Emergency Department Redevelopment Project

We were delighted to welcome Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos MP to Monash Medical Centre on Sunday 8 September to launch our emergency department redevelopment project.

Major works are about to commence on the project, which will deliver an expanded emergency department and a new, dedicated paediatric emergency department for Monash Children’s Hospital.

A separate emergency treatment area will be created to treat patients with complex needs.

“This upgrade will give families peace of mind that world-class care is just around the corner when someone is sick,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
Monash Medical Centre sees over 90,000 emergency patients a year. This figure rises each year, and increasing demand means the facilities are in need of an upgrade and expansion.

“Our infrastructure no longer matches the needs of our patients or the abilities of our team,” said Dr Rachel Rosler, Director of Emergency Medicine at Monash Medical Centre.

“Our dedicated staff provide care for critically ill and injured patients, but working in an ageing facility does limit our ability to provide tailored care for children, undertake research projects, or care for patients with complex needs.”

On hand to meet the Premier and Minister was 13-year-old Tristan Watters. Earlier this year Tristan had a cardiac issue that saw his heart rate soar to over 250 beats per minute. An ambulance rushed him to Monash, where our emergency team were able to get the life-threatening episode under control.

The construction project ahead will include a dedicated entry for ambulances, allowing faster access to life-saving care. Major works commence soon and the whole project is expected to be complete in 2022.

Meet Darren Mansfield

Meet Darren Mansfield, Deputy Director of Monash Lung and Sleep and Director of the Monash Health Sleep Service.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

As well as supporting many of the activities within the Respiratory Unit, my principal role is to oversee the Sleep Service. The sleep unit is one of the largest in the country with over 70 sleep studies conducted each week.

Sleep health is being recognised as one of the three pillars for a healthy lifestyle along with exercise and diet. Our sleep unit hopes to convey the importance of healthy sleep toward optimal mood, performance, cognition, learning and metabolic health.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health? 

I was an intern at Monash Health the year that it opened in 1990 and conducted much of my training here. I returned in 2003 to work at Dandenong Hospital in general medicine and intensive care. I was Head of the General Medical Unit from 2007 to 2011, and moved to the Respiratory Unit in 2012 to take on the role leading the Sleep Service within the Monash Lung and Sleep Department.

This year’s theme for Sleep Awareness Week in Australia is ‘Sleep on it- memory and problem solving.’ Why is sleep so important, and what impact does it have on our memory and brain function?

Sleep is critical to cognition and learning. Learned tasks and experiences are consolidated into memory during sleep. The cortex of the brain is not able to consolidate experiences and learned tasks into memory while at the same time processing current stimuli from the environment. The function of disengaging from conscious awareness might be an important aspect of sleep for separating these two functions and allowing information to be consolidated into memory.

Sleep is crucial to children and adolescents in particular as they are most vulnerable to the effects of sleep loss on mood, behaviour and learning.

What major/new project or initiative is your team currently working on?

We are developing Monash Lung and Sleep in the community to place our outpatient services within a large primary care hub in Cranbourne. This initiative hopes to bring our chronic lung disease closer to home, a GP and multidisciplinary care.

What are your biggest achievements since working at Monash Health?

Being part of a team in respiratory and sleep medicine that delivers a high quality clinical service, with a high patient experience, manages its finances and delivers over 50 publications per year, with repeated grant success.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

I enjoy looking at ways of developing new services.

If you weren’t working in your current role what would you be doing?

I think I would have been an Engineer. I loved maths and physics and miss the opportunity of using these tools to solve problems.

The Pyjama Fun Run is coming up on October 27 to support the Monash Lung and Sleep department. How can people get involved?

Everyone sleeps, and therefore has a stake in raising awareness of its importance to optimal health. Register for the event, dress up in your PJs, walk, run or bring your dog. Either way come and have some fun!

