SVHA Innovation and Excellence Awards

Leaders in Catholic Healthcare
Consumer and service outcomes through seven years of integrated placement and support
Project lead: Dr Melissa Petrakis

People experiencing severe mental illness are among the most socially and economically marginalised in our society. Despite widespread desire to work, unemployment is a common experience, compounding disadvantage further.

2K7A1505In 2006, St Vincent’s Mental Health Service and Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria introduced one of the first employment services integrated with clinical mental health in Australia.

Despite the average age of the participants being 39, indicating serious mental illness for over 20 years, the team found that 46% had found employment.

The ongoing study of this program has much to contribute to clinicians nationally attempting to implement, embed and enhance work to improve workforce participation and reduce social isolation and marginalisation for people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness.

Leading Reputation
World-first procedure gets patient back on his feet
Project lead: Professor Peter Choong

Professor Peter Choong is one of Australia’s most respected orthopaedic surgeons.  His work to save the leg of a cancer patient using a world-first 3D titanium heel showcased Melbourne as a global leader and innovator in biomedical technology and research. Prof Choong masterminded the 3D heel in a multidisciplinary effort involving surgeons, researchers, universities, a Melbourne biotech company (Anatomics) and CSIRO.

Angela Nolan and Kathy Bowlen accepted the award on behalf of Prof Choong who couldn’t attend.
Angela Nolan and Kathy Bowlen accepted the award on behalf of Prof Choong who couldn’t attend.

The breakthrough resulted in world-wide media coverage, with millions of people hearing about the St Vincent’s surgeon and the incredible 3D heel. This case profiles Melbourne’s contribution to cancer care through the national bone and soft tissue cancer centre established by Professor Choong.

Best People in Health and Ageing
Food for safety, for recovery and for the soul
Project lead: Stephen Tippett

Food Services Stephen Tippett has led a transformation of the food offered at St Vincent’s over the past two years, developing a delicious, culturally varied menu in collaboration with our patients.

2K7A1597The new menu has improved patient experience, with patient feedback showing we are outperforming our peers while also improving nutrition standards.

This project has highlighted that with collaboration between consumers, food service and nutrition staff a hospital menu can be designed which not only meets the medical needs of patients but provides food for the soul.

As an added bonus, staff morale, skills and drive for excellence in quality have greatly improved, with staff proud of their work area and regularly holding each other accountable to high standards of food services provisions.

Growth and Sustainability
Oh what a feeling: Correctional Pharmacy services redesign in collaboration with Toyota Australia
Project lead: Andrew Cording

In an Australian first, St Vincent’s and Toyota have teamed up to find ways to streamline workflow and improve the healthcare experience for patients, using the world-renowned Toyota Production System.

2K7A1569Correctional Health Pharmacy worked with Toyota to cut the packing time of complex prescriptions by a staggering 83 per cent, from 210 minutes to just 34 minutes per pack. Work is now also evenly distributed across the day and week.

The secondary outcome objective was a reduction in physical floor space utilised by the current pharmacy service from 60m2 to 30m2.  This target was also successfully achieved.

This methodology can be applied across all areas of the health service to ensure we are delivering the highest quality care at the best possible price.

Chairman’s Award
Food for safety, for recovery and for the soul
Project lead: Stephen Tippett

The freeing of Michael
Project lead: Dr Lauren Sanders

Michael was a 70-year-old man with a progressive neurological disease in St Augustine’s, our secure prison ward. Bail had been denied due to lack of understanding of his incurable condition and because bail is only granted when a person understands the conditions.

2K7A1659Knowing Michael would be sent to Port Phillip Prison, Dr Lauren Sanders went to regional Victoria to be at the hearing. She advocated for Michael by explaining the bail conditions in a way he’d understand and by explaining his condition to the court. Bail was unopposed.

In St Augustine’s and then once free, Michael received exceptional care and friendship. Through a connection with Pastoral Care, Michael was be-friended by Briar Terrace volunteers who visited him regularly. He now lives happily in Clifton Hill and regularly visits his St Vincent’s friends. All charges against Michael have since been dropped.

This heart-warming story shows the extraordinary commitment and compassion of a number of staff to go above and beyond what is required in providing care to patients who are poor and vulnerable.

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