Celebrating Canberra’s outstanding nurses and midwives

Nurses and midwives across the ACT Health system have been recognised for their professionalism, innovation, and commitment to providing high quality, person centred healthcare.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith congratulated the winners of the 2021 Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards which celebrate and recognise the work our nurses and midwives do each day to contribute to the health and wellbeing of the Canberra community.

“More than 7,000 nurses and midwives in the ACT have been incredible in responding to the challenges of the past year, working to maintain services in a constantly evolving healthcare environment.

“I congratulate all the winners and nominees of these prestigious awards and thank them for their outstanding work and professionalism,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Winners of the 2021 Nurses and Midwives Excellence Awards:

Nurse of the Year 2021- Kirsty Cummin, Weston Creek Walk in Centre, Canberra Health Services

An outstanding team leader at the Weston Creek Walk-in Centre, Kirsty Cummin was nominated for her strong communications and exceptional listening skills. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Kirsty extended her role to the Respiratory Assessment Clinic, assisting with COVID testing. More recently her responsibilities were extended to delivering care to those in hotel quarantine and overseeing staff delivering care in the medi-hotel. Despite extended responsibilities, Kirsty consistently maintained high levels of professionalism with exceptional communication to all staff, ancillary staff, patients, and relatives.

Midwife of the Year 2021 – Jessica Boutzos, Maternity Services Calvary Public Hospital, Bruce

As a midwife at Calvary Public Hospital, Jessica Boutzos is parent-focussed, caring, and collaborative. This year, in collaboration with a nurse practitioner from the Emergency Department, Jessica developed an early pregnancy loss support package to assist staff – initially intended for the emergency department but applicable to all areas of the hospital.

Team of the Year 2021 – Ward 11B, Aged Care, Canberra Health Services

By communicating with patients and family members compassionately and understanding how confronting and stressful a hospital admission can be, the team is dedicated to providing their patients positive end of life care. Throughout this communication they build positive and meaningful relationships with patients and their families.

Other award-winners from the night include:

  • Excellence in Management Practice – Nicole Slater, Emergency Department, Canberra Health Services
  • Excellence in Leadership Practice – Wendy Beckingham, Infection Prevention and Control, Canberra Health Services
  • Excellence in Clinical Practice – Nicole Shiels, Tuggeranong Community Nursing Team, Canberra Health Services
  • Excellence in Quality Improvement or Research Practice – Stephanie Parry, Justice Health, Canberra Health Services
  • Excellence in Educational Practice – Jodie Murray, Learning and Development, Calvary Bruce Private Hospital

Two nurses from the Aged Care sector received special recognition for their outstanding contribution to clinical practice and leadership. Ryan Armstrong, Registered Nurse, Kangara Waters IRT for Clinical Excellence and Kathleen Pollard, Registered Nurse, St Andrews Village for Clinical Leadership.

The ACT Health Directorate’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Anthony Dombkins said award recipients were nominated by their colleagues and assessed by a peer group chaired though the ACT Health’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office.

“They are all deserving of the highest praise for their skill, compassion and dedication – each displaying unique characteristics that make them such great role models,” Mr Dombkins said.

The awards are held annually in the week that begins with International Day of the Midwife on 5 May and goes through to International Nurses’ Day on 12 May.

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