Extraordinary examples of excellence at our STAR Awards 

For the second week in a row, ouEmployee forum was filled with examples of excellence across Monash Health as we heard from more STAR award winners from the first half of the year 

Congratulations to all our STAR recipients 

Don’t forget STAR awards are open for nominations year-round, so when you are impressed by something a member of your team has done, then make sure we hear about it too. 

Join us next Thursday to hear from the final recipients of the STAR awards for the first half of the year. You can catch up on previous STAR award winners here.  

Read about this week’s award recipients below:  

Category 3 – In Pursuit of Excellence 

Annette Bezzant, Nephrology Nurse Practitioner 

Annette is a role model for nurses across our Nephrology service, with a commitment to the professional development of our nursing employees and a focus on respect for every patient as an individual.  

Annette’s passion for holistic kidney disease management steered her to become one of the first Nephrology Nurse Practitioners (NNP) at Monash Health – a role which extends across multiple sites.  

Annette was nominated for the Pursuit of Excellence category for many reasons, including:  

  • an enduring commitment to clinical excellence and best possible health outcomes for people with kidney disease 
  • wholistic management of patients to ensure fewer hospitalisations and maximum quality of life, particularly for those with complex needs 
  • being instrumental in developing new models of vaccine delivery for patients in the dialysis units, leading to higher uptake of flu and hep B vaccination.  
  • taking a lead role in the roll out and optimisation of the EMR across the renal service,  
  • working collaboratively with the Deteriorating Patient Committee to successfully introduce the concept of Altered Dialysis Criteria into EMR clinical practice.  
  • volunteering to join a Nephrology Medical mission to Nauru to promote local expertise and sustainability in kidney disease care and dialysis services. 

Annette’s exceptional critical thinking skills allow her to holistically assess individual patients, especially those with complex needs. She is highly regarded by all her professional peers for her knowledge, innovation and dedication in advocating for excellence in patient outcomes. 

Recently, her knowledge and commitment were demonstrated with the case management of a patient with kidney failure and diabetes, from confirmation of pregnancy to successful delivery of a healthy baby at 32 weeks, thanks to the optimised shared-care model she established.  

Tom Chynoweth and the Pharmacy Formulary Business Development Team 

Tom and the Pharmacy FBD team contributed to the outstanding preparations we saw across Monash Health in preparation for COVID-19. Together they implemented and maintained an efficient, high quality, and essential program to ensure that all Monash Health sites have access to medications.  

The supply chain was placed under significant strain during the initial period of the COVID pandemic. The disruption to these supply chains combined with the potential for increased demand from all healthcare services, had the potential to leave Monash Health with insufficient medication supplies. 

The team responded not only to ensure supply of critical medications, but to coordinate the increased storage requirements across all sites. They have initiated procedures which continue to identify medication supply risks along with strategies to manage them. They worked with numerous departments across Monash including critical care, anaesthetics, procurement and the DHHS to ensure appropriate stock levels were obtained.  

Due to the efforts of Tom and the team, Monash Health is well positioned to deal with any COVID surge as well as to maintain our services in this new ‘normal’ situation we are currently in. Tom and the team should be commended for how they responded to the challenges they faced, and for ensuring our services and patients are able to access the medications they require to achieve the best possible outcomes. 

Category 4 – Managing Wisely 

Augusto (Gus) Cruz, Manager of the Southern Adult Mental Health Clinic and the Gender Clinic, Hampton East  

Gus manages the Southern Adult Mental Health Clinic and the Gender Clinic at the combined office in Hampton East 

He has been nominated for this award by one of his team who sees Gus as a wise leader – kind, caring and calming – a person who puts others at ease and allows them to be heard and supported. 

Professional, intelligent, hardworking and decent, Gus values people in the team for their contributions, and sees them as equals, no less or better than the psychiatrists or the clients we work with.  

He upholds the iCARE values and the principles of the Mental Health Act to value and respect our clients with mental illnesses, focusing on their unique recoveries.  

