Nine finalists have been announced ahead of next month’s 2023 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards, which recognise the outstanding contributions some the country’s top nurses and midwives make to improving health outcomes.
This year’s finalists’ achievements are far-reaching, including a midwife recognised for driving the implementation of an innovative Midwifery Group Practice model that has improved care outcomes, and a community nurse who, despite working part-time last year, screened nearly 600 Queenslanders for liver disease, helping to remove barriers from access to vital healthcare.
Other finalists include an organisation that works to provide primary care and mental health services for Australians experiencing homelessness and poverty which has reduced the number of people presenting to hospital and associated costs for local hospitals and health services.
HESTA CEO Debby Blakey praised the exceptional work of all the finalists and acknowledged the work of nurses and midwives around the country.
“Our nurses and midwives are the backbone of our healthcare system, and it is essential that we recognise and celebrate their contributions,” she said.
“They are on the front line, providing care, comfort, and support to patients and their families, often in challenging and demanding circumstances.”
The national awards – now in their 17th year – acknowledge the outstanding contribution Australia’s nurses, midwives, nurse educators, researchers and personal care workers make to improving health outcomes.
A group of industry experts from across the health and community services sector evaluated nominations and chose finalists for the categories of Nurse of the Year, Midwife of the Year, and Outstanding Organisation.
Winners across the three categories will share in Long-time awards supporter ME has donated $30,000 in prize money for professional development or to improve workplace services or processes.
The 2023 finalists are:
NURSE OF THE YEAR
Jeanette Tibbs, Hepatitis Queensland
Jeanette is a community nurse recognised for her tireless efforts to reach marginalised and vulnerable people living with, or at risk of, dangerous liver diseases, helping remove the barriers from access to vital healthcare. In 2022, despite working part-time, Jeanette screened almost 600 Queenslanders for liver disease.
Caitlin Clayer, Ti Tree Health Clinic, Ti Tree, Northern Territory
Caitlin is a Remote Area Nurse recognised for providing compassionate and culturally safe care of First Nations communities. As one of the primary caregivers in a small and remote community, Caitlin supports patients with a wide range of health concerns, helps reduce barriers to accessing regular services such as cervical screening, sexual health, primary health concerns, and works on-call to manage emergency situations.
Fiona Hodson, Hunter New England Local Health District, Newcastle, New South Wales
Fiona is recognised as a leader and consumer advocate in pain management. She has worked with acute, chronic and cancer pain patients and in education, strategic planning, and research. She developed a web-based pain management toolkit for clinicians and consumers, coordinated the revision of elderly pain management guidelines for residential care, and helped develop a new patient centred Pelvic Pain Model of Care.
Kathleen Hauth, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Kathleen is recognised for her dedication over the past few decades to improving the health outcomes of First Nations people by providing acute care and palliative management to patients with end-stage renal disease. Kathleen’s empathetic and respectful approach has resulted in more First Nations people engaging with healthcare at a time of vulnerability when confronted with end-stage renal disease.
MIDWIFE OF THE YEAR
Elizabeth Pitman, Hunter New England Local Health District, Inverell, New South Wales
Elizabeth is recognised for her 30-year career to rural midwifery. A champion for change in the Inverell Maternity Unit, Elizabeth has led the way on many different quality improvement projects over the years. Improving the health outcomes for rural women, babies, and families is at the heart of Elizabeth’s service to the community.
April Jardine, Dhelkaya Health, Castlemaine, Victoria
April is recognised for being the driving force behind the implementation of an innovative Midwifery Group Practice model that has proven to be highly valued by women in the local Castlemaine community and has improved care outcomes. April played a pivotal part in encouraging women to take part in studies evaluating women’s views and experiences of maternity care.
Sunny Street, Maroochydore, Queensland
Sunny Street is recognised for its work providing primary healthcare ‘outside the box’ for Australians experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 2018, the service has had more than 30,000 conversations and consultations with vulnerable Australians, reducing presentations and associated costs for local hospitals and health services.
MH Connext, Richmond Wellbeing, Perth, WA
MH Connext, a Richmond Wellbeing service, is recognised for supporting people experiencing severe and complex mental health distress. Since 2017, the specialised mental health nurses who work in partnership with GP clinics have received more than 1500 referrals from over 300 GPs across Perth, reaching people who would not otherwise receive appropriate and timely support.
Monash Health, South-Eastern Melbourne, Victoria
Monash Health is recognised for recruiting over 650 first, second and third year registered undergraduate students of nursing and midwifery to enter the workforce and work alongside more experienced nurses in a team nursing model. This recruitment has helped address fatigue and staffing shortages throughout the pandemic and resulted in a positive influence on staff wellbeing.
For more information visit – https://www.hesta.com.au/awards/nursing-midwifery-awards
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