Donation to help WA bone and tissue bank

plus-life-media-pic-2-lower-resPlusLife, Western Australia’s bone and tissue bank, has been named the beneficiary of a $15,500 donation from St John of God Murdoch Hospital.

PlusLife is the only bone and tissue bank in WA and has delivered services valued at more than $30 million to the community over the past 23 years.  In addition to supplying for local medical procedures, it also provides bone and tissue around Australia.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital selected PlusLife as its Charity of the Year after a staff member who works in theatre nominated the organisation for their specialist work providing human bone and tissue grafts for orthopaedic patients undergoing spine, hip and joint surgery.

“We hope this money will provide a financial boost after PlusLife’s recent relocation from Nedlands to Midland and the upcoming building works for new purpose-built cleanrooms, laboratory and freezer stores at Midland.”

Mr Keogh said the money had been raised through several events, including the hospital’s annual ball, raffles, special lunch days, ward and department fundraisers and the Christmas Carols by Candlelight event. One charity is selected as the hospital’s main beneficiary each year.

Director of Mission Colin Keogh at the hospital said PlusLife had been chosen as the recipient after a rigorous selection process.

“Dedicated medical teams at St John of God Murdoch Hospital perform many orthopaedic procedures each year and our patients benefit greatly from the service provided by PlusLife,” Mr Keogh said.

“At the same time, we are aware that PlusLife does not have a high community profile yet their work makes a very real difference to the lives of many of our patients.

“We hope this money will provide a financial boost after PlusLife’s recent relocation from Nedlands to Midland and the upcoming building works for new purpose-built cleanrooms, laboratory and freezer stores .”

Mr Keogh said the money had been raised through several events, including the hospital’s annual ball, raffles, special lunch days, ward and department fundraisers and the Christmas Carols by Candlelight event. One charity is selected as the hospital’s main beneficiary each year.

PlusLife Managing Director Anne Cowie welcomed the funding, saying it acknowledged the immense benefits that tissue and bone donations made to the lives of West Australians.

“We are extremely grateful to St John of God Murdoch Hospital and their staff, for their generous financial support that will supplement our life-changing work,” Mrs Cowie said.

“We have a strong community ethos at PlusLife and it is so touching that the St John of God Murdoch Hospital community has come together to help raise awareness, education and financial support for our very important health service.”

The money will be used to purchase a new bone saw, which is used in bone processing.

Mrs Cowie said one tissue donor had the potential to improve the wellbeing, sight and mobility of up to 60 people. But despite this, many people did not realise tissue donation was even possible.

PlusLife bone and tissue transplants are required almost every day to treat patients with spinal deformities, young people with bone cancers (often preventing the amputation of a limb); and many more patients with arthritic joint disease and sporting injuries.

Last year, more than 500 patients were supplied bone and tissue transplants.

Providing a supportive space to grieve

Mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings attended a remembrance service at St John of God Murdoch Hospital in September for those who have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth.

This was the first service of its kind at the hospital and grew out of conversations with families about their need to not only privately grieve their loss, but to participate in some form of ritual or occasion that publicly honoured the life they had lost.

Pastoral Services Manager Jenni Ashton said the service was peaceful and reflective, giving those who attended the opportunity to grieve openly in a respectful, nurturing and non-judgmental environment.

“We feel it is really important to give people a supportive space to understand and process their grief,” Ms Ashton said.

“People can find themselves pressured to ‘move on’ or ‘get better’ following their loss, but services such as this provide an opportunity to pause and reflect on the way their life has changed.”

One attendee said “the acknowledgement that a life was lost was important to us” and another spoke of the importance of remembering, saying “the service was great because we don’t want to forget our baby.”

Attendees were able to light candles for their loved ones and many held the small fabric hearts made by hospital staff.

“Our caregivers make these hearts with love and it is wonderful to see people holding them for support and comfort.”

In addition to this service, the hospital provides4-burning-candles-in-the-dark six remembrance services a year for those who have lost loved ones of all ages, faiths and situations. In the past year, over 400 people have attended these services and their feedback indicates this is a significant aspect of the care provided by the hospital.

“Providing bereavement support is very much a part of who we are as an organisation and the reason we wanted to invite the wider community,” Ms Ashton said.

