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Ana Vastag of Lightning Ridge, ‘Bourke Babies Welcome’ and Remote CT Service headline district healt

Ana Vastag of Lightning Ridge is a joint winner of the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award in the Western NSW Local Health District annual awards. Photo contributed

Ana Vastag of Lightning Ridge is a joint winner of the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award in the Western NSW Local Health District annual awards held last Thursday.

Ana won the award because she is a passionate advocate for migrants, with a particular focus on health and wellbeing. Arriving in Lightning Ridge as a migrant, Ana identifies with the challenges faced by people whose first language is not English.

She is a champion for the health and welfare needs of migrants in Lightning Ridge, raising awareness of the challenges faced by families; the difficulties in accessing services; and the need for support services.

Ana works closely with local health service, advocating for the needs of people who have English as a second language and promoting early access to health care for migrant communities.

The ‘Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare’ award was won by the ‘Welcome Baby to Country’ Ceremony held each year in Bourke.

The ceremony welcomes babies back into the Bourke community and focusses on alleviating the cultural disconnection experienced by local women from not birthing on country and establishes a cultural connection for babies and children.

It is run by Aboriginal elders and health staff and includes a traditional welcome, a formal welcome and a presentation of the children to the community.

These awards were part of the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) annual Awards and Gala Dinner at the Dubbo Rhino Lodge last Thursday evening.

Chief Executive Mark Spittal said the Awards were an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and success of health professionals across the district.

“Every year our dedicated healthcare professionals face new challenges, and this year was no different,” Mr Spittal said.

“Once again, they rose to those challenges to provide innovative, world-class care for our communities. Being able to see and hear their passion, drive, and commitment was nothing short of inspiring.

“Every year this event allows us to appreciate and celebrate the amazing work our staff do across our district every single day,’ he said.

This year there were 15 categories, and the big winner was the district’s Remote Mobile CT Service, which won the Health Innovation Award along with the Board’s Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award voted on by the district’s workforce.

The Remote Mobile CT Service is a fully functional Computed Tomography (CT) scanner on the back of a rigid truck []

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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