STAR Award winners announced 

At last week’s employee forum, Chief Executive Andrew Stripp announced the last four of our Quarter 3 STAR Award recipients: 

  • Excellence in Research, Teaching and Innovation – Tanja Ivacic-Ramljak 
  • Exceptional Teamwork – Clayton Mental Health Program 
  • Managing Wisely – Susanne Sturm 
  • Outstanding Care or Service Delivery – Ward 32, Monash Medical Centre 

Congratulations to all our winners! If you know a colleague or team that you believe has gone above and beyond, head to the STAR portal and nominate them. Nominations for Quarter 4 are now open. 

Read more about the fantastic work of our winners below.  

Excellence in Research, Teaching and Innovation – Tanja Ivacic-Ramljak 

Tanja IvacicRamljak is the Library Manager at the Monash Health Library. She provides customised training in evidence-based practice and literature searching to clinical units and leads the delivery of library research consultation. Largely working remotely, Tanja has found ways to be innovative in service delivery during COVID-19.She moved all teaching online, conducting services through Webex, and utilised tools such as online booking forms, Slido and interactive quizzes. She is continuing to develop innovative options for online delivery that will provide engaging sessions with practical content and audience interaction. Her work has contributed to a 73% increase in research consultations in 12 months and a 63% increase in the number of people trained by the library.  

Tanja has also established a team learning program for the library team, including external professional development, monthly article discussions, and rotating presentations on emerging trends and cutting-edge topics.  

Tanja’s drive for excellence is inspiring for both training attendees and her colleagues. She works tirelessly to deliver excellence – frequently exceeding expectations of clinicians who use the library service. She is a consistent, high performer and always willing to tackle any challenge.   

Exceptional Teamwork – Clayton Mental Health Program 

A few months ago, a patient on P Block tested positive to COVID-19 and 43 employees were subsequently furloughed.  The Mental Health Program all banded together to support the inpatient unit during this time. All of our community units offered support in releasing willingenthusiastic team members to assist with operating the inpatient unit. People volunteered their time and service, including some who had not worked in the inpatient setting for up to 20 years! It was also a time of incredibly rapid changewhich the team completely took on without delay and with such a positive attitude.  

With the ward closed for admissions, team members were enthusiastic and found ways to improve the ward with the additional time they had. There was a complete overhaul of the unit, cleaning, decluttering and reorganising all communal areas of the unit to streamline and boost efficiency. The team also revamped our nursing portfolios and were able to get a head start on accreditation preparation. They were also able to implement a complete telehealth rollout during this time.   

The team banded together and became stronger, embracing the opportunity to turn a challenging situation into one with positive outcomes. One of the highlights during this time was hearing the consumer experience. Despite a ward lock down, the consumers expressed how well supported they felt. The teams all worked exceptionally well during this most challenging time to support their colleagues and to ensure that patient care remained at the absolute highest standard.   

Managing Wisely – Susanne Sturm 

Susanne Sturis a Senior Pharmacist who recently initiated and led a successful project that aimed to improve sustainability within our Pharmacy department. She identified an opportunity to remove plastic bags from particular aspects of our Pharmacy operations and came up with an initiative that could be duplicated across all sites.   

Susanne was proactive in gaining the support of the whole Pharmacy team, as well as involving patients and families in the project. The success of the project has led to greater financial efficiency and stronger environmental sustainability for the department. Susanne’s initiative and drive not only resulted in a successful, sustainable project but has opened doors to explore even more innovative ideas in the future.  

This was one of the sustainability achievements reported in our annual report; as pharmacy transitioned away from using single-use plastic bags to reusable or paper bags, they have eliminated close to 5000 plastic bags in one month at Monash Medical Centre. 

Outstanding Care or Service Delivery – Ward 32, Monash Medical Centre 

In the last few months, we have seen many changes to our health service. During this time, Ward 32 at Monash Medical Centre was turned into a COVID-19 Management ward. To date, they’ve had the highest number of COVID-positive patients admitted and successfully discharged. From diligent PSAs running infection control measures to perfection, to an innovative nursing team dealing with challenging circumstances, Ward 32 has provided excellent care with dignity and respect.   

During this time, there was a focus on upskilling and closing practice gaps. The implementation of the “Buddy System” promoted stronger working relationships and the end of shift huddle became a “huddle of gratitude”, providing an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate each other’s help.  

Clinical Nurse Educators Kim LumsdenSherGraan and Alyce Bowtell used innovation and creativity to further build on the Cardiac and Respiratory learning packages on LATTE. This was complemented by the first mock SIM Centre setup to run Mechanical Ventilation, which was available to anyone interested in looking after ventilated patients in the critical care areas and was well received. In less than four days, Kim trained more than 90 employees including consultants, Head of Units and DCOs in the use of PPE and became the go-to person for many of the respiratory consultants.  

The phrase resonating within Ward 32 is“We are a team and we will get through this together”.  

For more information on the STAR Awards and how to nominate a colleague or team, you can visit the Monash Health COVID-19 website 

Approved by Karen Lowe 



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