ZERO team and Rita Williams named finalists in NSW Health Awards

The Network is well represented in this year’s NSW Health Awards, with finalists announced in both the Individual Award and Team Award categories.

Rita Williams

With a social work career at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead spanning more than 30 years, Rita Williams is in the running to win Collaborative Staff Member of the Year.

Rita’s determination, to ensure communities develop indigenous specific interventions to change the story of chronic disease for Aboriginal people, has led to important public health programs to improve health outcomes.

“It’s about challenging the system, and that was my forte, to challenge the system,” Rita Williams, Senior Aboriginal Project Officer, SCHN Aboriginal Health Unit.

Rita has recently moved to the newly established Aboriginal Health Unit. Read more about Rita’s contribution. 

Network’s ZERO Childhood Cancer Program team

The ZERO team at the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick are in the running to win the Health Research and Innovation Team Award for their lead role in the Childhood Cancer National Precision Medicine Program.

With partners, the Children’s Cancer Institute, the program delivers a comprehensive testing program, giving in-depth tumour profiling and personalised treatment plans for children with high risk or relapsed cancers. For children with no other treatment options and less than 30 per cent chance of survival, the results are remarkable and have exceeded expectations.

“We were able to make a finding for over 70 per cent of patients. In 30 per cent of patients we are seeing their tumours shrink and another 40 per cent of patients we are seeing the tumours stop growing,” A Prof David Ziegler, ZERO Clinical Lead, Kids Cancer Centre.

More than 350 children with high risk cancers have been enrolled in the program. Read more about the program

This year will mark the 22nd year of the prestigious NSW Health Awards. There are 10 categories in total, split between team and individual awards. Team awards could be self-nominated, while nominees for an individual award must have been nominated by two people.

Winners will be announced during a COVID safe event on the NSW Health Facebook page and we wish both finalists the best of luck. Tune in at 12.30pm, Thursday October 29!