St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney continues to carry on the rich tradition received from the Sisters of Charity. Core to this is our mission to serve the sick, the poor and the marginalised in our communities.
Fundraising and support for the community occurs on many different levels. In the 2013-2014 financial year, this support represented almost $2 million in value. It would not have been possible without the generous donations from our supporters and operating funds, as well as clinicians and staff donating their services and time.
We are proud of our commitment to the local and international community.
The hospital is a proud supporter of Open Support both financially and through staff engagement. This allows Open Support to continue to address the unmet and changing needs of the most vulnerable in our community.
Established in 1990 by the Sisters of Charity, Open Support’s core services focus on the following:
- Enabling improved access to health care services – by providing free and affordable transport to health care services, as well as affordable accommodation close to health care services.
- Reducing the impact of social isolation within the community – by providing home visits, companionship and social, court attendee and carer and patient support.
- Reducing the impact of domestic violence in the community – by providing crisis accommodation, care and support for women and families escaping domestic violence.
Staff engage with Open Support through volunteering their time and donating goods at Christmas time as part of the social isolation gift program.
St Vincent’s Private, in association with the Asylum Seekers Centre, aims to integrate asylum seekers into the community through better health and employment opportunities. In conjunction with St Vincent’s Clinic, we are able to provide pro-bono specialist medical services for those who cannot access Medicare. The program offers pathology, radiology, ultrasound, CT scans and MRI and nuclear medicine.
We also provide assistance in the day-to-day running of the Asylum Seeker Centre by preparing and distributing food. Our executive team members and staff often visit the centre to provide and prepare meals at lunchtime. Recently, we organised a food drive to restock the centre’s pantry, resulting in several carloads of much needed supplies.
These services are our way of providing affordable healthcare to assist asylum seekers in building a healthy, happy and productive future in Australia.
St Vincent's Private also assists asylum seekers to gain employment in the wider community. For many asylum seekers, whose qualifications are not recognized in Australia or who may have poor English skills, gaining employment can be very challenging. Our employment program helps clients with preparing resumes, job applications, job interviews and gives an overview of the Australian workplace. We have employed several people who have been referred through the program, including two staff in food services and four casual employees in the distribution department.
Each year, our volunteer service organises ‘The Giving Tree’, a campaign that encourages our staff and guests to donate Christmas presents for children in disadvantaged communities around NSW. In 2014, over 3,500 presents were delivered to communities around the state and ensured that these children didn’t miss out on Christmas gifts.
Serving Communities Overseas
Michelle Wilson, Director of Support Services, is a board director and chair of the clinic management committee of Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili, East Timor, which provides free essential health services. Since the clinic opened 12 years ago, it has expanded from basic emergency services to treating between 200 to 300 patients per day and performing more than 85,000 consultations per year. The clinic also conducts around 400 mobile clinics throughout East Timor, performing around 15,000 regional consultations annually. The vision of the hospital is to achieve a sustainable future for improved healthcare for all the people of East Timor.
After the recent earthquake in Nepal, St Vincent’s Private, together with a $50,000 donation from St Vincent’s Health Australia, was able to raise funds for the Caritas Australia Nepal Appeal. We also sent much needed medical equipment in the early stages of the appeal.
“The Dragon Abreast” Dragon Boat Race For Breast Cancer
The Dragon Abreast Festival is held every year and run by Dragons Abreast, a national organisation comprised of breast cancer survivors. Dragon Abreast members provide a face to breast cancer statistics and spread the message of breast cancer awareness through participation in dragon boat racing.
The St Vincent’s Hospitals Team comprises 20 sporting enthusiasts from both St Vincent’s Hospital and St Vincent’s Private. St Vincent’s Private supports the participation of our staff in this event by funding the registration, training and race uniform fees.
Despite the searing heat at the 2014 International Regatta Centre in Penrith, St Vincent’s Hospitals’ Team managed to keep their cool and win all three of the heats as well as the Hospital Final with a winning time of 55 seconds. We not only won gold for the campus but we were the fastest boat in all the categories.