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Archived news 2023

Read all our archived stories from 2023.

December 2023

The Podium has reopened!

18 December 2023 - The podium for Austin Hospital and Mercy Hospital has been partially reopened following renovations. Staff, patients and members of the community will be able to access the space effective immediately.

Crohn’s breakthrough surgery offers hope for ‘drug-free’ life

15 December 2023 - A Melbourne dad with a debilitating chronic disease is the first patient in the world to test a new bionic device, after undergoing a historic surgery at The Austin Hospital.

November 2023

Crohn’s breakthrough surgery offers hope for ‘drug-free’ life

15 December 2023 - A Melbourne dad with a debilitating chronic disease is the first patient in the world to test a new bionic device, after undergoing a historic surgery at The Austin Hospital.

Introducing our new prehabilitation program to assist cancer patients  

29 November 2023 - We have introduced the Strong for Oesophago-gastric Cancer Surgery (SOCS) Clinic, a comprehensive prehabilitation program designed to enhance the well-being of patients before they undergo oesophageal and gastric cancer surgery.

Meet Nimesh Oli

23 November 2023 - Meet Nimesh Oli, one of our Food Services Supervisors. Nimesh was born in Nepal and grew up enjoying its majesty landscapes and culture, pristine air, spectacular backdrop of snowy peaks, serene lakes and fiery rivers. Tihar is celebrated each year in the month of November and is the second most celebrated festival in Nepal. This year it was celebrated on 15 November.

Staff Spotlight: Meet Trish Carew

16 November 2023 - Today is Worldwide Pressure Injury Prevention Day. In recognition of this awareness day, we spotlight one of our experts who works with our patients and staff every day - Trish Carew, our Clinical Excellence Lead for pressure injury prevention.

Across the ocean: Arturo and Federico's kidney transplant journey

14 November 2023 - Meet Arturo and Federico, brothers from Colombia, South America, whose lives took them to two different corners of the world – Melbourne and New York. Their bond remained strong, and years later, they found themselves united in an extraordinary journey when Arturo faced a kidney condition that would redefine their connection.

Notice of Annual Meeting

13 November - Austin Health will be holding its 2022-23 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday, 24 November 2023.

Revolutionary new transplant technique breaks down transplant barriers

06 November - In a groundbreaking medical achievement, a highly sensitised Australian patient, who previously had little hope of receiving a transplant, has been given a renewed chance at life, thanks to a revolutionary immune modification technique.

October 2023

149 Years of Kindness: Celebrating Austin Health's Allies at Diamond Creek Op Shop

27 October 2023 - In a heart-warming testament to unwavering community support and dedication, Diamond Creek Opportunity Shop, a cornerstone of the Diamond Creek Auxiliary under Friends of Austin Health, is celebrating an incredible 50 years of fundraising for Austin Health.

Celebrating Children's Week 2023: Austin Health puts play and leisure at the forefront

26 October 2023 - At Austin Health, we are wholeheartedly embracing the spirit of Children's Week this week. Our celebration is nothing short of a vibrant tapestry of engaging activities aimed at ensuring every child feels cherished, heard, and empowered.

Prof James Best elected to the AAHMS

17 October 2023 - Congratulations to Professor James Best AO, our Director of Research, for being elected to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Incredible turnout for Olivia's Walk for Wellness

13 October 2023 - An extraordinary day was had by all at Olivia's Walk for Wellness on Sunday 8 October. We are delighted to announce this year's participant numbers.

New mental health centre for children opens

10 October 2023 - In a Victorian-first, a new family-centred mental health facility for children has officially opened in Melbourne’s north on World Mental Health Day.The facility will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week allowing up to three families to stay onsite at one time, while they receive flexible, family-centred therapy and support from specialist clinicians.

Meet Hannah

04 October 2023 - A husband, a dog, a teaching career and a fit and active lifestyle were all part of Hannah’s day-to-day life until early one morning she had a seizure. It was on this day, 30 March 2023, that Hannah’s husband woke to her having a seizure and their lives changed forever.

