Staff recognised in prestigious health awards

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network staff have won a number of highly esteemed awards recently, cementing their position as leaders in paediatric healthcare.

The 2018 NSW Health Awards saw three teams from across the Network nominated as finalists; The Heart Centre for Children for research into the relationship between heart disease and mental health outcomes; The Saunders Mental Health Unit for work on a sensory withdrawal space for adolescents; and The Kids Cancer Centre for the Eggspectation project. Susan Woolfenden was a finalist in the Collaborative Leader of the Year category.

A number of other projects were also selected as finalists at the NSW Premiers Awards last night including our Population Health and our Sustainability team, who were nominated for their assistance in donating a number of beds due for upgrade to a hospital in need in Fiji.

The project came about last year after almost 60 beds from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead were due to be upgraded following a change in manual handling techniques.

Rather than sending the beds to become scrap metal, Sustainability Officer, Megan Shaw, set off on a mission to donate them to someone in need.

“I thought it would be a shame to let the beds go to waste so I started calling different charities as we wanted them to be reused rather than recycled for scrap metals,” she said.

“Most charities didn’t have the capacity but we finally came across a contact who connected us to a paediatric hospital in Suva, Fiji who said the beds were very urgently required.

“There were so many people involved in making this project a reality, from delivering and storing the beds, many other organisations stepped in to help transport them free of charge.

“Now we have developed a great relationship with the hospital in Fiji and intend to donate some of our space lab monitors to them in the future.” Ms Shaw said.

But our biggest star has been Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, oncologist Dr Antoinette Anazodo (pictured).

Not only was Dr Anazodo crowned the winner of the Rising Star PhD candidate award at the NSW Premier’s Award for her contributions to Cancer Research, she was also announced as the winner of the Improving Government Services category.

Dr Anazodo led a number of initiatives to develop oncofertility care for both paediatric and adult cancer patients, from diagnosis into survivorship.

Her leadership and collaboration created the first integrated public oncofertility service, which provides comprehensive medical and psychological oncofertility care to patients of all ages.

“Through the new service we were able to provide a 63 per cent increase in access to oncofertility treatment compared to the last five years,” Dr Anazodo said.

“Now, all young adult patients receive information about fertility risk and their options, and 91 per cent of patients are seen within 24 hours of referral.

“My team and I are honoured to have received these awards… now we will endeavour to look ahead to meet future oncofertility challenges.” Dr Anazodo said.

These accolades are a testament to the passion and dedication of staff across the Network and showcase their commitment to helping children and young people live their healthiest lives.