Far West LHD Nurse of the Year Awards for 2018

The Far West Local Health District has acknowledged exceptional performance amongst its nursing and midwifery staff by presenting nine individual nurse and midwifery awards for 2018.

The awards were presented today by Far West LHD Chief Executive, Mr Stephen Rodwell and Ms Dale Sutton, Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery as part of International Nurses’ Day and International Midwives’ Day celebrations in which the District recognises and pays tribute to its nursing and midwifery staff.

The 2018 International Nurses’ Day and International Midwives’ Day Awards in Excellence recipients were selected from nominations submitted by their peers, colleagues and consumers across the Far West LHD. The award winners are in order of announcement:

Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Care – Frank Oates (BHHS Medical Ward).

Frank Oates has been employed as an Enrolled Nurse in FWLHD for the past 16 years. Frank is dedicated, hardworking and demonstrates a commitment to provide safe and quality patient care. He is passionate about improving services and health access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and has been actively involved in leading and developing programs to improve health outcomes for the Aboriginal community. Frank is respected and admired by his colleagues for his team work and dedication to ensure all patient care needs are meet.

Excellence in Nursing/Midwifery – Assistant in Nursing/Assistant in Midwifery – Deborah Smith (Wentworth Health Service).

Deborah Smith has been employed as an Assistant in Nursing at Wentworth Health Service for the past 12 months. Deborah is dedicated, hardworking and proactive in the provision of quality and safe patient care. She incorporates NSW Health Core Values of Collaboration, Openness, Respect and Empowerment into all interactions with patients, staff and visitors. Deborah is committed to improving the health outcomes for the patients she provides care for in the capacity of an Assistant in Nursing.

Excellence in Nursing – Enrolled Nurse – Katja Jackman (BHHS Casual Pool).

Katja Jackman has been employed as a casual EEN at Broken Hill Health Service for the past two and half months. Prior to be employed in FWLHD Katja has worked in a variety of rural and remote settings which is reflected in her advanced clinical skills and knowledge.

Katja is well respected as a nurse with a strong patient focus. She has a kind and nurturing nature which helps her easily develop strong bonds with colleagues in all areas as well as patients and their families. She has an extensive clinical knowledge, working across all areas of the hospital. Katja is attentive, encouraging and supportive of both her patients and colleagues and works tirelessly and seamlessly within the multidisciplinary team to achieve positive patient outcomes which are person centred and collaborative in all aspect of the patient journey.

Excellence in Nursing/Midwifery – Graduate Registered Nurse or Graduate Registered Midwife – Riley Condon (BHHS Medical Ward).

Riley Condon commenced employment in FWLHD in 2017 as a new graduate Registered Nurse in the Transition to Professional Practice Program.

Riley always puts her patients first, effectively communicating and treating all patients with respect. She is always conscious of the needs of patients and their families, and protects a patient’s dignity through advocating and acting as a conduit between them and other care providers. She collaborates within the multidisciplinary team to achieve positive patient outcomes and is not afraid to challenge sub-optimal care, achieving this through effective communication and positive interaction with patients. Riley is always looking for opportunities to improve her skills and knowledge to enable her to effectively deliver safe and quality patient care. She challenges herself and others to improve their skills and knowledge to ensure safe and quality patient care is provided.

Excellence in Nursing – Registered Nurse – Racheal Spangler (BHHS Surgical Ward) and Jane Cain (Aged Care services in Emergency Team (ASET)).

  • Rachel Spangler


Rachel Spangler completed the 2015 Transition to Professional New Graduate Program in 2015. She is currently employed in the Surgical Unit at BHHS.

Rachel is a great team leader and always willing to help other staff. She is professional and approachable, respectful of all cultures and beliefs and demonstrates a holistic approach to patient care, always ensuring that families and carers are involved in her clinical decision making. Racheal is respected by patients for her knowledge, knowing she is an advocate for their care and will keep them updated on their care progression. In 2018 she achieved Clinical Nurse Specialist status in the Surgical Unit.