Patient Communication Boards

03 October 2023 - A new bedside communication tool for patients and their clinical teams has begun rolling out across Austin Health.They are an important tool to enhance our patients' overall experience in hospital by supporting their communication needs.

September 2023

Our healing journey

22 September 2023 - Today we unveiled a new and exciting artwork in our Emergency Department that will further strengthen our commitment to reconciliation and providing a culturally safe place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Marianne was planning her own funeral. Then the organs of a young boy saved her life

18 September 2023 - Marianne Thrush had just weeks to live when she received an unexpected phone call. It was a transplant nurse, urgently telling the then 32-year-old that an organ donor had been found. They removed her failing organs and commenced a high-risk six-organ transplant.

Marnie’s shock diagnosis with stage-three Hodgkin’s lymphoma at just 19

15 September 2023 - Marnie Wills was two months into her dream nursing degree before her world was turned upside down. The 'fit and healthy' student, from Melbourne, was just 19 when she was diagnosed with stage-three cancer in April 2020.

Life-saving technology for cardiac patients

11 September 2023 - Recently, Austin Health purchased a high-definition, four-dimensional echocardiographic system after the H.T. Pamphilon Fund awarded a $100,000 equipment grant to the Cardiology department.

'Connection before content' key to ongoing wellbeing of young men living with spinal cord injury

5 September 2023 - Researchers from Monash University’s BehaviourWorks Australia, in partnership with Austin Health, AQA and the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, have concluded a three-year project which looked at optimising the wellbeing of young men, aged 35 and under, living with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Rolling out Safewards in our Emergency Department

4 September 2023 - Acknowledging the success Safewards has had in our Mental Health precinct, Austin Health is excited to celebrate the launch of Safewards in our Emergency Department. We spoke with Liz Williams, one of our dedicated Associate Nurse Unit Managers in the ED and one of our leads for the Safewards implementation.

Imogen's journey

1 September 2023 - Imagine being 21 years old, what is widely considered the prime of your life, only to be told you have stage three colon cancer. Unfortunately, that was the harsh reality for Imogen Cooper, in 2022 following a proctocolectomy procedure, Imogen began her treatment for cancer at the ONJ Centre

Radiation Oncologist celebrates improved access to treatment

1 September 2023 - A Ballarat Radiation Oncologist has helped deliver more than 1500 treatments closer to home for cancer patients since the introduction of a Gynaecological Radiotherapy program.

August 2023

Embedding our Strategic Plan

30 August 2023 - In April this year we launched our latest Strategic Plan, that sets our direction until 2027. Following work across the organisation, we are excited to announce the spotlight initiatives to further embed our goals into our everyday work.

Dean's fight for survival

22 August 2023 - More than seven months is a long time to stay in one place for anyone, particularly for Dean who spent the last 230 days in Austin Hospital fighting for this life. Earlier this month he was finally able to go home.

Staff Spotlight: Gabby Chessells

21 August 2023 - Speech pathologists do more than help people to speak. They provide essential care to patients and help them to retrain people to eat and drink as well as re-learn how to express themselves and connect with loved ones. We sat down with Gabby Chessells to hear more about her work.

Australian-first in kidney transplantation

14 August 2023 - Last week saw Austin Health undertake an Australian first and transplant a kidney following the use of a new hypothermic oxygenated perfusion machine. More than 30 staff came together to make the transplant a success.

Remembering Olivia

8 August 2023 - Today marks the first anniversary of the passing of Dame Olivia Newton-John, AC, DBE, Founding Champion of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre.

Staff Spotlight: Meet Elizabeth Harris

7 August 2023 - Meet our Chief Librarian, Elizabeth Harris. Liz joined Austin Health in 2020 as a Clinical Librarian. Now Chief Librarian, Liz leads a team of five specialised medical librarians to provide high-quality information resources to support the Austin community in evidence-based practice, research and learning.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day 2023

4 August 2023 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day is held every year on 4 August. It's an opportunity for the whole community to celebrate, and has become a major event in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and community organisations.

