The Administrator's Medals in Primary Health Care for 2014 awards were presented Thursday 28 August by Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AC, Administrator of the Northern Territory, during a ceremony at Government House.
These prestigious awards are presented annually to recognise and reward the outstanding service provided by the Northern Territory's primary health care professionals, often amidst challenging circumstances.
A strong field of nominations was received, with each nomination celebrating the significant frontline health care provided to communities across the Northern Territory. Nominations were reviewed by a panel comprising representatives from partnering organisations to select the individual and team winners.
The Individual Award was presented to Jenny Pechey, Continence and Stoma Nurse Advisor Specialist Nurse Unit, Department of Health and Families. The Team Award was presented to Maningrida Primary Health Care Team.
Individual Award Recipient: Jenny Pechey, Alice Springs
Continence and Stoma Nurse Advisor Specialist Nurse Unit, Department of Health
Jenny was nominated by a consumer for her role as a Specialist Continence and Stoma Nurse in the Alice Springs community. She demonstrates great passion and commitment to the many individuals of all ages who suffer from rarely acknowledged conditions that impact on their quality of life.
Jenny has a wealth of professional experience and knowledge, especially in the cross-cultural context. She demonstrates sensitivity and understanding of the circumstances facing Aboriginal people dealing with stoma and continence issues whilst living in overcrowded conditions, where they lack sufficient privacy.
Committed to education of her clients, Jenny recognises that carer education is an important issue. A lack of knowledge and resources means that many people – particularly profoundly disabled adults and children living in care houses, ventilated quadriplegics and people with PEG tubes – have limited support when they are discharged from hospital. Jenny's role is entirely client-focussed, and she constantly strives to make a difference in the lives of all her patients.
Jenny can rarely be found in her office, such is the scope of care that she provides in the community. Stoma patients, spinal cord injury patients, urology patients, the elderly, children, people with a disability, women after childbirth – Jenny's work helps to improve the quality of life with all those she works alongside.
Team Award Recipient: Maningrida Primary Health Care Team
Maningrida Health Centre was nominated for demonstrating that they are a cohesive and caring group that consistently delivers high levels of primary health care to the people of Maningrida Community.
While conditions are known to be tough and highly challenging in a resource-poor setting, the creativity and dedication of this team is constantly at the forefront. The team at Maningrida go beyond the call of duty, not for their own personal gain or for individual recognition, but because they genuinely love what they are doing and want to deliver the highest level of care to the people of Maningrida.
Maningrida Primary Health Care team is made up of remote area nurses, rural medical practitioners, Aboriginal health practitioners, community support workers, cleaners, drivers and administrative officers. In a remote setting it is vital that all team members work together to ensure good patient outcomes. Despite cultural and language barriers, the Maningrida team demonstrates exceptional teamwork in both acute and non-acute situations. This is particularly commendable given that working in a remote environment places heavy stress on individuals that can often impact on team cohesion.
The commitment and dedication of this team to delivering high quality primary health care in a very remote setting with many challenges is outstanding. Staff consistently work well beyond the basic requirements to ensure excellent care is delivered; this often means unpaid work hours. The team demonstrates a high level of integration of practice and programs with the local community. They strive to achieve innovative ways of delivering health care in the most culturally appropriate way.