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Winners announced for LASA's 2020 Excellence in Age Services Awards

Industry peak body, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has announced the winners for the 2020 Excellence in Aged Services (EIAS) Awards at the National LASA Congress event.

Winners of the Team Award was Maurice Zeffert Home with their special management team consisting of three executives, Yvonne Goldman, Eileen Johnstone, and Amanda MacNamara. [Source: Supplied]
Winners of the Team Award was Maurice Zeffert Home with their special management team consisting of three executives, Yvonne Goldman, Eileen Johnstone, and Amanda MacNamara. [Source: Supplied]

LASA's Ten Days of Congress was held from 12-23 October, hosting a range of seminars and conferences around industry innovation and the future of aged care. The winners were announced on the last day of the event, 23 October.

The aim of the awards is to highlight organisations and individuals for demonstrating exceptional talent, innovation and compassion when providing care to older Australians.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LASA, Sean Rooney, says the award winners are well deserving of the award and recognition for their hard work in the aged care sector.

"We applaud our award winners for their outstanding effort as organisations, teams and individuals, to provide exceptional care and service to older people who require support," says Mr Rooney.

"The winners - and all of the finalists - demonstrate to our community the kind of care that is being delivered across our industry and the enthusiasm and dynamism that strives for continuous improvement.

“As a nation, we should be very appreciative of our age services professionals who, like our award winners, are dedicated, hard-working and passionate people, devoting their careers to making a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities."

There were 24 finalists in the running from across the country with five winners taking the top awards.

Organisation Award - Princes Court Homes

Not for profit community organisation, Princes Court Homes, received the LASA Organisation Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents in their care, and its innovative and daring leadership.

Located in North West Victoria, Princes Court Homes overcame issues with attracting allied health professionals to their home by recruiting two physiotherapists, who were refugees from Lebanon. The organisation found that the onsite physiotherapists greatly enhanced the quality of life for many of their residents.

The facility has also been refurbished and had a new building design, along with the appointment of a new community liaison officer who is implementing innovative programs through schools and community groups.

Team Award - Collaborative Leadership Model from Maurice Zeffert Home

Perth based non for profit organisation, Maurice Zeffert Home, implemented an innovative leadership model, assisting them in receiving the LASA Team Award.

In 2018, rather than hiring a traditional CEO, the organisation adopted a new Collaborative Leadership Model. The new model involved a decentralised management comprised of three female executives, with diverse backgrounds and qualifications, who worked on mutually agreed on areas of responsibility and key performance indicators. 

Maurice Zeffert Home found that this new structure led to cultural improvements and the executive management team were more accessible to residents, families and staff.

A member of the executive management team would always be present for decision making, allowing for a continuity of leadership, and this new management style assisted in transitioning the company from a trading loss to a surplus.

Individual Award - Keyur Anand from St Anna's Residential Care Facility

Individual Award winner, Keyer Anand, works as an Aged Care Nurse Practitioner at St Anna's in Adelaide, as part of the Croatian, Ukrainian and Belarusian Aged Care Association of South Australia.

He received the award for his passion for palliative care, especially enhancing and supporting cultural awareness and cultural values in palliative care. 

Mr Anand is also in the process of developing a virtual reality education platform to help communicate with clients and families during end of life or palliative care matters in a culturally sensitive way.

Rising Star Award - John Sison from Churches of Christ Queensland

A registered nurse (RN) and clinical support officer at Churches of Christ in Queensland, John Sison has received the Rising Star Award for his positive attitude, diligence and passion for his job, which has improved the wellbeing of residents in residential and community aged care services.

Mr Sison has an interest in electronic clinical applications that have driven him to seek improvement in the Autumn Care application. His changes ended up benefitting the entire aged care services industry. He has also lead the instigation and rollout of Medicate to nearly 30 services by providing education, collaboration and encouraging practice changes that benefit resident outcomes.

Mr Sison has also been instrumental in developing clinical governance monitoring and tracking psychotropic medications, antimicrobial management and clinical data.

Next Gen Young Leader Award - Simon Kerrigan, Guide Healthcare (NSW, ACT, VIC)

Simon Kerrigan, a physiotherapist and the managing director at Guide Healthcare, received the Next Gen Young Leader Award for his vision at Guide and establishing a unique approach to physiotherapy service provision.

Guide Healthcare was established by Simon in 2018, growing from just himself to a team of 16 clinicians, who are visiting over 1,000 residents a week in residential aged care and community care across NSW, ACT and VIC.

During the beginning of COVID-19, Mr Kerrigan developed the Get Up Guide, which is a daily exercise program for residents that targets lower limb strength, balance and mobility. It includes handout sheets and videos that demonstrate the correct techniques. This service was free to aged care providers to utilise and was downloaded over 1,600 times.

To learn more about the winners and finalists for the Excellence in Age Services awards, visit the LASA website.

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