Register now at http://www.monashhealthfoundation.com.au/event/pyjamafunrun

Visit our Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/352189752103185/


Professor Suresh Sundram to lead education and research in Mental Health

Monash Health and Monash University are proud to announce the appointment of Professor Suresh Sundram to the position of Head, Department of Psychiatry, Monash University School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, and Director of Research, Monash Health Mental Health Program.

Professor Sundram has a distinguished career as a clinician and as a researcher. He moved to Monash in 2015 from the Florey Institute, attracted by the translational research opportunities of the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP), and the opportunity to co-locate his laboratory research program and clinical activities. His appointment concludes a national search for the ideal appointee to the position held by Professor David Kissane from 2012-2019. The role will formally merge for the first time leadership of research and education in mental health at Monash University with leadership of research within the Mental Health program of Monash Health.

“We are delighted to welcome Professor Sundram as the new academic department head in this vital area of human health,” said Professor Eric Morand, Head of the Monash University School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health. “With responsibility for medical teaching, postgraduate masters offerings, and research in the School, it is a significant leadership position within the University and provides great opportunities for collaboration with Monash Health as well as with the newly established Turner Institute.”

Professor Sundram will depart his role as Unit Head of Adult Psychiatry at Monash Medical Centre in order to undertake this new academic leadership position. Program Director of Mental Health at Monash Health, Professor David Clarke said, “Monash Health has benefited enormously from the leadership Suresh has provided to Monash Psychiatry thus far and looks forward to this continuing in this new role which will advance the progress of Monash Health as a leading integrated centre of clinical-academic excellence in psychiatry and neuroscience.”

Professor Sundram said the role is an exciting opportunity to build upon the rich research profile of the Department of Psychiatry, and to develop new avenues using precision medicine approaches in translation to improve outcomes for people with psychiatric disorders.

“I hope to foster the further flourishing of a research and teaching culture of excellence embedded within a clinical context through the close interface between Monash University and Monash Health,” Professor Sundram said.

Appointments to the Monash Health Board

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of three new Monash Health Board Members: Robyn McLeod, Tony Brain and Helen Brunt.

Our new Board Members bring with them exceptional experience, knowledge and leadership.  A biography of each new Board Member is provided below.

Each year we review sub-committee membership and, along with the new members, there have been a number of changes made to ensure we provide the best possible governance and succession planning.


Membership of the Board sub-committees is as follows:

Board Audit Committee: Jane Bell (Chair); Tony Brain; Robyn McLeod

Board Finance Committee: Charles Gillies (Chair); Tony Brain; Helen Brunt; Dipak Sanghvi

Board Quality Committee: Hatem Salem (Chair); Aurélia Balpe; Misty Jenkins

Aboriginal Health Strategic Partnership Committee: Dipak Sanghvi (Chair); Misty Jenkins

Community Advisory Committee: Aurélia Balpe; Robyn McLeod

Primary Care & Population Health Advisory Committee: Aurélia Balpe (Chair); Robyn McLeod


Incoming Board Member Biographies: 

Ms Robyn McLeod

Ms McLeod is a governance and public policy expert who currently serves on the Boards of Melbourne Water and VicWater, and previously served as a member of the Governance working group of the Board of Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand. Robyn’s previous positions include director of the Australian Centre for Social Innovation, Independent Commissioner for Water Security in South Australia, National Director of Water for KPMG, Executive Director of Major Projects Water with the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria and Chief of Staff to the Victorian Energy Resources and Ports Minister.

Ms Helen Brunt
BA (Hons), GAICD

Ms Brunt is a senior governance and technology delivery executive who brings extensive experience in digital technology and large scale transformation in complex business environments including Wesfarmers and Westpac. She is skilled in developing strategies to leverage technology to support business strategy. Helen is passionate about diversity and the use of technology to transform customer and staff experience and previously served as an associate board member for the VIC ICT for Women in IT. Helen is currently an elected Member Director of the Wesfarmers Super Trust Policy Committee.

