Australia Day honour fitting for former CHA chair’s service, leadership

Catholic Health Australia Stewardship Board chair Rowena McNally has paid tribute to her predecessor, saying Tony Wheeler's inclusion on today's Australia Day honours list is deserving recognition for his many years of service and leadership in Catholic health and aged care.

Mr Wheeler, who lives in Busselton, WA, was today honoured with the Order of Australia Medal for services to the community through health and Church organisations. That includes five years as chair of Catholic Health Australia's board.

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Government risks over-reach on aged care accommodation payments

Today's decision by Minister for Ageing Mark Butler to set accommodation prices for some residential aged care services might increase red tape for people entering aged care homes.

Minister Butler today announced changes to accommodation payments for those in residential aged care, creating a new government approvals process for setting prices in aged care and a new complaints process for consumers worried about costs of accommodation. He also announced the details of additional funding for the refurbishing of existing aged care homes.

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Health reform set up to fail

Health financing and governance reforms agreed by federal, state and territory governments were never likely to see artificial emergency waiting times met, according to the nation's largest hospital group.

With the National Health Performance Authority releasing emergency department waiting time data for 2011-12 today, Catholic Health Australia (CHA) said penalties that withhold funds from states who don't achieve targets will only make the problem worse.

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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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