2019 Achievement Awards Finalists

The Achievement Awards celebrate our top performing staff, volunteers and teams from across Hunter New England Health and reflect the organisation’s commitment to Excellence for every patient, every time.


Collaborative Leader of the Year

This award recognises a successful leader/manager/mentor who has shown true leadership qualities by managing their services effectively.

Leanne Johnson - General Manager, Hunter New England Mental Health Service

The Mental Health Service, under Leanne’s active leadership, has greatly expanded the number of partnerships with the Primary Health Network, other services within the District and multiple NGOs involved in the sector. She is an innovative thinker, regularly using her own knowledge and tapping into the ideas of our staff, consumers and carers to shape health service delivery. Leanne personally delivers outstanding service and, as the General Manager, has lifted the service across the board.

Sue Buckman – Acting Nurse Manager, Nursing and Midwifery Services and Manager, Multicultural Health Service

Sue commenced as the Acting Senior Nursing and Midwifery Manager for the Nursing and Midwifery Services Team in 2018. Since commencing, she has worked hard to establish a strong strategic direction for the Nursing and Midwifery team and has worked collaboratively with managers across the district to identify focus areas, to best support management and staff. Sue has strong leadership skills and is extremely focused on embedding and creating a strong culture of excellence, through her communication methods and strategic thinking.

Alice Hoffman - Senior Corporate Consultant, Human Resources

Alice is committed to a collaborative approach to providing HR/Workforce support and leadership by working in conjunction with teams, both in and outside of Workforce to achieve the best possible outcome for employees, managers and the District. She manages a small team of skillful Workforce staff that are high functioning and embody the CORE values, and is committed to appointing the right people to roles, cultivating a positive team culture and developing a performance ethos where the results speak for themselves.

Clinical Team of the Year

The award is designed to recognise clinical teams that have made outstanding achievements or improvements in line with Hunter New England Health’s strategic priorities.

‘Give us a Break’ Quality Project, Manning Hospital

The Team aimed to improve the appropriateness of referrals to the Fracture Clinic at Manning Hospital, which involved a multidisciplinary and multi-service communication strategy and plan. Following the implementation of these strategies, the average clinic waiting times were reduced by 30 minutes, congestion in the waiting room was no longer an issue and 100 per cent of patients were deemed 'appropriate' for the clinic.

Refugee Health Service

The Refugee Health Service has consistently met all required Ministry of Health measures. The service has ensured that all patients are seen within 28 days of arrival to the region and are offered health screening, testing and education, immunisation and catch-ups, referrals to STaRRTS (NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors) and referrals to Women's Health and family planning. These services are provided via interpreters in a consistent, measured and respectful manner.

HNELHD Diabetes Alliance Integrated Care Program Team

This program is designed to improve diabetes care across the region, addressing the need for improved community-based treatment and outcomes through the integration of specialist diabetes teams in the primary care setting. The innovative and effective team driving this initiative comprises Endocrine Staff Specialists from the John Hunter and Calvary Mater hospitals, Primary Care Improvement Officers from the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network, and HNELHD Community Diabetes Educators supported by the Alliance Co-ordinator and Administrative Officer.

Emerging Leader of the Year

The Emerging Leader of the Year award recognises someone early in their career who is displaying a commitment to quality and safety, outstanding interpersonal skills with fellow colleagues, delivering patient centred care and demonstrating their value as a team member.

Chloe Rumsby - Clinical Nurse Specialist/Infection Prevention Link Nurse, Narrabri Hospital

Chloe Rumsby joined the Narrabri health service team in 2015 and has continued to develop and grow as a capable registered nurse working across the emergency department, inpatient unit and perioperative service. She has exceptional skills in imparting her knowledge, educating her colleagues and enabling them to develop confidence in patient interactions. She has natural ability and displays emotional intelligence in her communication with staff and patients.

Akanksha Senapati - Paediatric Fellow - Children, Young People and Families

Dr Akanksha Senapati is a trainee who is in her 5th clinical year and is training in Paediatric Oncology. In 2018, she became a senior registrar at John Hunter Children’s Hospital and made an outstanding commitment to this position. She is an extremely committed young doctor who is a true emerging leader, undertaking a large body of work looking at the wellness of JMO staff. Akanksha is someone that goes above and beyond at all times, remains supportive of her colleagues and is a well-respected clinician.

Brad Melchers - Manager, Enterprise Systems and Infrastructure, HNEH Data Centre

Since joining HNELHD in September 2018, Brad has been a consistent performer and continues to step up to drive outcomes. He has valuable interpersonal and leadership skills, often taking it upon himself to bring together different parts of the ICT organisation to solve problems. Brad is a self-starter and identifies issues within the ICT organisation which he then follows through to resolution.

Staff Member of the Year

The Staff Member of the Year award gives recognition for contributing to a positive culture for our patients and fellow staff, regardless of their position in the organisation.

Lindsay Savage - Cardiac Liaison Officer, Southern Region, HNELHD

Lindsay began his career as a Registered Nurse at John Hunter Hospital over 30 years ago before moving into his current role as Cardiac Liaison Officer for the southern region of the District. At one stage, he was co-lead for the District’s Cardiology Stream and co-ordinated the roll out of the LIFENET reperfusion strategy alongside NSW Ambulance, to enable timely treatment of STEMI patients within their homes. With Lindsay’s motivation, this was the first rural roll-out within NSW.

