Executive Messages

January 2020

Support for staff affected by bushfires


Dear colleagues,


We hope you had the opportunity to have a well-earned holiday over Christmas and New Year.


Special thanks go to all staff who worked over the Christmas period to continue to provide services to those needing our care at this time.


The bushfires are continuing to have a tragic impact on many communities and individuals, with several lives lost, and many homes lost and under threat. Many also had their holiday plans changed by fire activity and road closures, or directly witnessed some of the devastation along the central and south coast.


Acknowledging the extent of the bushfires, the NSW Premier declared a State of Emergency at the end of last week, which will be in place until Friday 10th. Over the last few days we have contacted colleagues at local health districts that have been most heavily impacted by the bushfires, to offer our assistance.


Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the fires. We want to support you, so please let your manager know if you have been personally affected by the fires.


We encourage anyone who is affected or distressed to contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Free confidential counselling is available to all staff and their immediate family - call 1800 818 728 to book an appointment.  


If you are involved in the fire-fighting effort and need to take leave, please discuss this with your manager or HR Business Partner. This includes Rural Fire Service and other emergency response volunteers, those whose homes are under threat, and Australian Defence Force reservists who may be called to assist.


Thank you to all of our bushfire response volunteers. Words can hardly express the gratitude and admiration we have for the selfless and challenging work you do to protect the lives and homes of those in your communities.


Thanks also to everyone who has been involved in supporting the bushfire effort, whether it is through healthcare, donations, or supporting those directly affected.


Please continue to take care of yourself, your family, friends and neighbours, and check the Rural Fire Service website for updates over the coming weeks.




Graeme Loy

WSLHD Chief Executive


Emma McCahon

Acting Chief Executive

Get Healthy patient referrals



Dear colleagues,


At the start of a new year, this is a great time to help our patients achieve their health goals.


I would like to thank all staff who have referred patients to the Get Healthy and Get Healthy in Pregnancy programs.


Get Healthy participants receive free telephone coaching from professional health coaches to help reach their healthy lifestyle goals and reduce their risk of chronic disease.


Across the District, we have exceeded our referral target by 23%, with staff referring 1,255 of our patients to the service for the 2018/2019 financial year. Nursing and midwifery staff made almost half of these referrals.


During this time, WSLHD Get Healthy participants achieved substantial increases in physical activity (55% vs 44%), recommended fruit intake (67% vs 47%) and recommended vegetable intake (20% vs 9%).


WSLHD Get Healthy participants in an obese range achieved an average weight loss of 3 kilograms, significantly reducing their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Combined with our District’s healthcare services, this program can further improve the health of our patients and communities.


To find out more about the program and referral pathways, visit www.gethealthynsw.com.au, phone 1300 806 258 or contact the Centre for Population Health at WSLHD-CentreForPopulationHealth@health.nsw.gov.au.




Luke Elias

Acting General Manager, Integrated Care & Community Health

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