Celebrating Allied Health at Monash Health

From, Danielle Ryan, Chief Allied Health Officer:

On Saturday night I had the privilege of opening the inaugural Allied Health Ball, attended by over 290 members of our Allied Health team and their colleagues. At this event we were delighted to announce our inaugural Allied Health Awards winners across eight categories; I am writing today to share their stories with you. Please join me in congratulating the following people and teams:

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All the evenings photos are available on this external gallery.

Stephanie Thermos – Outstanding Care

  • ​Stephanie, following referral for a routine swallowing assessment, identified significant concern for her patient. She stopped the ‘usual care’ mechanisms of one of our hospitals (discharge) and facilitated rapid access to additional assessments and medical specialists. This action led to a significant escalation of care, transfer to another hospital and an ICU bed – and ensured this patient experienced the very best outcome possible.


Dr. Melanie Farlie – Excellence in Research, Teaching and Innovation

  • ​Mel brings a wealth of expertise across clinical, research and in particular health professional education – often going above and beyond to drive excellence and also to support Allied Health professionals when they ask for assistance.
  • This year Mel was awarded a Maxwell King PhD Scholarship & Faculty Postgraduate Excellence Award (Monash University) and conferred as an Associate Fellow of the Australian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators, in recognition of consistent commitment to health professional education through scholarly contribution to the field.


Community Support Options – Improving Care and Access

The winner of this category has dedicated years of work to improving the care of vulnerable older adults, while  rapidly adapting the way care is provided because of Commonwealth Government My Aged Care changes. Every member of the team has worked together to:

  • ​Design and implement service model changes that have significantly improved both the quality of care and amount of care each client receives.
  • Build capability to allow the team to support the most complex of clients in our community
  • Radically transform all back of house processes – including clinical, financial and administrative – to improve care provided.

These improvements, and the subsequent quality of care achieved, has resulted in over 150% business growth over the last 18 months.


Physiotherapy Department Monash Medical Centre Clayton – People Matter

  • ​The Physiotherapy department provided exceptional empathy, generosity, compassion and kindness when supporting a team member, who was experiencing one of the toughest times in their life, and was initially unable to access family supports
  • This team not only provided emotional care, they also assisted to link their colleague into supporting services and donated funds to support their colleague purchase a puppy for her children (that she otherwise would not have been able to access).
  • Reflecting on her team, this individual said: “I am so lucky and incredibly honoured to be able to work for such an amazing organisation that can help and provide everything I needed to get through this time.  I would not have been able to come through all of this and still be standing without my teams support.”


Dandenong Hospital Multi-Disciplinary Team – Excellence in Patient Care

  • ​Our winning team, which was multidisciplinary, worked across the Monash Health to ensure excellence in care for a woman who sadly experienced a stroke while pregnant, and needed to be hospitalised prior to, during, and after her delivery.
  • The team not only supported this mother, baby and family during what would have been an incredibly stressful time, they also worked to ensure that the mother and baby were located together and were able to bond as inpatients while the mother worked to rehabilitate after her stroke.
  • This team demonstrated the exceptional care that is possible at Monash Health when we work together– collaborating to deliver a trial of care, and, partnering with community teams (RITH and HITH, St Kilda Mums) to allow this new family a supported and early discharge home.


Allied Health NDIS Multi-Disciplinary Team  (Marylou Devlin, Deanne Davis and Whitney Lipman) – Excellence in teamwork

  • ​Marylou, Deanne and Whitney work in an area of significant change and complexity, one that requires exceptional problem solving, dedication and hard work to achieve outcomes for patients and support for colleagues.
  • In working to support people with disabilities in our hospitals, they have achieved client centred and patient flow outcomes which would not have been possible by one professional or individual working alone.
  • As a result of the work these professionals have completed, in partnership with other professionals across our network, other health services are seeing Monash’s Allied Health team as a leader in supporting inpatients with complex health and disability needs.


Emma Bastick & Jackie Turner – Managing Wisely

  • ​This years’ winners of our Managing Wisely category completed a program of work that transitioned the supply of CAM boots following orthopaedic surgery or fracture from an external company to in-house supply – yielding a saving of over $140 per CAM boot.
  • The initiative also improves the care pathway for patients who experience a reduction in need for access to external orthotists following discharge.


Jo McKinstry – Excellence in Staff Experience

  • ​Jo balanced multiple competing priorities to support two new grade two clinical supervisors who were assisting challenging students with complex clinical learning needs, communication and professionalism skills.
  • By her example, Jo demonstrated the pursuit of excellence through her kind, sensitive and professional coaching and development of team members during a time of steep learning and potential stress, whilst making herself available to meet all other professional responsibilities within the broader team including recruitment support, clinical leadership, and her own personal patient caseload.


Kimberly Martin – Excellence in Consumer Experience

  • ​Kimberly is a Grade 1 Allied Health Professional who provided excellent patient centred and evidence based care to a highly complex rehabilitation patient.
  • Her strong teamwork and communication during challenging interactions with an at times unrealistic patient was respectful, compassionate and of the highest quality at all times.
  • Kimberly escalated to her seniors and manager appropriately when needed and was instrumental in assisting this patient to transition home and achieve her goals in doing so.
  • ​Highlighting the strength of Kimberly’s work to deliver a quality consumer experience, this patient developed a strong trust in Kimberly in the context of refusing to work with many carers over the last 13 years and limited other therapists while admitted as an inpatient.


Our Allied Health Award judging panel would like to thank everyone who nominated their colleagues for a Monash Health iCARE or STAR award over the last twelve months, and we send our congratulations to everyone who received a nomination. Selecting our winners involved reviewing every nomination submitted over the last twelve months, and, those involved were left feeling incredibly privileged to be part of such a sensational Allied Health Community at Monash Health.

This night would not have been possible without the dedication of a few members of our team. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to once again recognise the hard work and significant achievements of our Allied Health Winer Ball Organising committee: thank you to each member of the team for transforming the idea of an Allied Health ball into the wonderful celebration that it was.

Finally, I encourage you all to continue to recognise the fantastic work of your colleagues through the STAR Portal and I look forward to celebrating next year’s Winter Ball and award ceremony with you all.

Kind Regards


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