Sculpture to uplift and connect

Artist Dr Jon Tarry with hospital Chief Executive Officer John Fogarty.

Artist Dr Jon Tarry with hospital Chief Executive Officer John Fogarty.

An eight-metre high sculpture by artist Jon Tarry was recently unveiled at its new home at the entrance to St John of God Murdoch Hospital.

The Perth-based artist said Elevación was created with all patients, visitors and staff at the hospital in mind and is part of the hospital’s major redevelopment project.

“I wanted to create an artwork for everyone; one that could be open to interpretation so everyone would be able to form a connection with it,” Mr Tarry said.

“When people arrive at the hospital, before their surgery or procedure, before visiting a loved one or before coming to work, I want them to see the beauty in Elevación and fill up with the spirit of life.”

Mr Tarry blended these modern and traditional aesthetics and materials to create an artwork with an uplifting, nurturing theme to tie in with the hospital’s vision of providing the community with holistic health care. He was inspired by the work of the Spanish Baroque painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo in which St John of God is carrying the sick or poor with an angel at his side.

img_1408The hospital called for submissions for the project in 2014 and received 86 submissions from artists across Australia.

Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer John Fogarty said Jon Tarry’s submission stood out as encapsulating the spirit of St John of God, the Sisters who continued his work, and the care that is provided at the hospital today.

“The sculpture recognises our proud history of caring for the unwell and vulnerable and our Mission and Values which continually keep us on our path to provide the very best quality care,” Mr Fogarty said.

“We are very excited to have the work of such a talented artist on our grounds.”

“Jon Tarry has embodied who we are in such a beautiful way and we hope that those who come to our hospital will find in Elevación joy and a sense of calm in what might be a stressful time in their lives.”

Jon Tarry is well known for his public sculpture both in Australia and overseas and is currently working on other major projects.


Awareness-raising for Hand Hygiene Day


On Tuesday 5 May, hospital caregivers got into the spirit of Hand Hygiene Day by posing with “I promote/provide clean care” signs to be posted on social media.

Manager Infection Control Gerald Chan said it was a really fantastic way to raise awareness of the importance of hand hygiene.

“It was great to see so many people from across the hospital be so enthusiastic about promoting hand hygiene,” Mr Chan says.

“It certainly got people, from within our hospital as well as externally, engaged in the issue and it demonstrates how committed we are to the best patient care outcomes.”


Clean hands are happy hands

The team celebrate their win in the hand hygiene audits.

The team celebrate their win in the hand hygiene audits.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital’s Cancer Centre had the highest compliance rate of 90.2 per cent in the Hand Hygiene Australia audits conducted in February and March.

Clinical Nurse Karen Walsh, who works at the Cancer Centre, says the team initiated many new ways to improve their hand hygiene.

“We have been conducting weekly audits, we have tips written on trolleys and reminders and alcohol foam in all the chemotherapy stations,” Ms Walsh says.

“Caregivers have really cooperated and the patients also like to see that they are getting the best care.”

Clinical Nurse Infection Control Melissa Cutts says it’s especially important in the Cancer Centre where patients’ immune systems are compromised and they are vulnerable to infections.

“This is a remarkable achievement and very important for best practice,” Ms Cutts says.


A message from our CEO

Wexford launch 121

Welcome to the first Murdoch Messenger for 2015.

Our new theatres coming online have certainly had an impact on the activity of the hospital as a whole, giving us a busy start to this year.

We have welcomed our new neighbour, Fiona Stanley Hospital, in this time and we are looking forward to the many collaborative opportunities ahead.

We were very excited when our patients voted our Emergency Department as the top private emergency department in Australia for the second year running. It’s testament to the consistently high standard of services we provide. There has been consistent demand for the services our Emergency Department provides since Fiona Stanley Hospital opened and we are looking forward to a positive future providing this service to the community.

I’m looking forward to the next phase of our redevelopment which includes a new chapel and refurbishment of our foyer and the six original 1994 wards. It is a significant time in the history of our hospital and will transform how we look, as well as operate. Although there will be some interruptions, we will be sure to keep patients and visitors informed and minimize any inconvenience as the work progresses.

