HEALTH HEROES: Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service kicked off Health Heroes Week by recognising their manager of environmental health Wayne.
HEALTH HEROES: Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service kicked off Health Heroes Week by recognising their manager of environmental health Wayne.

Putting a spotlight on region’s health heroes

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service leaders have paid tribute to the many and varied contributions of their entire workforce, as the organisation prepares to celebrate Health Heroes Week.

The week, which runs from September 26 – October 2, was recently announced by Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Steven Miles and Queensland Health Director-General Dr John Wakefield, in an effort to recognise the significant ongoing contribution made by health workers of all roles and ranks.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service kicked off Health Heroes Week by recognising their manager of environmental health Wayne.

In “normal times”, Wayne manages a team whose work includes food safety, smoking and tobacco compliance, routine drug audits, disaster management, water quality, and environmental poisons and hazards.

During COVID-19, Wayne is closely involved with COVID Safe support, monitoring and compliance of all kinds, including events, food establishments, exemptions and investigating alleged breaches.

But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

HEALTH HEROES: Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service kicked off Health Heroes Week by recognising their manager of environmental health Wayne.
HEALTH HEROES: Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service kicked off Health Heroes Week by recognising their manager of environmental health Wayne.

“Environmental health is such a dynamic and diverse field. Not only is every day different, but every hour is different,” he says.

“One minute I’m having a discussion on whole genome sequencing with the labs, the next minute I’m in a meeting with barristers discussing a prosecution, in the disaster space looking at flood modelling, or in the COVID space being a professional problem solver.”

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said the week also provided the general public with the opportunity to say thank you for the amazing work undertaken since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to support our community and keep it safe.

“Across our organisation, we know full well the great effort and co-ordination it takes every single day to provide the best possible care for our community, without the complication of a global pandemic,” Ms Jamieson said.

“This excellent everyday effort adds up to an enormous benefit for our community.

“Every year, our clinicians and healthcare workers have more than a million patient contacts and occasions of service as they care for and support patients and consumers of all kinds.

“This year, the vast majority of that care has continued without disruption – although many of our services have had to reshape and innovate to keep delivering care in the face of COVID-19 challenges.

“Health Heroes Week gives us and the community we serve the chance to formally say thank you to our healthcare workers for their professionalism and commitment – not just in responding to COVID-19, but also in providing outstanding care each and every day, no matter what the circumstances.”

WBHHS Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said while the COVID-19 pandemic had highlighted the crucial contributions of healthcare workers, she had been privileged to see up close this excellent work throughout her 14 years in Wide Bay.

“COVID-19 has brought immense challenges to our organisation and many others like us, but I’ve been incredibly proud to see the precise planning, quick thinking and extraordinary commitment of our staff as our community has needed us more than ever,” Ms Carroll said.

“It’s important to remember this effort isn’t just made by our frontline clinicians, even though they’re obviously a crucial spearhead of our work.

“For health care and the patient experience to be the best it can be, it requires the effective collaboration of all our teams, including medical, nursing, allied health, and operational and administrative support staff.

“To recognise that collaboration, we’ll be marking Health Heroes Week in a variety of ways, including a series of small morning teas to enable work units to celebrate their own achievements in a COVID-safe way.

“Through our social media channels, we’ll be showcasing a variety of our people and roles to

demonstrate the broad scope of services we provide and the wide-ranging positive outcomes our teams help to achieve.

“And we’ll be encouraging our community to thank a Health Hero, by sharing their positive experiences and appreciation with our teams.”

Community members can thank a Health Hero, or a team of heroes, by:

Posting their thanks on the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Facebook page during the week. They can also include the hashtag #HealthHeroesWeek.

Or by writing a compliment by filling out a consumer feedback form throughout our facilities, or by going to our online consumer feedback form.

“Health care can be stressful and challenging, but every day our staff save and change lives for the better,” Ms Carroll said.

“That’s no small thing – it’s the most rewarding part of our job, and it also deserves recognition.

“So on behalf of our health service and our Board, Peta and I would like to start Health Heroes Week by saying thank you to every single member of our team – for working together to deliver excellent everyday care to our patients, for being both outstanding members of staff and our community, and for constantly finding something in reserve in times of challenge.

“They are all our everyday health heroes.”

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