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9 November 2009
A dedication to improve the care of vulnerable patients has won Kath Riddell the 2009 Leadership in Nursing and Midwifery award presented by Deakin University and Health Super.
Ms Riddell’s award was announced at a gala award ceremony held at the Hilton on the Park as part of DeakinWeek activities.
Deakin University and Health Super partnered to present the annual awards that recognise nurses who have contributed to the profession and benefited the public by improving health service delivery, capacity and/or policy.
The Head of Deakin’s School of Nursing, Professor Maxine Duke, said that Ms Riddell was a deserving winner of the major $20,000 award.
“As practice development manager with Peter James Centre and Wantirna Health, Ms Riddell’s work exemplifies the spirit of the awards,” Professor Duke said.
“Ms Riddell identified a need to change the way care of vulnerable patients was managed. The changes she implemented improved patient outcomes and demonstrated her outstanding commitment to the nursing profession, her contribution to advancing professional practice and her ability to influence policy.”
Ms Riddell led a project that found vulnerable patients, such as the aged and those with psychiatric illnesses, were managed by the least qualified staff, increasing their risks for harm.
Informed by the results of her research, Ms Riddell developed and trained a permanent 24/7 nursing workforce dedicated to the care of complex patients and to role model best practice standards of care.
“This initiative resulted in improved mental health nursing resources and enhanced relationships between health professionals,” Professor Duke said.
“One of the keys to the success of this initiative was it modeled a new approach to care of the vulnerable that promoted a culture of enhanced care, empathy and responsibility.”
During the awards ceremony, $6000 prizes were awarded to:
• Ms Tanya Farrell, Director of Maternity Services at the Royal Women’s Hospital, and Mr Martin Cutter, Infection Control Coordinator with Eastern Health, for excellence in nursing and midwifery leadership in an urban health care environment
• Ms Paula Touzeau, Perioperative Education at South West Healthcare Warrnambool, for excellence in nursing leadership in an rural health care environment
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