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July 2016



A message from our Group CEO, Toby Hall


Inspired to shine

Our culture at St Vincent’s should be a shining example of colleagues working together supporting each other and encouraging each other to do great things. Often it is exactly that but at times we all fall short and the best people to help us get back on track are our colleagues.

Last year the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) established an Expert Advisory Group to examine the issues of discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment (DBSH) in the surgical profession. SVHA put forward a set of recommendations to tackle the problem which RACS fully embraced and we began talking to RACS about how we might work together to address the issue within our own hospitals so we can have a consistent and truly great culture.

I’m very pleased to let you know that earlier this month SVHA and RACS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve patient safety and deal more effectively with reports of DBSH within the surgical workforce.

This is the first such agreement RACS has made with a national health care organisation like ourselves and, while it is early days, I am encouraged and proud we are rolling up our sleeves and tackling this issue.

SVHA has also established an internal program to address these issues more broadly – not just among our surgical workforce but across our whole organisation. Our Inspired to Shine Ethos Program* is built on the ‘Vanderbilt Principles’ developed by the Vanderbilt Centre for Patient and Professional Advocacy, Nashville, Tennessee. The Ethos program recognises the proven link between poor behaviours and adverse patient outcomes and is focused on building a culture of safety for our patients and staff.

I see the Ethos Program as an enabler of our organisation delivering person centred care with an outstanding patient and resident experience and the best possible health outcomes. The program will bring together an electronic reporting system, an accountability framework and a comprehensive peer training initiative which will focus on prevention and early intervention.

You will hear more on this in coming months as we work towards a kinder, safer health service and our aspiration to create the best culture in Australian health care.

*Ethos is a Greek word meaning "character" that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterise a community, nation, or ideology.

Spotlight on Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital

Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital (HSNPH) is blazing a trail in orthopaedic robotic technology.  Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently visited the hospital for a demonstration of this revolutionary surgery. 

Our Group CEO, Toby Hall welcomed the Prime Minister to HSNPH to launch Stryker’s Mako Robotic Arm in Australia and endorsed the hospital’s innovative strategy.

“The Mako Robotic Arm is a new innovative technology that allows surgeons to perform more accurate hip and knee replacements. This has the potential to deliver a better outcome for patients,” Toby said.

Prime Minister Turnbull was given a hands-on demonstration of the robotic technology by HSNPH Orthopaedic Surgeons Professor Ross Crawford and Dr Bill Donnelly, who were the first surgeons in Australia to perform the surgery.

HSNPH CEO, Daniele Doyle explained that Drs Donnelly and Crawford are not new to robotic surgical advancements. They have been successfully using robotic technology for partial knee replacements since June 2015.

“We are very encouraged by the early results of the Mako Robotic partial knee replacement surgery and excited to be bringing the Robotic total hip application to Australia,” Daniele said.

The robotic technology provides surgeons with real time visual, tactile and auditory feedback throughout the procedure. Clinical trials of this technology to perform partial knee replacements have resulted in a 1% revision rate at two years. This compares with the current revision rate in Australia of 4.5% (National Joint Replacement Registry figures 2015).

Future challenges

Australia’s health system is facing a number of challenges due to our ageing population. These include an increased need for joint replacements due to diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis and other degenerative conditions.

Prime Minister Turnbull said: “This is the type of collaborative innovation that will help Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital working with Queensland University of Technology and industry to take advanced robotics into more fields of surgery and medical diagnosis. And with innovation and science a key part of our national economic plan, this makes for more productivity and more jobs and more growth from Australians’ great ideas.”


[left to right]: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Daniele Doyle, CEO HSNPH, Toby Hall, SVHA’s Group CEO and Gary Humphrys, Board Director HSNPH/SVHA .

How are you inspired?


SVHA employee profile

Virginia Menadue is the Nurse Unit Manager of Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital’s Day Procedure and Endoscopy suites. Virginia is an exceptional leader and clinician and was recently awarded the hospital’s VIP of the month. She strongly advocates diligent and thorough patient centred care, professional nursing practice and positive team spirit. We asked Virginia 5 quick questions.

