Celebrating Westmead Hospital’s nurses and midwives

On 9 May, nurses and midwives gathered in Westmead Hospital’s John Lowenthal Auditorium for the hospital’s annual Nurses and Midwives Awards Ceremony.

“I personally sincerely thank our Westmead Hospital nurses and midwives for the high quality care they deliver to patients and families across the facility every day,” said Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Westmead Hospital, Carmen Morgan.

“Their vision, leadership and professional practice ensures all our patients are cared for holistically, professionally and compassionately.

I very much look forward to working with Westmead Hospital nurses and midwives as we continue to adapt to the changing environment and needs of our communities as we build stronger partnerships with consumers, carers and families.”

Nominees and winners as follows:

Award 1: Distinguished Nursing/Midwifery Service Award

The Westmead Hospital Distinguished Nursing Award is a new award that recognises a Nurse who is identified by a patient or consumer for outstanding demonstration of the essence of a professional nurse. The recipient demonstrates expert nursing knowledge and skill, advanced clinical judgement and critical thinking and above all caring kindness. The 2023 recipient is the inaugural winner of this award which will hence forth be awarded annually.

Left to Right: Carmen Morgan, Director of Nursing & Midwifery Westmead, Marin Duvnjak,Inaugural winner, Distinguished Nursing Care Award and Sharron Eather, WMH Acting Deputy Director of Nursing

Winner: Nurse Practitioner Marin Duvnjak
Marin is a Nurse Practitioner whose clinical expertise and critical thinking resulted in life saving advocacy for a patient in health crisis that could very easily have gone unnoticed with dire consequences. The nominating patient said: “If it wasn’t for the Nurse Practitioner at the ENT Clinic on that first appointment and caring about my breathing I would not be here now. With his clinical knowledge and knowing that something wasn’t right with me, he bent over backwards taking steps to avert an impending health crisis for me. The whole Respiratory team deserves every accolade they receive but it is my Nurse Practitioner that deserves an Award in my opinion, for in my view his actions and advocacy for me saved my life”.

Award 2: Nursing / Midwifery Support Award

This award recognises a member of the team who is not a nurse or midwife yet their commitment to supporting the nursing or midwifery team is outstanding. Every day this person shows up and participates as part of the team and goes above and beyond to ensure patients experience in their unit is seamless and comfortable and the nursing or midwifery team are well supported.

Left to right: Munyaradzi Gwede, WMH Corporate Services Director, winner Wendy Holllier and Carmen Morgan, Director of Nursing & Midwifery Westmead

Winner: Wendy Hollier, Administration Officer, OPD (Nursing and Midwifery Support)
Wendy has a reputation for being hard working, honest and simply a “beautiful person”. During a career that has spanned over 20 years, her expertise has become integral to smooth running and seamless service delivery provided on a daily basis. Wendy is a great mentor and preceptor to new nurses and is always eager to assist with their understanding of how the department functions.

Nominees: Mitch Ward, Wards Person Emergency Department, Michelle Ainsworth, Ward Clerk B4, Rachel Jones, Ward Clerk K8a, Poorvi Panchal, Administration Officer University Clinic, Tanya Mark, Administration Officer, University Clinic, Ansuya Patel, Ward Clerk, University Clinic, Dhan Sigh, Team-Leader, University Clinic, Anu Senthil Kumar, Administration Officer, University Clinic, Wendy Hollier, Administration Officer, Outpatients Clinic, Tanya Seymour, Revenue Officer, University Clinic, Giovanna Leman, Administration Officer, University Clinic, Isabel Parr,  Ward Clerk, K8B, Tomoko Shibata Kerschbaumer, AIN, Ward K8A

Award 3: New to Practice Nurse / Midwife of the Year

This award aims to recognise a nursing or midwifery graduate or a new starter in their first year after graduating – who has shown exceptional potential during their first 12 months of practice. This nurse or midwife demonstrates passion and commitment to the provision of quality, safe and compassionate care to patients – and actively seek their own learning opportunities.

