Recognising excellence in high quality allied health care

Released 09/04/2019 - Joint media release

A Canberra Health Services allied health professional has taken out the top award tonight for research into radiation exposure for patients being treated for breast cancer at this year’s Allied Health Excellence Awards.

Dr Donald McLean, who is a Medical Physicist, is the 2019 Allied Health Professional of the Year for his research into safe levels of radiation dosage.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris said Dr McLean, whose research into analysing, monitoring and optimising the use of X-ray radiation in breast cancer imaging and CT diagnostic scanning procedures, goes to the heart of the contribution our health professionals make to the high-quality health care we have in the ACT.

“These awards recognise the ongoing determination of health professionals to provide the best possible care to the Canberra community, and Mr McLean’s work exemplifies what it takes to make a significant difference to health care services for the people who matter – our patients,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“Dr McLean has also been recognised for providing ongoing mentoring, support and contribution to the best practice and ethical research in relation to safe levels of radiation dosage.

“As with all of the winners, Dr McLean has contributed to improving our health services by sharing his innovative thinking and expertise in a positive working environment through collaboration with others.

“Allied Health professionals have a key role in the delivery of a quality health service. It’s a workforce that is enhancing and changing health services and patients’ experiences of the health system, all for the better, with 34 distinct professions in the ACT public health sector.

“With the important contribution allied health professionals make, I’d like to congratulate all winners and nominees for tonight’s awards,” Minister Fitzharris said.

Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury said the ACT is fortunate to have many allied health staff who work alongside nurses and doctors, dedicated to ensuring that those in need of support receive the right care at the right time.

“We know that Allied Health Assistants, Aboriginal Liaison Officers, Peer Recovery Workers, and other allied health staff play an important role in the holistic provision of care to those living with mental illness,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“Psychosocial interventions are also often first line treatments for mental health disorders which require the expertise of allied health staff which may include an holistic approach using psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers, creative arts therapists, exercise physiologists, dietitians, and counsellors.

“Tonight’s award recognises the work of allied health professionals in mental health care and treatment.”

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Rachel Stephen-Smith was delighted to award the inaugural Excellence in the Provision of Services to Improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing Award to the Women, Youth and Children Nutrition service.

“This team has demonstrated a significant contribution to the health of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“Through this evidence-based, culturally sensitive and age-appropriate nutrition program, the team has increased engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families with nutrition services.”

This year’s awards attracted 118 nominations for eight categories, ranging from areas such as research, clinical expertise, management, leadership and education.

The award winners across all categories are:

  • Allied Health Assistant Excellence: Veronique Clyde, Allied Health Assistant, Canberra Health Services
  • Allied Health Clinical Excellence: Debra Harris, Clinical Psychologist, Canberra Health Services
  • Allied Health Early Career Excellence: Michael Wilkinson, Physiotherapist, Canberra Health Services
  • Allied Health Education Excellence: Katie Cole, Occupational Therapy Clinical Educator, Canberra health Services
  • Allied Health Management and Leadership Excellence: Kerrie Andriolo, Chief Scientist – Haematology, Canberra Health Services
  • Allied Health Research Excellence: Donald McLean, Principal Medical Physics Specialist, Canberra Health Services
  • Allied Health Team Excellence: Louise Barrett and Yu-Lung Chan, Neuropsychologists, Psychology and Counselling Team, Canberra Health Services
  • Allied Health Excellence in Provision of Services to Improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing: Shien Ee Tan, Tamara Shirvington, Nicola Graham, Pip Golley, Rebecca Aherne, Women, Youth and Children, Dieticians, Canberra Health Services

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Section: Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Rachel Stephen-Smith, MLA | Media Releases

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