Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

An Inverell Nurse, Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service, and Moree health leader Donna Taylor (pictured), and are among the recipients of the 2023 Primary Health Network Primary Care Quality and Innovation Awards.

Presented in front of a full house at Newcastle City Hall on the weekend, the Awards brought together a diverse range of primary care providers, professionals, and practices from across the sector. The event also inducted the latest Dedication to Service Award winners into the Hall of Fame.

CEO of the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network, Richard Nankervis, said it was a great night celebrating the achievements of the worthy award recipients and finalists.

“The Awards is the flagship annual event for the PHN and a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together to showcase the quality services and innovative practices happening every day across our network.”

“It’s an important celebration of the role of primary care providers and thank them for the value they add to the people living in the Hunter, New England and Central Coast regions.”

HealthWISE senior primary health care nurse Christine Connor was “blown away” to be  honoured for 12 years of dedication to her role at the Hunter New England Central Coast  Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) 2023 Primary Care Quality and Innovation Awards on  Friday, June 23. 

“I feel very flattered because every day I get to do a role I love. I feel very privileged to be  able to do that,” Christine said. 

Based in Inverell, Christine has been nursing for almost 40 years. She feels privileged that her  team is regularly welcomed into small communities; many struggling with the effects of fires,  floods, drought and the pandemic.  

“At Farmfest we spoke to a gentleman who hadn’t been to a doctor for 25 years – but he was  happy to come and have a health check,” she said. Community members often return to tell  the nurses they’ve taken their advice and had a bowel or breast screen, or visited their doctor. 

The First Nations Health Award was won by the Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service Cardiac Rehab and Prevention program. The award acknowledges organisations that  address health inequalities for First Nations communities.  

After a well-respected Aboriginal woman informed TAMS that the Tamworth Hospital Cardiac rehab was based in the mammography building and men are never going to go there, TAMS worked with Hunter New England Health and a local gym owner to start the extremely successful Aboriginal-led Cardiac Rehab and Prevention program.

Donna Taylor of Pius X Aboriginal Corporation in Moree won the Primary Care Leader Award, given for innovation and  leadership in primary care, and demonstrating the values of ‘respect, innovation,  accountability, integrity, cooperation, and recognition’.

Taylor has been the CEO of Pius X Aboriginal Corporation for 24 years and has been instrumental in the provision of specialist health practitioners to Moree and surrounding areas. Recognising the barriers in the community to see specialists, such as cost, travel and separation from family, Donna set herself the mission to entice specialists to come to Moree and successfully attracted and ENT, gynaecologist, rheumatologist, ophthalmologist, cardiologist, psychiatrist, paediatrician and neurologist.

Details of all the winners are available here: https://thephn.com.au/news/quality-care-and-innovation-celebrated-at-annual-phn-awards