2023 SA Health Awards – Central Adelaide finalists

Congratulations to some of Central Adelaide Local Health Network’s extraordinary researchers and medical, nursing and allied health individuals and teams who have been announced as finalists in the 2023 SA Health Awards.

The Awards recognise the skills, commitment, and excellence of our healthcare professionals and demonstrates the valuable contribution they provide for the South Australian community.

Well done to the following 10 CALHN finalists:

Minister’s Research and Innovation Award

Advancing care for patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, CALHN

The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Service at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, led by A/Prof Robert Bryant, has significantly advanced care for patients with IBD. We have pioneered research-based approaches to microbial therapies, using diet and faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), delivering new therapies to patients and better health outcomes to South Australians. As world-leaders in intestinal ultrasound, we provide non-invasive monitoring to patients and training to clinicians, unavailable elsewhere in SA.

Zeus Telehealth, a collaboration by RSS Telestroke Network, the Australian Stroke Alliance, Digital Health SA and SAMI

Rural Support Service, in partnership with Australian Stroke Alliance, is delivering faster acute stroke care for rural and remote patients. The service uses the Zeus platform that enables an Adelaide-based SA Telestroke neurologist to connect with regional patients and clinicians 24/7. Cutting-edge technology integrates videoconferencing facilities, patient information and imaging to enable fast, accurate clinical diagnosis, which has so far enabled more than 800 patients receive urgent, life-saving stroke intervention.

Out of Hospital Strategies and Care Award

Mental Health Co-Responders Team (MH-CORE), SALHN / SAAS / NALHN / CALHN

Mental Health Co-Responders (MH-CORE) is a first of its kind tri-network interagency collaboration between SAAS and mental health services, which partners paramedics and mental health nurses in ambulances to respond to 000 calls. This new partnership between on-road paramedics and mental health staff has supported over 81% of patients attended accessing parallel mental state and physical health assessments previously only available within hospital settings, easing pressure on the health system.

Enhancing Hospital Care Award

Respiratory Rapid Access Service (RRAS), CALHN

The Respiratory Rapid Access Service (RRAS) is a new healthcare initiative designed as an alternative to ED presentation and hospital admission for patients with acute respiratory illness. Patients are reviewed by a respiratory consultant within 24-48 hours in a streamlined clinic, a personalised care plan is organised for patient management at home, overseen by the RRAS team. The 6-month RRAS pilot prevented 211 ED presentations and 109 admissions to hospital.

Reducing complications after surgery with Advanced Recovery Room Care (ARRC), CALHN

The risk of complications after surgery is climbing by around 10% per year. Precise supervision of medium-risk surgical patients by a multidisciplinary team for 18-24 hours after surgery in Advanced Recovery Room Care (ARRC) shows a 50% reduction in post-surgery complications and mortality, faster return home for patients, and decreased use of hospital beds. ARRC is now being applied widely in other hospitals, following success at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Excellence in Strengthening Partnerships Award

HASDS: Delivering rapid multidisciplinary care outside hospital for vulnerable patients, CALHN

Emergency departments (ED) are not always the best option for patients requiring high-quality care, particularly for vulnerable patients. CALHN has partnered with SAAS, virtual care services and GPs to deliver rapid multidisciplinary care through its Hospital Avoidance and Supported Discharge Service (HASDS) at Sefton Park. HASDS is a cutting-edge hospital avoidance service, supporting over 15, 000 episodes of care outside of a hospital setting, alleviating ED pressure and ramping.

Supporting psychosocial disability consumers through community-based transitional care model, CALHN

Non-acute patients delayed from discharge while awaiting disability supports through NDIS present a significant challenge for SA hospitals. Regency Green supports consumers with psychosocial disability to be cared for in a setting where they also regain their independence and re-connect with the community. Since August 2022, the community-based facility has helped reduce Long Length of Stay (LLOS) patients, saving 3,366 hospital days, ensuring more appropriate use of acute beds.

Excellence in Non-Clinical Services Award

Tackling barriers to discharge with the Long Length of Stay (LLoS) and Complex Consumer Framework, CALHN

Tackling barriers to discharge relating to long length of stay (LLOS) patients with mental health challenges aims to improve patient flow through our hospitals. Since adopting a consumer-centred framework, CALHN’s Mental Health Clinical Program (MHCP) has overseen a significant reduction in the number of LLOS patients, some of whom had been stranded in hospital for up to a year, who are now discharged into supported community-based options.

Young Professional of the Year Award

Associate Professor Alexandre Santos – Medical Physics Specialist, CALHN

Associate Professor Alexandre Santos has worked as a medical physicist in CALHN for 13 years. In that time, he has applied experimental, theoretical, and problem-solving skills to develop technologies that will transform the quality of healthcare received by cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment in SA. He is a core member of the collaborative team of scientists and clinicians at the Australian Bragg Centre, Australia’s first proton therapy unit.

Excellence and Innovation in Aboriginal Health Award

Collaborative Response to Tuberculosis in Remote Aboriginal Communities, DHW / SCSS / CALHN

Tuberculosis (TB) inordinately affects Aboriginal Australians with higher rates and worse treatment outcomes. Our dedicated teams, working hand-in-hand collaboratively with Community at every step, have made significant inroads in achieving the strategic goal of TB elimination for Aboriginal Australians in South Australia. We have done this by taking a ‘one-team’ approach, using innovative models of care, establishing and maintaining deep community engagement, plus commitment and dedication from all involved.

Improving Safety and Quality Award

Arterial Blood Gas Rationalisation Initiative for Safety and Quality, CALHN

Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) sampling is performed frequently to guide patient care. However, ABG practice in the RAH ICU was identified as ‘routine’ rather than based on clinical need.

The ABG Rationalisation Initiative implemented a multi-modal intervention using a clinical-decision support tool to rationalise ABG sampling. ABG sampling was reduced by 33 per cent, alleviating significant safety/quality risks equivalent to 86L/year in saved blood, 2400h/year of repurposed nursing time, and more than $400,000/year cost-savings.


Thank you to all finalists for helping to shape the future of health with world-class care and world-class research.

Award winners will be announced in November.