Nurse who kept aged care home 'COVID free' recognised with an award
A nurse credited with keeping her aged care home in Victoria free from major COVID outbreaks through her exceptional dedication to infection control procedures has been named the most outstanding aged care worker in Australia.
Bree Donnelly, from Wattle Glen (Victoria), was awarded the inaugural Humanetix HEART Award, recognising her willingness to go above and beyond to keep the Wattle Glen aged care home in Melbourne’s north-east safe during the pandemic.
Second and third prizes respectively went to Kasey Howlett (Wagga Wagga, NSW) and Janielle Jondral (Sydney, NSW) who are both credited for the incredible work they do with dementia patients.
Humanetix CEO Arthur Shih said that the inaugural HEART Awards have seen three highly deserving aged care workers recognised for going above and beyond. “I am incredibly proud to name Bree, Kasey and Janielle as our HEART Awards recipients from the hundreds of deserving nominations we received from the families of patients, care home managers and co-workers.”
Shih said Bree’s nomination stood out as it demonstrated her leadership and resilience during an incredibly challenging period.
“Bree’s manager credited her as almost single-handedly having kept their care home safe from COVID outbreaks for two years, due in large part to her proactive approach to IPC and motivation to drive change in staff attitudes,” he added.
“The HEART Awards celebrate workers who are catalysts of change, empathetic, are driven to make a difference through action and strive to innovate work with honesty — and Bree exemplifies all of these principles,” Shih said.
Kasey Howlett was nominated by the daughter of a 98-year-old woman within her care, who praised Kasey for her ability to keep patients engaged and alert.
“Kasey was credited as being the person who really contributed to the residents in her care feeling useful and finding a real purpose in their lives, which is an incredible gift to give,” Shih said.
Sydney occupational therapist Janielle Jondral was celebrated for treating her dementia patients at the Montefiore aged care home as “care partners” rather than care receivers.
Shih said: “Janielle has demonstrated to her colleagues a genuine appreciation for the time spent with older individuals, recognising their uniqueness, value and worthiness as care partners rather than just care receivers.
“She is driven in her focus to create opportunities to support functional independence and meaningful interactions to support a sense of accomplishment and sense of self-worth which brings a sense of normality to our resident’s lives.”
Humanetix supports aged care workers in their day-to-day work through the provision of technology to enable them to focus on delivering quality and better ‘Care’ and through the HEART Awards is championing their important work.
“The past few years have been challenging for aged care workers. They are a critical part of our healthcare system, and their work is immeasurably important in enabling happy and healthy aging for the senior members of our society.
“Recognising the wonderful efforts of people like those nominated for the awards reinforces how vital these workers are to our nation.”
Launched in 2023, the HEART Awards will celebrate workers who represent the HEART principles: who are Helpful and a catalyst of change, who approach the challenges in Aged Care in an Empathetic way, who strive to make a difference by being Action-oriented, who are Resilient and driven to innovate and are Trustworthy, working with honesty and transparency.
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