The Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) and NORTH Foundation Grants Program has awarded funding to six projects in its inaugural year.
The grants program launched in June 2021 to provide a new opportunity for staff across the NSLHD to access untied funding received by the NORTH Foundation.
The NORTH Foundation received more than 70 expressions of interest from across the NSLHD totalling more than $6.5 million in value, with project ideas ranging from additional mental health resources for staff to clinical research trials and even educational and wellbeing programs for patients.
With $250,000 available in grant funding, the following six projects were successful:
- Mona Vale Hospital senior’s outdoor gym (to promote health and well-being amongst older Australians)
- ICON COVID-19 study within Royal North Shore Hospital Emergency Department (to investigate the impact of Australians avoiding EDs during lockdowns and the potential effect on public and population health)
- Research surveying pain within cancer patients at Northern Sydney Cancer Centre (a multidimensional, biopsychosocial approach to assessment and treatment of cancer pain)
- Cognitive Interactive Remediation of Cognition and Thinking Skills training for staff at Macquarie Hospital (additional training for staff working with schizophrenia and substance abuse disorder patients)
- ICU Follow-Up Clinic within Royal North Shore Hospital (to provide ongoing care and support to patients who have suffered a major critical illness)
- FACT Accreditation for Royal North Shore Hospital Haematology Department (to allow the department to participate in cutting edge clinical trials and routinely offer patients access to novel immune cell-based treatment options)
Jane Woolgar, the Acting Allied Health Services Manager and Physiotherapy Head of Department at Mona Vale Hospital applied for approximately $50,000 for a senior’s outdoor gym. This innovative project expands current rehabilitation programs and promotes community well‐being for inpatients under the supervision of physiotherapists.
The idea for a senior’s outdoor gym has been in Jane’s mind for many years. As an expert in rehabilitation with a particular interest in frailty and the prevention of falls, she wanted to address these issues in the community.
“We have most of the infrastructure and we have the skilled staff, but we needed this specialised equipment to help older Australians with their strength and balance.”
The equipment purchased will help seniors by targeting balance, strength, core stability, coordination and manual dexterity as well as having other positive flow-on effects. Jane and her team want to make exercise enjoyable for seniors and they hope the gym inspires confidence and enthusiasm so that patients continue to live a healthier lifestyle in their own communities.
Jane says she is grateful to the NORTH Foundation for making the senior’s gym a reality and will be encouraging colleagues across the NSLHD to apply for funding in the future.
“The application process was smooth and I felt very supported along the way with one dedicated point of contact at the NORTH Foundation, Jess Andrews, who guided me through and kept me up-to-date.”
Jess Andrews, the Trusts and Foundations Officer for the NORTH Foundation says, “Our hope is that our grant funding can be used to seed fund projects or kick-start innovative ideas to enhance our hospital services, grow medical research and improve the care we provide patients.”
“As the program grows year on year, we will be continuing to seek more innovative, collaborative projects which align with the NSLHD Strategic Plan.”
Applications are assessed by the NORTH Foundation and NSLHD Funding Advisory Committee (FAC). The purpose of the FAC is to work in partnership with the NORTH Foundation to distribute untied and semi-tied funds fairly and equitably across the NSLHD while ensuring we demonstrate impact to our donors.
Jane Woolgar says, “I would encourage staff across the NSLHD to keep an eye out for the next available opportunity of NSLHD and NORTH Foundation grant funding in February 2022 because the innovative ideas you have might well become a reality for the community.”
Read more about the NSLHD and NORTH Foundation Grants Program here.