demands and overcome challenges such as geographical isolation. Their dedication towards improving patient care can be reflected through their collaboration with the Virtual Rural General Service (VRGS) team, locum medical officers and upskilling through the RG NETprogram.

​Working for Safety

The Canowindra Health Service aims to ensure there is consistent communication for all staff, patients and strong reliability inpatient care. Through the use of the Electronic Patient Journey Board (EPJB), the Patient Care Boards at the bedside and the handover sheets this is achieved. Several prompts on both the Patient Care Board and the handover sheet including ‘mobility’, ‘toileting’, ‘shower’, ‘diet’ and ‘other’ are used. A local procedure has been adopted and provides an effective quick guide on any restrictions or instructions for the patient in these areas.
Families and patients are also encouraged to write any requests and questions on the Patient Care Board which is patient centred care.

​Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Productive Nursing Administration

The Bloomfield Hospital Nursing Administration team ensure the safety of consumers. They understand that consumers and staff should be engaged and involved in all facets of the delivery of care. The team understand that clinical governance systems and plans provides better outcomes. A focus on continuous improvement and a culture of safety also helps them in the delivery of care.

​Coping in a crisis

It was evident throughout 2020 that the Public Health Unit (PHU) are a team that is reliable and resilient, the ability to pivot and respond to the emerging global pandemic was unprecedented and one that highlighted the PHU as a high-performing team. The work demonstrated throughout the pandemic reflects how the team ensures patient safety, implements a process of constant quality improvement and without a doubt demonstrates their reliability and resilience.

​Share the Care

The Canowindra Health Service have weekly Structured Interdisciplinary Bedside Rounds (SIBR), with Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs), nursing staff (acute and community) and allied health present with the patient. The meeting is documented into EMR and updates to the patient care board occurs during each discussion.The aim was to have 90% of patients involved in their care by having SIBR at bedside by April 2020. This aim was achieved, and over the past 12 months they have continued to make changes in response to feedback to improve patient experience, improve reliability and quality of care, and ensure we were partnering with our patients and their families.

​Orange Pharmacy – WINNER!

The Orange Hospital Pharmacy team have championed Living Quality and Safety by providing safe patient care in regards to medication, displaying reliability and resilience, continuously improving our processes and partnering with our patients and their carers to improve their knowledge and understanding of their medication.
The team respects the unique roles we all play in contributing to patient safety. We have developed strong ties with the multidisciplinary teams through open communication, respect and a shared and transparent goal of improving patient outcomes.​