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Awards & Accreditation

HealthCare Outreach Special Recognition for Community Involvement APHA Award

Sydney Adventist Hospital’s Healthcare Outreach Program wins National Special Recognition Award


Sydney Adventist Hospital’s humanitarian aid program that has transformed the lives of over 3000 people worldwide by providing free cardiac, orthopaedic and reconstructive surgery has received a national award.

APHA AwardThe Special Recognition Award for Community Involvement was awarded for the San’s HealthCare Outreach, now known as Open Heart International, at the Australian Private Hospital Association (APHA) / Baxter Gala Awards on Monday 18th October. This National Award recognises the long term commitment and excellence in service provision to international communities. The APHA/Baxter Awards for Quality & Excellence strive to stimulate, encourage and recognise the pursuit and achievement of excellence among its members.

The San coordinates volunteer medical and nursing teams to travel to third world countries to undertake often life saving surgery. Team members contribute towards travel and accommodation expenses, and donate their time and expertise. In the 24 years since the program started more than 100 trips to countries like Fiji, Rwanda, Cambodia and Myanmar have been undertaken.

SAH Open Heart International Manager Michael Were made a short presentation as part of the finalist's showcase on Monday afternoon at the annual APHA congress meeting. During the showcase and at the awards night dinner, many were impressed with the significant effort and impact the program had made on the international community.

“The strength of the program lies in the open hearted nature of the 1750 medical and nursing and allied health professionals. They contribute towards travel, accommodation and trip expenses and have donated their time and their skills to provide these free surgeries to people who otherwise would die or would have their lives severely compromised by their medical conditions” said Michael.

“It is a program that truly helps the community and is undertaken by the community. The San is humbled and proud to receive this illustrious national community involvement award.”

Michael thanked the Management Committee and Project Leaders for their tireless commitment and effort to their projects. He acknowledged the volunteers from all over Australia who have travelled on one or many overseas projects, and also thanked the sponsors, suppliers and donors that assist.

Among HealthCare Outreach team members at the awards were San staff Annette Baldwin, Chris Waite, Coralie Batchelor, Melanie Windus, John Sanburg and Pam Reid.

Another team leaves for Rwanda in November when more than 25 open and closed heart surgeries are expected to be done. The program is reliant on donations. If you would like to know more about Open Heart International, or perhaps how you can be involved, you can contact Michael Were on 9487 9295 or email michael.were@sah.org.au.


HealthCare Outreach Director with APHA Representatives

 Open Heart International Manager Michael Were with APHA Representatives


HealthCare Outreach Team Members at Awards Night

Open Heart International Team Members Pam Reid, Coralie Batchelor, Melanie Windus, John Sandburg, Michael Were, Chris Waite, Annette Baldwin, Leon Clark and Fiona Hyde


Photos courtesy of Richard Gregorio, R.G. Photography


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