The vision of St John of God Health Care, as a ministry of the Catholic Church, is “to invite people to discover the richness and fullness of their lives, give them a reason to hope, and a greater sense of their own dignity.”

“This can seem an insurmountable task in the midst of overwhelming sadness, but providing sensitive and pastorally appropriate remembrance services does facilitate this painful, yet sacred, opportunity.”

 

Chapel takes pride of place

CEO John Fogarty, Sister Gratiae O'Shaughnessy SJG, the Most Reverend Bishop Donald Sproxton, Group CEO Michael Stanford and Director of Mission Colin Keogh.

CEO John Fogarty, Sister Gratiae O’Shaughnessy SJG, the Most Reverend Bishop Donald Sproxton, Group CEO Michael Stanford and Director of Mission Colin Keogh.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital unveiled its new Chapel and renovated foyer at a blessing in mid-May.

Designed by architectural firm, Silver Thomas Hanley, the Chapel features natural sandstone from Donnybrook used in some West Australian churches and major public buildings including Parliament House and the Perth General Post Office. The stained glass window had its origins in other St John of God facilities in WA.

 

reception deskAt the blessing were 100 people in attendance, including the Most Reverend Bishop Donald Sproxton, the Auxiliary Bishop of Perth, Dr Michael Stanford, Group CEO of St John of God Health Care, St John of God Health Care Board members and Trustees, Sr Isobel Moran Community Leader and the Sisters of St John of God and Sr Edith Murphy, colleagues from St John of God Health Care, health industry and medical practitioners.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital CEO John Fogarty said the old Chapel had stood the hospital and hospice in very good stead for over 20 years, but it was time for a Chapel that reflected the growth of both the hospital and the community.

“It was time to build a Chapel that reflected our growing services and to align with the contemporary feel of the rest of our renovations and refurbishments,” Mr Fogarty said.

chapel“We hope people of all faiths and all backgrounds will find in this chapel a space for quiet reflection and prayer, in times of stress, joy and sadness.”

Architect Basil Vogas said by placing the Chapel in a prominent exposed position, the Mission and Values of the hospital are also placed at the forefront.

“Our goal was to create a space for quiet reflection which could be used by all and at the same time, reinforce the St John of God Health Care Mission,” Mr Vogas said.

The renovated reception area and foyer now has a welcoming and open feel, contemporary in its design, commensurate with the increased size and modern aesthetics of the hospital.

Pledge to provide opportunities and support

Managing Director BIZLINK Brian Park, CEO Intework Fiona Beermier, CEO St John of God Murdoch Hospital John Fogarty and Director Workforce and Support Services Leanne Merchant.

Managing Director BIZLINK Brian Park, CEO Intework Fiona Beermier, CEO St John of God Murdoch Hospital John Fogarty and Director Workforce and Support Services Leanne Merchant.

New partnerships between St John of God Murdoch Hospital and two disability support services, Intework and BIZLINK, will help eliminate the barriers people face when looking for and staying in work.

Director Workforce and Support Services Leanne Merchant said the hospital and the two not-for-profit organisations will work together to create suitable career pathways for disadvantaged people and to ensure they receive the support needed when they are placed at the hospital.

“We employed 11 people with disabilities last year and we are looking forward to continuing this trend,” Ms Merchant said.

“We can often forget the challenges faced by so many due to poverty, disability, illness and marginalisation.”

“The Mission of St John of God is to uphold the true value of life and work towards making life enriching for all people, and so our hospital is truly committed to helping people reach their potential.”

The hospital signed collaborative agreements with both Intework and BIZLINK that will enable the hospital to employ more people with disabilities in the future and ensure their working environment is supportive and positive.

BIZLINK assists people with a disability to prepare for, find and keep a job in open employment, including ongoing support when required. Intework also provides employment opportunities for people who experience barriers to employment, helping them to participate in the economic, social and cultural life of their community.

CEO Intework Fiona Beermier said she is excited at the prospect of working with St John of God Murdoch Hospital to increase the number of these kinds of opportunities available to people in Western Australia.

Intework is committed to supporting people who have experienced exclusion from the mainstream workforce to gain meaningful employment,” Ms Beermier said.

