Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health

Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health
Auricle                       EDITION 2 / 2021

                   New tech brings back
                     family meal time

     05                      13                                        19                         24
New CT Scanner     Ford site transforms into                    New research targets   Coronavirus Emergency
                 community vaccination hub                    endometriosis symptoms   Relief Fund – one year on
Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health

    CONTENTS                                                                  Fun facts
    02 Message from the Chief Executive                                       Here’s a snapshot of the Public
    02 Interns learn the ropes of health management                           Affairs and Communications
       WHAT’S NEW
         Getting greener
                                                                              team’s output since the beginning
         Cutting speech pathology waiting times                               of the pandemic (1 March 2020
         Satisfaction guaranteed with Clinical Engineering
         New StaffCare Women’s Health service
                                                                              through 7 May 2021):
         Introducing the Barwon Biobank and Data Lake
         New laser machine for urology surgeries
         New CT scanner
    06 New tech brings back family meal time
    07 DEPARTMENT SPOTLIGHT | Oncology Rehabilitation
       THE HEART OF THE MATTER | Royal Commission
         sets path for new approach to mental health
    11   Milestone for innovative ICU services
    12   New theatres a healthy boost for Geelong patients
    12   Pocket hearts for bereaved families to hold close

    COVID-19 Vaccine
    13 Ford site transforms into community vaccination hub
                                                                              MEDIA INQUIRIES – 604
    14 New vaccination hub evokes fond memories forJoe
                                                                              PHOTOS TAKEN – 14,504
    15	                               | Clinical trials can transform
         community health                                                     FACEBOOK REACH -
    Research at Barwon Health
    18	Australian-first study reveals gender differences in footy injuries   VIDEOS PRODUCED - 323
    17 Research into sterilising pacifiers and food allergies published
                                                                              POSTERS AND SIGNAGE
    19	New research targets endometriosis symptoms
    19 Announcing the BH DU PHD program
                                                                              PRODUCED – 155

                                                                              MEMOS AND CIRCULARS
    20 MEDICAL MYTHBUSTERS | COVID-19 vaccination
                                                                              PRODUCED - 159
    20 Virtual word offers therapeutic remedy to isolation
    21 Test Tracker streamlines waiting game
                                                                              Cover: Lance Collins, who has MND, is able to enjoy
       OT training videos take safer care to online audience
    21	                                                                      meals with his family again, thanks to the assistance
    22 Staff acknowledgements                                                 of his Obi Robotic Feeder. Image: Geelong Advertiser.

    22 Dr Renee Sheedy honoured with scholarship award
    23 Lasting Legacy Tree unveiled                                         
    23 Refurbished cancer patient accommodation
    23 Barwon Health Foundation provides boost to Room 64 podcast
    24 Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund – one year on                      

    24 Alex is a marvel
    25 Length of service

                                                                              Auricle is edited and produced by Barwon Health’s
                                                                              Public Affairs and Communications Department.

                                                           Barwon Health
Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health

                                                   the McKellar Centre, which is a fantastic         of the vaccination program with carefully
                                                   community-funded project supported by the         planned logistics, administration, promotions
                                                   Barwon Health Foundation that will make a         and services. After just over three months
                                                   difference to families across the Barwon South    of the rollout, the Barwon South West Public
                                                   West region. The community will be pleased        Health Unit has administered more than
                                                   to see the recent State Government budget         80,000 vaccine doses, with more than 43,000
                                                   announcements for Barwon Health Surf              at the former Ford site in just two months. It
                                                   Coast Community Hospital and the expansion        was a huge effort to transform the Norlane
                                                   of paediatric services in the Emergency           site into a community vaccination hub, and
                                                   Department. The Barwon Women’s and                it’s very rewarding to see hundreds of people
                                                   Children’s also continues to progress with        vaccinated there each day.
Message from the                                   detailed planning well advanced.
                                                                                                     We have been fortunate to experience a taste
                                                   In response to the Royal Commission into          of “normal” life again; however, the past month
 Chief Executive                                   Mental Health, it’s been encouraging to see       or so has shown how quickly this virus can
                                                   significant investment in mental health           spread and impact our community. The latest
Now that we’re midway through the year, it’s       that will make our services more accessible       restrictions have taken a toll on everyone in the
instructive and interesting to look back at what   in the community. This includes the recent        community and I want to specifically thank our
has changed compared to the first six months       announcement for a new five -storey               staff who have shown agility and resilience in
of 2020. The pandemic continues to devastate       Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Services       the way they have responded to the changes.
some communities around the world, and we          Community Hub in central Geelong, which will
                                                                                                     I am enormously proud of the way Barwon
have seen in Victoria how quickly we can both      help people in our region get better access to
                                                                                                     Health has responded to the recent challenges,
adjust to “normal” life again, only to return      community based treatment and support. The
                                                                                                     whether it is keeping our aged care residents
to the restrictions that are required during a     Hub will complement our new Mental Health
                                                                                                     safe, responding to more people seeking care
significant outbreak.                              Hospital in the Home program, as well as the
                                                                                                     in the emergency department, or delivering
                                                   new acute mental health unit at the McKellar
Of course, there has also been a lot happening                                                       more babies. I appreciate all the work and
                                                   Centre that is now in the construction planning
outside of COVID-19. Here at University                                                              commitment of our staff in responding to our
Hospital Geelong, Building B has opened two                                                          community.
of the newly refurbished operating theatres        A huge part of our success in keeping COVID-19
to create more capacity for elective surgery,      out of Geelong has been the fantastic efforts
while the Swanston Centre redevelopment is         of the community and all of our healthcare
progressing well, with new inpatient rooms, a      workers across the Barwon South West
revamped therapy space and new courtyard           region. We are now working with rural health
now complete. Construction has also started        services, the Primary Health Network and
on our new Kids Rehabilitation Centre at           other community providers on the rollout          Frances Diver | Chief Executive

Three management interns have                      “We’re doing work with Barwon Health’s
                                                   strategy planning team, but other interns
joined Barwon Health for a six-
                                                   around the state are working in service
month program aimed to develop                     provision, risk, policy, and other departments
future leaders for the health system.              that cover the business side of healthcare,”
                                                   he said.
The Australasian College of Health Service
                                                                                                         Health management interns Lucy Bertino,
Management (ACHSM) program offers                  “We have received a great level of support and
                                                                                                           Sabrina Pilla and Harrison Thorn have
clinicians and graduates the opportunity to        we’re lucky to be able to work with members
                                                                                                           joined Barwon Health for six months.
develop knowledge and understanding of             of the executive and staff across the
the health sector, as well as skills relevant to   organisation, both clinical and non-clinical.”
                                                                                                     “It’s a program that not only benefits the
health management.
                                                   Barwon Health Strategy and Planning adviser       interns, but is also a great investment in
Intern Harrison Thorn said the program             Simon Montomery said the ACHSM interns            developing future leaders in the health system
was about introducing people into the              had made meaningful contributions during          and brings support and new perspectives
management side of healthcare, equipping           their time at Barwon Health.                      across a range of our projects,” he said.
them as future health managers.

Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health

                                                                    WHAT’S NEW

                                                                                          Speech pathologists Alice Stewart, Amy Tischhauser, and
                                                                                          Courtney Skontra with the new endoscopy equipment.

                                                                                          CUTTING SPEECH PATHOLOGY
       GETTING GREENER                                                                    WAITING TIMES
                                                                                          The arrival of new endoscopy equipment will
       Biodegradable denture                 of finding sustainable options               dramatically reduce the waiting list for speech
                                             that reduce the organisation’s               pathology services at Barwon Health.
       cups, paper pill cups and
                                             carbon footprint, resulting in new
       sugar cane injection trays            products, including the sugar                Speech pathologist Courtney Skontra said the new
       are Barwon Health’s latest            cane injection trays that are                endoscopy stack and two videoscopes would play a pivotal
       move to become more                   now being used for the COVID-19              role in service expansion.
       environmentally-friendly.             vaccination rollout.
                                                                                          “The new equipment will see significant growth in
                                             Other initiatives have also                  endoscopy-based assessment and treatment of
       The recent switch to these eco-
                                             adapted a “reduce, reuse and                 swallowing, voice and some upper airway conditions, such
       friendly products will cut back on
                                             recycle” approach, such as                   as paradoxical vocal fold movement, in both inpatient and
       significant waste, with 1.5 million
                                             removing single use medicine                 outpatient settings,” she said.
       plastic pill cups previously used
                                             cups, and patients bringing
       every year.                                                                        Credentialed senior speech pathologists will advance their
                                             their own overnight bag instead
                                                                                          scope of practice, dramatically reducing the waiting times
       Barwon Health’s latest strategic      of receiving a disposable
                                                                                          for these services, while (Ear, Nose and Throat service) ENT
       plan has outlined the importance      thermoplastic patient clothing bag.
                                                                                          continues to support the services for medical opinion and
                                                                                          follow-up as required.

    Congratulations to Clinical                     The department is responsible for managing          satisfaction, compliance to regulatory
                                                    a wide range of medical devices and                 requirements, managing resources, employee
    Engineering for receiving ISO
                                                    technologies throughout Barwon Health               engagement and continuous improvement.
    9001 re-certification following an              sites, its affiliates and other medical sites in
                                                                                                        This marks 19 years since first being issued
    independent audit for high quality              Geelong and surrounding areas.
                                                                                                        with the certification and an average
    and standards.
                                                    This re-certification achievement confirms          customer satisfaction score of 9.7 for the
                                                    a commitment to quality, customer                   past 10 years.

                                                                      Barwon Health
Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health

                                             NEW STAFFCARE WOMEN’S
                                             HEALTH SERVICE
                                             Barwon Health’s StaffCare                      before moving to Geelong and entering
                                                                                            general practice in 1994. To book an
                                             Women’s Health service is now
                                                                                            appointment, Barwon Health employees
                                             operating on Tuesday, Wednesday                should book via HotDoc (https:// www.
                                             and Thursday each week.              
                                             Led by Dr Margaret Somerville, all aspects
                                                                                            care/doctors). Alternatively, staff can
                                             of women’s health are catered for in the
                                                                                            email, or
                                             service, including family planning, pre-
                                                                                            phone 4215 3220.
                                             pregnancy counselling, pregnancy advice,
                                             and menopause advice. Dr Somerville            Pictured: StaffCare Women’s Health
                                             has previously worked at St Vincent’s          service GP Dr Margaret Somerville.
                                             Hospital and the Royal Women’s Hospital

A new initiative is developing a            Barwon Health has secured a new
system for healthcare providers             state-of-the-art laser machine that
and researchers to analyse data             can vaporise painful kidney stones
and samples, while protecting               and support the treatment of men
consumer privacy.                           with prostate conditions.

Vast quantities of data and biological      The Lumenis MOSES 2.0 laser device is the
samples are collected on a daily basis      first of its kind in any Australian hospital
at Barwon Health and researchers have       and will use the very latest medical laser
identified that these samples could be      technology to manage about 350 urology
used to continually improve services, as    patients each year.
well as to discover new treatment and                                                        Director of urological surgery Richard Grills
                                            The equipment’s main benefit is a cost
prevention strategies.                                                                       with the Lumenis MOSES 2.0 laser device.
                                            effective approach that allows for quicker
The Barwon Health and Deakin University     operations and reduced recovery time in
                                                                                             “On top of offering a quicker surgical procedure,
partnership has launched the initiative     hospital, leading to shorter waiting lists,
                                                                                             this device will allow patients with urinary tract
called the Barwon Biobank and Data Lake.    according to Barwon Health’s urological
                                                                                             stones to spend less time in hospital and it
                                            surgery director Richard Grills.
The Data Lake will link a request for                                                        reduces the need for follow-up procedures.
research consent to a highly-protected      Mr Grills said the device had equipped the
                                                                                             “Patients requiring surgery for urinary
environment in which people with            region to better manage patients with urinary
                                                                                             problems related to non-cancerous prostate
approved projects can work on (but never    tract calculi and benign prostatic disease.
                                                                                             disease will be able to be treated in less time,
remove) de-identified data and samples.
                                            “The fact that University Hospital Geelong       often with day stay procedures, with results
Researchers are now seeking input
                                            has made this technology available to public     that will reduce bleeding and the risk of blood
from the community to help design and
                                            health patients demonstrates Barwon Health’s     transfusion. Ultimately, this means less time
implement the Data Lake. To get involved,
                                            commitment to innovation and having the          away from work and family, and an earlier
                                            best equipment for our patients,” he said.       return to normal activities.”

Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health

                                                                           WHAT’S NEW

                                                                                                                      The scanner delivers
                                                                                                                   valuable clinical insights
                                                                                                                    such as improved tissue
                                                                                                                     characterisation and
    The BMI team has trained to use Barwon Health’s new spectral detector-based CT scanner.
                                                                                                                  visualisation for confident
                                                                                                                     disease management.