Mr Tony Brain

Mr Brain is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience in governance, assurance, finance and regulatory oversight. Tony’s executive leadership experience includes 12 years as Partner at Deloitte and nearly three years as Head of Risk Management at AustralianSuper. In addition to Monash Health, Tony’s current Non-Executive Director experience includes three years at the Australian Scholarships Group Friendly Society Pty Ltd and nearly one year at AMP Superannuation Limited where he is currently in the role as Interim Chair. Tony also sits on various Board Committees for Victoria University, Barwon Health, Magistrates Court Victoria and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation. Tony is also a current member of the Companies Auditor Disciplinary Board.


We would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution made by our outgoing Board Members Ms Sarah Ralph, Ms Jorden Lam and Ms Heather Cleland, and thank them for their time, commitment and critical insight.

We wish them all continued success and thank them for their service to Monash Health.


Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Congratulations to Dr Robert Stunden, Head of Paediatric Surgery at Casey Hospital, who was recognised in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his service to medicine in the field of paediatric surgery.

Dr Stunden is a paediatric surgeon based at Monash Health and Peninsula Health, serving patients across south-east Melbourne, Gippsland and the Mornington Peninsula.

Congratulations to Mr Shashi Kochhar, President of Friends of the Children Foundation and founder of the Walk for Monash Children’s Hospital, who was recognised in the Queen’s 2019 Birthday Honours List for his service to the community through charitable initiatives.

Mr Kochhar is a passionate advocate for improving children’s health in our community and founded the Walk for Monash Children’s Hospital, which has raised $750,000 over the past six years to help purchase vital medical equipment.

Shashi and the Friends of the Children Foundation continue to raise money for Monash Children’s through fundraising dinners, sausage sizzles and other opportunities in the community to raise awareness and funds to support our patients and families.

Meet Danielle Clark

Meet Danielle Clark, Head of Donor Relations at Monash Health Foundation.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

I have just been appointed as the Head of Donor Relations, Monash Health Foundation. My team looks after everything from community fundraising, events, donor relations, corporate and community partnerships, communications and lots more.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health? 

I have worked on a couple of projects for Monash Health in 2016 and 2017 as a contractor, working specifically with the Foundation and the Public Affairs and Communications Teams. I officially joined the Foundation in January 2018 as a Fundraising Advisor.

What made you want to join the Foundation team?

As a professional fundraiser I personally want to only work for organisations I feel passionate about. Monash Health has such a wide reach into the community and really makes a difference in people’s lives.

We are so fortunate to have access to free public healthcare, but there will never be enough government funding to ensure that public services can meet the community demands and keep up with the latest technologies, to undertake all the research possible and ensure that we have the best of the best available to patients and that is where philanthropy comes in.

Our generous donors choose to support Monash Health because they believe in the organisation, my job is to make sure their donations are used appropriately, that they are appreciated and that they get to hear about the impact they have.

What major/new project or initiative is your team currently working on?

We are always working on something big, our Dandelion Wishes Gala is this week and is taking a lot of our focus, however there is lots more.

We are the Victorian partner of a soon to be launched national fundraising campaign and we are working on some exciting appeals for the Victorian Heart Hospital, Women’s Health and our new Emergency Department.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

There are so many elements that are rewarding, the patients and their families who have received such wonderful medical care that they are inspired to either give a gift or ask their networks to give is pretty awesome and speaks volumes for Monash Health.

In the Foundation team we are invited to share those stories, we are responsible for ensuring that gift is honoured and continuing the relationship with the donor after and sometimes during their medical journey.

If you weren’t working in your current role what would you be doing?

I am passionate about improving our community, not just for people I know and love but for those who may not have a voice. If I was not here I would love to work for Victoria Police.

What is something that your team doesn’t know about you?

I really should give you a funny or quirky answer but the truth is that I am a fairly open book so there is not a lot they don’t know. If anyone outside of the Foundation would like to know more, buy me a coffee – skinny capp, 1 sugar (must be raw), I am happy to chat.

