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About the award

NSW Health is committed to promoting good health through raising awareness of healthy choices, preventing ill health and improving the overall health and wellbeing of the community.

The Keeping People Healthy award, formally The Harry Collins Award, has previously commemorated the outstanding commitment and passionate contributions of Mr Henry (Harry) Collins. Harry made a particularly outstanding contribution to the “Clean Hands Save Lives” Campaign prior to his death in November 2007. This campaign is an example of a Keeping People Healthy initiative. His dedication to bringing the community’s perspective to the prevention of Healthcare Associated Infections is greatly appreciated by both patients and staff of the NSW health system, and NSW Health is proud to recognise these achievements.

This award aims to acknowledge similar innovative projects and programs which promote:

  • reducing negative health impacts through improvements in environmental health
  • action to support individuals, families and communities to make healthy lifestyle choices
  • closing the gap in Aboriginal health outcomes
  • improving lifestyles by targeting public health priorities such as tobacco control, physical activity, obesity, infectious disease, oral health, diabetes prevention and addressing harmful risk factors
  • identifying and improving health outcomes for at risk groups, e.g. children, youth, older people, workers and disadvantaged groups
  • primary, secondary and population health prevention
  • the integration of the CORE values in promoting healthy living.

Winner - ​​​​​ (COVID category) -  NSW Ministry of Health: State Health Emergency Operations Centre


Transcript - Winner - State Health Emergency Operations Centre

Winner - ​​​ Agency for Clinical Innovation: The Alcohol and Drug Cognitive Enhancement Program


Transcript - Winner - The Alcohol and Drug Cognitive Enhancement Program

Finalist (COVID category) - eHealth NSW: COVID-19 vaccination administration management solution


Transcript - COVID-19 vaccination administration management solution

eHealth NSW is proud to have supported the COVID-19 response. In collaboration with the NSW Ministry of Health, the State Health Emergency Operations Centre and local health districts, eHealth NSW developed and implemented two COVID-19 vaccination administration management solutions in record time.

In February, eHealth NSW developed the CoVax Solution to enable the vaccination of NSW’s front-line workers.

The VAXHub integration solution was also developed to upload vaccination records to Services Australia’s Australian Immunisation Register. NSW was the first health jurisdiction to achieve this. VAXHub included a portal for vaccination clinics where they could identify, view, correct and/or report on any data errors that occurred during this upload.

As the COVID-19 response turned to community vaccinations, eHealth NSW developed the NSW Health Vaccination Administration Management (VAM) solution, to be used for and by the public.

By September, eHealth NSW had transitioned all CoVax-managed NSW Health clinics to VAM, NSW Health’s first single, state-wide, digital vaccination administration management solution and eHealth NSW’s first publicly available system. VAM is helping to keep the NSW population healthy by supporting the state-wide mass COVID-19 vaccination program.

Finalist (COVID category) - NSW Ministry of Health: State Health Emergency Operations Centre


Transcript - State Health Emergency Operations Centre

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic presented extraordinary challenges for NSW and saw the NSW health system work together as part of a whole-of-government response to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19 infection.

On 17 March 2020, SHEOC was stood up to enact, operationalise and implement Public Health Orders, assist Local Health Districts and Specialty Health Networks to build critical care and emergency department capacity, establish COVID-19 testing clinics and coordinate the supply of personal protective equipment.

Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, SHEOC extensively adapted and evolved to include other critical areas such as the operationalisation of the vaccination program, testing clinics, the quarantine and exemptions program, airports surveillance, aged care planning, Intensive Care Unit and ventilator preparedness, logistics and supply chain delivery, internal and external communications, as well as setting up a program support unit to respond to thousands of ministerial requests and enquiries.

The SHEOC has achieved significant and meaningful outcomes, navigating NSW through constantly changing circumstances and putting public health at the forefront of all decision making. The SHEOC team has shown incredible resilience and commitment, working collaboratively with our Health partners, and continually pivoting as required to respond to the evolving nature of the pandemic.