    A new CT scanner is                 Last year, Barwon Health received $1.5                •   Bariatric capability up to 295kg to provide
                                        million Medical Equipment Replacement                     CT imaging access to a larger patient
    offering new insight                Program funding from the Victorian State                  population
                                        Government to replace a CT scanner
        to help diagnose                                                                      •   Reduced patient dose and improved
                                        at University Hospital Geelong.
                                                                                                  diagnostic accuracy and image quality
           diseases using
                                        The new system, a Philips ICON Elite Spectral
          technology not                                                                      •   Advanced technology and additional
                                        CT scanner, was installed and began operating
                                                                                                  support to inpatient and outpatient
                                        on 23 March.
    available anywhere                                                                            scanning across Barwon Health
                                        As the world’s first spectral detector-based CT,
       else in Australia.                                                                     •   Support to emergency imaging in event
                                        the scanner delivers valuable clinical insights
                                                                                                  of the Emergency Department CT scanner
                                        such as improved tissue characterisation
                                                                                                  failure (eg. stroke imaging - perfusion,
                                        and visualisation for confident disease
                                                                                                  trauma CT, cardiac CT and advanced
                                                                                                  interventional CT)
                                        In addition to the availability of spectral
                                                                                              •   Reliability and timely scanning of acute
                                        analysis on every CT scan, the scanner
                                                                                                  patients and to maintain essential
                                        also features:
                                                                                                  imaging services to the region 24/7.

                                                                            Barwon Health
Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health

New tech brings
back family
meal time
A robotic feeding device
designed for people with
physical challenges has
transformed meal times for
Highton resident Lance Collins.
Lance, 74, has Motor Neurone Disease and is
unable to use his arms or hands, which made
him reliant on his wife Cecile and healthcare
workers for support in everyday tasks.

The retired bank clerk, taxi driver and
                                                                                                    The breakthrough technology
remedial masseur was referred to Barwon                                                            combines cutting-edge robotics
Health’s Motor Neurone Disease (MND)                                                                   and intuitive feet controls
Clinic in March 2020, requiring assisted-
                                                                                                     to give independence during
living equipment and help with dressing,
showering, cooking and eating.                                                                       meals at home and in public.

Dining experiences for Lance had become
increasingly difficult, until receiving an Obi
Feeding Device from Motor Neurone Disease
Victoria this year.

The breakthrough technology combines
cutting-edge robotics and intuitive feet
controls to give independence during meals
at home and in public.

Lance said learning how to use the device
had been simple, with a robotic arm selecting
                                                              Lance Collins, who has MND, is able to enjoy meals with his family again, thanks
food from one of four compartments and
                                                                  to the assistance of his Obi Robotic Feeder. Image: Geelong Advertiser.
delivering it to him on a spoon.

“I can control it with two foot pads and it’s    “If you’re going out and sitting down for a            “I’m the one who has to live with MND,
actually pretty easy to use,” he said.           meal, you don’t want to watch someone else             but my occupational therapist has the
                                                 eat first, so it’s given us back part of normal        experience to know what might assist me in
“It’s good to pack up and take away, so we can   life to be able to sit down as a family, eat           the household.
go out for meals with a bit of planning ahead.   together, and talk about our day.”
                                                                                                        “The saying is ‘there’s no cure, but there’s care’,
“It’s a good experience and a bit of an eye-     He said his occupational therapy at Barwon             and I flip it around to say that I’m going to die
opener for everyone else to see that somebody    Health had helped determine the Obi Robotic            from this, but there’s so much care available
with a constraint like I have can find this      Feeder as the most suitable device for his needs,      that the care I’m receiving is almost a cure.”
technical equipment to solve a problem.”         along with other home-assistance items.
                                                                                                        Lance was the face of MND Victoria’s
Lance said his wife, who has congenital          “There are so many technical advantages for            Christmas Appeal last year, with the
blindness, had been feeding him first while      people these days and when we first looked into        fundraising contributing towards the
dining, but the robot had brought back the       it, we found Obi was the best of the options           purchase of the Obi Robotic Device.
simple joy of sharing a meal together.           for people who can’t use their arms,” he said.

Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health

                                                    DEPARTMENT SP TLIGHT

    Barwon Health’s Oncology
    Rehabilitation service provides                                                               ONCOLOGY REHAB
    prehabilitation, during-                                                                      AND TELEHEALTH
    treatment interventions, and                                                                  Oncology rehab sessions are run from the Sunrise
    rehabilitation for people with                                                                Centre, but a significant number of interventions
                                                                                                  are now delivered to patients in their homes
    a cancer diagnosis.                                                                           using virtual care options such as telehealth.

    Running from the Sunrise Centre at GHMBA                                                      Distance and time are two reasons patients
    Stadium, the service offers specialist                                                        sometimes chose to complete sessions via
    intervention with cancer patients, from                                                       telehealth. Other reasons include symptom
    their diagnosis all the way through                                                           burden, compromised immunity and challenges
    treatment, and during their recovery.                                                         with body confidence relating to surgery that
    The team includes physiotherapists,                     Oncology rehabilitation care          can be disfiguring.
    exercise physiologists, dietitians, clinical          co-ordinator Catherine Williams
                                                                                                  In the past 12 months, clinicians at the Sunrise
    psychologists and neuropsychologists,
                                                                                                  Centre have completed more than 1415 telehealth
    speech pathology, audiology, as well as
                                                   “We’re seeing people well-prepared for         appointments with a 90 per cent attendance rate.
    occupational therapy and social work
                                                   surgery and cancer treatments because          The Oncology Rehabilitation team is delivering
    within Barwon Health.
                                                   of our program, and people tend to             eight group sessions via telehealth each week and
    An eight-week oncology rehabilitation          recover faster too.                            hopes to expand in the future.
    program was launched in October 2018 and
                                                   “We get very meaningful feedback from
    received the Barwon Health Best Care Safe
                                                   our patients on the enormous impact our
    Care internal quality award, with growth
                                                   service has at such a terrible time in their
    from 24 annual referrals to 40 each month.
                                                   lives, and this is what drives my sense of
    Senior physiotherapist and oncology            purpose and wanting this service to be
    rehabilitation care co-ordinator Catherine     the best of its kind.
    Williams said people who were physically
                                                   “It’s really important to us that as an
    and emotionally prepared for treatment
                                                   organisation we provide a consumer-
    had shown to recover faster.
                                                   driven service that is about more than
    “Our rehab program is able to get people       just their tumour or disease.”
    back to what they’re passionate about
    in life, with a huge sense of support from                                                              Physiotherapist April Chiu runs a
    our team and from each other in a group                                                                 telehealth session with patients.
    environment,” she said.

                                                                        Barwon Health
Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health

                                                                                                                          “I’ve done the hard
                                                                                                                        work, but the Sunrise
                                                                                                                         Centre staff pushed
                                                                                                                         me and knew what I
                                                                                                                        needed, so I give them
                                                                                                                              credit for it.”

