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Behind the scenes: how Mater People deliver on our Mission

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Behind the scenes: how Mater People deliver on our Mission

For the past 10 years, a dedicated group of Mater staff have quietly volunteered their time to make a difference to those accessing healthcare in Africa.

Working in partnership with DHL Queensland, the team fills a shipping container with medical equipment and various hospital supplies before it is then transported to Africa.

Items range from x-ray equipment, IV pumps and operating tables, through to mosquito nets, linen and cooking utensils. Many of these items are donated by other healthcare organisations who have become aware of the initiative and are keen to donate equipment which is still functional, but for various reasons can no longer be used within Australia.

This project is the perfect demonstration of Mater’s Mission in action, and would not be possible without the contribution of our staff, DHL Queensland, and those organisations who contribute items. Generosity such as this reflects their genuine desire to support an act of compassion for those who need it most.

This is just one of many ways I’ve seen the Mater Mission lived during the past 34 years. During this time, I have transitioned from clinical roles with direct patient care to a series of roles in which I have been able to influence systems to further support the provision of this care.

I’ve lived the Mission as a physiotherapist. I’ve lived the Mission as the Director of Mission and Ethics. I’ve lived the Mission through project roles to rebuild and renovate our facilities to meet growing community need. I’ve lived the Mission as an Executive across a number of portfolios, each dedicated to ensuring its sustainability … whether through the provision of support services for patients, or ensuring patients can access those services in an efficient manner.

While my roles may have changed, the commitment of Mater staff to supporting our Mission has remained steadfast. Many people ask me how behind the scenes staff contribute to a Mission grounded in the provision of compassionate care. My response is always the same—the Mater Mission is visible everywhere.

It’s visible in an Australian-first room service initiative designed to create better services for patients which not only enhances the patient experience, but through its efficiency, minimises waste.

It’s visible in programs designed to build a strong partnership between refugee communities, health services and refugee agencies to build the capacity of primary health to deliver effective care to people from refugee backgrounds.

It’s visible in an environmental sustainability program which has reduced Mater’s waste and energy consumption and increased recycling, and as a result of associated financial savings, allowed for revenue to be reinvested into patient care.

It’s visible through the launch of a service targeted at reducing the average length of stay in hospital for patients from aged care facilities, by providing guidance to general practitioners and aged care professionals with clinical care decision making when their residents become unwell.

It’s visible in the Sisters of Mercy deciding to care for those patients who’d experienced marginalisation because they were committed to caring for all whom we are privileged to serve.

It’s visible in the gardening team caring for a passionfruit vine established many years ago by a Sister of Mercy who passed away recently, because they hadn’t considered not doing so.

It’s visible when our Car Park attendants help a distressed mother who’s misplaced a parking ticket somewhere along her Mater journey while settling her newborn baby.

It’s visible in a project comprising Mater staff from across Procurement, Supply, Biomedical Management, Mission Leadership, Nutrition and Dietetics, Service Improvement and Mater Foundation collaborating every year to donate their time and experience to make life-changing care possible for patients at a hospital on the other side of the world.

It’s visible everywhere, and I for one am just lucky to have been able to support its delivery for the past 34 years.

Dr John Gilmour, Group Director, Infrastructure and Clinical Support

Posted: 18/05/2016 9:07:51 AM by News @ Mater | with 0 comments

Tags: Dr John Gilmour, Mission, Sustainability