Local Health District Celebrate Staff Achievements

Local Health District Celebrate Staff Achievements
The Northern NSW Local Health (NNSW LHD) took part in the celebrations of the 17th annual NSW Health Awards held at a gala dinner at Sydney Olympic Park earlier this week.

Chris Crawford, Chief Executive, NNSW LHD said he was very pleased when news arrived that three of NNSW LHD entries had been selected as finalists in three categories for this year’s Annual Health Awards, with one of them winning. He said the entries were excellent and deserving of this recognition in a highly competitive field.

The winning entry was in the Integrated Healthcare category titled Early Detection of Chronic Kidney Disease in Aboriginal people and was submitted by NNSW LHD on behalf of Mr Graeme Turner, Renal Nurse Practitioner and the team he worked with.

The project is an integrated approach for the identification and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with Chronic Kidney Disease and was undertaken in collaboration with staff at the Bugalwena General Practice (GP) and the North Coast Medicare Local (now North Coast Primary Healthcare Network (NCPHN).

18% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have indicators for Chronic Kidney Disease. Early detection and management can slow progression of the disease and avoid or delay future requirement for dialysis. The NNSW LHD Nurse Practitioner, Bugalwena GP and NCPHN worked together to improve early identification of Chronic Kidney Disease, which resulted in an increase of the number of people identified from 10 to over 70 at Bugalwena GP.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) searches were developed to assist in rapid identification of chronic kidney disease. Education was provided to Bugalwena GP staff and management plans for people with kidney disease were developed. Bugalwena GP has changed their practice to embedding kidney health checks in their routine health assessments. The program has also been operating in several other GPs and Aboriginal Health Centres throughout the NNSW LHD.

Other finalists were:

Sarah Lawty, Acting Quality and Safety Manager, Lismore Base Hospital for her project in the category Patients as Partners: Drain the Pain – An innovative liver project. This project was designed to empower, support and enhance access to care for patients with end stage liver disease. The success of the project relies heavily on collaboration between patients, carers, gastroenterologists, bed management radiology, nursing and allied health professionals.

Amara Fonseca, Acting Deputy Chief Radiation Therapist with Northern NSW Cancer Institute for her project in the category – Local Solutions titled Prostate Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy Treatment (IMRT) in Seven Mouse Clicks. The project aimed to improve the quality and efficiency of radiation treatment by developing, evaluating and implementing a class solution for prostate IMRT.

The Awards recognise the excellence of our nurses, clinicians, allied health professionals, support staff, researchers and volunteers, who go above and beyond on a daily basis to develop and implement innovative models of care with the aim of improving outcomes for patients across NSW,” Mr Crawford said.

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