    Sandra Cox took part in a prehabilitation program at the Sunrise Centre, working with a multi-disciplinary team to improve her fitness prior to major surgery.

Drysdale woman Sandra Cox credits her post-             “They said the fitter I am, the better I am              “I’m going back to concentrate on different
cancer recovery to the Sunrise Centre staff             going to handle the surgery. I’m home right              needs, with an eight-week program to get
who knew just how hard to push her while                now and should still be in hospital. It’s usually        me back up for day to day living.
training to improve her fitness.                        a 16-day stay, but I was home after 11 days.
                                                                                                                 “Being able to get back to work is my next
In April, Sandra had surgery for cancer of the          “I’ve done the hard work, but the Sunrise                goal and the Sunrise Centre will be a big part
gastro-oesophageal junction and was told                Centre staff pushed me and knew what I                   of that.
she needed to improve her fitness level to              needed, so I give them credit for it.
                                                                                                                 “I think there should be more people pushed
have the best possible recovery from her
                                                        “I’ve got an exercise bike at home, but                  to go there because there’s so much they can
                                                        it’s completely different to a controlled                do for you.”
While she had an active lifestyle previously,           environment where they can push you and
she said neoadjuvant chemo-radiation had                they know how hard to push you so you have
taken a toll on her body.                               a safety net.”

“After four weeks of the prehabilitation                Sandra said she planned to return to the
program at the Sunrise Centre, the                      Sunrise Centre program for her post-surgery
anaesthetist couldn’t believe how much I had            rehabilitation.
improved,” she said.

Auricle - New tech brings back family meal time - Barwon Health

                                                       THE HEART OF THE MATTER

                                        ROYAL COMMISSION
                                          SETS PATH FOR
                               APP  R O A
                        NETOWMENTAL HEALTHCH
       After two years, and more than 8000 submissions from service users, carers, service providers and
       policy makers, the final report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has
        been tabled in parliament. The Commission was set a significant task – to recommend a design
         for a new mental health system that will meet the diverse needs of the Victorian community.


    It is important to remember where we are         system should work. The Commission has          our whole system operates together. There
    coming from. Since the closure of asylums        looked at the whole story, considering how      are many reasons for this, including funding
    in the 1980s and 1990s, the design of our        we should promote good mental health            constraints and divided responsibilities across
    mental health care system has remained           and connect people to options for self-help,    Federal and State governments. But for us
    more or less the same. However, during this      all the way through to providing complex        to deliver a better system, it is critical that
    period our understanding of the causes of        sophisticated and responsive care for those     reforms drive a whole of system approach to
    and contributions to poor mental health has      most unwell.                                    delivering services, bringing services together
    grown enormously. At the same time, our                                                          in a way that makes it simple and easy for
                                                     There are significant challenges to achieving
    community and broader society has become                                                         anyone to know how to access the right care
                                                     this goal. There is an adage that today’s
    more comfortable discussing, debating and                                                        when they need it. This may be as simple as
                                                     problems result from yesterday’s solutions.
    advocating for, our mental health needs. It is                                                   working towards unifying the front door to
                                                     Therefore, it is critical we take a long-term
    therefore not surprising there is a mismatch                                                     mental health services in our region – so that
                                                     view of system reform.
    between what the community is seeking,                                                           all people know where and how to reach out
    and what the system delivers.                    For a long time, it has been an unfortunate     for help at times of need.
                                                     reality that mental health care has been
    The Royal Commission has brought forward
                                                     delivered without sufficient attention to how
    a new design for how our mental health

                                                                     Barwon Health

            “It will be important to
            consider the needs of different
            groups who have traditionally
            been less well served. More
            than ever, we recognise
            there is no “one size fits all”
            approach to care.”

It will be important to consider the needs of
different groups who have traditionally been
less well served. More than ever, we recognise
there is no “one size fits all” approach to
care, and we need to work proactively and
in partnership with communities such
as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,
people from diverse cultural and linguistic
backgrounds, the LGBTIQA+ community, and
our homeless populations to understand                                                   Steve Moylan
how services can best provide what they
need. Some of these groups have faced
discrimination in healthcare systems, while      be achieved for our whole community.           As we go on this journey as a community
others have fallen through the cracks of a       The Premier has already committed to           together, it is important to note that
complex system that has struggled to keep        implementing all the recommendations of        impacts of mental illness will continue to
up its demand. This needs to change.             the report, and it’s promising to note there   be felt in our community. Our challenge, as
                                                 has already been a strong investment in        an entire community, will be to continue
In concert with these changes to the system,
                                                 mental health from the most recent budget,     working together – as one – to grow a society
it is vital we embrace prevention and
                                                 with funding for more beds and programs. At    that supports positive mental health for all.
promotion of positive social determinants
                                                 Barwon Health, this includes new inpatient     Our challenge, as mental health services, is
of mental health. No amount of treatment
                                                 care options such a Hospital in the Home       to develop a system that ensures people
from a mental health system can alleviate the
                                                 program and McKellar Inpatient Unit,           receive the care they need, when they need
impact that poverty, homelessness, a lack of
                                                 integration with new primary care options      it, in a way that helps them feel better.
job opportunities, a degraded environment or
                                                 including the Head to Help Hub in Norlane,
decline in our social fabric has on a person.                                                   There has never been a better time to make
                                                 the development of new community mental
                                                                                                a difference to the mental health of our
Despite all these challenges, I feel there is    health hubs, and expansion to our deeply
great room for optimism about what can           committed and compassionate team.


                  Milestone for innovative
                        ICU services
                               ICU nurse Nigel Bellears checks on a patient being treated using the ECMO machine.

           It has been 10   After the tragic death of a child in April 2011,        “Both programs have demonstrated what we can
                            two clinical programs were launched to improve          achieve when we work together, and what is required
     years since Barwon     critical care services for Barwon Health patients,      to achieve major changes in practice. This includes
                            including a paediatric critical care service and the an multiple departments, executive, and disciplines
      Health’s Intensive
                            extracorporeal membrane oxygenator “ECMO” service.      collaborating, listening, and developing a shared goal.
     Care Unit embarked     Both were unique at the time, with
                            no other non-tertiary Childrens
       on two ambitious     Hospital PICU in Victoria, and no
                                                                       “In the 10-years from 2001 to 2011 we admitted
      clinical programs     regional ECMO service in Australia.        105 children. In the subsequent 10-years, we
    that have potentially   Intensive Care specialist Dr Neil
                                                                       have admitted 1219.
                            Orford, who has had a key role
      saved many lives.     in the programs, said both were            “In the 10-years from 2001 to 2011, we provided
                            now established, successful, and           ECMO for seven patients, and since then, we’ve
                            recognised nationally as templates         been able to provide ECMO for 124 patients.”
                            of new ECMO and PICU service