  1. What inspires you most about your work?
    I enjoy the different stresses that the job involves because it doesn’t allow for complacency. The high acuity and activity pitches different challenges and opportunities to all staff working in the unit.  I’m proud to be part of a team who value and acknowledge that the patient experience and comfort is paramount. They are fabulous!
  2. What might someone be surprised to know about you?
    I am a diehard Peanuts fan. I planned a visit to the Charles Schultz museum in Santa Rosa California a couple of years ago and remember being overwhelmed standing outside The Warm Puppy, the iconic skating rink featured in many cartoons and movies. Schultz’s cartoons and movies depicted a plethora of human emotions by capturing a snapshot of the human condition. He was a brilliant and humble man and well known for his philanthropy, qualities that I hold in high esteem. 
  3. What do you do when you aren’t working?
    I share my household with a menagerie of animals. Two dogs and three cats so weekdays are usually filled with dog walks, yard tidy and general housekeeping duties. Weekends are in part the same but with coffee, breakfasts catching up with family and movies thrown in-between. I love to read non-fiction books and usually have at least 2 books on the go at any one time. I’ve recently completed books about the development of the civil rights movement, true crime, the secret service and biographies. I enjoy overseas travel but I’m equally just as happy at home.
  4. If you could invite 5 people in the world to dinner (living or not) who would they be and what would you cook?
    I would default to my family and friends to make up the table of 5.  Life is too short and getting together as a family is infrequent.  I would probably pull up a couple of stools and invite Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones) and Benjamin Netanyahu (Israeli Prime Minister) for dessert. Asking what I would cook is like asking me what the meaning of life is. I suspect I would couch the invitation by asking all invitees to bring a plate. The endoscopy staff would collapse on the floor laughing if I was to suggest that I was cooking for a party of 5.
  5. What super power do you wish you had and how would you use it?
    The ability to permanently disarm everyone in the world who has a weapon.

Comings and goings

We welcomed 2 new executive appointments and said fond farewells to some much-loved members of the SVHA leadership team.

Comings …

David Swan, CEO, St Vincent’s Private Hospitals

David Swan has been appointed to the position of CEO of St Vincent’s Private Hospitals Division. David has held a number of executive level roles in the health industry having worked in the public, not for profit and private health sectors in South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales for the past 31 years. In his most recent role as Chief Executive at Department of Health, South Australia, David has been directly responsible for South Australia’s health system incorporating metropolitan and country hospitals, aged care beds and services, the mental health system, the State’s Ambulance service and diagnostic services. He will be relocating from Adelaide to Melbourne to take up the position in October.

Janine Loader, CEO Mater Hospital


On 1 July, Janine Loader started in her new role as CEO of Mater Hospital, North Sydney. Janine began her career with SVHA in 2002 and has been the CEO of St Vincent’s Private Hospital Fitzroy and Chief Nursing Officer of the St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne group for the past 3 years. She was recently the relieving CEO at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba where she made a big positive impact in a short time. Janine has a strong track record of building very effective teams, strong business acumen and is a highly regarded ambassador for Catholic health care and SVHA.

Goings …

Jack de Groot

SVHA Group Mission Leader Jack de Groot left us recently to take on the role of CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society of NSW (Vinnies).  Jack made a significant contribution to the leadership, growth and development of our Mission both in terms of formation for our people and in our outreach to the poor and vulnerable. His experience and insight into humanitarian assistance and his deep compassion are among the many qualities that made him a natural choice to lead the Mission team and our pastoral care workers. The search for a new Group Mission Leader is currently underway.

Martin Day

Martin Day recently retired as CEO of St Vincent’s Private Hospitals Division. Martin was a vital part of the SVHA Group for 14 years and left a legacy to admire. Significant growth occurred under Martin’s leadership with plans approved by the Board for new St Vincent’s private hospitals in Werribee and Griffith as well as major expansions at Darlinghurst and Fitzroy. SVHA’s Mission, Creed, Vision and Values were Martin’s driving purpose, and, supported by a very capable executive team, he built a highly successful Private Hospitals Division.

John Pitsonis

SVHA recently farewelled John Pitsonis after four years as CEO of the Mater. John made a significant contribution to the hospital, including presiding over the development and commissioning of the recently completed North West Extension, introduction of new services and physical facilities enhancements, as well as the comprehensive reform of the Hospital's clinical, operating and financial systems for improved long term, growth and sustainability.

It's an honour


Congratulations to all the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients associated with SVHA. We are extremely proud of them and grateful for their significant service and contribution to our work.

Roslyn Packer AC

For eminent philanthropic service across many areas including health care, medical research, social welfare and the visual and performing arts. 

Mrs Packer has had a long association with SVHA as a Patron of the Friends of St Vincent’s Private Hospital, member of the Board of Trustees for the St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation, and as a past member of the Board of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. Her leadership and contribution over many years have been vital to delivering the mission of SVHA at the Darlinghurst campus.