8. Westmead, International nurses day, Hospital Auditorium, Award winner, Left to right Mr Innocent Mtandabari, Anglicare GM, Residential Operations, New to Practice Award, Award winner, Carmen Morgan, Director of Nursing & Midwifery Westmead

Winner: Zali Aquilina, Caseload Midwife
Zali has contributed to a positive culture in all areas of her work. During her new graduate rotations, she was known for her upbeat nature, can do attitude and warm smile. She has embraced opportunities to extend her clinical practice and advanced her career with courage and determination. As a midwife, she is improving the journey to motherhood for many women by providing continuity of Midwifery care. Zali displays a confidence and emotional intelligence beyond her years and the team looks forward to watching her achievements and the positive outcomes with the women in her care. 

Nominees: Suresh Pandey, Registered Nurse – Ward K8b, Harpreet Kaur, Registered Nurse, Hanna Elton, Registered Nurse – Ward K8a, Claire Murdoch, Registered Nurse – Ward K8b, Silvia Chow, Registered Nurse – Emergency Department, Adiba Chikwem, Registered Nurse – K5 Day Surgery Unit, Man Jun Yeong, Registered Nurse – K5 Day Surgery Unit, Claudette Punsalan Registered Nurse – Intensive Care Unit (E3c), Zali Aquilina, Registered Midwife – Midwifery Caseload Practice (MCP) , Praisy Roy, Registered Nurse – K5 Day Surgery Unit, Dana Papenburg, Registered Nurse – K5 Day Surgery Unit

Award 4: Preceptor Award

This award recognises a nurse or midwife who demonstrates  outstanding teaching and mentoring abilities and impact. Valuing the role of precepting to support new starters, providing direction, support, guidance and constructive criticism where requested – whilst adhering to the new starter’s scope of practice and the policies of the WSLHD.

Left to Right: Carmen Morgan, Director of Nursing & Midwifery Westmead, Winner Jobelle Galang and Rosemary Luczak, WS WMD Nursing Professional Develop Unit

Winner: Jobelle Galang (Ward B3a)
Jobelle happily takes the time out of her day to support and guide new staff within the unit. She is highly skilled and assists others whenever she can with very complex tasks. She constantly displays empathy and compassion in her work and this motivates others to do the same. Jobelle continually promotes a patient centred focus to the care provided and is truly inspiring.

Nominees: Jobelle Galang, Ward B3a, Clare Carmichael, Ward K5 Day Surgery, Esther Yee Cheng, Outpatients Clinic, Pauline Relos, Eye Clinic, Julie Frost, Outpatients University Clinic, Malthi Dasarath, Ward K8A, Leslie Rattan, Ward B6C

Award 5: Education and Research Award

This award recognises a nursing or midwifery educator and researcher who demonstrates outstanding teaching and research capabilities. This person is known for challenging staff to expand their knowledge and demonstrates an exceptional commitment to the development and implementation of evidence-based practice.

Left to right: Carmen Morgan, Director of Nursing & Midwifery Westmead, winner Cristina Fonseca, Andrew Johnson Deputy Director of Nursing and Associate Professor Thomas Buckley, Representative N&M – University of Sydney

Winner: Cristina Fonseca (A/Clinical Nurse Educator PACU&DSU)
Cristina is incredibly supportive leader. She exhibits a consistently positive attitude and offers both empathy and kindness while working diligently to comprehend and uplift her team. The colleagues who nominated Cristina were impressed by her educational initiatives that enhance the nursing specialty and foster a robust culture of professional collaboration.

Nominees: Cristina Fonseca, A/Clinical Nurse Educator, Day Surgery Unit, Rebecca Ferrarelli, Clinical Nurse Educator, Thai Tran, Clinical Nurse Educator, Opera Nursing, Maria Anita Fuentes, Clinical Nurse Educator, D3d, Shova Ningleku, A/Clinical Nurse Educator Day Surgery.