                            “Most importantly, both services have allowed critically
                                                                                            “There has been an understanding that a
                            ill people from Geelong and South Western Victoria to
                                                                                            commitment of years was required, and developing
                            receive the highest quality care in their region, when
                                                                                            trust, celebrating small wins, and learning and
                            they are most vulnerable,” he said.
                                                                                            adapting when it was difficult. We have built
                            “In the 10-years from 2001 to 2011 we admitted                  relationships with tertiary high volume providers
                            105 children. In the subsequent 10-years, we have               and government, and we have been transparent and
                            admitted 1219 children, but there have been no                  accountable for our results.
                            deaths since Easter 2011.
                                                                                            “On top of this, we listened to our patients, we have
                            “In the 10-years from 2001 to 2011, we provided ECMO            shared their success, and eased their suffering.”
                            for seven patients, and since then, we’ve been able to
                            provide ECMO for 124 patients.

                                                                 Barwon Health

                                                                                                        POCKET HEARTS FOR BEREAVED
                                                                                                        FAMILIES TO HOLD CLOSE
                                                                                                        Barwon Health maternity staff are
                                                                                                        making crafts to support the one
                                                                                                        in four families who experience
                                                                                                        pregnancy loss.

                                                                                                        Clinical midwife specialist Edwina McLean said
                                                                                                        the crochet, felt, and knitted pocket-sized
                                                                                                        hearts were given to bereaved families after
                                                                                                        pregnancy loss to provide an extra connection
                                                                                                        to their “angel babies”.

                                                                                                        “In maternity, we are trying to make their
                                                                                                        experience that little bit more bearable,” she said.

                                                                                                        “Through treasured memory books,
                                                                                                        photographs and hand and footprints, we try
                                                                                                        to create as many memories with their baby
                                                                                                        as possible for them to cherish.

                                                                                                        “If we can give these crafted hearts to parents
                                                                                                        while they lay with their baby, we hope they can
                                                                                                        keep them in their pockets or a special place at
Building B theatre staff Katrina Shepherd and Tony Ma prep Shania for her elective surgery procedure.   home to hold and feel close to baby again.

                                                                                                        “We invite volunteers, staff and families to
                                                                                                        create and donate these hearts so we have
  New theatres a healthy boost                                                                          enough to provide multiple to the family. Felt,
                                                                                                        crochet or knitted hearts are all appreciated

     for Geelong patients                                                                               and can be dropped off to the maternity hub
                                                                                                        or birth suite.”

                                                                                                        If you or someone you know would like
                                                    “We expect to perform around 3300
Two additional operating                                                                                to create some hearts, please contact
                                                    surgeries per annum initially, growing that
                                                                                               for the patterns.
theatres at Barwon Health’s                         number in the future,” she said.

University Hospital Geelong                         “The project involved refurbishing theatres
                                                    previously used at the old Geelong
Building B have created                             Private Hospital and reconfiguring the
additional capacity for                             space to include first and second stage
                                                    recovery, reception, change rooms, staff
elective surgery in a huge                          rooms, equipment stores, offices and an
boost for the region.                               education space.

                                                    “Our initial focus will be on elective
Completed in March, the project was made
                                                    gynaecological surgery, along with urology
possible with funding from the Victorian
                                                    and general surgery.”
Department of Health and the combined
efforts of Barwon Health’s Operating                A significant recruitment campaign for the
Services and Building Services.                     refurbished theatres netted 30 new staff,
                                                    including several who have relocated to
With Geelong experiencing strong population
                                                    the region from Melbourne and more still
growth, operating services manager Elyse
                                                    being recruited for.
MacDonald said the additional theatres
would help address demand for elective              The new theatres opened on Monday 29                      Some of the crafted pocket hearts that
surgery, particularly those deferred due to         March and are operational between 7am                        are given to bereaved families.
the COVID-19 pandemic.                              and 8pm, four days per week.


                                                                 COVID-19 VACCINE

              Ford site transforms into
            community vaccination hub
          Ford’s former home                Managed and operated by Barwon Health,                      vaccination at the site from 6 April, in line with
                                            Geelong’s community vaccination hub has the                 the Commonwealth prioritisation. This includes
              at Norlane has                capacity to provide vaccines to more than 10,000            healthcare staff, including disability workers, and
                                            people a week.                                              emergency service workers, such as paramedics,
       transformed from the
                                                                                                        police, and fire services.
                                            Barwon Health worked with Ford Motors site
         centre of Australia’s
                                            developers Pelligra and local contractors to fit            Chief executive Frances Diver said the community
     motor industry into the                out the site over three weeks, including improved           vaccination hub had the potential to vaccinate more
                                            disability access, carpeted floors, new bathroom            than 2000 people a day, depending on stock supply.
      COVID-19 vaccination                  facilities, resurfaced parking, privacy screens,
                                                                                                        “The Ford site has a significant place in the history
    hub that will service the               consultation spaces, and general refurbishment.
                                                                                                        of the Geelong region, so it is fitting that it will
     majority of the Geelong                High-risk priority groups from the 1A and                   play a vital role as the vaccination hub that will
                                            1B cohorts were the first to receive their                  help protect our region from COVID-19.
      and Surf Coast region.

             BMI PSA David Bridson, a former Ford factory worker, receives a COVID-19 vaccination from immunisation co-ordinator Caroline Poynder.

                                                                        Barwon Health

Managed and operated by
Barwon Health, Geelong’s
community vaccination hub
has the capacity to provide
vaccines to more than 10,000
people a week.

“Some of our staff members once worked at this site,
some for decades before retraining and beginning
careers in healthcare after the Ford closure.

