Heartfelt thanks to end a difficult year


PENINSULA Health is saying thank you to its more than 6500 staff across the Frankston Mornington Peninsula as 2020 draws to a close.

“We know that many people in our health service and in our community were impacted by the pandemic, in a multitude of complicated and difficult ways,” says Felicity Topp, Chief Executive Peninsula Health.

“Each and every staff member at Peninsula Health went above and beyond to ensure we could provide outstanding care to our community. I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to all of our people for their wonderful contribution this year.”

As part of the Peninsula Health Thank You Festival 14-20 December 2020, Peninsula Health is also hosting its Service Recognition Ceremony, with 485 staff recognised for 10 plus years of service with the organisation.

Kim Heriot began her nursing career at Frankston Hospital in 1990 as a graduate nurse – three decades later she is one of our most experienced nursing leaders, taking on many roles including Operations Director of Medicine. This year Kim has supported the Infection Prevention & Control Team, Geriatric Psychiatric Inpatient Unit and the Medical Wards across the health service.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to be part of a team doing some phenomenal work in response to COVID-19.”

Working on the frontline of a pandemic is not a new experience for Kim – she travelled to Liberia and Sierra Leone to help fight the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and 2015.

“These overseas trips were a really good opportunity to support local staff in the affected areas and undertake rewarding work in the Infection Control space,” says Kim. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and to be able to go twice was just amazing.”

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Consultant and Patient Services Manager Viktorija Bonnamy, better known as Viki, is also celebrating 30 years of service.

“I thought I’d seen it all in my many years here, but 2020 threw up more surprises than any of us could ever have imagined. An unforgettable year, in so many ways,” exclaims Viki.

“I’m so proud of, not only what I’ve been able to juggle this year in my two roles, but proud of the way all my colleagues have risen to the endless challenges. It truly has been inspiring.”

One of the first OHS initiatives Viki supported was a No Lift project in 1999, which was “a real culture changer for staff.” Flash forward to 2020 and Viki is continuing to support staff in new and varied ways.

“This year I have reviewed more than 500 ergonomic applications for staff that have been working from home during the pandemic,” explains Viki.

“I’ve also been involved as a fit tester (on the wards,) helping our staff appropriately fit their masks so we can help stop the spread of Covid-19.”

Peninsula Health would also like to extend thanks to their volunteers, consumer representatives and the wider Frankston Mornington Peninsula community.

“Thank you to our volunteers, consumer representatives, partners and the local community for your ongoing support,” adds Felicity. “Our close ties are invaluable and enable our people to be able to provide the best of care for everyone.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 15 December 2020


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