Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 22 September

Message from the Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • Six COVID-19 positive inpatients, one of whom is in ICU.
  • Two employees with COVID-19.
  • Six employees in precautionary quarantine.

One of the keys to our outbreak response has been our ability to respond in a swift and co-ordinated manner. We demonstrated this again last week, as we quickly stood up two more temporary screening clinics in Dandenong to encourage further testing in the community. These clinics are a walk-up clinic located at Palm Plaza (near Dandenong Market) and another walk-in clinic at the existing Dandenong drive-through, for those in our community who may not have easy access to a vehicle.

A big thank you to our testing teams, led by Claire Pierce, for quickly establishing these new clinic locations as part of a co-ordinated response. At our Palm Plaza site on the weekend, the team handed out free, reusable masks and spoke with members of the community about what they need to be doing to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Meanwhile, our Infection Prevention team, led by A/Prof Rhonda Stuart, has taken primary responsibility for contact tracing and worked alongside our Refugee Service to support the health needs of the families at the centre of the outbreak, making sure that they understand the messages being delivered, and that we have the information we need to progress contact tracing.

Throughout, we have worked closely with DHHS, local councils and community leaders to help track and trace close contacts of the confirmed coronavirus cases. Another great example of teamwork within Monash Health and with our partners.

I would particularly like to thank Jacquie McBride, Chiedza Malunga and the Refugee Health team for their leadership and work in supporting the local community, both before and during COVID-19.

Earlier, we made changes within our Emergency Departments and to emergency admissions to keep you and our patients safe. The total active case numbers is dropping, with all recently identified cases coming from known households and close contacts who were in isolation. There is no evidence of ongoing community transmission at this time. For this reason, we no longer will test or isolate patients from these postcodes who enter Monash Health facilities.

Our work was recognised by Premier Andrews at today’s media conference, “The Greater Dandenong cluster we saw just recently – has been expertly managed by a big team, but a significant part of that team has been a local response from Monash Health and to all the team at Monash Health, I want to say thank you very much, you have done an amazing job.”

Throughout this pandemic, the landscape is constantly changing. By remaining alert and adaptable, we have been able to respond to these changes and implement effective strategies. This approach will continue to serve us well in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Thank you, as always, for all your hard work and dedication.

Andrew Stripp

Chief Executive


Key Messages

Contact tracing is the responsibility of the Infection Prevention team
A reminder that notification regarding outbreaks, contact tracing, and any required furloughing of employees is the responsibility of the Infection Prevention team.

It is important that if there is an outbreak in your work area, that you allow the Infection Prevention team to manage it in line with our established protocols, which exist to facilitate effective tracing, reduce anxiety and respect confidentiality.

Respecting Privacy
Monash Health employee records, including health records, must only be accessed when required as part of your job. We treat privacy seriously and have systems in place to monitor and control access to employee information. Please only access records in line with your duties. Read our Employee Privacy Procedure for more details.

STAR Awards – New category and nominations closing soon

Have you observed a team or individual performing with excellence or delivering something extraordinary? Now is the chance to nominate them. Nominations for the July – September quarter of the STAR Awards program are open and close Wednesday 30 September.

This quarter, we are excited to announce the new award category ‘Excellence in Occupational health, safety and wellbeing’. This category recognises an individual, group or team who have put health and safety at the heart of the way they work. Learn more here.

Additional screening clinics open in Dandenong

Over the weekend, Monash Health opened two additional screening clinics in Dandenong, to encourage further testing in the community. This was in response to an increase in case numbers in the Casey area over the past week.

These clinics include a walk-up clinic located at Palm Plaza (near the Dandenong Market) and a walk-in clinic at the existing Dandenong drive-through clinic in the Carroll Lane car park. Read more here.

Installation of speakerphones in single rooms

New speakerphones, which enable handsfree communication, will be installed in all our single rooms to enable safer communication between patients, their families and our clinicians.

Recently, we have trialled the use of speakerphones across some of our wards. We have received positive feedback, with our nursing teams reporting that they have been invaluable in providing safe, timely care to our patients. Learn more here.

Our teams ask R U OK?

We put out the call for teams across Monash Health to tell us how they promoted R U OK? Day and how they have managed to stay connected during a time where they may otherwise be apart. We had an amazing range of submissions come through that demonstrated how teams created safe, welcoming spaces for people to have conversations about how they might be feeling.

All submissions went in the running to win a meditation and relaxation session for their team. We are pleased to announce that Dandenong Emergency Department and Moorabbin Theatre have been named our winners! Learn more here.

Continue to take advantage of wellbeing resources

Take advantage of the health and wellbeing resources we have available for you, including the Call a Psychologist service and the employee assistance program. Don’t forget the basics of your physical health and remember we have links to resources online for you and your teams, including a helpful guide to stretching at your desk, wherever that desk might be.

Ensure you are working to the most up-to-date advice

The information about COVID-19 is changing rapidly. Ensure you are working to the most up-to-date advice by referring to the Monash Health Employee Coronavirus website. To make accessing the site quicker, you can create a shortcut on your smartphone by following these instructions.

Upcoming events

Medical Grand Round, 12.30pm Wednesday 23 September

Excellence in Clinical Practice

Topic: “kNOw thrombosis”


  • Dr Susan Brown, Physician, Haematology
  • Dr Ashwini Bennett, Physician, Haematology
  • Dr Agnes Yuen, Fellow, Haematology


Employee Forum, 2pm Thursday 24 September

Join our Employee Forum for an opportunity to discuss Monash Health’s COVID-19 response.

COVID-19 Update

Andrew Stripp, Chief Executive

Andrew will provide an update on Monash Health’s COVID-19 response.

The New Norm – Physical activity/Healthy eating

Sally Leonard, Exercise Physiologist & Maryanne Silvers, Head of Nutrition and Dietetics


Andrew Stripp / Members of the Executive


Stay up to date with events on our COVID-19 website for Monash Health employees:

All managers are requested to share these updates with their teams and discuss at stand-ups and handovers. Please print a copy and display it in communication books and on employee noticeboards.

As advice and information evolve, please consult the latest updates and visit the Department of Health and Human Services and Monash Health COVID-19 website for employees regularly for the latest.

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