“It’s fitting that some of them are able to join us                      Joe Puglia, who spent his career driving trucks for Ford, returned
here today to receive their second Pfizer vaccine                              to the Ford site for his COVID-19 vaccination in April.
and see how much work has been done to turn the
old administration building into a state-of-the-art
vaccination hub.                                             New vaccination hub evokes
Book your COVID vaccine appointment by calling 1800
675 398 or book online: https://www.barwonhealth.              fond memories for Joe

                                                            When Giuseppe “Joe” Puglia                      awarded a certificate of excellence
                                                                                                            before he left,” she said.
                                                            retired as a truck driver at
                                                            Norlane’s Ford Motor factory                    “He even got the job to drive open
                                                            in 2013, he never expected                      up the Ring Road with the B-Double
“The Ford site has a significant                                                                            along with the Victorian Premier
                                                            to return to the site for a
                                                                                                            Joan Kirner as his special guest.
place in the history of the                                 vaccination 13 years later.
                                                                                                            “He was well respected by all his
Geelong region, so it is fitting                            Joe, who also has Alzheimer’s                   mates at Ford, along with Victoria
                                                            disease, rolled up his sleeves to               Police and Vic Roads, as Dad was
that it will play a vital role as                           receive his first dose of the COVID-19          known as the ‘Celebrity of Ford’.”
the vaccination hub that will                               vaccine on 21 April.
                                                                                                            Josie said Joe’s family was relieved
help protect our region from                                The 80-year-old was also able to                knowing he was going to be
                                                            experience the previous Ford site’s             protected from COVID-19 after
COVID-19.” – Frances Diver                                  transformation into the community               today’s vaccination.
                                                            vaccination hub that will service the
                                                            majority of the Geelong and Surf                “Initially, we were nervous, but we
                                                            Coast region.                                   spoke to his medical team who
                                                                                                            assured us that it will be the best
                                                            Managed and operated by Barwon                  thing for him. It will also ensure our
                                                            Health, Geelong’s community                     family can be together after a very
                                                            vaccination hub has the capacity to             difficult year for us.
                                                            provide vaccines to more than 10,000
                                                            people a week.                                  “Dad found last year very challenging.
                                                                                                            He didn’t quite understand the
                                                            Joe, born in Sicily in 1940, was                concept of not visiting family and
                                                            well-known during his time at Ford              friends and as to why he wasn’t
                                                            and his daughter Josie recalls his              allowed to leave the house. He
                                                            celebrity status among drivers for his          couldn’t comprehend the isolation,
                                                            impeccable driving record.                      but with the help of his medical team,
 The former Ford Motors factory has been transformed into                                                   we have been able to keep him happy
                                                            “Dad still likes to say that he was the
  Barwon Health’s COVID-19 community vaccination hub.                                                       and comfortable.”
                                                            best truck driver at Ford, and was


                                                       THE HEART OF THE MATTER

                  CLINICAL TRIALS CAN
                    COMMUNITY HEALTH
           Medical research saves and transforms lives. Many of the advances in healthcare, which we
            all enjoy, are based on the background research to test new treatments. From penicillin to
           COVID-19 vaccines, clinical trials have played a pivotal role in the advance of medical care.

                                     PAUL LIGHTFOOT |       ADRIAN COSTA CLINICAL TRIALS CENTRE DIRECTOR

    Barwon Health has a long history of fostering    mortality rate by age 20. In my role within       to people who haven’t had any treatment
    medical research and running clinical trials.    the clinical trials team, I was able to watch     options previously.
    This is now moving to the next level with        a 13-year-old boy from a country town
                                                                                                       As the director of the Adrian Costa Clinical
    the advent of the Adrian Costa Clinical          make incredible progress within months,
                                                                                                       Trials Centre, I believe we’re in an exciting
    Trials Centre, made possible by a generous       from needing constant parental care, to
                                                                                                       phase where the site location will soon be
    donation from the Costa family. Prior to         reaching a level of cognitive improvement
                                                                                                       announced, the first construction is around
    becoming the centre’s inaugural director, I      and freedom from seizures that allowed him
                                                                                                       the corner, and we now have 10 trials in the
    was working in neurological clinical trials at   to cook his own meals and ride a motorbike
                                                                                                       start-up phase With more too follow. As part
    the Austin Hospital. In 2017, my research team   around the family farm. It was like turning on
                                                                                                       of the planning process, I’ve been raising the
    was tasked with trialling a very old treatment   a light bulb. Just like that, this experimental
                                                                                                       centre’s profile with clinical trial sponsors
    for weight loss that might be used to treat      treatment had transformed his lifestyle and
                                                                                                       locally and internationally to attract new
    Dravet Syndome, a rare form of epilepsy.         that of his entire family. Witnessing the life-
                                                                                                       studies, while also connecting with networks
                                                     changing power of clinical trials has fuelled
    Children with Dravet Syndrome can                                                                  across Australia that will direct trials to our
                                                     my passion for this field and I’m excited to
    experience violent seizures throughout their                                                       service. We’re fortunate to be in a position
                                                     see the difference Barwon Health’s own
    lives, starting as young as six months of age.                                                     where Barwon Health’s executive team has
                                                     clinical trials centre will make in the Geelong
    This condition nearly always leads to the                                                          committed to make research a priority for
                                                     community. We’re in a position where our
    development of an intellectual disability,                                                         the Geelong region. This means that while
                                                     research can fix problems and offer hope
    and at that time, there was a 15 per cent                                                          some research centres both in Australia and

                                                                      Barwon Health

         I was able to watch a 13-year-
         old boy from a country town
         make incredible progress within
         months, from needing constant
         parental care, to reaching a level
         of cognitive improvement and
         freedom from seizures

overseas can take months or even years to
approve a new trial, we will have a turnaround
time measured in weeks to approve new
research. This gives us an advantage in
securing clinical trials for Geelong.

A priority of this centre will be to address
the unmet health needs in the community,
with an ultimate research goal to deliver
more than just results and findings. We                                   Adrian Costa Clinical Trials Centre director Paul Lightfoot.

will be developing treatments to improve
health, and trialling those with people in the
community. For example, we’re interested
                                                   our reputation as a whole, and makes                   by COVID-19 teaching us ways to conduct
in attracting new neurological research
                                                   Barwon Health more attractive to specialised           important trials without participants leaving
for autism and dementia treatments
                                                   staff with high levels of expertise.                   their homes. People can now have a “Zoom”
that don’t currently exist. While there is
                                                                                                          consultation, with the medication sent to
no standard treatment for Alzheimer’s              The Costa Centre will allow us to cover new
                                                                                                          their home, and that’s a game-changer for a
disease, there are many ongoing trials in the      ground at Barwon Health, including first-time
                                                                                                          regional health service.
research community that can be viewed as           collaborations between different medical
a way to treat people who currently don’t          fields. These types of clinical partnerships           I’ve seen how clinical trials can transform
have any other options. The community              will explore links that lead to new ways               lives and I’m excited to bring that to people in
benefits of clinical trials are very large, with   of diagnosis and treatment for different               our region. With so much potential to provide
opportunities to offer new treatments. Many        conditions. We’ll also be finding ways to bring        new access to people who need life-changing
studies have shown that people who are             more and better trials to Geelong at earlier           treatment, the community has a lot to look
part of clinical trials have better health than    stages of development, with innovative                 forward to. I believe the legacy of the Adrian
those who aren’t, and more local trials will       trials that will test brand new lab-developed          Costa Clinical Trials Centre will be one that
improve the overall health of the community        medicines for the first time. A telehealth             holds up hope where there wasn’t any in the
by giving access to new treatments where           suite at the Costa Centre is another                   past. For people who have lived with their
there previously was none. Our work will           innovative feature that will help decentralise         injury or illness without any respite, the
also provide evidence that can inform the          the process of research, providing greater             possibility of accessing new treatment is the
way healthcare is conducted across the             access to for greater regional community               first step towards living a healthier life.
region, while also offering pathways for           involvement. One big change over the next
local researchers to stay in the community                                                                To support the work of the Adrian Costa
                                                   10 years is that trials will become far more
rather than moving interstate or overseas.                                                                Clinical Trials Centre, contact the Barwon
                                                   decentralised, with the changes forced
Improving our research reputation improves                                                                Health Foundation.


