Covid Messages from Russell

Messages from Russell 26 Aug 21

August 26, 2021

To say there is a lot going on across our organisation and the wider community would be a massive understatement! I know you know things are always busy at Western Health but even our usually frantic pace has stepped up a few notches given we are in the midst of a hot spot for COVID and still sadly, but understandably, in lockdown.

As Chief Executive, I am extremely grateful and humbled to have such a committed team of staff who work above and beyond every day to do your best for each other, our patients and our communities. I know this also means many of you are really feeling it and becoming more than a little weary with the combined challenges you are facing.

I want every one of you to know that your wellbeing is of the utmost importance to the leadership team at Western Health and we are committed to implementing measures to support you and constantly seeking ways to try and lighten the load.

As the COVID outbreak continues, I would like to remind you all that we have comprehensive plans in place for responding to outbreaks. These were prepared through the hard work of hundreds of staff last year. There are contingencies across the organisation and we are constantly reviewing these and adjusting with changing circumstances to keep you as safe as we can.

Positive coverage

It is fantastic to see the work of some of our teams receiving some great positive coverage and feedback in recent days and weeks.

Dementia Management Unit

The 20th anniversary of our Sunshine Hospital Dementia Management Unit was a very special milestone for a wonderful team and also led to a very popular post on Facebook! There were almost 800 likes and many moving comments reflecting the incredible work of the unit and the enormous difference you have made to the lives of more than 3000 patients and their families. Here is just a sample of the comments:

“Extraordinary people doing extraordinary work”

“Will always have a special place in my heart for this ward and all who work in it (Nurses, PSA’s, Carmen the ward Clerk). I really don’t know what we would have done without them.

“Congratulations on 20 years, can only imagine how many lives you’ve touched. Thank you for all you do.”

You can click on this Facebook link or go directly to our website to read the full story.

Contact tracing and the Western Public Health Unit

We are all very appreciative of the very difficult work of the Western Public Health Unit and what they have been facing for several months now. It is exhausting and complex work chasing cases, uncovering hundreds of exposure sites and all of the follow up and pressure that goes with this. Everyone in the unit plays their role, including administrative staff and the students who are in support positions. Thank you all for helping to keep our communities as safe as possible.

Vaccinations are GO!

The work of the vaccination hubs run by Western Health has never been more critical than it is now – with the Delta strain wreaking havoc in NSW, which reached a worrying milestone today with more than 1000 new cases.

It seems as though our vaccination teams are pulling off amazing feats every few days – opening Australia’s first drive through vaccination site at the old Bunnings site at Melton; opening our second drive through at Eagle Stadium in Werribee yesterday – coinciding with the ‘P plater’ crowd and hundreds of thousands of others becoming eligible for the Pfizer vaccine with the opening up to 16-39 year olds.

A few weeks ago the team faced a challenging time setting up an on-site vaccination clinic at Al Taqwa college following the outbreak at that school.

We have also now passed the 500,000th dose administered! Incredible effort by all. See and learn more by clicking on the links below!


Thank you to every one of you right across Western Health for your continued contribution to provide the best care to our patients and the support for our community in a difficult time.

Stay Safe and thank you