Powerscourt revisited

Powerscourt Homestead was a wonderful setting for the Powerscourt Revisited Dinner to support the Stretton Park Aged Care Hostel Rebuilding Program.

The Stretton Park Board of Management and Fundraising Committee is greatly indebted to Helen and Paul Bourke and family for generously opening their home for the evening and supporting the facility’s fundraising efforts.

More than 100 guests relaxed on the deck overlooking the lake and picturesque countryside, enjoyed drinks and savouries, prior to adjourning to the beautifully decorated ballroom for dinner and entertainment by the John Gibson Trio and Sue Kewming.

The meal was prepared by Ballarat vhef, Peter Trotter with Central Gippsland Health staff roasting and carving the meats. The vegetables were donated by Boisdale Best Vegetables and Avon Ridge, and Blue Gables Vineyards provided wine for the evening. Many local businesses and organisations donated goods and services. Maffra Secondary College students and Hannah and Rebecca Bourke waited on the tables throughout the night.

More than $16,000 was raised during the evening through tickets sales and an auction.

Following the Powerscourt Revisited  event, the total amount raised locally is almost $80,000, a wonderful effort for Maffra & District.



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Capital works ahead

Major investment in capital works at Central Gippsland Health over the next year will include a new neonatal care ward.

CGH Chief Executive, Fran Evans, said planning for an additional operating theatre was also on schedule with work to start next year with this resulting in additional beds.

“The $4.2 million new theatre to provide major orthopaedic surgery is great for our community and for the future of Central Gippsland Health,” he said.

Plans for these projects were outlined by Dr Evans at last week’s annual general meeting of the service.

He said it was essential for CGH to build acute hospital throughput and to maintain capability.

“During the past year, we have once again experienced huge financial challenges. We are a high capability health service, providing adult and neonatal critical care and level 4 maternity capability with comparatively low patient numbers.

“This means we have been unable to achieve our funded activity targets and as such, have earned less funding. We are working very hard to increase the number of patients we treat and particularly the amount of surgery we provide.”

Dr Evans said it was only through the dedication, considerable efforts and outstanding work of the CGH Boards, staff and volunteers that so much was achieved in 2016-17 under very challenging circumstances.

Meanwhile it was the last AGM for Chairman Glenn Stagg whose term on the Board is up.

“For my part, the last 12 years have been challenging at times, but still, a great thrill to have been part of,” Mr Stagg told the meeting. “We have an excellent health service and the past year has been particularly rewarding in what was achieved.

“As I depart its board at the end of my term, I encourage everyone to support it and work towards ensuring it is not only maintained, but grown and strengthened for the benefit of the greater Central Gippsland community we serve.” 

The annual report is available for everyone to read on the CGH website.

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Stand up against violence

Pictured clockwise from top left: Paul Head about to undergo his shave and the finished result; Scott Ault, before and after; and David Brennan.

Three Central Gippsland Health employees had their long beards shaved last week in a support of a campaign to raise awareness of violence against women.

Paul Head, Scott Ault and David Brennan have all written statements about what they will do to continue to drive change, utilising the hashtag #HowIWillChange.

The current social media trend was developed by Australian journalist and Screenwriter Benjamin Law, #HowIWillChange. He launched the campaign via twitter in response to the #MeToo campaign, started to promote awareness of the number of women who have been victims of sexual harassment or abuse.

Team Leader of Environment Services, David Brennan had been growing his beard since July and Scott Ault from Engineering Services since February. Director of Residential Aged Care, Paul Head, started growing his beard last November after taking part in the first CGH “shave”.

Staff from Zienna Hair donated their time to perform the beard clipping.

Organiser of the CGH event, Social Health Manager, Kristen Millar, said the men’s statements had been used as a part of a video and poster display around the hospital during WELLvember.

“They sent out a new message and information around gender equality and how individuals can stand up against men’s violence towards women each week via staff email,” she said.