Award 6: Nursing Team of the Year

This is awarded to a nursing/midwifery team that provides services, programs and initiatives that benefit the patient, consumers, the community and enhance patient and staff experience. This team excels in effective collaboration both with each other and with others outside their team and collectively supports the CORE values and initiatives of NSW Health. 

Nursing Team of the Year award winners

Winner: Ward K8A
K8A has demonstrated incredible team work. They have always accepted new challenges and just get on with it. They advocate for patients and supported each other in tough times. They’ve received lots of good feedback from patients and relatives. A patient’s relative has said, “ The extent to how hard they work cannot be understated or under appreciated. Their sense of humour and positive energy has been a vital factor, with regard to the positivity that is so important for the mental wellbeing of patients. This team has given beyond expectations to care for my brother.”

Nominees: Ward B3A, Cardiothoracic, Head and Neck, Ward D3D, Enhanced Post Op Care (EPOC), Ward K8A, Orthopaedics, Ward K8B, Trauma, K10B, Neurosurgery, Emergency Department, F3 Admission and Discharges, Day Surgery Unit.

Award 7: Leadership of the Year

This award recognises an outstanding leader in any area who is highly respected by their peers and inspires others to work collaboratively and creatively. They demonstrate initiative and actively lead transformational change.

Left to Right: Carmen Morgan, Director of Nursing & Midwifery Westmead and Winner Narelle Driver

Winner: Narelle Driver, Nurse Manger Outpatients clinic
Narelle stands out as first amongst many deserving nominees in this category. Narelle has a manner that connects easily with people. She is described by those nominating as a great communicator, a role model, energetic, supportive and completely non-judgemental. Nominees said Narelle’s vision for nursing is realised in her actions every day by the people who work with her and implement the vision she promotes within her service.  In short, it seems there is not enough words to describe her positive leadership.

Nominees: Narelle Driver, Nurse Manager, Outpatients University Clinic, Jessielyn Diaz, Nurse Unit Manager, Ward D3D, Pauline Underwood, Nurse Unit Manager, Ward K8A, Jodie Kassimatis, Registered Nurse Emergency Department, Yean Yoke Soo, Clinical Nurse Educator Instrument Circulating, James Albury, Registered Nurse, Ward K8A, Natasha Covil, Registered Nurse, Ward K8B.

Award 8: Nursing / Midwifery Unit Manager

This award recognises a NUM/MUM that demonstrates an innovative approach that contributes to the improvement and delivery of quality care, a commitment to professional development of self and others, utilise leadership and influence to sustain a positive culture within their work environment and identifies and actively leads transformational change.

Left to Right: Carmen Morgan, Director of Nursing & Midwifery Westmead, Winner Melanie Seymon and Jenelle Matic, General Manager

Winner: Melanie Seymon, Emergency Department
Melanie is recognised as an outstanding leader and one who genuinely cares for her staff. As a Unit Manager, her role is critical in ensuring that the team delivers high quality patient care and maintains a positive work environment. Her ability to lead, inspire, and support her staff is a testament to her outstanding leadership qualities. Her nomination for this award is a clear indication of her commitment to the team’s success and willingness to go above and beyond to support her staff. Her leadership and support have had a positive impact on the team, the patients she cares for and the broader healthcare community.

Nominees: Melanie Seymon, Emergency Department, Tamara Claxton, K5 Day Surgery Unit, Dante Canete, Emergency Department, Desireen Pamfilo, Ward B4C, Pauline Underwood, Ward K8A, Britney Raj, Ward K8b, Jessielyn Diaz, Ward D3D, Trevor Raymond, Emergency Department, Farah Hamade, Emergency Department, Nadine Wheeler, C5C.

Award 9: Enrolled Nurse of the Year

This award recognises an Enrolled Nurse who demonstrates high quality patient care, leadership and compassion. This nurse’s positivity and collaboration as an integral member of the nursing team ensures patients always feel supported and safe.

