A centenary of caring for others is a significant achievement and one which Victoria’s Epworth HealthCare celebrates at the end of February.
From humble beginnings with a 25-bed community hospital in Richmond, to the largest not-for-profit private hospital group in the state, Epworth has become a key part of the Victorian health landscape.
Epworth Group Chief Executive, Dr Lachlan Henderson, said compassion, innovation and dedicated staff were at the heart of the organisation’s success.
“We have been a pioneer in the private hospital arena,” he said.
“We were the first private hospital to do cardiac surgery, the first private hospital to have an Intensive Care Unit, and the first private hospital to take the leap into robotics for surgery.
“Epworth has always been innovative and that has allowed us to attract quality staff. We have a very low staff turnover and actually, we have a couple of staff members who have been with us for 50 years.
“They’re a dedicated and caring group – 50 per cent of our staff are nurses and they’re the real life blood of our organisation. They’re with the patients 24/7.”
Epworth has a whole year of commemorations planned, including a historical documentary, redevelopment of Epworth Freemasons and a centenary dinner which will be attended by supporters and descendants of the organisation’s founding family.
“Epworth was established with philanthropy and that is a strong, continuing tradition today,” Dr Henderson said.
“Our supporters allow us to purchase new equipment, conduct ground-breaking research and offer staff scholarships.”
Dr Henderson added continued expansion and innovation was definitely in Epworth’s future.
“We’re continually adapting to the latest in healthcare, with the best technology,” he said.
“People want to have the minimum amount of time possible in hospital and so we want people to be able to reduce their stay, while still having great outcomes.
“We are proud to actively contribute to the education and training of the next generation of health carers in partnership with educational institutions, government bodies and other healthcare providers.”
“What we do, we certainly don’t do alone.”
Epworth provides more than 40 speciality areas of medicine, delivered by 3,000 affiliated doctors, more than 7,000 staff and hundreds of volunteers.
More than 200,000 patient admissions were recorded in the past financial year alone.
“We hope to continue to thrive and expand our footprint, innovate and make our organisation a great place to work for our nurses and other staff, as well as continue to meet the healthcare needs of our community,” Dr Henderson said.
“We have a bright future.”