                                                        RESEARCH AT BARWON HEALTH

         study reveals
    gender differences
      in footy injuries
         A landmark study has for the
            first time revealed gender
            differences in the injuries
            sustained by community-
                    level footy players.
                                                        Barwon Health’s Aussie Rules Footy Injury Study team, pictured at the start of the project in 2019: Emergency
                                                          Department staff Libby Ellis, Russeen Norman, Stephen Gill, Nicole Lowry, Julian Stella, and Richard Page.

    The Aussie Rules Football Injury Study study        The results revealed that:                              “Instead, we found that concussions were
    was led by Barwon Health’s Professor Richard                                                                shared almost equally between male players
                                                        •   female players had a higher proportion
    Page, Dr Julian Stella and Dr Stephen Gill, with                                                            and female players.
                                                            of hand/ finger injuries (34.3% v 23.4%),
    support from Deakin University, the Barwon
                                                            neck injuries (6.6% v 2.5%) and patella             “It was a similar story with ACLs, which
    Centre for Orthopaedic Research and Education
                                                            dislocations (2.9% v 0.6%);                         is a serious knee injury. Women tend to
    (B-CORE), and the AFL Research Board.
                                                                                                                have higher rates of ACL injuries; however,
                                                        •   male players experienced a higher
    The study compares football injuries of                                                                     we found only a small number of these
                                                            proportion of shoulder injuries (11.5% v 5.8%),
    more than 1600 males and females,                                                                           injuries, and our statistical tests did not
                                                            skin lacerations (8.0% v 1.7%), and thorax/
    presenting to University Hospital Geelong                                                                   find differences between male players and
                                                            abdominal/pelvic injuries (5.7% v 2.1%);
    or one of 12 other south-western Victoria                                                                   female players.”
    emergency departments between January               •   concussion rates were similar between
                                                                                                                With female players and male players
    and October 2019.                                       the genders and occurred in 14.1% of all
                                                                                                                suffering different types of injuries, Dr Gill said
    Results show female players (comprising                                                                     it is important to now understand why this is
    14.8% of study attendees) experienced more          •   anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)                    and how these injuries might be prevented.
    hand/finger and neck injuries and kneecap               injuries were infrequent (1.0%) and not
                                                                                                                “For example, do female players try and
    dislocations, while male players endured more           significantly different between genders
                                                                                                                mark the football differently to male players,
    shoulder and trunk injuries and skin lacerations.       (2.1% v 0.9%);
                                                                                                                which explains the higher number of hand
    Senior B-CORE research fellow Dr Gill said the      •   female players received more imaging                and finger injuries,” he said.
    Aussie Rules Football Injury Study was the              investigations, such as x-rays and CT
                                                                                                                “If we can figure this out, then we can
    first to directly compare football injuries in          scans, (83.1% v 74.7%) and analgesia
                                                                                                                implement targeted, gender-specific injury
    community-level players.                                (62.4% v 48.5%);
                                                                                                                prevention programs.”
    “Given the increasing number of female footy        •   a higher proportion of male players
                                                                                                                The results of the study are reported in the
    players, it’s important that we understand              required admission to hospital (5.0% v
                                                                                                                Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
    the risks involved,” Dr Gill said.                      2.1%), usually for surgery.
                                                                                                                paper ‘Gender differences in female and male
    “Most research to-date has focused on men,          Dr Gill said he was surprised by some of the            Australian Football injuries – A prospective
    so together with the Australian Football            findings, particularly around concussions and           observational study of emergency
    League (AFL), we’ve taken a much closer look        ACL injuries.                                           department presentations’.
    at the injuries sustained by female players
    compared to male players.”                          “Women have higher rates of concussion
                                                        than men in some sports, so we were
                                                        expecting to see that in this study,” he said.

                                                                           Barwon Health

       Research into sterilising pacifiers
         and food allergies published

      A Geelong study      The Barwon Infant Study compared dummy use and           “This research should not discourage the cleaning of
                           cleaning methods among infants at six months of          dummies, as this is a vital step in keeping a child safe
 that links sterilising    age and those with a confirmed food allergy at one       from the more immediate risk of infectious diseases,”
                           year of age in more than 700 participants.               Victoria said.
pacifiers (or dummies)
                           The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and       “There is also no evidence from this study that
    with an increased
                           Clinical Immunology, found infants whose dummies         cleaning dummies by other methods is harmful.”
  risk of food allergies   were sterilised with an antiseptic solution were more
                           likely to have a diagnosed food allergy at the
 in babies has gained      age of one.
                                                                          “These findings support the growing
                           Centre of Food and Allergy Research
            recognition.   investigator and Murdoch Children’s
                                                                          recognition of the importance of good
                           Research Institute PhD candidate Victoria      bacteria, known as ‘microbiome’,
                           Soriano said the link between dummy
                           sterilisation and food allergies warranted
                                                                          in our mouth and gut on healthy
                           further research into how good bacteria        growth and development,”
                           in the infant mouth and gut could help
                           prevent food allergies.
                                                                                    With food allergies often causing life-threatening
                           “These findings support the growing recognition of the
                                                                                    anaphylaxis and affecting up to 10 per cent of infants,
                           importance of good bacteria, known as ‘microbiome’,
                                                                                    more research is required to understand how to
                           in our mouth and gut on healthy growth and
                                                                                    prevent allergies.
                           development,” Victoria said.
                                                                                    The study team has contacted the Royal
                           The research found no increase in risk of food allergy
                                                                                    Australasian College of Physicians who are further
                           at one year of age among dummy users when the
                                                                                    considering this issue.
                           dummies were washed in tap water, boiling water, put
                           in the parent’s own mouth, or not washed at all before
                           being given to infants at six months of age.