Gus values and views each team member as unique and different, with their own strengths, needs and goals. He is constructive and takes time to provide thoughtful, meaningful and relevant feedback.  

Gus manages two teams wisely and works towards team collaboration and inclusion, and likes his team to support each other, not only in their own clinics, but within the whole office. He has a strong team presence, is very approachable and supportive and is relentless in his pursuit of excellence in being a fair and available manager and team leader, who is open to receiving criticism, continually trying to improve the way he works with people. 

Victoria Hornidge, (ANUM), Clinical Application Specialist in the Digital Health Division 

Victoria Hornidge works in a support services role and in addition to the busy workload she  already undertakes, used her own time and initiative to create a dashboard for the EMR Code Upgrade, completely off her own bat that will save herself, her team and her managers, time and effort during a time-critical activity.

Victoria’s dashboard will reduce the number of emails, phone calls and direct communication between members during time-critical events. This will give both analysts and managers more time to focus on their work, meaning less time spent on communication. 

The new dashboard gives clear status on team progress and eliminates confusion that can come about from late night / early morning communication during a code upgrade. In addition, Victoria’s dashboard is a sustainable initiative that reduces waste, minimises cost, and improves resource management to provide value back to the health service. 

Category 5 – Excellence in Research, Teaching & Innovation 

Michelle Paton, Clinical Lead Physiotherapist for Critical Care and Surgical Services 


Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelle Paton has led training to upskill Physiotherapists with experience in critical care to support the COVID-19 response and coordinated service provision. Her knowledge and expertise have been utilised both across Monash Health supporting Physiotherapy and ICU, and across Australia.  

At very short notice, Michelle was approached by the Australian Physiotherapy Association to develop a curriculum and present a virtual, two-day training course for 300 NSW Health physiotherapists. This course was recorded and is now available to Physiotherapists Nationally. Her clinical expertise and training approach have positioned Monash Health at the forefront to support our critical care services in the COVID-19 response. 

Michelle co-developed and presented a critical care Physiotherapy COVID-19 training course in less than a week (on top of her fulltime clinical role and completing a PhD). Due to the travel restrictions and physical distancing requirements, innovative modes of delivery were required. This training course, which in usual circumstances, would have a combination of theoretical, practical and simulated content, was presented virtually from interstate.  

Michelle has also focussed on upskilling Monash Health Physiotherapists who have critical care experience in Ventilator Management and Proning. This training is much further advanced in comparison to the National Training and will position Monash Health with an additional workforce to support our ICU colleagues in the management of the critically ill patients with COVID-19.  

Sue Bumpstead, Research Manager ED 

When we look back on this year and think about how people have adapted to take on new roles, Sue Bumpstead will be one of those setting the standard.  

Sue works in ED as the Research Manager for Driving Change at Monash Health. Driving Change is a project which uses data to reduce alcohol harm for those presenting to our EDs. Over the last two years, Sue has been leading a Local Drug and Alcohol Action Team, which works with police, local councils and primary care partners, with the objective of reducing alcohol harm presenting to Monash Health ED. Sue has enabled Monash Health to be the first healthcare service nationally to lead an Local Drug and Alcohol Action Team. 

With the COVID pandemic, Sue embraced a very rapid change in her job description to “Driving PPE training”. She came into the ED often in her own time to support our nurse educators and other healthcare workers to Accelerate PPE training over several weekends in March.  

Concerned about the need to preserve medical grade PPE equipment for healthcare workers, Sue was involved in an innovative research study to source high physical resemblance (HPR) PPE training kits. These kits have been very well received by the MMC Emergency Department and Sue also led a research project to evaluate the HPR PPE training packs. 

Sue’s approach epitomises excellence. She has a systematic approach to investigating and exploring solutions using education and research. She is always looking for the most effective way to improve outcomes for employees, patients and the health service. 

Approved by Karen Lowe



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