“At Intework, we believe everybody should have the opportunity to realise their full potential.”

“Partnerships such as this provide participants with the confidence and self-esteem they need to achieve their greatest goals and aspirations.”

Keeping Mission at the Centre

SJOG_MRD210814-153With a view to connecting and inspiring its people, St John of God Health Care has established a series of Mission-based ‘Formation’ seminars for all caregivers – from nurses, to patient care assistants, administrative staff to engineers and everyone in between.

Since March 2015, over 1375 St John of God Health Care caregivers across the country have attended the first Formation session titled, Many Faces, One Story.

St John of God Health Care Acting Group Director of Mission Cathy Scott says the Formation seminars are aimed at connecting caregivers with the Mission and Values and understanding the role they play in healing.

“St John of God Health Care sees it as vital to remain faithful to the Mission in a time of expansion and growth for the organisation,” Cathy says.

St John of God Health Care’s Mission is to continue the healing mission of Jesus Christ through the provision of health care services that promote life to the full by enhancing the physical, intellectual, social and spiritual dimensions of being human.

Its values of compassion, justice, respect, justice and excellence underpin the way in which this care is delivered.

But 2000 years after Jesus and six hundred years after St John of God’s lifetime, how does this work manifest itself in a contemporary setting? And what does it mean to continue the healing mission of Jesus for both religious and non-religious caregivers?

“By sharing, explaining and demonstrating our Mission and Values in contexts relevant to our caregivers, we can work together to continue to support and deliver the excellent care for which we are known,” Murdoch Hospital’s Director of Mission Colin Keogh says.

Caregiver Formation seminars, led by Directors of Mission in all St John of God Health Care facilities, offers an understanding of the various components of the organisation; how social outreach is the embodiment of the Mission in its purest form; and how a balance is struck between the Ministry of the Catholic Church and the governance required as a corporate entity.

The first in a series of three planned seminars shares the Good Samaritan’s story, the selfless work of St John of God and the continued work of the Sisters and Brothers of St John of God.

“We hope to inspire our caregivers with their spirit of selfless giving; of true and deep caring for others,” Colin says.

“This is presented in the context in which we are familiar – how patients come to be at our facilities and the way in which we provide the best possible care.”

Formation participant Clinical Nurse Brontie Hicks from St John of God Murdoch Hospital felt the day gave her a deeper understanding of how her work fits into the bigger picture.

“It was a terrific bonding exercise and has made me more connected to the organisation,” Brontie says.

“I feel not only long serving caregivers, but newer caregivers early in their St John of God journey, will benefit greatly.”

“The presenters kept it light and relevant to today’s way of life; appropriate for all backgrounds and faith.”

St John of God Health Care has long-term plans for caregiver Formation with two more seminars, Ethics in Healthcare and Social Justice in Health Care, to be delivered to all caregivers.

“This is certainly an integral part of our planning for the future,” Cathy says.

 “As times change, our organisation and people will change, so we need to keep the Mission at the centre of what we do and how we do it.”

Exhibition leaves mark on hospital

Dom Chris PowerSt John of God Murdoch Hospital was recently host to the New Norcia Benedictine community’s inaugural travelling exhibition of contemporary religious artworks.

The exhibition, Through the Artist’s Eye, was at the hospital for eight months and contains paintings by Australian artists, such as Brian McKay, Linda Syddick Napaltjarri and Weaver Hawkins, from the New Norcia collection.

At a function to mark the closing of the exhibition at the hospital, Dom Chris Power, who has been a monk at New Norcia for 34 years, gave an insight into the paintings and the collection as a whole.

With great passion for the artworks themselves, Dom Power told the audience about the monastery’s strategy for maintaining the collection’s high standard and its ability to attract work from leading Australian artists.

Manager Art Programs Connie Petrillo at St John of God Murdoch Hospital said the works had become a positive part of the patient, visitor and staff experience.

“These beautiful works have had a hugely positive impact on our hospital and we are very thankful to have had them for as long as we did,” Ms Petrillo said.

“They have attracted a great deal of attention, provoked discussion and thought in our corridors.”

Spanish Benedictine monks founded New Norcia in 1846 when they came to the area to work with the local Aboriginal community. It continues to be home to 11 monks.

