We Are Northern: This is The Foundation team
Northern Health Foundation, or ‘The Foundation’ as it’s typically referred to, is the fundraising arm of Northern Health. Their aim is to raise funds to support staff and patients across Northern Health.
The Foundation team is led by Pina Di Donato, Executive Director, Public Affairs and Foundation, and Melissa Grenville who recently joined as Director, Foundation. Melissa leads a small group of enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about making a difference with her team, consisting of Margaret Rivette, Fundraising Campaigns Officer and Tatjana Dimoska, Administration and Database Officer. They work closely with Henni Wade, Volunteer Services and Manager, who is a fantastic support to the team.
Over the last 18 months, they have funded more than $800,000 in medical equipment and research across all four Northern Health campuses, including state-of-the-art medical equipment and technology to enhance patient care, supporting the upgrade of patient and visitor facilities and funding PhD scholarship to support ground-breaking medical research.
This year, their major campaign has been focused on fundraising for an Anorectal Laboratory to help minimise risks associated with OASIS patients (Obstetrics Anal Sphincter Injuries) at Northern Health. To ensure its success, the Foundation reports to its own independent board made up of diversely skilled individuals who volunteer their time to provide strategic guidance. They are passionate about raising funds to improve patient experience and support our staff.
When the pandemic hit, the Foundation pivoted into support mode, doing anything they could to support staff during this difficult time. They developed some fabulous initiatives, such as the ‘Shout a Coffee’ campaign where corporate supporter, Riverlee, kindly donated $5,000 worth of coffees for all the dedicated staff in 2021, which the Foundation was able to facilitate. They also raised funds through major raffles allowing a staff member to win a brand-new car in 2020. These funds eventually supported the purchase of a Gastro-ultrasound at Northern Hospital Epping.
Northern Health staff are also wonderful contributors through the Workplace Giving Program. Pre-tax contributions are dollar matched by BankVic up to $20,000 and are used to fund projects around our health service. Most recently, Workplace Giving contributions have enabled the purchase of beautiful art pieces in the Palliative Care Unit at Northern Hospital Epping.
Melissa Grenville, Director Foundation says, “We’re a small team who do amazing work, tirelessly fundraising to support our staff and our health service. As the new Director, I am excited to work with the board, executives, Pina and the Foundation team to implement our strategic plan and grow our team to be fully resourced. We are also developing some fantastic initiatives and events to support our upcoming campaign for 2023-24.”
While there is fantastic support from government funding, there are many areas within the health service where staff and departments identify a need and come to the team for assistance. The Foundation works towards fulfilling those needs with the available resources, to build on the services and become an even larger support system for staff and the community.
In 2023, the team is excited to meet new people and continue working with staff to fundraise to support various departments across Northern Health.
Thank you to The Foundation team for all your hard work and support.
Pictured (L-R): Margaret Rivette, Fundraising Campaigns Officer, Melissa Grenville, Director Foundation and Tatjana Dimoska, Administration and Database Officer.