Child Life Assistant wins at state awards

Known for her welcoming smile, decorative creativity, and humility, Angelica Anna Torrijos has had an undeniable impact on the treatment journey of many patients in the Oncology Treatment Centre.

In a testament to her incredible contribution as an Allied Health Assistant for Child Life and Music Therapy, Angelica has been recognised at the annual NSW Health Excellence in Allied Health Awards.

Angelica was named winner of the Allied Health Assistant, Technician or Support Person of the Year award. This is a remarkable achievement and a reflection of her outstanding work in delivering patient-centred care to the children and families in the OTC at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW).

Winning this Award means a lot to me because it is a great opportunity as a proud advocate of Child Life and Music Therapy," Angelica said.

"Our role has been recognised and what Child Life and Music Therapy can do for patients and families on their health journey."

Angelica is a welcoming presence when patients and families enter the OTC for appointments. She offers several resources to help set them up for their visit, as well as learning about each individual’s interests to tailor her approach to making them feel more at ease during procedures.

One of her highlights is decorating the clinic for special events like Party Day. She always ensures the display is interactive to encourage patients and families to be involved.

Her tireless support extends throughout the unit, empowering all OTC staff to deliver the best service possible.

"As a Child Life Assistant, I offer a familiar face to make the children confident and comfortable during their visit in the clinic. I believe I am their fun person and somehow make their appointments a little bit better because they come regularly for procedures and treatment," Angelica said.

"I am the luckiest and feel privileged to work at the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN)."

SCHN extends congratulations to Physiotherapist Simone-Cherie Holt, Associate Director of Education and Training (Non-Medical) Amanda Jenkins, and Operations Director of the NSW Poisons Information Centre Nicole Wright who were recognised as finalists.

Our Network is deeply proud of Angelica on winning this prestigious award. It is a well-deserved achievement and tribute to her outstanding deliverance of quality and patient-centred care,” Bobbi Henao Urrego, Director of Allied Health at SCHN, said.

“Congratulations to Angelica on this recognition, as well as our finalists Simone-Cherie, Amanda and Nicole. The strength of our allied health workforce was well represented and it is a reflection the valuable contributions the professions have at our Network.

“We are privileged to have almost 900 staff in our strong allied health team, who work tirelessly to support sick and injured children from across NSW. We acknowledge, celebrate and pay tribute to their efforts.”

The Excellence in Allied Health Awards acknowledge the passion, dedication and contribution of allied health staff across the state, as well as the valuable input the professions have in delivering patient-centred care.

"[The Awards ceremony] was a fantastic night of celebration to honour our remarkable allied health workforce and acknowledge their dedication and achievements across the NSW Health system," NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce said.

"It was inspiring to look back on the past year and hear the stories of our incredible Award finalists from the across the state, who have shown outstanding commitment and passion in caring for patients in our hospitals and community.

"Congratulations to the winners of the Excellence in Allied Health Awards 2022!"