December 20, 2022

Celebrating 40 years of service

Last week at Northern Health, we celebrated the achievements of our long-service staff as part of the 2022 Staff Service Awards.

More than 400 staff were acknowledged for their dedication to our health service. Among those were Susan Short, Rhonda Lark, Freda Kotsios and Jeanette Kamar, who all marked 40 years of service in 2022.

Susan Short is an Enrolled Nurse at Northern Health. She commenced at PANCH in 1982 working in Plastic Surgery, before moving to Outpatients and the Colorectal Ward in 1985. She currently works in Ward 16 and Outpatients at Northern Hospital Epping.

“I have enjoyed every moment of those 40 years. I have met such great people, staff and patients. Although some things have changed, in nursing, patients will always need love and care,” Sue said.

Cathy Fletcher, Nurse Unit Manager, Specialists Clinics Outpatients Services, and Susan’s manager, said Susan’s knowledge, including plastering, vascular wound care and plastics, enables her to provide outstanding care to her patients.

“I would like to thank Sue for her hard work and dedication and congratulate her on reaching 40 years of outstanding service at Northern Health,” she said.

Jeanette Kamar, Accreditation Support Officer, has worked with Maree Glynn, Director of Clinical Practice Improvement, for more than 30 years.

“Whatever position Jeanette has been in, she has always been passionate and dedicated to her work. Her application and dedication to her work goes well beyond normal work hours to achieve deadlines and the goals that she sets herself,” Maree said.

Jeanette has worked in a number of roles during her time at Northern Health. She was the Injury Prevention Coordinator where she was “instrumental” in reducing falls with harm. She has also been involved in falls research which resulted in several published articles and the development of the Northern Health Stratify Falls Assessment tool. This led to a randomised trial in public hospitals across Melbourne.

Jeanette was awarded a Healthscope Award in 2012 for her work in reducing falls. She was also the Policy and Procedure Coordinator where she helped clinicians on the floor.

“Her dedication and support of her colleagues, and her sense of duty was evident last year when the call for help was made to staff to support the health service’s COVID response. She came back early from long-service leave to work in the COVID Monitoring Program,” Maree said.

“I would like to congratulate Jeanette on her 40 years of nursing. Northern Health patients have been the beneficiary of Jeanette’s hard work, knowledge and dedication.”

Also celebrating 40 years of service in 2022 is Freda Kotsios, Instrument Technician. Freda has been with Northern Health since PANCH, and has worked in CSSD with a number of managers and different staff over the many years.

“Forty years of service in one organisation is something anyone would dream of achieving,” said Melanie Almazan, Freda’s manager.

“I have only worked with Freda for five years, but she is dedication at its finest. She has encountered so many changes in CSSD procedures, and has stood still, adapted to the changes and embraced the changes. I call her ‘mother’, not because she’s the most senior staff, but she cares for others as if they are her children. She takes pride in all the things she does.”

Rhonda Lark started her Northern Health career at PANCH as a cleaner and received in-house training to become a PSA. She spent most of her years in the former Ward B and then eventually moved to Ward 4 at Northern Hospital Epping.

“Rhonda has a good eye for detail and is always happy to help,” said Miguel Barros, Rhonda’s manager.

Featured image: Rhonda Lark, Jeanette Kamar, Freda Kotsios and Sue Short.