Left to right: Sharron Eather, Acting Deputy DON, winner Belinda Forrest, Carmen Morgan, Director of Nursing & Midwifery Westmead and Jenelle Matic, General Manager

Winner: Belinda Forrest, Ward C4C
Belinda started her career in 2002 as a Student Enrolled Nurse. She began as a nurse of high standards and has maintained this throughout the 20 years. She is a very competent nurse with excellent skills in every domain of nursing. Her communication with staff, patients and visitors is exemplary. She provides holistic care to all her patients. Even when she takes on a heavy workload, she continues to provide care required in her usual, efficient caring way.

Nominees: Payal Singde, Outpatients Clinic, Julie Murtha, Outpatients Clinic, Belinda Forrest, Ward C4C, Rachel Abrot, Brain Injury Unit, Geetha D’Silva, Pre-Admission Clinic.  

Award 10: Registered Midwife of the Year

This award recognises a midwife who has made an outstanding contribution to providing and coordinating safe, quality driven and compassionate woman centered care. This midwife consistently demonstrates commitment, compassion, resilience, and collaboration – and is well known for their commitment and passion for the midwifery profession.

Left to right: Carmen Morgan, Director of Nursing & Midwifery Westmead, winner Grainne Kinaha, Julie Swain, Deputy Director of Nursing & Midwifery and Jenelle Matic, General Manager

Winner: Grainne Kinahan, Birth Unit Midwife
With over 25 years of experience, Grainne has undoubtedly touched the lives of countless mothers, babies, and families in a positive way. Her reputation for remaining calm in crisis situations is a testament to her expertise and composure under pressure and it’s no wonder that she is so highly valued by her midwifery and medical colleagues. I’m sure that her colleagues and patients alike appreciate her years of experience and the valuable insights and guidance that she can provide. She is not only an excellent midwife but also a sought-after Childbirth & Parenting Educator. By sharing her knowledge and expertise she is helping to empower women and families to make informed decisions about their care and ensuring that they have the support they need during this important time in their lives.

Nominees: Grainne Kinahan, Birth Unit, Kateley Boyle, Birth Unit. 

Award 11: Registered Nurse of the Year

This award recognises a Registered Nurse who demonstrates outstanding leadership in clinical care, management, education or research. This RN has made a significant contribution to safe, quality driven, compassionate patient care and consistently displays values of commitment, compassion, resilience, professionalism, and collaboration.

Left to right: Mr Innocent Mtandabari, Anglicare GM, Residential Operations, winner Jessica Field and Carmen Morgan, Director of Nursing & Midwifery Westmead

Winner: Jessica Field, Emergency Department
Jessica is is a 15 year veteran of Westmead Hospital. She is a champion of patient-centred care and is always happy to provide ongoing support and education to her colleagues. During the acute stages of the COVID outbreak, Jessica recognised the fatigue that her colleagues were experiencing and developed an award system to recognise the hard work of staff under extreme duress. This was done in her own time and has had a huge impact on the well-being and morale  of all  staff within the Emergency Department.

Nominees: Minimole Kunjachan, Registered Nurse – Ward B4C, Julie Frost, Registered Nurse – Outpatients Clinic, Monica Sharma, Registered Nurse – Outpatients Clinic, Bernadette Lee, Registered Nurse – Outpatients Clinic, Yee Cheng, Registered Nurse – Outpatients Clinic, Taylah Van Woerkom, Registered Nurse – Ward C5c, Marie Ayap, Registered Nurse – Ward B3c, Kacey Stanley, Registered Nurse – Ward K8a, Maria Aspiras, Registered Nurse – Dermatology, Hannah Cristobal, Registered Nurse – Outpatients University Clinic, Jessica Field, Registered Nurse – Emergency Department , Denise Cruz, Registered Nurse – Ward B3a, Jeremiah De Jesus, Registered Nurse – Ward Brain Injury Unit, Rekha Mangalath, Registered Nurse – Ward B6C, Sharon Hausler, Registered Nurse – Ward K8B.