Covid Messages from Russell

COVID Messages from Russell-14 May

May 14, 2020

International Nurses and Midwives’ Week – the celebrations continues!

When our nurses and midwives decide to celebrate, just let coronavirus try to stop them!

It was fantastic to see the effort by so many members of our staff, including the Directors of Nursing, supported by Public Affairs, in making a ‘remote’ celebration just as much fun.

On Tuesday, our Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery, Shane Crowe, released a great video compilation including a number of mini videos that had been creatively put together by staff themselves within their various teams. These were all so well done and wait, there are more!

Three videos that were meant to be part of that first release, slipped through the net somehow and so, here they are (or click on the image below). Take it away Sunshine Rehab ward; Hospital In the Home; and Sunshine 2A! (HINT: You must stay around to the end of the video where you will see some ‘Behind the Scenes’ bloopers!)

Support from our community

In case you missed this too – our nursing colleagues wishing Florence Nightingale a Happy 200th Birthday on our community site.

Click on the image below.

3AW’s Neil Mitchell program

Our nurses were everywhere this week! 3AW’s Neil Mitchell program gave our staff a great plug in this Facebook post! Click on the link below. Well done Joan Kirner Theatre nursing team!

Our nurses in the media

Western Health featured in another media piece on International Nurses’ Day, in coverage by Ch 7 news of the upskilling of nurses to work in ICU and other roles. Many staff have worked very hard to help that training come to reality and it is also terrific to see nurses such as Barb Lennon and Jessica Wren received a little of the spotlight too!

Click on the image below to see the video.

The teams supporting us behind the walls

In the latest episode of our podcast The Unifying Call, don’t miss hearing our Head of Engineering Services, Suzie Demir, outline the incredible amount of work that has been done by the teams supporting our logistics response during the COVID preparation. These teams play a direct role in saving lives even though they are not there beside the patient. They must make sure that all is ready for that care to be provided and that nothing will fail when our clinicians must rely on equipment to support critically ill patients. They were also there, answering hundreds of phone calls in the earlier part of the pandemic, when, as Suzie says, “There was fear on the other line”.

The latest episode – “The race to prepare for COVID surge 4” is out now.

You can click on the links below or search for The Unifying Call wherever you listen.


Executive Director Operations – and a mum and granddaughter too

It’s lovely to hear the perspective of the grandmother and sons of Executive Director Operations, Natasha Toohey, in this episode of Kindness Matters. Natasha’s grandmother and her two sons express their appreciation for all she does and I would like to express my appreciation too – as Tash has carried a great deal of the weight of the COVID preparations for Western Health in the last few months. That has not been an easy task – but she has kept baking!

You can click on the links below or search for Kindness Matters, Western Health, wherever you listen.

COVID Catch-Ups

I made the trip down the road to Williamstown this week to catch up with some of the crews there. It was great to be able to visit – still keeping our distance from each other though – when we have been unable to move around campuses in recent months. I caught up with some of the team from the Gd Flr sub-acute ward at Williamstown and then with some of the physiotherapists from the Community Based team. It’s always interesting to hear what everyone has to say and understanding the challenges and the achievements as well.  In the coming weeks, we will transition the COVID Catch-Ups, to just regular Catch-Ups recorded in the same way, as I find them helpful and have also received positive feedback from the staff groups who have been involved so far.


Most of what we discuss in these catch-ups will be available when we release the recordings but sometimes we will need to edit parts of the conversation for various reasons.

Here are links to the recordings from the last batch, recorded on 6 May at Footscray, where I caught up with some staff from Footscray ED; Ward 2East; and the Nutrition Team.

Russell catches up with the Footscray Emergency Department – Arthur, Tanya and Keshav

(PLEASE NOTE: In this episode, we encountered a few audio glitches late in the episode – apologies for that. You will also hear reference to the Telehealth Grand Round, which took place on 8 May.)

Russell catches up with the Surgical Ward 2 East at Footscray- Lynda, Cassie and Ayusha

Russell catches up with the Nutrition team – Kathryn, Stephanie and Kath