Associate Professor Brett Courtenay OAM

For service to orthopaedic medicine, and to medical education.

Associate Professor Courtenay has had a long association with SVHA at the Darlinghurst campus. In addition to his outstanding clinical expertise, his contribution to clinical governance including through the Campus Medical Council as well as his contribution as a Board member of the St Vincent’s Clinic has been very highly valued.

Associate Professor David Bryant OAM

For service to thoracic medicine, and to medical education.

Associate Professor Bryant first joined St Vincent’s Hospital as a Resident almost 50 years ago and we thank him for his extraordinary dedication and contribution to thoracic and respiratory medicine at the Darlinghurst campus in that time. His service at the St Vincent’s Medical School is also highly valued.

Dr John Kennedy AM

For significant service to medicine, particularly in the field of otolaryngology, to medical education and training, and to the community.

Dr Kennedy has had a long association with SVHA at both the public and private hospitals in Melbourne. We particularly thank him for his contribution as Head of Ear Nose and Throat Surgery at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne for over 30 years.

Emeritus Professor Sidney Bloch AM

For significant service to medicine in the field of psychiatry, to medical education as an academic and author, and as a mentor and role model.

We are proud of Professor Bloch’s association with SVHA as Professor of Psychiatry at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne for many years, and thank him for his contribution.

Professor Joseph Proietto AM

For significant service to medicine in the field of endocrinology, particularly obesity and diabetes research, and as a clinician, educator and mentor.

As founder and President of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society, we welcome Professor Proietto’s expertise in his recent appointment at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne to help develop our obesity services.

Dr Bernadette Tobin AO

For distinguished service to education and philosophy, to the development of bioethics in Australia as an academic, and as a leader of a range of public health advisory and research councils.

Dr Tobin has had a long and deep association with SVHA as Director of the Plunkett Centre for Ethics. Her contribution in this role is highly valued by SVHA and the Catholic community.

Alf Moufarrige AO

For distinguished service to the community through philanthropic contributions and charitable support, and to business and commerce as an industry leader and company director.

We are proud of Mr Moufarrige’s association with SVHA and thank him for his support and generous contributions to the Mater Hospital through the Mater Lives Committee and Friends of the Mater Foundation.

Nicholas Callinan AO

For distinguished service to the venture capital industry, to the development of innovative technologies in the health care sector, and to medical research, higher education, and the performing arts.

We welcome Mr Callinan’s expertise to the Board of the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery and look forward to a long association between Nick and SVHA.

Professor James Best AO

For distinguished service to medicine, particularly in the area of endocrinology, to medical education as an academic, researcher and administrator, and to rural and Indigenous health.

Professor Best’s association with St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne goes back more than 45 years when he joined as a medical student. In addition to his outstanding clinical expertise over many years, his strategic contribution to St Vincent’s including as a Board member of the Sisters of Charity Health Service and the St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research was highly valued.

Record entries in SVHA awards


A big thank you to everyone who entered the SVHA Innovation and Excellence Awards. This year we received more than 80 diverse and inspiring submissions. Our judging panel has some tough decisions to make in selecting the awards finalists.

‘People’s Choice’ Poster Award
Each finalist team will be asked to prepare a poster to showcase their project. All staff will have the opportunity to view the posters and vote for their favourite innovative project via the awards website. Voting in the ‘People’s Choice’ Award opens Monday 29 August and closes Friday 9 September.

Key dates
1 August – finalists announced
29 August – 9 September: online ‘People’s Choice’ poster voting
15 September – Awards gala dinner and announcement of winners

For more information contact: Awards Manager, Janelle Fisk

Celebrating 2016 NAIDOC Week

2016 NAIDOC Week started with the good news of Linda Burney’s election as the first Indigenous woman in the House of Representatives. Across SVHA, we celebrated national NAIDOC Week with lots of great events, ceremonies and initiatives. 

NAIDOC is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields. The theme for NAIDOC 2016 was Songlines: The living narrative of our nation. Songlines are recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance and art. They carry significant spiritual and cultural connection to knowledge, customs, ceremony and lore of many Aboriginal nations and Torres Strait Islander language groups.


Local Aboriginal artists put their creative talents on show during the St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba art exhibition to celebrate NAIDOC Week.


Team members from St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne took part in the NAIDOC March celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous Australians.

