You’re invited to nominate a nurse for the Health Heart Award, as part of International Nurses Day on 12 May.
The Sydney Hospital Ladies Auxiliary has been showing their compassion, commitment and hard work for more than 100 years. And their legacy still lives on.
In November 2021, they donated more than $200,000 to Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation to support fellowships and equipment.
Since 1919, the Ladies Auxiliary has tirelessly raised funds via raffles, gala balls and the Macquarie Street Kiosk, which opened in 1950, famous for its lolly bags and the cheerful volunteers.
COVID-19 restrictions postponed the planned recognition of the Ladies Auxiliary.
Linda Fagan, Chief Executive of the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, says,
“We’re so honoured the Auxiliary chose to donate their hard-earned funds to the Foundation and together we can continue their legacy.
“Thanks to the Ladies Auxiliary we look forward to granting funds in 2022 and beyond, directly benefiting the patients and staff of this very special Hospital.”
Unsung heroes, frontline workers, angels in protective gear—call them what you will but our nurses and the real contribution they have made to the care of our patients in these last two years of pandemic are beyond description.
And at Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, we believe in showing our appreciation for their skills and commitment.
That’s why—thanks to the generosity of our supporters we are funding ophthalmic scholarships for nurses through the University Of Notre Dame.
There is only program in Australia where nurses can get specialist training in ophthalmology. The two-year graduate certificate in ophthalmic nursing costs $11,000 and we want to help by meeting the cost to nurses.
We need to fund four scholarships, costing $44,000 and, already, one nurse, Isabel Divinagracia, is taking the course.
She says: “I can’t wait to share my new skills and knowledge. I have been at Sydney Eye Hospital for ten years. Now I have the opportunity to learn more and specialise in ophthalmology to be in a better position to help the patients who rely on us.”
Clinical nurse ophthalmology consultant Joanna McCulloch is the course co-ordinator. According to Joanna, the scholarships will be a win for nurses and patients.
“It goes beyond technical expertise and allows nurses to understand how ophthalmology affects the patient in their everyday life.
“The Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation has been absolutely phenomenal with supporting nurses. Everyone knows the far-reaching impact of the Foundation’s Fellowships for doctors, and we’d like to see the same thing for nurses.”
Joanna has been nursing for thirty years, the last twenty in ophthalmology and says she is still passionate about the speciality.
“I’m inspired by our patients with complex eye conditions and low vision. Learning from, about them, allows me to provide better care for the next patient.”
She is extremely proud of the team in developing and delivering the graduate ophthalmic nursing certificate course and says support for the Foundation’s fundraising efforts is vital.
“Every dollar given makes a word of difference to an eye patient. That dollar may buy equipment or support research that provides eyesight and independence to eye patients.
“It will also help train a nurse.”
The Ralph Kerle Art Gallery, in Manly is hosting a thought-provoking evening dissecting the physiology and aesthetics of sight, with donations kindly supporting Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation.
Plans to fill a Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital courtyard with a field of red poppies as part of the hospital’s Anzac Day Memorial Service on April 25 are underway.
And, fittingly, the courtyard of the historic Nightingale Wing, named after Crimean War nursing heroine, Florence Nightingale, has been selected as the commemorative site.
6-12 March is Glaucoma Week. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and this World Glaucoma Week, Sydney Eye Hospital is encouraging people with loss of sight or family history of glaucoma to get their eyes tested.