Celebrating Westmead Hospital’s Allied Health Award winners and nominees

Occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech pathologists took centre stage in western Sydney during celebrations for Allied Health Professions Day.

At Westmead Hospital on Friday, 14 October, the skills and achievements of all Allied Health professionals across WSLHD were celebrated in a ceremony at the WECC Auditorium to acknowledge the excellent work and contribution of award recipients and nominees.

“Today’s award ceremony recognised the 23 disciplines of Allied Health at Westmead Hospital, with peer nominated awards in many categories acknowledging their achievements over the past 12 months,” Director of Allied Health Westmead, Marie Fournaris said.

After navigating the difficulties of the pandemic, this awards ceremony was particularly special as it allowed the Westmead Hospital community to acknowledge the achievements and professionalism of Allied Health practitioners.

“Being nominated by their peers – not only from Allied Health, but nursing and medical more broadly – is a lovely recognition, particularly after COVID-19, of everything that has occurred and the efforts to maintain safe, quality care for our patients,” Deputy General Manager, Deanna Aplitt said.

  • Westmead Allied Health Researcher of the Year – Nicole D’Souza, Physiotherapist from OACCP
  • Westmead Allied Health Positive Workplace Impact Award – Hannah Drake, Occupational Therapy
  • Westmead Allied Health Excellence in Leadership Award – Emma Farnham, Occupational Therapy
  • Westmead Allied Health Team of the Year – RACE MDT
  • Westmead Aboriginal Allied Health Professional of the Year – Louise Maclean, Speech Pathology
  • Westmead Allied Health Professional of the Year – Bronwen Craig, Speech Pathology

A big congratulations to all nominees and winners.

Further to this, today we are profiling two key players in WSLHD Allied Health to continue the celebrations.

Firstly, Megan Byrne is a COVID-19 Vaccination Lead, WSLHD & Facility Director of Allied Health – Auburn. Her role has included oversight of the COVID-19 vaccination program across the district, including public facing clinics, outreach and inreach services.

Megan lists the Qudos Bank Arena NSW Health Vaccination Centre rollout as a big achievement while working in the COVID-19 landscape.

This project involved establishing the centre in just 12 days and delivering over 340,000 vaccinations during the 12 weeks of operation.

“For my team, providing vaccinations to some of the most vulnerable within our community via our Outreach Program was a big achievement too,” Megan said.

“COVID-19 really showed the flexibility and adaptability of the Allied Health workforce including working within the vaccination hubs.”

Megan Byrne and Anastasiya Ignatievsky

Anastasiya Ignatievsky is a NDIS and SASH ComPacks Coordinator at WSLHD, helping staff to navigate and understand the NDIS to support patients with disabilities.

Her passion is delivering extra care to patients to help increase participation in the community, both from a social and economical perspective. 

“I’m extremely proud of the work of our Allied Health to discharge complex patients to the community and prevent representation by ensuring they have adequate funding and supports through NDIS,” she said.

“In October, we discharged a patient who had been in hospital for 477 days due to complex social and medical issues. Without the assistance of Allied Health for carer training, ensuring equipment set up and NDIS funding, this patient would have remained in hospital.”