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ACT nurses and midwives recognised

Christine Archer, a melanoma and skincare specialist nurse at Canberra Hospital, has been named as the ACT’s 2019 Nurse of the Year, for her dedication to the nursing profession and melanoma research.

At the 2019 Nursing and Midwifery Awards held on Thursday 9 May, Midwife of the Year was awarded to Sally McRae, a registered midwife from Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, for her work in introducing parent programs that focus on positive parenting.

The Childbirth Education Research Team from Canberra Hospital were awarded Team of the Year for their re-design of the Childbirth Education Program at the hospital, and conducting an evidence-based program to educate staff and improve patient care.

“Nurses, midwives and our allied health professionals predominantly engage with the public in clinical settings – in our hospitals, walk-in centres and our maternity and child health clinics. They are often a calming presence in highly stressful situations and they consistently deliver high quality, people-centred, health care,” said Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris.

“While we are driving a people-centred health care system, we are also urging the public to be people-minded when engaging with our nurses and midwives. We do urge the public to look after and respect our nursing and midwifery staff as they do their jobs looking after patients and families every day.”

In further recognition of ACT nurses, the Inspired team from Calvary Hospital’s Clare Holland House took out the Team Excellence award at the HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery awards on Thursday 9 May.

Program aims to reduce preterm births

A new preterm birth prevention initiative, called ‘the whole nine months’, will work to lower the number of babies born prematurely (before 37 weeks) in the ACT.

The initiative has been generously supported in the ACT by the Liangis family to employ a midwife and to set up a preterm birth prevention clinic to support women identified as at risk of giving birth prematurely.

Canberra Health Services has developed the project in partnership with the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance. Other key components of the project include new clinical guidelines, an outreach program for health care practitioners and a public health program for women and their families.

The National Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance and the ACT initiative build on a Western Australian research program which has significantly reduced the rate of preterm birth across WA since its launch in 2014.

The clinic is now open for bookings. Women who have been referred by their GP to the clinic can make an appointment by calling Canberra Hospital’s Fetal Medicine Unit on 5124 7461.

Yarning circles to grow connections

A new program is supporting former female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees to make positive life changes to minimise their contact with the justice system.

The Clybucca Dreaming’s Yarning Circles for Justice Program is in line with the ACT’s Justice Reinvestment work to ‘Build Communities, Not Prisons’.

“As the women on the program reintegrate back into the community, they engage with Aboriginal elders and community leaders, yarn about their experiences and future goals and rebuild relationships with family, friends, and the broader community,” Minister for Corrections and Justice Health Shane Rattenbury said. “This program is a great opportunity for all participants to begin a new chapter in their lives with the right support to reduce the possibility of reoffending and returning to custody.”

Clybucca Dreaming’s Yarning Circles for Justice will run over a six-month period and support approximately 20 Aboriginal women.

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