Finalist (COVID category) - NSW Health Pathology: COVID-19 response during testing times


Transcript - NSW Health Pathology's COVID-19 response during testing times

NSW Health Pathology (NSWHP) is vital to the NSW’s world-class response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSWHP has been working collaboratively with the NSW health system to do everything we can to protect the health, wellbeing and safety of our communities since the outset of the pandemic.

Rapidly establishing a highly specialised test in February 2020, NSWHP’s 19 dedicated COVID labs have performed over 5.2 million COVID-19 PCR tests as at end-October 2021.

Our highly respected experts have carried out robust scientific evaluations of emerging technologies to support a fast, comprehensive statewide response.

We helped establish NSW Health’s surveillance program for hotel quarantine and airport workers – with 1.02 million saliva tests performed by end-October 2021.

Key scientific innovations, such as whole genome sequencing to support contact tracing and the creation of an automated SMS solution and online Results Portal to deliver faster results direct to patients for the first time have been game changing.

Around 5,000+ workforce works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep our community safe.

Finalist - Agency for Clinical Innovation: The Alcohol and Drug Cognitive Enhancement Program


Transcript - the Alcohol and Drug Cognitive Enhancement Program

The Alcohol and Drug Cognitive Enhancement (ACE) Program is a groundbreaking, world leading program codesigned with clinicians and consumers to improve outcomes for those seeking treatment for substance use.

Increasingly, studies demonstrate over 50% of AOD clients show significant cognitive impairment, yet no standard intervention currently exists. 

Neuropsychological assessment is costly, and AOD facilities do not routinely have access to these services.

ACE provides clinicians with simple, strongly validated tools to screen for, assess and confidently respond to CI in their clients for the first time.

Treatment is targeted to a client’s capacity, to ensure they can be retained in treatment.

ACE has received significant interest across Australia and internationally, and implementation has begun in multiple jurisdictions.

ACE supports the NSW Health strategic planning framework to keep people healthy by addressing AOD misuse, harnessing research and innovation to enable world class care and improving quality and safety through effective partnerships and integrated care.

Finalist - Far West Local Health District: Men’s Diabetes Prevention Program


Transcript - Men's Diabetes Prevention Program

Balranald has a relatively higher risk from lifestyle factors associated with Type 2 Diabetes compared to the rest of NSW.

Diabetes related deaths in Balranald LGA is also relatively higher than the rest of NSW.

Aboriginal people are 3-4 times more likely to have diabetes. The death rate from diabetes is six times higher than that of non-Aboriginal people. Men are more pre-disposed to diabetes compared to women. Men experience poorer outcomes from lifestyle risk factors, smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, nutrition, overweight, obesity and poorer engagement with health services.

These considerations laid the foundations to inform planning of FWLHD’s “Up and Running Men’s Diabetes Prevention Program” in Balranald.

Participants, particularly Aboriginal men with a high risk for diabetes from Balranald community were invited to participate in the program.

The program was designed in collaboration with key Aboriginal health and community members to be culturally appropriate and relevant. This collaboration guided the tone and intent of the program

Finalist - Hunter New England Local Health District: Using water to prevent falls in rural communities


Transcript - Using water to prevent falls in rural communities

Bingara MPS Falls Prevention Program addresses the strategic aims of Keeping People Healthy category. In particular, the aim of identifying and improving health outcomes for risk groups. In this case the quality improvement program focuses on the community dwelling aged population.

According to the 2016 census, the Community of Bingara has a high proportion of its population over 65 years, 39.3% compared to 16.2% for the state of NSW. Falls are a significant issue in the community and regularly lead to injury, resulting in the loss of the ability to undertake physical activity, and to perform activities of daily living essential to remaining independent.

A literature search demonstrated that high falls risk community members who participated in a water-based exercise program benefited through improvements in strength and balance.

Identified high falls risk participants were supported through the program with locally trained and accredited MPS staff. They participated in water-based exercises program for 8 weeks.

Post Qualitative and Quantitative measures have indicated significant improvements in physical, mental and social wellbeing and an overall reduced risk of falling due to increased strength and balance

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