Celebrating Prof Lindsay Grayson and Dr Sam Thorburn at the WHO

2 August 2023 - Expanding on his experience with the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2000, Austin Health's Professor Lindsay Grayson has accepted a position as a Senior Medical Advisor at the WHO within the Infection Prevention and Control Hub and Task Force of the Integrated Health Services Division.

July 2023

Annabelle's story of survival

24 July 2023 - Celebrating DonateLife Week, we’re sharing the story of Annabelle Taylor – a courageous woman whose life was forever changed at the eleventh hour by the invaluable gift of organ donation.

A paw-esome partnership bringing pet therapy to Austin Health 

21 July 2023 - Austin Health is thrilled to announce that five new pet therapy teams will be joining our dedicated staff in providing exceptional care to our patients. 

Creating Australia's first longitudinal biobank: TRACKER

20 July 2023 - Austin Health’s Director of Interventional Pulmonology, Dr. Tracy Leong, and Oncologist and Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr. Sagun Parakh, will serve as the clinical leads for Australia's first longitudinal biobank for advanced lung cancer. 

Meet Amanda Chiechi

19 July 2023 - Meet Amanda, one of our talented nurses here at Austin Health. Amanda has worked with us for three years and has worked across a range of areas, including a current posting in Day Oncology as part of her postgrad studies.

World-first clinical trial to help millions of Australians with penicillin allergies

18 July 2023 - One in 10 people that present to hospital have been diagnosed with a penicillin allergy. However, less than 10 per cent of those patients are truly allergic. The world-first PALACE study has found a new safer, and faster way to test for penicillin allergy.

Meet Sam Wylie

14 July 2023 - Today we celebrate International Non-Binary People’s Day. It is a day to celebrate those who are non-binary, the rich diversity of gender and celebrate people who do not fit into a binary gender.

Report reveals the true burden of diabetes on our healthcare system

10 July 2023 - Ahead of National Diabetes Week (July 9-15), Austin Health’s Head of Diabetes and Director of the Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations (ACADI), Professor Elif Ekinci, has led a new report unveiling the true burden of diabetes on Australians.

June 2023

Discover the new Two Photographers: Two World Views photography exhibition

29 June, 2023 - The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (ONJ Cancer Centre) is proud to present its latest art exhibition, Two Photographers: Two World Views.

Staff spotlight: Meet Harriet Comerford

27 June, 2023 - Recognising this PTSD Awareness Day, we chat with experienced, and exceptional Associate Nurse Unit Manager (ANUM), Harriet Comerford.

Beyond medicine: The value of compassion in healthcare

23 June 2023 - One Thursday afternoon in March, three-year-old Quinn complained to his mum, Adele, about a sore leg. By Saturday morning, Quinn was in excruciating pain—unable to walk, not using the bathroom, and in severe distress. It was during this time that Quinn met our nurses, armed with decades of experience under their belt, and all of whom possessed a secret weapon to break through Quinn’s barriers.

New study uncovers the danger of commotio cordis in our everyday lives

22 June 2023 - New research has revealed that despite a greater proportion of cases occurring on the sporting field compared to non-sport related events (64 per cent and 36 per cent). A team of researchers, have completed a new study which has highlighted the need for more public awareness.

How Asanka triumphed over his disease

16 June 2023 - Ahead of DonateLife Week, we’re taking a moment to honour the resilience of people like Asanka Silva, who not only endure their illness and transplants, but triumphed over them.

New SCI Physiotherapy Guidelines

15 June 2023 - A team of senior physiotherapists from Austin Health have undertaken an ambitious project over the past two years: the creation of a new Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Physiotherapy Clinical Guideline.

