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Outstanding achievements celebrated at WNSWLHD Awards

Mark Spittal, WNSWLHD Chief Executive, said the Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and success of teams and health professionals across the District.

“Every year our dedicated healthcare professionals face new challenges and this year was no different. Once again, they rose to those challenges to provide innovative, world-class care for our communities,” Mr Spittal said.

“All of our Award finalists presented their projects at Thursday’s Symposium. Being able to see and hear their passion, drive and commitment to improve our services and the care we provide was nothing short of inspiring.

“Every year this event allows us to see and appreciate the amazing work our staff do right across our District every single day. Importantly, it also gives us the opportunity to come together to celebrate and recognise those achievements.”

The 2023 WNSWLHD Awards were presented to teams and projects that contributed to innovation in healthcare, while a number of individual prizes were also awarded.

This year there was 15 Award categories – Collaborative Staff Member of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Senior Leader of the Year, Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare, Health Innovation, Keeping People Healthy, Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services, Transforming Patient Experience, Patient Safety First and People and Culture, along with the Inspiring Team, People’s Choice, Board’s Choice, Chief Executive’s and ACI Rural Innovation awards.

The big winner on the evening was the District’s Remote Mobile CT Service, which won the Health Innovation Award along with the Board’s Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award, the latter of which was voted on by the District’s workforce.

The Remote Mobile CT Service is a fully-functional Computed Tomography (CT) scanner mounted on the back of a rigid truck. It is the first of its kind in NSW and also the first which services hospitals across Australia.

Rotating between Cobar, Bourke and Walgett each week, the service has improved access to CT for remote communities across the north-western reaches of our District and significantly reduced patients’ need to travel for this critical diagnostic service.

Since coming online in May, the service has provide more than 280 scans and saved patients approximately 170,000 kilometres in travel, allowing them to receive scans closer to home rather than travelling large distances to a fixed CT site.

Dr Simon Heppell, Dubbo Heath Service Director of Trauma, was announced as the 2023 Collaborative Staff Member of the Year, following his leadership and collaborative work in the multi-year program to have the Dubbo Health Service reinstated as a Regional Trauma Service.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was shared by Ana Vastag, from Lightning Ridge, and James Hamilton, from Trangie, while WNSWLHD Executive Director of People and Culture Sandra Duff won the Senior Leader of the Year Award.

The Chief Executive’s Award, chosen on the day following all the finalists’ presentations at the Symposium, was also shared between the Expansion of Modern Radiotherapy Service and the All-Inclusive Dementia Sing Out Choir.

 “I wholeheartedly congratulate all of our Award winners and finalists. There were so many worthy projects that were submitted for consideration across the District,” Mr Spittal said.

“We are so proud of our staff’s work and the care they provide to our communities. We are truly grateful to have such dedicated healthcare professionals across our District, of whom our communities can be justifiably proud.”



  • Collaborative Staff Member of the Year – Dr Simon Heppell
  • Volunteer of the Year – Ana Vastag, and James Hamilton
  • Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare Award – Welcome Baby to Bourke Ceremony
  • Health Innovation Award – Remote Mobile CT Service
  • Keeping People Healthy Award – Coonabarabran Family Drop-In Centre, and Hepatitis C Cure is Within Your Reach
  • Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Award – Gradstart Revitalising the Workforce
  • Transforming Patient Experience Award – Seeing the Individual Story Before the Waitlist
  • Patient Safety First Award – IMBED
  • People and Culture Award – PharmAssist: Elevating the Pharmacy Technician Role
  • Inspiring Team Award – Integrated Planned Care for Better Health
  • People’s Choice Award – Remote Mobile CT Service
  • Board’s Choice Award – Remote Mobile CT Service
  • Chief Executive’s Award – Expansion of Modern Radiotherapy Service, and All-Inclusive Dementia Sing Out Choir
  • Senior Leader of the Year Award – Sandra Duff, WNSWLHD Executive Director of People and Culture
  • Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) Rural Innovation Award – Cardiovascular Information System (CVIS)

https://www.nsw.gov.au/health/wnswlhd/news/latest-news/outstanding-achievements-celebrated-at-wnswlhd-awards Outstanding achievements celebrated at WNSWLHD Awards

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