CHA applauds intern placements; awaits more announcements

Catholic Health Australia has applauded Health Minister Tanya Plibersek's announcement in Perth this morning that agreement has been reached between the Commonwealth and the Western Australia Government to provide funding for more than 30 medical internships in private hospitals to cater for a record number of medical graduates.

That announcement has been followed by more encouraging news of agreements being reached with the governments of the ACT, Northern Territory and Queensland.

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Catholic hospitals step up to help avert medical intern crisis

Catholic Health Australia has confirmed that Catholic public and private hospitals can train up to 25 per cent of the medical graduates still looking for internship places for next year.

The Federal Government has committed to funding up to $10 million for private hospitals to take 100 medical interns in 2013, with the states being asked to fund the remaining places. Estimates of the existing shortfall range from 180 to 235 places.

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Mercy Sister recognised for lifetime of service, leadership

When she trained as a Sister of Mercy in Ireland, Sr Angela Mary Doyle was preparing for a life of teaching. After arriving in Australia and being thrust into a role in health care, though, her path changed – and took her to meetings with royalty and religious and civic leaders.

Her enduring contribution to the Catholic health and aged care community in Australia was on Tuesday night recognised with her announcement as the third recipient of the Sr Maria Cunningham Lifetime Contribution Award at the Catholic Health Australia awards dinner.

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New resource offers a framework for Catholic decision-making

Drawing upon Scripture, the wisdom of hundreds of years of Catholic Social Teaching and the writings of Church leaders, Catholic Health Australia yesterday launched a new resource it hopes will help provide a framework in which Catholic individuals and organisations can reach decisions.

"We in the Catholic Church are lucky to have such a rich tradition that can inspire what we do and how we do it," Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty said. "The Mission Discernment Resource finds inspiration from much of that tradition, but also shares contemporary thoughts and ideas that have proven successful in helping people and teams make decisions – large and small."

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Direction of research unit earns emerging leader award

A registered nurse with a degree in psychology and international acclaim for her expertise in nursing practice and mental health care was recognised with the Emerging Leader Award at last night's Catholic Health Australia awards dinner.

Karen-leigh Edward leads the St Vincent's Private Melbourne/Australian Catholic University Nursing Research Unit, a clinical and academic partnership that sees the hospital and university engage the social, ethical and religious dimensions of questions in teaching, research and service. Those activities are brought to life through the unit's activities, with a particular emphasis on the value of care, especially of the weak and vulnerable with a Christian focus.

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Nurse's personal touch, compassion earn national award

As Australia continues to try to find ways to help those living with mental illness, the work of a mental health nurse over more than four decades has earned her the Catholic Health Australia Nurse of the Year award.

For the past eight years, Ailsa Tate has worked as triage nurse at St John of God Pinelodge Clinic, an acute mental health hospital with 18 drug and alcohol rehabilitation beds and 36 acute psychiatric beds. In her current role, and for many years before that, she has developed a manner that, coupled with her experience, allows her to quickly connect with her patients.

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National award honours care for families with young children

A program that focuses on the well-being of parents and their children during pregnancy and the early years of the child's life has been recognised as making a major contribution to those in need. The program received the Outreach Healthcare Award at last night's CHA awards dinner.

The Hawkesbury District Health Service last year established the Safe Start program with the aim of being able to provide support services to families caring for children up to the age of five who have been identified as having complex psychosocial needs.

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Award-winning program helps seniors live best lives possible

Reuniting family and friends. Easing pain for those in palliative care. Teaching a resident computer skills. Funding a trip to the footy. Those are just some of the ways a program that received the Leadership in Positive Ageing Award at last night's Catholic Health Australia awards dinner has improved people's lives.

Southern Cross Care (Vic) established the "Imagine" fund to spark creative thinking from staff to recognise opportunities that would positively affect the lives of the older clients and residents it supports, particularly those with limited finances or those who are socially isolated with little or no family.

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First of its kind website launched at CHA conference

Families dealing with the challenge of a life-limiting condition in their unborn child have a valuable new resource to help them decide how to proceed with their pregnancy following today's launch of a first-of-its-kind Australian website.

In Perth this morning, the Perinatal Palliative Care website, which can be accessed at, was launched at the Catholic Health Australia national conference. The website was developed as a collaboration of hospitals that provide perinatal palliative care services and supported by Catholic Health Australia.

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Catholic Health Australia releases Shared Purpose Statement

After a period of consultation and preparation, Catholic Health Australia this morning released a new document that articulates the shared goals and vision underpinning Catholic health and aged care services.

CHA chief executive officer Martin Laverty said the decision to develop the new Shared Purpose Statement was made after association members suggested it would be useful to have such a document. CHA's new Stewardship Board chair, Rowena McNally, launched the statement at the beginning of the association's national conference in Perth.

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Catholic hospitals able to train more of tomorrow's doctors

With concerns being raised about the capacity of state and territory governments to guarantee training opportunities for all this year's medical graduates, Catholic health services that provide 10 per cent of the country's hospital beds may fill the breach.

The Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) today acknowledged with the largest graduating class on record, with more than 3,500 anticipated graduates, there will likely be a shortfall in internship places available in government-run public hospitals.

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