COVID projects come out on top at Western Sydney Health awards

Event hosts Samantha Brett and Rob Shehadie (back left) with the People and Culture team, who won two awards with their project Workplace Wellness in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond.

Six COVID-19 related projects were announced winners at the annual Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Quality Awards ceremony on Wednesday, 23 September.

Community members were able to watch for the first time as Seven News presenter Samantha Brett and actor-comedian Rob Shehadie hosted the live broadcast to thousands of viewers.

The annual recognition of staff innovations and achievements took on extra significance this year in light of the catastrophic summer bushfire season followed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teams from areas including mental health, youth health, physiotherapy and many more were recognised, and for the first time four staff members were recognised as Employees of the Year.

Primary school student, 11-year-old Matthew Dino and son of two Westmead Hospital nurses stole the show with his live interview and the premiere of his music video “Superheroes in Disguise.”

Matthew wrote the song as a beautiful tribute to frontline healthcare workers which was inspired by his parents after talking to them and hearing how healthcare staff are working to protect our communities.

WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy congratulated each of the 52 teams who entered projects and thanked every employee for their hard work this year.

“I have been constantly amazed by the actions and efforts of all of our staff. You have done an incredible job coming to work every day to support our patients, and equally as importantly to support each other,” Graeme said.

“You are amazing every day. Every single one of you has been working absolutely flat-out doing brilliant things and tonight is all about you.”

The winners of the 2020 Quality Awards were:

  • Transforming Patient Experience – Just Ask It (Auburn Hospital)
  • Delivering Integrated Health Care – Pathways to Community Living Initiative (Mental Health Services)
  • Patient Safety First – Keeping Clozapine Patients Safe During COVID-19 (Mental Health Services)
  • Keeping People Healthy – COVID Street Fighters (Youth Health)
  • Supporting Our Teams – Workplace Wellness in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond (People and Culture)
  • A Safe and Healthy Workplace – Contain the Contagion! A Clinical Mission to Eradicate Transmission (Integrated and Community Health)
  • Innovation and Research – PPE Predict (Infection Prevention and Disease Control)
  • Education and Training – Flipping COVID Facedown (Physiotherapy Department, Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals)
  • Chief Executive Award – Workplace Wellness in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond (People and Culture)
  • Board Chair Award – Keeping Clozapine Patients Safe During COVID-19 (Mental Health Services)
The full live broadcast (begins at the 9-minute mark)

The ever-popular People’s Choice Award received more than 16,000 votes online, and the winner was Newborn Education and Skills Training (Auburn Hospital Maternity Services with Westmead Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care).

Read more about each winning project here and re-watch the broadcast on our Facebook page.

For the first time we also awarded four Employee of the Year awards to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to WSLHD. Congratulations to the inaugural winners:

  • Allied Health – Samantha Tate, A/Head of Podiatry, Westmead Hospital
  • Doctor –  Dr Alpha Tung, Head of Anaesthesia Department, Auburn Hospital
  • Corporate Services – Rory Dunlop, Cleaner, Blacktown Hospital
  • Nursing –  Pradeepa Selvaraj, Clinical Nurse Educator, Blacktown Hospital