Proudly announcing Austin Health Foundation research grants

7 June 2023 - Austin Health has received generous funds as gifts in wills, which play an important role in supporting the work we do every day. Through this generosity, The Austin Health Foundation is delighted to announce $1.75 million will be distributed as grants to seven research projects

In sickness and in health: a remarkable tale of resilience and romance

5 June 2023 - This is the story of Larry and Teresa's remarkable journey which led them to be married at Austin Hospital only weeks ago. Their heart-warming tale shows the power of love and support when faced with the hardest of challenges.

May 2023

The Austin Hospital's podium is closing

31 May 2023 - The front entrance of Austin Hospital and Mercy Hospital will be closing on Friday 2 June to allow a range of renovations to commence. We have heard the community feedback about removing the Commemorate Circle. We are commissioning a new Commemorative Wall, which will list the names from the Commemorative Circle pavers.

Winter is coming: get your flu vaccine today

31 May 2023 - It’s that time of year again when the temperature begins to fall, and the number of influenza cases begin to rise. Now is the time to get your flu vaccine and fend off the dangers of this highly contagious virus.

World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day: Meet Sean Myring

30 May 2023 - In March 2012, at the age of 22, Sean Myring set off to the UK to travel and pursue his cricket dream. Little did he know that the 9 months following would be one of the scariest periods of his life, as he would later be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Exercise Right Week: Meet Grace Williams

25 May 2023 - Grace has been working at Exercise@ONJ since 2021. Since her very first year of university, Grace had a strong interest in exercise-oncology.

The Austin Hospital's podium is closing

25 May 2023 - The front entrance of Austin Hospital and Mercy Hospital will be closing on Friday 2 June to allow a range of renovations to commence.

Spreading love, one fabric heart at a time

22 May 2023 - In the midst of our fast-paced and bustling lives, acts of kindness have the power to create beautiful moments that brighten our days. Yet, these acts can sometimes slip by unnoticed, overshadowed by the chaos around us.

National Volunteer Week spotlight: Faye Reynolds

19 May 2023 - We at Austin Health are fortunate to have many wonderful volunteers who support our patients and staff every day, including Faye Reynolds. Volunteering as a Guide, Faye is often the first person patients, families and staff meet when they walk through the door.

National Volunteer Week spotlight: Steven Andrews

15 May 2023 - Steven Andrews is more than a volunteer at The Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre who assists in the Art Group once a week. His inspiration to volunteer came from his own experience as a patient just over three years ago.

Mother's Day feature: Meet Suzie and Louisa

14 May 2023 - In honour of Mother’s Day this year, meet our mother-daughter duo Suzie Johnson and Louisa Fedele, who are both staff members at Austin!

Christina's horror accident that changed her life for the better

13 May 2023 - Christina Vithoulkas can still vividly remember launching into the air and realising that she wasn't going to make it, but she has no memory of hitting the ground. An avid motocross biker, Vithoulkas was about 22 when she attempted a 50-foot jump from a metal ramp and almost died when the landing went wrong. 

Staff Spotlight: Meet Dr Zoe Williams

08 May 2023 - Zoe is a proud Darug Boorooberongal woman, from the Western Sydney area and is also a descendant of the Butchulla tribe of Fraser Island. Zoe commenced as a medical intern at Austin Health in 2022.

Emergency Department: Transition to Specialty Practice

04 May 2023 - Do you have an interest in Emergency nursing? Now is your time to get involved and apply for Austin Health’s Transition to Specialty practice nursing program.

Planting the seed for health and wellbeing

02 May 2023 - Spending time in garden spaces is important for our health and wellbeing. In hospital settings, gardens provide us with an opportunity to relax, help to reduce stress, and offer a place of respite and retreat for patients, visitors and staff. 

April 2023

John spends 55 days in ICU with COVID-19 and shares his story

28 April 2023 - John Colalancia won’t easily forget 2021. During the first half of the year, he discovered he had cancer. Later in the same year, he was hospitalised with COVID-19 and had to spend 55 days in ICU.

