Covid Messages from Russell

Messages from Russell – 16 April

April 16, 2020

I continue to be impressed by the generosity of spirit and the commitment of staff right across Western Health in this challenging time. I hope you were able to find an opportunity to spend time with your family over the recent Easter holiday period. Please pass on my appreciation to your families too – they play an important part in supporting you and enabling you to leave home and come to work, even though they may feel some concern about you doing this.

Activity to respond to the COVID pandemic has rolled out across our sites now, with Footscray also playing an important role in this. The Footscray Emergency Department as well as the ICU and respiratory ward, 2D, are closely involved in the preparation and support for patients.

Community’s generosity and support

The community’s desire to support our staff continues and we are grateful for all they are doing.

This week, a newly formed community group called MedFamily, delivered 2400 N95 masks to Western Health as part of their contribution to supporting the needs of hospitals during this time of a global shortage of PPE. It was amazing to hear that the organisation was only formed on 28 March yet they made that delivery to us and to five other health services just over two weeks’ later.

One of our own nurses, Serena Wang (pictured), is one of the lively members of the MedFamily group and was present at Sunshine Hospital when the delivery arrived, complete with drawings from the donors’ children.

Footscray Emergency Department received some colourful messages of thanks and support this week too – from the children of Port Melbourne Primary School. It’s fantastic to see the range of appreciation for our staff.

COVID Catch-Ups

I have had the opportunity for some catch-ups with small groups of staff via new technology this week and will be doing more of these across campuses in the coming days. In the first round, I caught up with some of our hardworking PSAs; our frontline engineers; our energetic clinical educators; and some members of the People and Culture team.  We had some great conversations and some great and diverse questions were asked. It was really valuable to hear their thoughts about how their work had changed as a result of our and their response to COVID.  I would like to thank the participants for their openness and willingness to discuss things with me in this new and slightly different way.

Latest episode

Last week we released a new podcast series called The Unifying Call, where we share the voices of a number of our senior clinicians and leaders during the COVID response. Last week we released two episodes: one with our Head of the Infectious Diseases Unit, Dr Marion Kainer; another, with our Acting Clinical Services Director, Dr Rupert Sherwood.

The series has been very popular with high numbers of downloads.

Now we have released a third episode featuring an interview with Joyce Dalde, Nurse Unit Manager of 3F, Sunshine, a COVID ward. I would encourage you to go and listen through the links below.

More episodes with your colleagues will be released in the coming weeks.

Click on the image below to go to the player link.


Or you can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio or via the RSS feed

Or go to the site page for more information.