Meet our White Ribbon Ambassador


Darryl Goldman is SVHA’s Executive Director Funder Relations and a White Ribbon Ambassador. We asked Darryl why he took on this role, what it means to him personally and for the organisation.

1.       Why did you become a White Ribbon Ambassador?

I believe that stopping violence against women is fundamentally an issue for men.  It is men who are responsible for most violence perpetrated against women, so it stands to reason that men have an inherent duty to work towards ending this violence.  Not all men use violence, but all men can and should take positive action to make a difference and put a stop to it.

Violence, all violence is just plain wrong and is never justifiable. As an Ambassador my primary goals are to constructively influence change within the community while promoting the role men can play in decreasing family violence. White Ribbon Ambassadors are men who actively stand up and speak out about the importance of men taking personal responsibility and playing a leadership role, particularly in preventing men’s violence against women.

As the proud father of three wonderful sons I hope that the work I do with White Ribbon inspires them to be better men, and eventually one day to be better fathers and husbands.

2.       What’s involved in becoming an Ambassador? 

White Ribbon Ambassadors are formal representatives of White Ribbon Australia who have the knowledge, skills, attributes and determination to influence Australian men to critically evaluate their attitudes and behaviours toward women.

To become a White Ribbon Ambassador you must demonstrate that you:

  • Stand up, speak out and act to prevent men's violence against women.
  • Have an understanding of the issue of men’s violence against women, its causes and the importance of male responsibility in preventing such violence.
  • Actively practice and promote gender equity.
  • Currently engage and influence men in the prevention of men’s violence against women.
  • Have undertaken the formal Ambassador approval process including online training, interview by White Ribbon representatives and referee checks.

3.       What do you do in this role – what expectations are there from SVHA and White Ribbon?

As articulated in SVHA’s Family and Domestic Violence Workforce Support Policy, SVHA is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all our employees. We know the devastating impacts that family and domestic violence have on an individual and those they live with and we acknowledge that this is the reality for some of our own people at SVHA. The harm resulting from domestic violence is often long-lasting and can effect a person’s emotional wellbeing and create significant levels of stress and anxiety. SVHA is an organisation that wishes to stand with and support our staff who experience these and other effects of family and domestic violence and to reduce the occurrence of this violence.

I hope through our commitment to White Ribbon we will be seen as a workplace role model for the rest of the community we serve and for other like-minded organisations. As an SVHA White Ribbon Ambassador I will work to actively engage with staff to raise awareness of domestic violence and the positive steps we can take together towards ending the menace of domestic violence.

4.       What can the men of SVHA do to help prevent violence against women?

The men of SVHA need to stand together and speak up against disrespectful or violent behaviours towards women. We need to role model the behaviours we want our colleagues and our families to have towards others, so as to influence how women are perceived, and therefore to build respect for women so they are able to feel safe and have the same opportunities as anyone else be it at work, in the community or at home.

Together we need to increase constructive conversations around domestic violence and gender equality. That said, ending violence against women will not happen if we only talk about the issue on particular days, or at particular events; we need to walk the talk and ensure we maintain an ongoing and constructive dialogue involving as many people as possible across SVHA and the people we interact with.

July 29 is White Ribbon Night

White Ribbon Night is about raising awareness and much needed funds to support the work to end men’s violence against women. An annual event, it asks Australians to ‘Have a Night in to Get the Word Out’ about the seriousness of violence against women and its prevention. Contact your local HR manager for more information about getting involved in White Ribbon Night or visit:

Change for Private Hospitals Division


The St Vincent’s Health Australia group has recently been undergoing some corporate changes aimed at ‘tidying up’ the company structure that sits behind SVHA. These changes have taken place in the background to the daily episodes of care that take place in our hospitals.

As we move to consolidate and grow our 3 divisions – Private Hospitals, Public Hospitals and Aged Care – and position them for the future, the SVHA Board and Trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries have approved consolidation of our private hospitals into 1 company. The company St Vincent’s Private Hospitals Ltd from 1 July 2016 now operates 6 of our private hospitals across the group being:

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Kew
St Vincent’s Private Hospital Fitzroy
St Vincent’s Private Hospital East Melbourne
St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba
St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane
Mater Hospital Sydney

These changes will have no impact on the day to day life of the facilities with each of the above sites operating as per usual and delivering care to those most in need.

We bring God’s love to those in need through the healing ministry of Jesus.

Under the stewardship of Mary Aikenhead Ministries

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