At the “shave” event held in the CGH Cafeteria, a message was read out from CEO of Gippsland Women’s Health, Fiona Owen, who couldn’t attend. Leading Senior Constable Michael Cook from the Police Family Violence Unit also spoke, urging everyone to “call out” domestic violence.

 “Domestic violence is one of worst scourges in our society,” he said. “Already today there have been 352 incidents which police have responded to Australia wide. Later today, that will reach 1000. This is what our kids are seeing.

“Challenge it but make sure your safe and those around you safe.”

 Snr Const Cook urged people at the forum to “shut down” down sexists comments and behaviour.

“Violence against women is a men’s issue,” he said. “We need more men to stand up and say this is not okay. We need more men with guts and strength to challenge domestic violence.”

 The forum finished with everyone pledging their own statements on #HowIWillChange which were placed on a window in the CGH cafeteria.


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Linda a ‘master’ at training

Linda Hall from Stretton Park was one of the Master Trainers for the new version of Manad Plus which is due to be migrated on December 5 to four CGH aged care facilities – Wilson Lodge, McDonald Wing, Stretton Park and Laurina Lodge.

Two staff and one manager from each site attended the training and are now training all users.

All clinical documentation, including charting, assessments, care plans and risk assessments, are in the computer program and all PCAs, ENs RNs, Allied Health and other support staff are required to be competent in the new version.

Linda is showing the folder she has made with quick hints and examples. These include: transfer forms, summary care plans, how to access daily schedule, bowel charting, wound monitoring, etc.

The staff at Stretton Park have enthusiastically taken on board the training of V5, under the guidance of Linda and Lyn Brown, and their manager Ann Gibbs.


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Inaugural ‘Gathering of Kindness’

A selection of photos from our ‘Gathering of Kindness’ …

Local communities joined Central Gippsland Health staff across all campuses to mark the simple act of kindness.

CGH held its first ‘Gathering of Kindness’ with a range of activities including an open forum discussing kindness in the healthcare industry. The day was created by the Hush Foundation out of recognition there is a clear and direct link between staff wellbeing and patient wellbeing.

CGH Chief Executive Dr Frank Evans joined panel members Sharee Johnson, John Martin, Sharon Schofield and Rob Ziffer, who spoke about the experiences from both a patient and professional point of view. The event was hosted by Cr Darren McCubbin with discussion around ideas on

incorporating more kindness into daily activities.

Two short videos were viewed, inviting people to take a moment to stand in someone else’s shoes to help understand what they may be going through.

Throughout the day staff, patients and community members made kindness badges, contributed acts of kindness which were acknowledged on the kindness board, enjoyed a healthy lunch and shared each other’s company on a walk around Sale’s lakes.

A play titled ‘What matters’ was presented the following week in the CGH conference rooms at Sale Hospital, facilitated by Dr Catherine Crock of the Hush Foundation.



Badge making

The Gathering of Kindness badge making activity allowed for all participants to choose a kindness design of their preference.

They were then shown how to turn this into their very own badge and proudly wore it to promote kindness to those they shared company with throughout the day. Many people were involved in this activity, with some visitors making badges for the patient they were visiting at the time, wishing to make their day brighter.

There was a range of age groups and professions who attended this activity.



Kindness boards

The kindness boards were created to show that kindness is out in our community and workplace already. By placing their kindness gesture onto the board, others could read and hopefully feel uplifted or encouraged to do their own kindness activities.

These boards remained on display during November for all to keep adding acts of kindness they had either given or received.



Kindness cards

Kindness cards were handed out to people throughout the day. These cards had positive statements and kindness acts to do. When people had used the card, they were to pass the card forward to someone else they thought deserved it, instructing them to do the same.


Kindness Day finished with a walk of friendship and togetherness for staff and community members around the two lakes in Sale.

This emphasised that kindness can be just spending time with others, sharing a walk and a talk.

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Kindness and care are essential

Central Gippsland Health’s initiatives in building a strong culture around caring and kindness were outlined at the Patient Experience Forum in Melbourne last week.

