EDENHOPE nurse Arun Thomas was announced the winner of the Celebrating Aged Care Leadership Award.
Mr Thomas is a nurse at Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital. His award came from his passion for palliative and aged care.
While working at Lakes Hostel, Mr Thomas recognised gaps in advance care planning and palliative care for residents and staff. Since joining the hospital’s team, he has implemented a number of initiative to improve palliative care for residents.
Mr Thomas said his passion for advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people lead him to a career in nursing.
“I believe the health sector is helping me to follow my passion and address my love for making a difference in people’s lives,” he said.
“I love caring for my residents and passionate about going that extra mile to advocate for the resident's needs.
“I love working alongside with my team and focusing on their strengths rather than their weakness. I see working in aged care as a privilege and honour.”
Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital’s unit manager Debbie McLeish said Mr Thomas has a strong focus and passion for professional development and aged and palliative care.
“Arun has implemented an annual remembrance service, to which we invite relatives and provide support to grieving families,” she said.
“He has instigated and facilitated courageous conversations and authentic discussions with residents and their family members regarding end of life goals, wishes and bereavement needs.”
Victorian Healthcare Association chief executive Tom Symondson said the role that nurses, healthcare professionals and volunteers play in palliative care was vital to the quality and sustainability of end-of-life care.
“Public sector aged care staff are not just there to deliver health care day-in and day-out, but particularly during a stressful and emotional period such as palliative care, often become an extension of an individual’s family and the efforts of professionals like Arun are often unsung,” he said.