Blacktown Hospital swings doors open for health forum: “We need to work together, think different and be brave”

Interactive panel: WSLHD Medical Services executive director Emma McCahon, Patient and Carer Experience manager Wendy Cain, Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals general manager Ned Katrib, Mental Health Services acting director of nursing Ashley Baker join a panel discussion convened by NewsLocal senior journalist Jake McCallum.

Community members have ventured behind the scenes of Blacktown Hospital’s new building as part of an open day, giving residents a look into the intricate planning and design behind the nine-storey facility.

Guests also enjoyed an array of health stalls and activities, with experts on hand to provide basic health checks and information about diabetes, breast screening, tertiary education, nicotine replacement therapy and organ donation.

Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals general manager Ned Katrib gives community members a exlcusive tour of the new Blacktown Hospital building.

The open day was followed by this year’s Western Sydney Health Forum, updating the community on all the highlights from Western Sydney Local Health District’s (WSLHD) 18/19 financial year.

Blacktown Hospital was a hive of activity as various stallholders entertain visitors with health information and interactive activities.

WSLHD’s chief executive Graeme Loy addressed the forum, thanking staff for their commitment and outlining the district’s achievements, challenges and plans for the future.

WSLHD Chief Executive Graeme Loy highlights the past year and the plans for the future of healthcare in Western Sydney. 

“We have a workforce of 13,000 staff and they are an amazing group,” Graeme said.

“Over the last financial year we have treated 3.1 million people, provided 44,000 vaccinations to high school students and 128,000 dental treatments.

WSLHD Board Chair Richard Alcock presents outgoing Board member Kathy Baker with an certificate of appreciation. 

“There are times where it is tough but I look around at what our staff do and I am very impressed by what they achieve for our region.

“We’ve also invested in our staff by providing more than 200,000 training sessions and improving staff culture.”

WSLHD Board Chair Richard Alcock thanks outgoing Board Member Dr Andrew Pesce for his contributions to Western Sydney. 

Looking to the future, Graeme highlighted the need to move from hospital-centric thinking to healthcare-centric thinking.

“We need to recognise our community’s needs, which is why we are doing a lot of work to move services into the community and people’s homes,” Graeme said.

WSLHD Corporate Communications policy and strategic planning manager Nikki Woloszuk with special guest Jana Pittman and her children and trick or treaters. Jana Pittman attended the event to talk about her upcoming position as a junior medical officer at Blacktown Hospital.

“I encourage everyone to look to the future with us. Think about how we can possibly improve and divide the services our community needs. We will achieve that if we work together, think different and be brave.”

Blacktown Hospital volunteers were out in force to welcome budding volunteers as part of the hospital’s open day.

WSLHD board chair Richard Alcock said he was ‘incredibly proud’ of what staff had achieved over the past 12 months.

“Every year, the challenge to deliver health services grows, but 13,000 of our staff keep showing up, day after day, to provide high quality health care for the people of western Sydney. Thank you,” Richard said.

Western Sydney Diabetes with their Beating Diabetes stall as part of the open day.

Senior NewsLocal journalist Jake McCallum chaired a question and answer session with Western Sydney Local Health District health experts, addressing topics such as patient experience improvement projects, the future of the Parramatta Light Rail, sustainability projects being carried out and recruitment plans.

Sydney Health Partners Helen Hughes explains the role of Sydney Health Partners to our guests.

This year’s Year in Review document was unveiled at the forum – to download your copy visit and tap on ‘Year in Review 2018/2019’.