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The 2021 Rural Northwest Health Betty Richardson awards were recently held at the Creekside Hotel in Warracknabeal.

Nurse Unit Manager Allison Hondow and Physiotherapist Jess Stepnell took out this year’s award as joint winners.

Allison is a very humble person who focuses on ensuring everything she does is for the benefit of her residents. Always looking for ways for her team to grow and develop, she isn’t afraid to be creative and innovative to make that happen. Allison adheres to RNH’s mission and creates the most uplifting and positive environment for her team members. Allison humbly accepted her award and thanked her team for all their support.

Fellow winner Jess Stepnell unfortunately couldn’t attend the awards night however was overjoyed to receive the honour and share the award with Allison.

Jess has a special knack of making consumers and colleagues feel important and heard. She shows compassion, checks in on others often and her natural leadership qualities really shone through as she took on the team leader position. Jess is always putting a smile on people’s faces, has a great sense of humour and an approachable nature which puts others at comfort.

The Betty Richardson awards were first held in 2015 in honour of former Rural Northwest Health Nurse Betty Richardson.

RNH’s most prestigious annual award is presented to a team member who best reflects the attributes of Mrs Richardson who dedicated a career to nursing and educating in Warracknabeal. To help with their choice, a panel of judges take those attributes into consideration.

They include patient/client focus, team approach, flexibility, a logical and pragmatic approach, the ability to push boundaries in order to achieve the best outcome for the patient/client and typical ‘Betty’ qualities such as being humble, a quiet achiever, a strong sense of humour and demonstrating camaraderie.

The awards night also highlighted team member milestone awards. At the top of the list were Leonie Saunders and Jodee Lardner who both celebrated 35 years of service, followed by Cheryl Reid and Katrina Rosser on 30 years. 25 years was achieved by five team members, Shirley Yetman, Leanne Huebner, Tricia Tickner, Mandy Muller and Tricia McKenzie.

Other service award recipients included Leonie Cheney, Ann Arnell and Maree Bell for 20 years; Vanessa Glare, Maryann Conduit and Kayleen Watson for 15 years; Leanne McCourt, Tracie Love, Helen Brindle, Katie Watts, Angie Cox, Trish Cramp and Jennifer McGrath all celebrated 10 years of service.

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