The exhibition will now return to New Norcia and will be replaced by a new collection of works at the hospital.

ED nurse delivers safer birthing in Papua New Guinea

Jodie demonstrating hand washing techniques on International Hand Hygiene Day.

Jodie demonstrating hand washing techniques on International Hand Hygiene Day.

Clinical Nurse at St John of God Murdoch Hospital Jodie Thompson recently visited Papua New Guinea (PNG) to help build a regional birthing suite and provide labour and delivery training to local community health workers.

Jodie’s visit to PNG was coordinated through the St John of God Social Outreach International Health team, which works to build health care capacity in developing Asia-Pacific countries.

Based in PNG’s remote Walamu region, Jodie spent two weeks teaching the St John of God Brothers who manage the local health clinic the knowledge and skills required to deliver babies safely.

She was also responsible for helping complete construction of a dedicated birthing suite in the Walamu village to provide a safe delivery environment for local women.

“PNG has very high rates of neonatal and maternal mortality, largely due to a lack of skilled attendants during birth,” Jodie said.

“The majority of deliveries in PNG occur at home or in the village and there are limited resources, including a shortage of fully equipped health facilities.

“The completion of this training program and the construction of a dedicated delivery room means there is now a safer option available for women in the Walamu community.”

Jodie said this was her third secondment to Walamu through St John of God’s International Health program and was another extremely rewarding experience.

“Travelling to PNG helps me rediscover the joy of nursing. Being given the opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives is an absolute privilege,” Jodie said.

The St John of God Social Outreach International Health program in PNG will continue to identify health care needs and plan future support for the Walamu community in 2015.

Painting a poignant reminder of lives lost 

Peter Davidson’s drawing After 3/11- Ogatsu Ishinomaki Hospital.

Peter Davidson’s drawing After 3/11- Ogatsu Ishinomaki Hospital.

WA artist Peter Davidson has donated one of his drawings, After 3/11- Ogatsu Ishinomaki Hospital, to our hospital so we may remember the lives lost in the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

The drawing depicts a hospital at which two doctors, all the nurses and staff knowingly stayed with their patients when the tsunami hit. Sixty people died that day.

Arts Program Manager Connie Petrillo said the drawing is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit.

“We cannot imagine what these courageous people went through on that day,” said Connie.

 

 

 

Hearts to mend hearts

The Pastoral Services team with the beautiful hearts made for patients and their families.

The Pastoral Services team with the beautiful hearts made for patients and their families.

The Pastoral Services department at St John of God Murdoch Hospital embarked on their Heart to Heart project to encourage caregivers to make soft felt hearts for patients and families who are grieving, anxious or distressed.

Manager Pastoral Services Jenni Ashton says the response was amazing, with over 940 hearts created.

“Sixty-five sewing kits were collected by from various departments and the Medical Centre,” says Ms Ashton.

At the end of September, the team held a blessing of the hearts ceremony to bless those who would receive the hearts and those who had made the hearts so compassionately.

“Thank you to those of you who have been involved in this creative project and for the fantastic result,” says Ms Ashton.

 

 

One person’s trash…

Director of Nursing Adam Coleman, TravelSmart Officer Carolyn Ryder and Mission Associate Jing-Ping Wong.

Director of Nursing Adam Coleman, TravelSmart Officer Carolyn Ryder and Mission Associate Jing-Ping Wong.

As part of National Recycling Week, St John of God Murdoch Hospital held a bazaar for staff to swap their unwanted items for prized possessions.

Carolyn Ryder, TravelSmart Officer at the hospital, says the Second Time Around Grand Bazaar was held to encourage staff to think about the environmental impact of our throw-away culture.

“We asked staff to bring an item from home that was no longer used but in good condition and in return, they were able to select an item that they wanted,” says Ms Ryder.

“Recycling needs to play a bigger role in our society – it helps to divert items from landfill, saves water, energy, emissions and enables people to save money too.”

An assortment of books, CDs, clothing and sporting equipment were on offer and many staff member left the bazaar with something they really wanted.

Planet Ark founded National Recycling Week to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. Now in its nineteenth year, this annual campaign continues to educate and stimulate behaviour change, by promoting recycling both in the home and workplace.