Quarterly Staff Recognition Awards

May 14, 2024

Last week, Northern Health hosted the Quarterly Staff Recognition Awards, virtually coming together to honour and celebrate the exceptional contributions of our staff.

Michelle Fenwick, Executive Director, People and Culture, hosted the ceremony.

“Our award winners represent professionalism and the values of all our staff,” she said.

“Northern Health has thousands of staff who work across a range of areas, departments and sites, dedicated to providing care to our community each and every day.”

James Pownall, Director of Strategy and Systems, was presented with the Innovation Award for his work in developing an AI solution to a complex admin workflow in the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED).

James was nominated by Belinda Scott, who said in her nomination, “The result was a development of an AI bot to reduce admin burden for clinical staff, improve access to medical staff and reduce wait times for patients. More patients are able to be seen in the VVED without an increase in medical staffing.”

The Patient Experience Award went to Marita Wallace, Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist. Marita was nominated by Alison Giles.

“On a recent encounter with a frail patient in severe pain, Marita escalated the situation to ensure optimal care. Her good humour, wisdom and humanity is appreciated not just by her team, but also by many staff across the hospital, patients and their families,” Alison said in her nomination for Marita.

Natalia Dewiyani, Spiritual Care Coordinator, took home the Excellence in Leadership Award, for bringing exceptional warmth, compassion and humour to Northern Health. Natalia was nominated by Casey O’Brien, who said in her nomination, “Natalia has a philosophy to smile every day within life’s challenges. She knows intuitively when others are struggling and takes initiative to approach and support fellow colleagues in need with resources.”

The Education Award was presented to Ijaza Lafeer and Jade Howell, Medical Education Advisors. Both Ijaza and Lafeer deliver medical education to our junior doctors and were nominated by Carol Chong.

“Junior doctors who are new to Northern Health have mentioned how welcoming they both are they are always impressed with the high standards of orientation. The pair play a huge role in junior doctor wellbeing who often help to identify doctors who need more support.”

Ebin Ephrem, Senior Social Worker, won the Excellence in Safety Award. Ebin was nominated by Naushi Manzoor, who said in their nomination, “Ebin places a high priority on the assessment of each patient’s clinical needs, behavioural health concerns and the required level of care.”

“His ability to lead with a smile, even in the face of challenges, is a testament to his professional excellence and personal integrity.”

BankVic representatives, Rebecca Attard and Jay Farrell, attended the ceremony and presented the last two awards – Clinical Excellence and Rising Star.

Craig Kleeman, Emergency Department Enrolled Nurse, was presented with the Clinical Excellence Award. Craig was nominated by Emily Morton, who said in her nomination, “Craig is a long-standing employee of Northern Health and predominantly works in the Fast Track area of the ED. Craig is functioning at such a high level in this space with exceptional knowledge and skills and has the ability to observe patients’ injuries or assess illnesses and effectively communicate with senior colleagues around treatment plans.”

Lastly, Grace Zhou, Acting Manager Financial Accounting, won the Rising Star Award. Grace was nominated by Rick Garotti.

“Grace has stepped up to be the Acting Finance Manager while the current Manager/Deputy Director is on secondment. Grace is doing an amazing job in managing the Financial Accounting team – the team is operating at its highest level of efficiency and performance ever and Grace is providing strong leadership in a modest, no fuss way.”

Congratulations to all the award winners!

The Quarterly Staff Recognition Awards are proudly sponsored by BankVic and Northern Health Foundation.