Meet Tao Browne

Meet Tao Browne, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Program Management Office and Deputy Director.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

EMR Program Management Office and Deputy Director.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health? 

My first day at Monash Health was Monday 1 August 2011 as the Advanced Scheduling Program Manager (Kronos scheduling) reporting into Cheyne Chalmers. I remember a warm welcome from Sharon Wood who was Director of Nursing/Operations Director at Moorabbin Hospital at the time. It was lovely and has stuck with me.

Since June 2014 I have been working as part of a talented team of clinical and non-clinical colleagues to progress the EMR Program from an “idea” all the way through to “reality”.

What made you want to work on the EMR Program?

While not a clinician by background I have always been interested in health and I love working with clinicians. I have always been excited by the opportunity to play a part in developing tools to improve the quality and safety of patient care – and this is the big one.

This is one of the largest roll-outs of the EMR in Australia. What are the biggest challenges you have encountered along the way?

The challenges have been and continue to be many and varied! As a leading innovator, Monash Health is often an early adopter, investing considerable resources into developing models, systems and processes that serve us but will also benefit others in our sector. Thankfully in this instance many other health services across Australia and the world have led the way and Cerner, who provide our EMR, are experienced in the Australian context. But we still have some clinical areas that won’t have a fully electronic workflow in this first phase of the EMR Program. This “hybrid” workflow has required considerable collaboration, trust and effort from all parties to define workflows that minimise risk for those areas while we plan for future phases that address their requirements.

The executive support from the early stages of the EMR Program has been excellent and has enabled the great clinical engagement that has characterised this EMR Program and is the critical success factor for EMR implementations.

As budgets are always tight and any of this sort of work is dependent on the capability and capacity of staff involved, having the right staff in the right place at the right time is a challenge we manage on a daily basis!

How will the EMR impact patient safety and care at Monash Health?

This is a system designed by clinicians, for clinicians, ultimately for patient benefit. Improving the quality and safety of patient care is it’s core purpose. The foundations of the EMR in clinical documentation, orders and results and clinical decision support are an amazing platform that our innovative clinicians and research partners can use to analyse and improve patient safety and care at Monash Health.

When will the EMR go live at Monash Health?

A revised timeline has recently been approved by the Monash Health Board of Directors and communicated by the Chief Executive, with 3 Go-Lives planned in August, October and November 2019.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Seeing well laid plans coming to fruition as successfully achieved Program milestones is very satisfying. Equally rewarding is the engagement I have with clinicians in the pursuit of these goals and the energy and excitement they bring to realising this EMR journey.

If you weren’t working in your current role what would you be doing?

I am an Agricultural Scientist by education and want to leave a healthy environment for my children and future generations, so perhaps trying to bring together robotics, artificial intelligence and automation to solve some of our big environmental problems!

What is something that your team doesn’t know about you?

When I lived in the US as a child, I had a pet racoon.

Meet Rosie

Meet Rosie Brown, Infection Control Consultant at Monash Health.

What does your role at Monash Health entail?

Infection Control Consultants are responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of the Infection Control and Prevention program at Monash Health. We are involved in activities that include protocol and procedure development, surveillance and monitoring infections, staff immunisation and education, as well as being a resource and advisory person for any Infection Control issues.

There is an Infection Control Consultant at all Monash Health sites, and we all work as part a team with an Infectious Diseases Physician and a Microbiologist.

Influenza Vaccination is a huge priority at Monash Health. How can you help to encourage others to get their vaccination?

We educate staff and explain how beneficial it is to have the flu vaccine annually, not only to protect our vulnerable patients but also to protect themselves, their families and their work colleagues. All unvaccinated healthcare workers have a higher risk of acquiring influenza and transmitting it to our patients. Staff at the Kingston Centre have shown a great willingness to partake in the annual influenza vaccination program and at Kingston Centre, we constantly lead the way for Monash Health with high vaccination rates.

