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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 pnpc.org.au, 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.

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.

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.

Charity red tape will grow if COAG doesn't act

State and territory governments should refer their charitable reporting functions to the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) to avoid the very real possibility of ballooning charity red tape.

Catholic Health Australia, the nation's largest group of not-for-profit hospitals and aged care services, welcomed the scaling back of powers for the ACNC revealed in legislation released late Friday. The legislation will be examined by a Parliamentary Inquiry.

Guide for Governance assists leaders of Church ministries

A new book launched in Canberra yesterday will serve as a valuable resource for Catholic health and aged care services as lay people are called upon to serve in leadership roles that were previously held by religious and priests.

The Guide for Understanding the Governance of Catholic Health and Aged Care Services was produced by Catholic Health Australia, in conjunction with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia. Representatives of all three organisations were present for yesterday's launch.

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