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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.

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Winner - Physically Active Children in Education

Hunter New England Local Health District


Transcript: Physically Active Children in Education

Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide (Kohl, 2013) and has been estimated to cost the Australian economy $555 million (Ding, 2016). Ensuring children are sufficiently active is essential for future chronic disease prevention (Craigie, 2011) and could prevent 8,000 deaths each year in Australia (Stephenson, 2000). School-based physical activity policies are effective in improving child activity (Pate, 2011).

Since 2015 the NSW Department of Education (DET) has mandated schools deliver 150 minutes of physical activity to students/week (NSW Govt, 2015). However, only 31% of schools meet this guideline (Nathan, 2022).

We aimed to improve the health outcomes of children by supporting schools to increase their delivery of physical activity.

In consultation with key stakeholders, we developed and rigorously tested an effective model of service delivery - Physically Active Children in Education (PACE). Through the conduct of multiple randomised controlled trials, PACE has increased teacher’s delivery of physical activity by greater than 40 minutes per week (Nathan, 2020; Nathan, 2022).

PACE aligns with the ‘Keeping People Healthy’ category and the Strategic Outcome 3 of the Future Health Strategy – “People are Healthy and Well” addressing a health issue of international significance – physical inactivity. Additionally, it also focuses on establishing healthy physical activity patterns early in life.

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Finalist - The PANDA Project

St Vincent’s Health Network


Transcript: The PANDA Project

Emergency Department (ED) presentations were reviewed in detail to quantify and more fully describe the cohort of complex care patients who had needs relating to mental health, drug and alcohol issues, acute and chronic medical conditions, poverty, homelessness and social isolation.

It was found that between ten and fifteen percent of patients fitted within these descriptors. This exceptionally vulnerable group presented unique challenges as no existing model of care, group of specialists or even physical space within the hospital was suitable. PANDA (Psychiatry, Alcohol, Non-prescription Drugs Assessment) was devised as a unique model of cooperative care in a purpose-built space to provide holistic, empathic care.

The service is a unique innovation and has already gained a reputation as a major step forward in providing for the complex care needs of vulnerable patients. That is, in a manner and a setting which emphasizes dignity for the individual, excellence in multi-disciplinary care, and above all hope.

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Finalist - Connected Care Clinics: Holistic care for vulnerable families

Western Sydney Local Health District


Transcript: Connected Care Clinics: Holistic care for vulnerable families

There is a relationship between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE score) and poor health outcomes across the lifespan. Early identification of children with high ACE exposure scores provides an opportunity for early intervention. This is in line with the aims of the First 2000 Days Initiative. Western Sydney Local Health District children are disproportionately disadvantaged across a range of socio-economic and health parameters.

The weekly Paediatric Connected Care Clinic (CCC) seeks to reduce health inequity by:

  1. identifying children at risk of poor social and health outcomes secondary to social disadvantage
  2. provision of holistic assessment, by a Paediatrician and Social Worker, and wrap-around medical and psychosocial care over a 3–6 month period with referrals for longer term care, and
  3. enhanced interagency communication, including multidisciplinary case conferencees following clinic review.

The Connected Care Clinics demonstrates improved patient outcomes for the local Paediatric population who require complex health care management. It directly links to keeping people healthy category by addressing its strategies to:

  • Improving health outcomes for at risk groups with 90% of patients seen identified as coming from vulnerable backgrounds.

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Current as at: Thursday 1 December 2022
Contact page owner: NSW Health