                                                     RESEARCH AT BARWON HEALTH

                         New research targets
                       endometriosis symptoms
                                                                                                       “We are seeking to address this with
    A new clinical trial will aim to                                                                   research, which can determine if adding a
    reduce endometriosis pain by                                                                       mind-based intervention, such as group
                                                                                                       psychology treatment, or adding a mind/
    comparing the effects of yoga,                                                                     body intervention, such as group yoga,
    cognitive behaviour therapy                                                                        improves quality of life for people with
                                                                                                       endometriosis and pain.
    and education.
                                                                                                       “Our control group will be those having
    The controlled study, titled HaPPI, has been                                                       usual gynaecology care, which can involve
    designed to improve quality of life and                                                            treatment with hormones and surgery, along
    reduce health care costs for the debilitating                                                      with education about endometriosis.”
    disease that impacts about 700,000
    Australians, with a significant impact on the                                                      There will be 258 participants recruited
    healthcare system.                                                                                 from Barwon Health, Monash Health and
                                                                                                       endometriosis support groups, each running
    Barwon Health, in partnership with Deakin                                                          for eight consecutive weeks with participants
    University, Monash Health and University of                                                        completing online questionnaires to measure
    South Australia, has received $893,981 from              Barwon Health researchers Elesha
                                                                                                       a variety of health aspects before and after
                                                           Parigi, Kirsty McColl, and Marilla Druitt
    the Medical Research Future Fund to conduct                                                        the eight-week intervention.
                                                                are leading the HaPPi study.
    the randomised trial over five years.
                                                                                                       The study is open for participants who have a
    Secondary outcomes include improvement           “We already have good evidence that               diagnosis of endometriosis and have had pain
    in pain, mental health, fatigue and sleep;       cognitive behavioural therapy is a great          for at least six months, at least 18 years of
    along with improved cost-effectiveness to        treatment for pain, and there is some early       age, not currently pregnant, no major physical
    the health system, such as fewer hospital        research that yoga can also decrease pain         issues/injuries, have not recently completed a
    presentations, and within society, including     associated with endometriosis,” she said.         course of therapist led yoga or CBT.
    fewer sick days.
                                                     “Our healthcare system was not designed           To become a participant, people who
    Barwon Health obstetrician gynaecologist Dr      with an interdisciplinary approach in mind,       qualify for the study can contact
    Marilla Druitt said the study aimed to better    and we have known for decades that a    
    treat the pelvic pain caused by endometriosis,   biopsychosocial approach works much better
    which affects one in nine women aged             for most health conditions than a purely
    between 18 and 44 years in Australia.            medical focus.

    A Barwon Health and Deakin                       Growing the next generation of clinician-         their candidates will have the opportunity
                                                     academics is a strategic priority for the BH      to apply for further project funding for
    University (BH DU) PhD Program
                                                     DU partnership and the Deakin University          subsequent years of the project.
    is offering nursing, allied health               Faculty of Health is providing up to five PhD
    and medical practitioners to                     scholarships to support the program.              Each PhD scholarship will
    maintain clinical training and
                                                     Each PhD scholarship will receive $10,000 of      receive $10,000 of project
    roles while developing research                  project funding in year one, via the Barwon
    interests and skills.                            Health Foundation. Supervision teams and          funding in year one.

                                                                        Barwon Health

                 MEDICAL MYTHBUSTERS

      COVID-19 vaccination
                                                                                                    clotting. The TGA has advised the vaccine
      IS THERE ANY CANCER RISK                      CAN THE VACCINATIONS CAUSE                      is safe for people aged over 50.
      No, there is no evidence of the vaccines      These are not live vaccines, they’re            ARE THERE ANY
      having any damage to genes that result        inactivated to produce protein within           LONG-TERM EFFECTS?
      in cancer.                                    cells or the spike protein on the outside of
                                                    the virus, so there is no way the vaccine       There is no evidence or signal of long-
                                                                                                    term effects from vaccination, but the
      DOES THE VACCINE ALTER                        could affect fertility in a human. It doesn’t
                                                                                                    only way we’ll know properly is long-term
                                                    target our fertility systems.
      YOUR DNA?                                                                                     surveillance. There can be long term
                                                                                                    consequences from COVID-19 infection,
      The programming of the Pfizer vaccine         DOES THE OXFORD-ASTRAZENECA                     including fatigue and lung function.
      stimulates your cells to produce copies
      of a spike protein found on the outside
                                                    VACCINE CAUSE BLOOD CLOTS?
      of the coronavirus. The immune system         Blood clotting, or deep vein thrombosis,        IS IT TRUE THE VACCINES CONTAIN
      recognises it, as if you’re manufacturing     is very common health issue associated          ABORTED FETAL CELLS?
      an antigen that will produce antibodies       with many risk factors. So far, there is
      to fight against COVID-19. Cells produce      evidence that one in 250,000 people             The vaccines people are receiving in
      proteins all the time and there are no        receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca                Australia do not contain any stem cells or
      dangerous mutations.                          vaccination have experienced blood              fetal cells.

Barwon Health’s palliative care                   “People have been so isolated over the past
                                                  year and this therapeutic intervention has
virtual reality (VR) program has
                                                  made a huge difference to bridging that gap
expanded to bring the immersive                   and thinking about therapy in different ways.
therapy to more patients in the
                                                  “Most of our patients are too unwell to travel,
                                                  even without travel restrictions in place, so
VR has been utilised as a form of diversion       VR experiences can help meet the need for
therapy at Barwon Health since 2019,              people to cross destinations off their bucket
with volunteers first learning to use the         list, whether they have places they always
technology with patients.                         wanted to go, or they want to return to a               Palliative Care Unit patient Leonard Walsh
                                                  place from their childhood.”                            enjoys a virtual reality experience in space.
Palliative Care program manager Jacqui
White said COVID-19 had interrupted a             She said palliative care patient Leonard
                                                  Walsh, a former engineer, recently enjoyed a        and we’ll bring them some French food to
program partnership with the City of Greater
                                                  VR experience taking him to a space station.        go along with the experience, as part of our
Geelong Libraries, encouraging staff to
                                                                                                      Have a Go initiative.
source some healthcare-specific VR
                                                  “Len talked a lot about watching the moon
headsets of its own to continue the program                                                           “We’re excited by this technology and
                                                  landing and a lot of memories of space travel
independently.                                                                                        also looking at how it can be used to
                                                                                                      manage things like anxiety and pain, at a
“We’re been working hard to get staff
                                                  “On the day of his VR experience, he was            psychological and mindfulness level.”
engaged with VR, with champions for each
                                                  energised and engaged and it makes such a
area of palliative care as we look at how can                                                         The device’s library currently has 18
                                                  difference to quality of life.
we can embed this technology within our                                                               immersive options, including city tours,
program,” she said.                               “Other patients might take a VR trip to Paris       wildlife and space experiences.

You can also read