Finalists in Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers announced

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is proud to announce three nurses have been selected by an expert panel as Finalists in the 2022 Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers.

The Award, now in its fourth year, recognises nurses nationally whose leadership has led to innovative solutions addressing key challenges facing our health and aged care systems.

The 2022 Finalists have developed innovations to monitor COVID-19 patients using artificial intelligence, helped patients navigate the health system by creating a specialist telehealth program and addressed the enormous waste in the hospital system.

ACN CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, said that this year’s Finalists are well deserving, and their impact on the profession has been immense.

“I congratulate each of the three exceptional leaders on being part of a handful within the profession who have been selected as a Finalist for the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers,” ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.

“The prestigious award acknowledges on behalf of all Australians the creative and innovative ways nurses lead to address the biggest challenges facing our society.

“Each Finalist has used their expertise and passion for social impact to shape the health of their local communities.

“They are exemplars of one of my favourite sayings — ‘When nurses lead, society follows’, and I look forward to shining the spotlight on their achievements during the next 12 months.”

2022 Trailblazer Finalists information and quotes

The 2022 Trailblazer Finalists are Professor Josephine Chow MACN, Dr Kate Holliday MACN and Claire Lane MACN.

Professor Chow is the Deputy Director of Research, South West Sydney Local Health District. She developed and successfully implemented the SWSLHD Clinical Nurse Consultant Research Quarantine Time Program, which remotely monitors COVID-19 patients in their homes.

“Being named a finalist for the work I and my team have done is a powerful symbol for what nurses can do,” she said.

“When nurses are put into the centre of health challenges, we always deliver innovative solutions that put people first. I want other nurses to know that if you have a vision for how health care can be done better, don’t let anyone or even the system stands in your way to get it done.”

Dr Holliday is the Chief Executive and Founder of the Centre for Community-Driven Research. She developed the Pathways Telehealth Nurse Specialists program, a model of care that has now been taken up across 18 disease areas that provides patients with a holistic care plan and makes the best use of all available to them in the Australian health system.

Being a finalist is truly an honour, and it is such an important initiative because it values the contribution nurses make to the health system and acknowledges the evidence that nurse-led services generate,” she said.

“Like a lot of nurses, you don’t do what you do for recognition. You do it because the patient in front of you needs your help, and you have the skills and resources to help them. The most important achievements come from working with others, so this really recognises a lot of people who are working hard to ensure patients receive the care and support they need.”

Claire Lane is CEO and co-founder of Save our Supplies (SOS), a Brisbane-based initiative that takes on the challenge of addressing the enormous waste in the hospital system. SOS supplies collection bins in the hospital’s operating theatres where the staff deposit clean, usable supplies. SOS collects, repackages and collaborates with partners like Rotary to send the supplies to countries that need them

To be selected as a finalist in the Nurse Trailblazer Awards is an amazing feeling, as it will help me achieve my vision of eliminating the clean hospital waste currently dumped in landfill by our Australian hospitals,” she said.

“Escalating this issue to the most senior levels of government will give me the opportunity to convince them how easily the waste issue can be resolved and the enormous benefits that result by repurposing this waste into useable medical supplies that can help people less fortunate than ourselves.”

The winner of the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers will be announced at the Australian College of Nursing National Nursing Forum in Darwin later this month.

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