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MLHD scores a hat-trick at 2023 NSW Health Awards

25 October 2023

Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) is celebrating after taking home three prestigious awards at annual NSW Health Awards on Tuesday night.

Now in its 25th year, the awards recognise personalised, sustainable, and digitally enabled programs that contribute to the wellbeing of patients and the community.

The finalists showcase the breadth of skill, passion and exceptional care across MLHD.

MLHD winners were announced in the following 2023 NSW Health Awards categories:

  • People and Culture Award: The Murrumbidgee Model
  • Transforming Patient Experience Award: Mobile BreastScreen Assessment Services
  • Volunteer of the Year: Syd Dudley, Chair Finley Local Health Advisory Committee

A delighted MLHD Chief Executive Jill Ludford has congratulated the winners.

“The award winners have all showcased what our organisation is about - innovation, collaboration, resilience and true engagement with our rural people,” Ms Ludford said.

The Murrumbidgee, or Single Employer, Model aims program aims to attract, train, retain, and support rural generalist doctors who work in the local health district.

This four-year pilot project with the Australian Government began in 2021. This pathway, developed in collaboration with the UNSW Regional Training Hub, provides a rural workforce model where GP trainees receive support and certainty during their training. Trainees know where they'll work, how much they'll earn, and their working conditions.

The pathway, now expanded to 80 places across NSW, focuses on supporting GP trainees to develop the advanced rural generalist skills needed to support our rural hospitals.

Finley GP Dr Alam Yoosuff, Director Primary Care Murrumbidgee Local Health District, told the awards ceremony that MLHD is deeply grateful for recognition of the Murrumbidgee Model.

“The Murrumbidgee Model not only sets a new direction for our state, but for the entire country. We have transformed the Rural Generalist Training Pathway in our nation and this wouldn’t have been possible without the support and collaboration of many,” he said.

In a first for NSW, BreastScreen NSW Greater Southern introduced Remote Mobile Assessment Services on the mobile screening van in August 2022. It uses virtual care to complete follow-up tests for women closer to home.

Each year, about 10,000 women across more than 170,000 square kilometres use mobile screening mammography services on mobile vans in rural, regional, and remote areas. Up to 10% of these women are recalled to an assessment clinic for further tests.

The Remote Mobile Assessment Services used existing infrastructure of the mobile screening van, with the addition of 3D imaging equipment. This program enables access for women to undergo further tests while the van is in their local community. Before its establishment, women had to travel many hours to access these facilities.

While accepting the award, Veronica Scriven, Director BreastScreen Murrumbidgee and Southern Local Health Districts, paid tribute to the many people who helped get the Remote Mobile Assessment Services up and running.

She also acknowledged BreastScreen’s clients and communities, “who are our biggest cheer squad and supporters”.

“Thank you for always welcoming us into your communities every year and every two years when we bring the van back to you. It is an absolute privilege to support you with what you need in your communities and it is privilege to come to work every day to give you that on your communities and on your lands,” Veronica said.

As Chair of Finley Local Health Advisory Committee (LHAC), Volunteer of the Year Syd Dudley has led and contributed to creating a unique integrated healthcare model for his region. The place-based model incorporates primary care, three levels of aged care and Finley Hospital and health services. These are all connected through pathways of care.

Syd is committed to the welfare of his community. He played a vital role in facilitating community consultation and providing feedback on the Clinical Services Planning and Hospital Redevelopment.

He contributes in all sectors of the community and has held positions with the Finley Regional Care Board, Finley Chamber of Commerce and the Berrigan Shire Council Australia Day Awards.

At the ceremony, Syd paid tribute to the 'amazing team' in his community.

“It is pretty humbling for a guy like to me to be witness to the talent, the passion, the commitment that you people give to the system and it is such a privilege to be part of NSW Health,” he said.

This is the second consecutive year a MLHD ambassador has taken out the Volunteer of the Year Award. Syd’s win follows in the footsteps of Wagga Wagga LHAC Chair Garth Hungerford won the title in 2022.


Last updated: 25 October 2023