CGH Chief Executive Officer, Dr Frank Evans, was one of a panel of three hospital leaders invited to be part of the inaugural forum organised by Safer Care Victoria around transforming organisational culture in the health industry.

Frank was joined by Eastern Health CEO, Adj Prof David Plunkett and CEO of the Royal Women’s Hospital, Dr Sue Matthews. All three spoke about their organisation’s journey to bring a heightened focus of caring and kindness into their work and health service.

“We have done a great deal in this area over the last five years and the invitation to speak at this forum of eminent health industry experts was an acknowledgement of what we are trying to do at CGH,” he said.

Frank highlighted many initiatives at CGH including the transformation care coordination project which started five years ago.

“CGH has also launched a major project to build a learning program about people-centred care –‘people’ being patients, the community and staff,” he told the gathering.

Another initiative last year was to give all staff a copy of the book written by guest speaker at the 2016 annual general meeting, Dr Ranjana Srivastava. An oncologist and author, Dr Srivastava’s special interest is in improving doctor-patient communication.

“We need to break down the professional boundaries we were taught to put up and develop genuine relationships with our patients and staff, based on genuine and deep listening,” Frank said.

He outlined the CGH celebration of a Gathering of Kindness, organised by the Hush Foundation, founded by Dr Catherine Crock. CGH first brought the Hush Plan into its workplace three years ago.

“We acknowledge we have been through difficult times with this recent independent review (into workplace culture) and we appreciate the kindness shown to us by Dr Crock and the Hush Foundation in acknowledging what we are trying to do at CGH,” Frank told the forum participants.

He outlined CGH’s decision last year to join Patient Opinion, only the second Victorian regional hospital at that time to be part of the national initiative which allows patients and their families to provide open and transparent comments on their experiences. In doing so, CGH made a commitment to respond quickly to any comments, positive and negative. The process, including eventual resolution, is transparent for all to see.

“What has become so obvious to me in hearing our patients’ stories is that a genuine conversation starts with listening. Genuine deep listening,” Frank said.

“At the moment we are talking to all our staff about our current project – ‘Hello My Name Is…’. At the heart of this project is listening and believing our patients know best.

“We have stated in Our People Values that we want our staff coming to work to add value to all our lives. Kindness and caring are the essential ingredients!”


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Living the CGH motto


Maffra district hospital and Stretton Park have been taking the CGH motto ‘Better together’ to heart, organising some great inter-facility social inclusion projects recently.

Events this month included Sing Australia concert, morning melodies in the Sale RSL, a concert by Wendy Stapleton in Sale, Halloween barbecue and a visit from secondary school students, and a movie afternoon at Stretton Park

The residents of McDonald Wing opted for the barbecue instead of a Halloween party as they felt was more “Australian”.

“We all had a wonderful day and the Lions of Maffra cooked the barbecue, staying afterwards to reminisce with the residents,” Diversional Therapist, Kirsty Snyder, said.

October was the first time the McDonald Wing welcomed Maffra Secondary college to the facility. The Year 9 students have been running different class consecutively every other Monday and plan to continue this project until Christmas.

After interviewing willing residents, the students ran art classes, gardening, handmade pizza using the pizza oven, played cards and dominos as well as organising a visit from a pet sheep.

“As you can imagine, this is a massive undertaking for our staff and volunteers who help run all these class at the same time,” Kirsty said. “Stretton Park joined us for this event.”

Wilson Lodge, Stretton Park and McDonald Wing attended a concert at Sale RSL and stayed for lunch.

The facilities also attended a concert at Sale Memorial Hall to see “Dusty Dosic and me” performed by Wendy Stapleton.

“This was an amazing day and everyone had a wonderful time,” Kirsty said.

“We also teamed up with Maffra Lions Club for a bus trip. The Lions provided a bus and a wonderful tour with everyone from McDonald Wing and Stretton Park learning something new.

“Finally, the Maffra Show was a great win for us. Both Stretton Park and McDonald Wing had been working on different projects for the show for months and were awarded various placings.”

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