A packed room paid homage to Rural Northwest Health wellbeing coordinator Kathleen Poulton after she was crowned the winner of the 2018 Betty Richardson award.
RNH board members, team members and executive attended a special dinner with their families to see the Hopetoun nurse accept her award. She was one of five nominations for the prestigious award – they included Hopetoun nurse Gay Seebohm, Hopetoun activities assistant Jodie Malcolm, Warracknabeal environmental services worker Leonie Cheney and Warracknabeal maintenance workers Heath McGrath and Jamie Horton.
Presenter and RNH executive member Kaye Knight said Mrs Poulton was a very worthy winner and a ‘stand out’ in a quality field.
“The standard of the entries was exceptional which is why we had five finalists this year,” Ms Knight said.
“Kathy’s entry was submitted by Community Health manager Ngareta Melgren and while all entrants ticked off the criteria boxes of having Betty’s qualities, Kathy’s went to another level,” she said.
“She is clearly devoted to her role and she was extremely supportive during what was a monumental shift from the type of service we had been rolling out previously.
“While others were trying to absorb the complexities of the wellbeing coordinator program, Kathy was running with it and helping everyone else along.”
Ms Knight said the judging panel included two community members and two board members and followed a strict criteria that ensured the winner portrayed Betty Richardson principles in their work role.
“After being a finalist for the previous two awards, it was a fitting and popular win and Kathy has clearly deserved the recognition,” she said.
“It was also wonderful that the finalists came from variety of departments because it takes more than good nurses to run a quality health service.
“We have around 270 team members and they all contribute to our success.”
Service awards were also presented on the evening. The most significant badges were awarded to Warracknabeal wellbeing coordinator Anne Clark and quality officer Kerry Seater who have both landmarked 35 years of service.
Right behind them was RIPERN nurse Carol Miller who has clocked up 30 years and was clearly moved by the occasion. Carol spoke of the emotions a nurse can experience in a day at work when one moment you are holding the hand of a dying patient and the next it is the hand of a frightened young child who is uncertain of their surrounds.
Other service awards were presented to Rodney Sinclair for 25 years, Marilyn Clancy 20 years, Samantha Anderson 10 years, while Alison Fernandez, Nicole Christian, Lisa Thomas, Marlene Naylor and Val Parsons all received 15 year badges.