Australia’s nurses recognised

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Nurses who guide Australians from birth through to death were recognised in at the 2019 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards.

The outstanding performance and commitment to patient care and clinical improvement in nursing and midwifery were acknowledged in three categories – Nurse of the Year; Midwife of the Year and Inspired team.

Epworth Richmond nurse Sheila Salonga was a finalist in the Nurse of the Year category, in a very competitive field.

The Nurse of the Year Award went to emergency, trauma nurse and clinical researcher, Professor Kate Curtis, for her work advocating to improve emergency hospital care across Australia and internationally, particularly for children.

Tracey Stephens a midwife from Monash Health in Clayton, Victoria won Midwife of the Year for improving maternity and health care outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and babies.

ACT’s Calvary Public Hospital’s INSPIRED team from its palliative care service Clare Holland House took out the Team Excellence award for developing a new model of palliative care delivery for aged care residents requiring end-of-life care.

The national awards are profession’s most prestigious, recognising nurses, midwives, nurse educators, researchers and personal care workers who excel in their area of expertise or service provision across the three Award categories — Nurse of the Year, Midwife of the Year and Team Excellence.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said the work undertaken by this year’s winners was outstanding and demonstrated the very best of the nursing and midwifery professions.

“We’re very proud to recognise the winners of this year’s awards. They have developed and implemented systems and models of care that overcome health care challenges, leading to improved clinical standards of practice and optimised patient care,” Ms Blakey said.

“These winners stood out from an exceptional group of finalists for their commitment to improving patient health care outcomes, and their work has had a profound impact on the lives of Australians.”

Each winner took home $10,000 to put towards further education or team development.

The 2019 Award winners are:

Nurse of the Year

Professor Kate Curtis
Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District & Professor of Trauma and Emergency, University of Sydney
Wollongong, NSW

Recognised for her work advocating to improve emergency hospital care across Australia and internationally, particularly for injured children.

Kate was instrumental in obtaining federal funding to develop a National Injury Prevention Strategy and is an internationally renowned emergency and trauma nurse clinical researcher, whose studies into injury prevention and treatment has improved clinical practice both in Australia and around the world.

Midwife of the Year

Tracey Stephens
Monash Health
Clayton, VIC

Recognised for her work in improving maternity and health care outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and babies by implementing culturally appropriate and safe maternity health care services.

Tracey said she is proud Kurnai women from Gippsland and is passionate about Aboriginal health and became a midwife to give back and contribute to the Aboriginal community.   

Team Excellence

INSPIRED Team
Calvary Public Hospital Bruce – Clare Holland House
Barton, ACT

The INSPIRED Team is recognised for developing, trialling and testing a new integrated model of palliative care delivery for aged care residents with life limiting illnesses.

A first of its type in Australia and internationally, the ‘Needs Rounds’ model has three components which provides a proactive approach to caring for residents that have specialist palliative care needs.

Read more: Epworth nurse shortlisted for prestigious HESTA award

Chicken soup for the nursing soul – HESTA nursing awards finalist Sheila Salonga

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