Sharon Fenwick- Clinical Nurse Consultant , Paediatric Rehabilitation, Newcastle Community Health Service

Sharon is the Clinical Nurse Consultant responsible for the provision of specialised care across services at HNEkids Rehab. She provides her extensive skills and knowledge for children and young people in the Cerebral Palsy Movement Disorder service, Spinal Service, Botulinum Toxin Service, General Paediatric Rehabilitation Service and the Combined Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Service. She is a leader who sees the complexities involved in delivering quality health care and actively works to minimise disadvantage for families.

Louise Vaughan - Diabetes Nurse Practitioner, Tablelands Sector

As a diabetes nurse practitioner, Louise promotes an environment of collaboration, resource-sharing, and innovation in a field that is constantly advancing in terms of disease incidence and technology. She is a collaborative leader who promotes a culture of empowerment, which is essential in the Tablelands Sector, given the geographical distance and cultural diversity of the area. She works to identify and manage the needs of this diverse population by supporting diabetes specialist staff in outlying areas to streamline processes and maximise resources.

Support Team of the Year

This award is designed to reward teams that do not provide direct, front-line patient care but have made an outstanding contribution that supports outcomes for patients and/or staff of Hunter New England Health.

Rostering Support Team and the HealthRoster Implementation

The Rostering Support Team have made an ongoing commitment to support staff across the District, to ensure staff are rostered and paid correctly. The implementation of HealthRoster, represented the largest roll-out and demonstrated the best rostering results across the entire state. Both the implementation and ongoing support teams provide high quality roster support, education, improvement and quality activities.

NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service

In January 2018, a novel Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service was established within the District, to ensure access to expert clinical advice for metropolitan, regional and rural medical practitioners. This service is the first of its kind in Australia, and to our understanding, the world. They help practitioners understand the latest evidence around cannabis medicines and regulatory requirements for cannabis prescription, the provision of protocols to facilitate cannabis medicine prescribing and information about dosing and titration in individual patients.

District Pharmacy Services

District Pharmacy Services is a diverse group of medication safety professionals, whose main focus is the medication safety and wellbeing of patients within the District. The service is committed to providing a truly accessible support service to all staff within HNELHD, and achieves this by providing multidisciplinary education, district-wide medication governance and facilitation of medication safety projects.

Volunteer of the Year (Individual)

This award formally recognises and publicly acknowledges the invaluable work done by the many volunteers working with Hunter New England Health.

Nicole Scholes-Roberston

Nicole Scholes-Robertson is a volunteer who was previously a dialysis patient. Since 2014, she has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for the patients and families that are living with chronic kidney disease in the Northern area of the District. Drawing from her own experience, she has focused on how she can improve the patient experience from the beginning of their dialysis journey, and how to lessen the physical, emotional and financial impact on patients and their family.

Ralph Cartier and Misty the dog

Ralph Cartier and his Pets as Therapy Dog ‘Misty’, visit Rankin Park Centre twice a week and have done so for over 3 years. They also visit John Hunter Children's Hospital wards J1, J2, H1, Paediatric Emergency and the Nexus Unit weekly. Ralph and Misty are dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, and their excellent support and socialisation for patients during a critical time of their life is highly valued.

Shirley Briggs

Shirley Briggs is a volunteer at Ibis Lodge, Morisset Hospital, and her presence brightens the work day of staff, carers and consumers alike. Shirley volunteers on a Friday and assists with the activity program, chats with relatives who are visiting, updates activity boxes, updates carer information resources in the unit, provides administration support and is company for consumers, helping them with their belongings and supplies.

Volunteer of the Year (Team)

This award formally recognises and publicly acknowledges the invaluable work done by the many volunteers working with Hunter New England Health.

The Palliative Care Bereavement Team

The Palliative Care Bereavement Team supports families at a vulnerable and emotionally charged time. The commitment and dedication of the volunteers ensures that family members are contacted in a timely manner and given the opportunity to share the pain of their loss in a non-judgmental and confidential conversation. They are accountable for their work and participate in a multidisciplinary meeting each week to review the possible bereavement needs of families connected to the service.

Guyra Local Health Committee - Guyra Men's Health Night Event

The Guyra Local Health Committee organised an important health information night for men of all ages in October 2018. The aim was to discuss men’s health topics such as prostate cancer, mental health and general wellbeing. In order to pull-off such a successful event, the committee worked tirelessly to fundraise, network and collaborate with external stakeholders.

NICU Baby Buddy Program

The NICU Baby Buddy program is a volunteer program designed to provide support for babies, families and staff within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at John Hunter Children's Hospital. Working six days per week, this group provides practical and emotional support for patients and families. Sometimes it’s a friendly face for parents to chat to. Other times, they assist with siblings, allowing the parents to focus their attention on their baby or help parents create memories of their baby's time in NICU, with the 'Tiny Star Bravery Bead' program.

John Hunter Children’s Hospital Volunteers

The John Hunter Children's Hospital Volunteers have been supporting children, young people and families since 1991. They collectively donate over 9000 hours within the hospital every year and outside of the hospital, raise money for vital equipment and resources. Volunteers provide a vital link between the community and the hospital and make the hospital a friendlier place for sick children through a range of programs.

Thank you to our sponsors: