Country Health SA awards shine spotlight on dedicated staff and volunteers

An emergency department videoconferencing project, a mental health program in the Murray Mallee and a nursing course to enhance acute care for Port Augusta are among the initiatives in the running for this year’s Country Health SA Awards.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the list of finalists for the 2019 Country Health SA Awards featured 33 individuals, teams and programs from across the State’s public health system.

“The CHSA Awards are an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the incredible work that is being done each and every day in country health,” Minister Wade said.

“The calibre of this year’s finalists shows that clinicians and staff are working together to utilise their skills to provide the best care for their patients.

“I wish all of the finalists the best of luck and congratulate everyone who featured in entries this year.”

The Minister today met with some of the finalists from Port Pirie, who are being acknowledged for their contributions to improving Aboriginal and women’s health.

Country Health SA Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Graham congratulated all of the finalists in Country Health SA Awards, along with everyone who had nominated.

“It is fantastic to see all of the hard work of our staff across Country Health SA being acknowledged by their peers,” Ms Graham said.

The winners of the 2019 Country Health SA Awards will be announced on Friday, 5 April.

The Country Health SA Award finalists are:

Person Centred Award

Country Stroke Services

Stroke patients have benefited from improved access to acute stroke services, including access to 24/7 neurologist support via videoconference and expansion of thrombolysis access at Mount Gambier, Whyalla and Riverland General Hospitals.

Intensive Community Program (ICP)

People living with mental illness in the Murray Mallee have access to increased support through a community-based, extended hours’ service, which supports step up or step down sub-acute care and provides short term accommodation as an alternative to hospitalisation.

Riverland Mallee Coorong (RMC) Consumer Experience Survey

The Home Care Package and Community Home Support Programs have changed the way they gather consumer information, with a new questionnaire receiving 890 valuable responses to help improve service delivery.


Comprehensive Wound Care

The Wound Care Project Team has developed four wound care forms that fit the clinical context for all 61 Country Health SA hospitals. Form usage has significantly improved the consistency and quality of wound care documentation and practice, and the quality of care.

eNDIS System Integration

An innovative software and workflow system for Country Health SA staff delivering National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services to people in country South Australia.

Electronic Journey Board

The Board enables a system-wide approach to managing consumers through their mental health journey in real-time via a secure, web-based application.



Barbara Daw

As an Aboriginal Health Team Leader for the north region of Yorke and Northern Health service, Barbara empowers her team of 14 staff to strive for excellence and inspires individuals to have a positive impact on communities in the region. She works with consumers to ensure services are culturally safe and address Aboriginal health disadvantage.

Acute Care Nursing Course

The 16-week course focuses on cannulation, airway management and direct care clinical competencies. This course has provided staff with skills to improve the safety and wellbeing of patients across all wards.

The South East Regional Community Health Service (SERCHS) Positive Connections

The Positive Connections Strategy aims to ensure each staff member and volunteer feels valued and connected in the workplace by sharing positive messages to reflect upon.



Andrew Lane and the Ceduna Central Health Service

When the Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service Aboriginal Corporation (CKAHSAC) sustained severe damage to their building in 2018, the Ceduna Hospital team provided tireless support including finding alternative premises and helping with grant applications.

Artist in Residency Program

A unique, therapeutic creative arts program that facilitates mental health consumers to work with local artists, enriching the hospital environment and empowering consumers.

Country Health Connect Mt Gambier Diabetes Team and Women’s Children’s Paediatric Endocrine Team

Children with Type 1 diabetes previously travelled four times a year to the specialist endocrine service at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Since 2013, a program using telehealth technology has enabled 250 videoconferencing consultations to give children access to high-quality services closer to home.



Emergency Department Video Conferencing Project

Specialised video conferencing equipment has been installed into country hospital emergency areas in the last two years, which has increased access to the state retrieval service, MedSTAR and other specialist services such as Neurology. This has improved outcomes for stroke patients and helped decision making in emergencies

Rachael Yates

As the Country Health SA Midwife Manager, Maternal and Neonatal Services in the Nursing and Midwifery Directorate, based in Mt Gambier, Rachael has improved outcomes for women and babies. She has been a key driver in ensuring compliance to the SA Maternal and Neonatal Standards 2015 and introduced teleconferenced midwifery forums.

Virtual Clinical Care Monitoring Hub

The VCC Hub, run by five experienced nurses, has been effective in improving health outcomes for people with chronic conditions and reducing burden on the hospital system. Over the past six months, 116 clients were supported, 7,877 services were provided, 61 emergency department presentations were saved and 99 hospital admissions avoided.


Our Values Superstar

Leon Tymko

A Social Worker with the Southern Fleurieu Community Mental Health Team, Leon is the founder of the Hope, Unity, Togetherness (HUT) group, which has enabled men living with severe mental illness to engage socially, make new friends and learn new skills.

Dr Robyn Anderson

Dr Robyn Anderson has worked for Country Health SA for more than 10 years and is a key leader in implementing a sustainable medical model for country areas. Her customer focus is always at the forefront and she was instrumental in the effective implementation plan and communication strategy for the he Clinical Services Capability Framework.

Roslyn Mayfield

As Community and McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Roslyn runs women’s health clinics across the mid north, participating in Family Safety Meetings and chairing a committee to improve outcomes for rape and sexual assault victims. She goes above and beyond for patients, undertaking an intensive course to become a lymphoedema clinician in order to provide local treatment.


Excellence in Aboriginal Health

Glenise Coulthard

As the Flinders and Upper North Regional Manager of Aboriginal, Glenise has led the implementation of the Employment Strategy, Family Birthing Project, Health for Life Program and Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Program with Aboriginal families to ensure services meet the needs of Aboriginal people.

Pika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation and Country Health SA LHN-MH Services Flinders Program

Pika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation and Country Health SA Mental Health Services Flinders Program Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience mental health issues higher than rates of the general population. Flinders University Human Behaviour and Health Research Unit have been training Mental Health Service clinicians to utilise the Flinders Program generic and Closing the Gap Program chronic disease self-management tools.

Tarpari Wellbeing Day

A bi-annual event, the Port Pirie Aboriginal Health Team holds Tarpari Wellbeing Day to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people in the mid north region. 2018 was the most successful event yet with 53 agencies and approximately 1500 community members attending. The theme was “Looking Forward – New Beginnings” with a focus on eye health.


Young Achiever

Dylan Wilson

A physiotherapist, Dylan is a role model for high quality practice, a positive attitude, leadership and championing the importance of rural generalist knowledge. He is a student clinical supervisor, university guest lecturer and training facilitator.

Hilary Blyth

After qualifying as a podiatrist in 2015, Hilary joined the podiatry team in Mt Gambier as a new graduate podiatrist. She has been responsible for providing clinical services to a number of outreach sites including Naracoorte, Bordertown and Keith, and developed an in-service training package for ward staff.

Katherine Seiboth

Previously a direct care attendant in the Loxton Nursing home, Katherine was encouraged to become a registered nurse, completing her studies in 2011. She works in the Loxton Hospital’s Transition to Professional Practice Program in the acute area, residential aged care and has also joined the operating room team, displaying the courage of enquiry needed in a rural setting.


First Follower

Be the Change: Peer Coaching Facilitators

To assist with the transition to Local Health Networks, 22 leaders from across Country Health SA have stepped up, working above and beyond their “day jobs”, to play a significant role in supporting staff. They have been open to thinking differently about their roles during change, shared their stories and learnt about role-modelling.

Individual Placement and Support

The IPS model supports people with serious mental health conditions to seek, gain and maintain open, competitive employment. It is delivered in partnership with Community Bridging Services (CBS) Inc. across four community mental health teams – Riverland, Murray Mallee, Mid North and Port Augusta.

Use of Tenecteplase as a thrombolytic medication in stroke

The administration of Tenecteplase has resulted in immediate benefits to patients, by improving blood flow to the brain keeping vital brain tissue alive prior to surgical removal of clot causing the blockage. Together with 24/7 support from the neurologist, this has improved stroke services across country South Australia.


Governing Council – contracted GP

Dr Owen Lewis

For the past three years, Dr Lewis has held weekly GP clinics at the Tarpari Wellbeing Centre, operated by the Mid North Aboriginal Health Team in Port Pirie. He has developed a rapport with clients, improved communications between care providers and clients and provided health workers with up to date information and learnings for their continued professional development.

Dr Peter Stuart

Dr Stuart is a highly respected emergency doctor with a passion and enthusiasm for rural education. Over the past decade, Peter has developed an extensive online learning platform, an emergency medicine textbook and delivered training at over 40 rural sites.


Governing Council – Health Advisory Council

Annette Hall

Annette has been a passionate community member and tireless worker for the Lower Eyre Health Advisory Council (LEHAC) from 2008 to 2018, overseeing activities in the Tumby Bay and Cummins districts. She was instrumental in the redevelopment of the Tumby Bay Medical Clinic.

Lock Health Centre Advisory Committee – ‘Young Driver Awareness’ & ‘Towing and Reversing’ Programs

The Lock Health Advisory Committee, a sub-committee of the Port Lincoln Health Advisory Council has been instrumental in helping to curb unnecessary debilitating and fatal road accidents on the Eyre Peninsula. The Young Driver Awareness Training Program in conjunction with the Australian Driving Institute requires all L and P plate drivers participate in an intensive training program focusing on both theoretical and practical driver education.


Governing Council – Volunteer

Janet Brodie

Janet was instrumental in the overhaul of the Penola War Memorial Hospital courtyard, which took over three years to complete. As a result of her outstanding efforts, the courtyard is now an exceptional, socially inclusive space.

Streaky Bay Hospital Auxiliary Gardening Group

The group tend to the gardens that surround the hospital and adjoin the Medical and Community Health Building and the Elmhaven Aged Care Facility. Working with passion, they have created an outside area for staff, consumers and patients to enjoy at little cost.

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