I hope you enjoy reading our latest news.

John Fogarty
St John of God Murdoch Hospital

New wing adds to growing precinct

MLA Matt Taylor, CEO Group St John of God Health Care Dr Michael Stanford and CEO St John of God Murdoch Hospital John Fogarty. Health professionals, dignitaries and staff gathered for the official blessing of St John of God Murdoch Hospital’s new wing to celebrate its addition to the growing Murdoch Health Precinct.

On the evening, the new South Wing, with its striking green windows, provided a perfect backdrop to the blessing given by the Most Reverend Donald Sproxton DD and a Welcome to Country by Reverend Sealin Garlett.

In attendance were hospital CEO John Fogarty, CEO St John of God Health Care Dr Michael Stanford, Chair of Murdoch Medical Advisory Committee Dr Peter Bremner, doctors and staff who all spoke of the significant impact the new wing and theatre expansion will have on health services in the precinct.

“The addition of the South Wing in our twentieth year marks an important occasion in our hospital’s history and brings to a conclusion stage 1 of our redevelopment project,” said Mr Fogarty.

“We can now say our capacity is more than double what it was when we first opened our doors.”

“As we reflect on 20 years of service to this community we look forward to a bright future as part of WA’s largest health precinct.”

Brookfield Multiplex Regional Managing Director Chris Palandri said construction of the new South Wing and theatre expansion was completed two months ahead of schedule and follows their successful delivery earlier this year of the hospital’s new Wexford Medical Centre.

South Wing 119“We are delighted to have a valued long-term partnership with St John of God Health Care, delivering new health facilities both here in Murdoch and the $430 million St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals,” said Mr Palandri.


Mannequins a great patient substitute

(L-R) Jessica Thorn, Bianca Pruis, Jordana Cootes, Kyle Lewis and Tharcisse Minani.

(L-R) Jessica Thorn, Bianca Pruis, Jordana Cootes, Kyle Lewis and Tharcisse Minani.

Mannequins at St John of God Murdoch Hospital are providing Murdoch University students with a great way to practice their skills before they start caring for real patients.

The training rooms at MURTEC are set up like real wards, with the mannequins in beds.

One of the students, Kyle Lewis, says the mannequins are so life-like, students get the same response they would receive from a real person.

“We treat them as we would a real patient; we check for pulses and look for the right responses,” says Kyle.

The mannequins are controlled via computer at a remote desk to respond physiologically to their treatment. Their heart rate fluctuates and their pupils dilate, and they are able to talk and sweat.

Professor Paul Morrison, Dean of Health Professions at Murdoch University, said the simulated, hands-on experience the mannequins provided students was an invaluable learning tool.

“Inter-disciplinary learning like this that combines real world skills with classroom theory is a wonderful way for students to build their confidence in a controlled environment before working with real patients,” he said.

The 12-week simulation course provides third year nursing students with various opportunities to enable them to think critically and respond to different patient scenarios.

Lecturers observe students from behind one way glass and then give them feedback on their performance.

Manager Learning and Organisational Development Anissa Emeran says the course empowers students to use the clinical decision-making skills they have acquired through their studies.

“All the scenarios are set up to prepare students for what they will have to do in real life situations,” says Anissa.

“It’s a great way to build their confidence and skills so that they can deliver the very best care to patients.”

The students will qualify as Registered Nurses in December.

This project was possible due to funding made available by Health Workforce Australia, St John of God Murdoch Hospital and Murdoch University.


Message from our CEO

Wexford launch 121Welcome to the Spring edition of Murdoch Messenger.

We are very excited that our new Theatres, Cancer Centre and South Wing are now open and getting busier by the day. Caregivers and patients alike are enjoying these new spaces and we are receiving consistently positive feedback about the facilities and services they offer.

Our redevelopment continues on, with the completion of ICU/CCU, CSSD and kitchen expansions and refurbishment of our North Wing wards, foyer and chapel commencing early next year.

Our Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research has been making great strides in contributing to the body of health care research that aims to improve patient experience and quality of care. You can read about their recent results and ongoing research in this edition.

