SESLHD lends a hand to bushfire-affected communities

Staff from across the district have showered support for people – and animals – in need during our country’s bushfire emergency.

Tobi Wilson, Chief Executive, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) said he is incredibly proud of the district’s efforts in helping bushfire-affected communities.

“The generosity of our district has been inspirational and I sincerely thank staff for providing expert healthcare and support to bushfire-affected communities. In particular, our mental health teams have made an enormous contribution by providing vital mental health services in the Batemans Bay area. They have been offering assessments at evacuation centres and have visited remote and cut-off communities and are closely monitoring people, in particular those who have lost homes who are still in a state of worry and anxiety.”

Meanwhile, hospital staff have been working around the clock gathering supplies and raising funds, see details below.

The Sutherland Hospital

The Sutherland Hospital gave injured animals comforting cuddles of support during a recent delivery of towels, linen, medical equipment and food to Dimmocks Retreat Wildlife. The self-funded centre relies on donations to provide care for a range of animals including kangaroos, wallabies, possums, wombats, echidnas, birds and reptiles during their rehabilitation.

Hospital staff also sent clothing, blankets, pillows, towels, linen and toys to various evacuation centres in the Southern Highlands and the South Coast and collected hundreds of items of food and toiletries for Food Bank with donations still flowing in.

Prince of Wales Hospital

Dedicated Prince of Wales Hospital staff members ran a donation drive earlier this month from the hospital’s Kiloh Centre, to support residents affected by fires in the Cobargo region. The devoted volunteers delivered an astonishing 21 pallets of items into the community, including food and water, toiletries, bedding and towels, clothing, generators and medical supplies to St Johns Ambulance. In addition, a 40ft semi-truck load of items was delivered to people in need in the Merimbula area.

A devastating number of homes, buildings, stock and native animals were destroyed in this region as a result of the bushfires. Keith Donnelly, Mental Health Nurse, Kiloh Centre and Phillip Shipton, eMR Senior Systems Analyst, Health ICT – who led the drive – extend their gratitude to the businesses, friends, colleagues and strangers that generously gave their time.

Plans for a hospital-wide bushfire appeal at Prince of Wales Hospital are continuing to develop, with fundraising efforts launched with a bake sale hosted by the Cardiology Department. Staff contributed a variety of baked goods – including some koala-themed cupcakes – with more than $1,000 raised for the Rural Fire Service and Wires.

Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital

Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital provided support to injured animals through donations to wildlife rescue and recovery organisation, Medidivert. Staff have been sorting through stock to collect suitable expired or unused items including ointments, saline, bottles, syringes, sterile instruments and gloves. Deliveries are ongoing to wildlife recovery projects in both the north and south coast of NSW, and the Blue Mountains.

Royal Hospital for Women

Staff at the Royal Hospital for Women’s Newborn Care Centre rallied together to collect an incredible amount of supples for wildlife affected by the fires. Quilts, hats and mittens for joeys, koalas and other small mammals as well as bottles and syringes were gathered and distributed to Wires for animals in need. A microbat house was even built by the generous husband of a Royal staff member, as their habitats have been severely affected by the fires.

St George Hospital

Staff from St George Hospital received an overwhelming number of donations for two separate bushfire appeals. Medical supplies, pet food, pouches and other items for animals are continuing to be delivered to The Rescue Collective, with five car loads of deliveries already dropped off in the first week. Non-perishable food items are going to Food Bank with donations accepted until Thursday 13 February, 2020. The hospital will continue to collect donations for injured wildlife for as long as they are required.

 Staff look at destroyed bush area in the Southern Highlands