  • Jane Cain


Jane Cain has been employed in FWLHD as a Registered Nurse for over 10 years. She has vast Renal and Aged Care experience, knowledge and skills. Jane is currently employed as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Aged Care Services in Emergency Team (ASET)

Jane advocates for her patients in every way possible, making sure their wishes are heard. She is very caring and builds rapport with patients and their families very quickly. In her role as ASET Nurse, she is always assisting departments and ward staff with carers and patient needs. Jane is caring, highly respected and goes above and beyond; her patients always her main priority. Jane embodies NSW Health’s CORE values and works collaboratively with the multidisciplinary teams to achieve the best outcomes for patients.

Excellence in Midwifery – Registered Midwife – Boe Calvert and Ruth Ballie (BHHS Maternity Unit).

  • Boe Calvert


Boe Calvert has been employed as a Registered Midwife in FWLHD for 12 months. She has proven herself to be a skilled, competent and knowledgeable midwife who continues to seek opportunities for professional development to achieve positive outcomes for the women and their families she provides midwifery care for.

Boe is a wise, gentle and thorough midwife who works in partnership with women and their families to ensure they receive the best possible woman-centred maternity care. She is passionate about improving maternity care for Aboriginal women and families in rural communities and a great advocate in ensuring the women and family needs are number one priority. Boe has been proactive in improving collaboration between maternity services at BH Hospital and Maari Ma through relationship development, communities and her own initiative. She provides invaluable support, education, encouragement and guidance to junior midwives and has been involved in many challenging complex pregnancies and obstetric emergencies, taking these all in her stride to ensure that safe clinical care of the highest standard is provided in high-risk situations.

  • Ruth Baillie


Ruth Baillie has been employed in FWLHD as a Registered Midwife on a casual and permanent basis for the past 3 years. She is an experienced and skilled clinician who delivers women centred care with midwifery practice.

Ruth is a midwife with a passion for working with women and providing women-centred care, particularly in the postnatal period. She is a nurturing, knowledgeable and valuable member of the Maternity Unit team and complements the BH Midwifery Group Practice model of care with her experience, support and gentle approach to the establishment of breastfeeding and motherhood. Ruth is helpful and supportive of other midwives, a great communicator, and an advocate for women and their families and empowers women in their journey towards motherhood with the use of encouragement, education and a wealth of experience.

Excellence in Innovation in Education Award – Lhyriel Smith (Clinical Nurse Education Department).

Lhyriel Smith has been employed in FWLHD since September 2017. He has extensive knowledge and skills in the specialties of critical care and rural and remote nursing.

Lhyriel is the Clinical Nurse Specialist-Education for the LHD remote facilities and since taking on the role, he has shown himself to be creative, innovative, motivated and passionate about education, and making it more accessible and regular for our nursing workforce in remote facilities. He is innovative in planning and facilitating the delivery of in-service education to enable continuing professional development for remote nurses, ultimately improving patient outcomes through greater knowledge. He role models NSW Health CORE Values and challenges individual staff to improve their skills and knowledge through education and training. Lhyriel is a valued and respected member of the nursing education team.

Excellence in Clinical Leadership Award – Kelly Dart (Health Service Manager, Wentworth Health Service).

Kelly Dart has been employed in FWLHD for the past 13 years in a variety of senior nursing roles including Nurse Educator, Nursing Unit Manager and Nurse Manager.

Kelly recently took on the role of Health Service Manager for Wentworth Hospital and demonstrates exemplary leadership to all staff. Kelly positively supports her staff, in an open and frank way about how the hospital conducts business and is especially compassionate and empathetic when communicating with patients and clients. Her leadership is by example and marked by an open door policy with regular meetings and two-way communication with staff, fostering a positive workplace culture with the benefits flowing onto the care of clients and patients.

Kelly advocates for her staff and patients, she is passionate about nursing practice and leads by example in all situations to ensure care provided is in line with evidence based practice and is inclusive of the patient’s wishes and needs.

Consumer Appreciation Award – Belinda Latham (White Cliffs Health Service).

Belinda Latham has been employed at White Cliffs Health Service for the past 19 years as an Enrolled Nurse.

Belinda role as a remote area nurse at White Cliffs has attracted much praise and appreciation from the community she serves. She has been acknowledged for her compassion and dedication to her job; someone who ‘lifts your spirits’ and always there to help and very community minded. She has been described as an open and honest nurse and valued member of the community, going that extra distance when required.





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