What interests and hobbies do you have outside of work?

I like keeping fit, eating healthy [mainly vegan foods thanks to my vegan daughter who loves to cook], and travelling to exotic places with my husband. I’m also trying to learn how to play golf by taking golf lessons. It’s very slow progress though!

Talk us through your journey at Monash Health?

I’ve been working in Infection Control for over 12 years and have worked at most Monash Health sites during that time. I came to the Kingston Centre in 2015 and liked it so much that I wanted to stay – the staff are very special here. Previously I have always worked in Intensive Care wards in large hospitals mainly in NSW, QLD, the UK and Saudi Arabia. Infection Control was a significant change for me but like many other ICU nurses, I could see how critical infection control is in a patient’s journey back to good health.

What are the biggest challenges your team faces?

I find Infection Control to be very challenging in many ways. Infection prevention practices are critically important for all healthcare workers as mistakes and poor techniques can lead to serious adverse events for our patients. Infection Control staff can sometimes be perceived as watch dogs and it can be difficult to be accepted by all healthcare workers when trying to promote excellent practice.

A lot of our work involves change management which is not always readily accepted by staff who are often under time restraints, among other issues. We are very skilled at promoting and influencing change and do need to be exceedingly patient. However, when we succeed and practice becomes safer it is extremely rewarding.

What has your biggest achievement at Monash Health been?

The improved ultraviolet marking rates for cleaning at Kingston [with the help of support services], the reduction and improved management of gastroenteritis outbreaks over the last 11 years and of course the improved influenza vaccination rates in our staff.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Being part of a team that decreases infection rates and helps to make Kingston Centre a safer place for our patients.

If you weren’t working in your current role, what would you be doing?

Holidaying in an exotic place!

One thing about me that people probably don’t know is

I ran a half marathon to celebrate turning 50.


Midwife of the Year

We are very proud to announce that Tracey Stephens has won The 2019 HESTA Midwife of the Year award.

Tracey plays a pivotal role at Monash Health as the Aboriginal Health Liaison Midwife and Aboriginal Graduate and Cadet Support Officer.

She is recognised for improving maternity and health care outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and babies by implementing culturally appropriate and safe maternity services.

To read her story, click here.

Meet Nerine

Meet Nerine Wilson, Nurse Manager at Ward 44, Monash Medical Centre.

What does being a nurse at Monash Health mean to you?

Nursing is a rewarding profession and my role as Nurse Manager at Monash Health means upholding the iCare values and being able to make a difference to the lives of the patients and ensuring they receive the best care possible at all times as we strive in our relentless pursuit for excellence.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health?

I completed my Grad year at Monash Medical Centre and then went on to work on Ward 32 North until 2001 before going working overseas.  I returned in 2004 as an Associate Nurse Manager in Outpatients, then in 2006 was appointed Nurse Manager of the Medihotel and Infusion Centre.

After the Medihotel closed, I was Nurse Manager for Ward 32 West and then Ward 32 North, before commencing in my current role of Nurse Manager of Ward 44.

What is your favourite part of being a nurse?

My favourite part of being a nurse in my role is to be able to have input into directing the nursing care of patients, getting to know the patients and their families and being an advocate for our patients.

What interests and hobbies do you have outside of work?

My husband Mark and I have two boys Harvey, 8 and Joel, 7 and they keep us busy with a lot of sports. I also enjoy catching up with family and friends and shopping.

What is the most rewarding part of being a nurse?

I always wanted to be a nurse and I’ve loved and am extremely grateful for the opportunities the profession has brought my way. Working overseas was a highlight and I am proud to have dedicated my career in Melbourne to work for Monash Health.

If you weren’t working in your current role, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t working in my current role, I would still be involved in the nursing profession, but I can’t imagine not working for Monash Health and being in a management role.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

We have a relatively new four legged addition to our family – a four month old Toy Cavoodle Puppy whose name is Raven. He is just gorgeous!