At our annual ball at the end of August, our new Charity of the Year, Headwest Brain Injury Association of WA, was announced. We raised $11,000 on the evening and I look forward to seeing how much more we can raise throughout the year for this organisation that does outstanding, and much needed, work in our communities.

This  month marks the opening of our new neighbour, Fiona Stanley Hospital. Its presence will change the current environment of the Murdoch Precinct dramatically and I look forward to the many collaborative opportunities ahead. Our combined presence will enable the delivery of health care to meet the needs of our growing community.

I hope you enjoy reading this edition of Murdoch Messenger.

John Fogarty
St John of God Murdoch Hospital

Message from our CEO

Wexford launch 121Welcome to the Winter edition of Messenger.

Our 20th birthday recently gave us the opportunity to celebrate the outstanding service our maternity ward, St Mary’s, provides our community. We held a high tea for the babies born in the year our hospital opened and their mothers, obstetricians, paediatricians, midwives and nurses. It was wonderful to see memories of our hospital shared and to witness it as being a special place in peoples’ lives.

We were excited to have the excellent work of our caregivers recognised in the last few months. Enrolled Nurses Toni Johnson won the Vocational Student of the Year Award out of 23,000 nominees, across all disciplines and Tanya De La Cruz was nominated as a finalist in the HESTA Nursing awards Outstanding Graduate category.

We are continuing to recruit caregivers to ensure we have the number of caregivers required to meet demand when our new theatres and wards open in August. The response has been overwhelming and we look forward to growing our workforce while maintaining our reputation for excellent and compassionate care.

I am taking the challenge to sleep outside for a night in support of the annual Vinnie’s CEO Sleepout on 19 June. You can sponsor me at I thank you for your help in supporting those who don’t have a warm, safe place to sleep at night.

John Fogarty
Chief Executive Officer
St John of God Murdoch Hospital

Engaging hospital visitors and remote communities

Phyllis Ningarmara painting. Image courtesy of Waringarri Arts.

Phyllis Ningarmara painting. Image courtesy of Waringarri Arts.

Now on display in the Linking Gallery at St John of God Murdoch Hospital are a series of artworks from the senior and emerging artists from the Waringarri community in Kununurra.

The hospital’s Manager Arts Program Connie Petrillo said the works are a vibrant addition to the hospital environment and not only work to create a healing space, but are a great way for us to engage with remote communities in WA.

“By showcasing the work of contemporary Indigenous artists, we can tell their stories and support their communities,” said Connie.

“Plus, they look so beautiful and I’m happy for passers-by to have the opportunity to engage with them.”

Established in the early 1980s, the Waringarri Aboriginal Arts centre was the first wholly Indigenous-owned art centre in the Kimberley region. It supports more than 100 artists and employs local Aboriginal people as arts workers.

The Indigenous Artists Commission Series is a part of our Reconciliation Action Plan which is aimed at building relationships with Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders and to work towards closing the gap in life expectancy, specifically in the area of health care.

The project was introduced by the hospital in 2013 and it is hoped that each year our hospital will acquire 10 to 12 artworks from a remote community.RAPstory2

Mural takes pride of place


The beautiful appliqued tapestry commissioned by Sister Eugenia Brennan SSJG in 1994 to commemorate the opening of St John of God Murdoch Hospital, now takes pride of place in the walkway to the Wexford Medical Centre.

The work was designed and crafted by Melbourne-based textile artist Stewart Merrett, who worked closely with Sister Eugenia to depict a number of themes and symbols important to the hospital’s Mission.

The mural was intricately crafted with velour velvet, Thai silk and metallic gold thread.

It was originally installed at the entrance to the Medical Clinic but was damaged by the hands of passers-by and exposure to the elements.

Two separate restorations by the late Mrs Rusty Walkley returned the tapestry to its former glory.

Director Planning and Strategy Leanne Milligan says the tapestry has a significant place in the history of the hospital.

“The tapestry marks the opening of our hospital and its medical and spiritual symbols encapsulate the holistic caring that we offer our patients,” says Leanne.

“This beautiful work of art is now behind glass to ensure it is protected and that it lasts for many generations to come.”