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WBHHS celebrates volunteers and staff at annual awards

The achievements of health staff and volunteers across Wide Bay were recognised last night at Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service’s second annual Excellence Awards.

The awards, which were held at The Waves sports club in Bundaberg, focus on how the actions of staff and volunteers are leading to improvements in care for local patients.

The major award – the Care Comes First Excellence Award – went to the WBHHS Oral Health team, for their outstanding effort to significantly and sustainably reduce waiting times for dental patients. The same team was also recognised with a Highly Commended award in the Premier’s Awards for Excellence last month.

Board Chair Peta Jamieson said seven awards in total were presented at the dinner, with other categories including leadership, teamwork and collaboration, innovation, volunteers, early achievers, and unsung heroes.

“These awards are an important way to recognise our staff and volunteers, who all contribute in various ways to providing the best possible care and delivering the best possible outcomes for our patients,” Ms Jamieson said.

“As an organisation, we can’t achieve anything without our staff, so last night was a great opportunity for us not only to congratulate our finalists and winners on their efforts, but also to say thank you for doing a really important job that helps to improve the lives of our community.

“We were also honoured to have Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, join us for the evening and she presented several awards to finalists and winners.”

WBHHS Acting Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said the annual awards were an excellent reminder for staff and volunteers that what they did each and every day all added up to outstanding care for patients.

“Our awards recognise the efforts of individuals and teams, both clinical and non-clinical, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to achieve tangible outcomes for our patients,” Ms Carroll said.

“It’s also fantastic to have a single awards ceremony for the entire region, because it enables staff from across Wide Bay to see what’s being achieved by other WBHHS teams and individuals, and to be encouraged and inspired by their colleagues.

“Looking at the finalists and winners, it’s really pleasing to see so much diversity – in the geographic areas people are from, in the services they provide and the projects they’ve been working on.

“Regardless of the category and the winner, one thing is certain – our patients are better off as a result.”

The full list of winners and finalists is as follows:

Volunteer Award


Mundubbera State School (Hospital volunteering program)


Anne Young (Hervey Bay Hospital chaplain)

Helen Wakefield (Maryborough Hospital Auxiliary)

Unsung Heroes Award


Gavin Podd (Assistant in Nursing, Medical Ward, Hervey Bay Hospital)

Craig Pettett and Charles Bayntun (S4/HANA Project Team, WBHHS)


Sue-Lee Prickett (Executive Support Officer, ICU and Anaesthetics, Bundaberg Hospital)

Rachel Loague (Clinical Nurse, Specialist Outpatients, Hervey Bay Hospital)

Leadership Award


Jacqueline Haskew (Nurse Manager, Business Practice Improvement, Fraser Coast Emergency Department)


Lisa Baker (Team Leader, Rural Allied and Community Health)

Dr Yulia Sugeng (Staff Specialist, Emergency Department, Bundaberg Hospital)

Innovation Award


Acute Oncology Service, Fraser Coast


Junior Medical Mental Health Team, Fraser Coast

Rural Allied and Community Health team

Early Achiever Award


Alison McWhir (Registered Nurse, Mundubbera Multipurpose Health Service)


Sue-Ellen Fitzpatrick (Acting Director of Nursing, Monto Hospital)

Dr Victor Birioukov (Acting Clinical Director, Anaesthetics, Bundaberg Hospital)

Collaboration / Teamwork Award


Choosing Wisely program, WBHHS


Mental Health Inpatient Unit team, Bundaberg

Media and Communications team, WBHHS

Care Comes First Excellence Award


Oral Health team, WBHHS


Dr Margaret Young (Public Health Unit, WBHHS)

Geoff Richardson (Team Leader, Acute Mental Health team, Bundaberg Hospital)

Dr Tim Lane (Principal House Officer, Medicine, Bundaberg Hospital).

Last updated: 5 December 2019