Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Kids and Families Division receives Centenary Grant funding from Commonwealth Bank

FUNDING: Dr Susie Piper from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District; Dr Brendan Jubb, paediatrician from Shoalhaven Hospital and Rodney Tickle from Commonwealth Bank at Wollongong on Friday. Picture: Sylvia Liber
FUNDING: Dr Susie Piper from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District; Dr Brendan Jubb, paediatrician from Shoalhaven Hospital and Rodney Tickle from Commonwealth Bank at Wollongong on Friday. Picture: Sylvia Liber

A new open care crib and vital training equipment are among the big ticket items the region’s Local Health District plans to purchase with grant funding. 

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Kids and Families Division were presented with their grant on Friday. 

The Wollongong Hospital Children’s Ward and the Special Care Nursery at Shoalhaven Hospital have together received $90,000 Centenary Grant funding, after employees from Commonwealth Bank branches throughout the region nominated them in recognition of the services they provide to the community.

The funds will be utilised to purchase specialised equipment such as a resuscitation cot for the Special Care Nursery at Shoalhaven Hospital, and simulation training equipment that allows medical and nursing teams to practice their resuscitation skills. 

The Wollongong Hospital Children’s Ward provides intensive care and support for children with infectious conditions and serious medical illnesses. 

Dr Susie Piper is co-director for kids and families for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, as well as a paediatrician at Wollongong Hospital. 

Dr Piper said the Shoalhaven Hospital’s Special Care Nursery needed a new open care crib; a special care centre for newly born infants born unwell and requiring resuscitation.

“It’s a cot with a heater and lights and other things that allow us to nurse that infant while they’re needing lots of support,” she said. 

“And that’s about $30,000. So in the cash-strapped health system at the moment, that’s a really big ticket item.

“Usually when we need an item like that we go in a queue with all of the other services and facilities who also need similar equipment.”

Dr Piper said there was also equipment they wished to buy for Wollongong. 

“We want to get otoscopes – the things you use to look in kids’ ears,” she said. “We’re planning to buy about ten of them for the ward.

“The other thing we’re planning to do is to buy simulation equipment. Mannequins, monitors and other items that allow us to run simulation training.

“We do sessions each week in the Children’s Ward at Wollongong and Nowra, where we gather medical and nursing staff and it’s basically like a practice run where you simulate a very unwell child and work through the processes of managing them.

“In the cash-strapped health system, it’s pretty hard to justify buying mannequins if you need that money for medication, for example.”

Commonwealth Bank has donated $10 million to the CommBank Foundation for the Centenary Grants.