Furphy Garden unveiled during ANZAC Day service at the Repat

24 April 2023 - Austin Health’s traditional Anzac Day ceremony was held again this year in the Remembrance Garden at the Repat on Friday 21 April. Over 200 guests were in attendance for this year’s celebration including veterans, staff, MPs and special guests.

Seventy-five years of health - Meet Peter

07 April 2023 - Today marks 75 years since countries of the world came together and founded the World Health Organisation to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being. While polio is rarely seen now, in fact the last known new case was in 1972, Peter was one of thousands of people in Australia to contract the disease before the vaccine was introduced in 1956 - two years after Peter was diagnosed.

March 2023

Celebrating Dietitians Week: Meet Tony

24 March 2023 - Twenty years ago, Tony was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer. After what was meant to be routine nasal surgery to help his breathing, came a diagnosis he had no idea was lurking behind the scenes.

Austin and St Vincent’s Hospitals investigate new type 2 diabetes treatment

16 March 2023 - More than one million Australians living with Type 2 diabetes rely on daily insulin jabs to manage their condition – but that may soon be a thing of the past.

World Kidney Day: Meet Michele and Cain

9 March 2023 - In May 2022, Michele Priede made the brave decision to become a kidney donor for her son, Cain Baker.

Olivia's Walk for Wellness announced for October

2 March 2023 - The family of Dame Olivia Newton-John, AC DBE have launched Olivia's annual Walk for Wellness, and invite you to join them on 8 October to continue her legacy of supporting people with cancer. 

February 2023

Australian first to improve kidney transplant access and outcomes

28 February 2023 - In an Australian-first, two complementary machine perfusion technologies are now available to patients at Austin Health to improve access to and outcomes from kidney transplantation in Victoria and Tasmania.

Staff Spotlight: Meet Janet Chen

24 February 2023 - As part of the Heart Research Month, we had a chat with Janet Chen, Cardiac Physiologist.

Welcome to our new graduate nurses

22 February 2023 - Over the past three weeks, Austin Health has welcomed 183 new Graduate Registered Nurses.

Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science

11 February 2023 - To celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we asked some of our very own women in science at Austin Health to share their inspiring career journeys and motivation for science.

Austin Health attend Midsumma Pride March

06 February 2023 - Our fabulous Austin Health team marched with pride at the Midsumma Pride March in St Kilda on Sunday 5 February.

World Cancer Day: Meet Bronwyn

04 February 2023 - Bronwyn Picken was overseas with her husband in 2018 when she received the devastating call that she had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow.

State memorial for Dame Olivia Newton-John, AC, DBE

02 February 2023 - Victorians will join together to honour the life of Dame Olivia Newton-John, AC, DBE at her state memorial on Sunday 26 February 2023

Geriatric Emergency Department Innovation

01 February 2023 - Austin Health has recently started a new program in its Emergency Department to support some of its most vulnerable patients. The Geriatric Emergency Department Innovation, or more affectionally known as GEDI, aims to provide specialist support to identify patients that would benefit from early geriatric review.

Notice of Annual Meeting

01 February 2023 - Austin Health will be holding its 2021-22 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, 15 February 2023.

January 2023

Smoking Ceremonies: practice, purpose and policy

25 January 2023 - The Ngarra Jarra team has created a Smoking Ceremony and Sorry Business policy to better educate staff and increase awareness of this service. The policy includes purpose, cultural consideration, locations and procedure.

Celebrating 1000 treatments on the Unity MR Linac

18 January 2023 - This month, the Radiation Oncology department and MR Linac team, with support from hospital management and Elekta, proudly celebrated their 1000th treatment delivery.

Staff Spotlight: Jhiah Barker

12 January 2023 - Jhiah Barker is our new Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer with the Ngarra Jarra team​​​​​​​. We caught up with him to find out what motivated him to become an ALO.

Welcome to Austin Health's new medical interns

11 January 2023 - We are proud to welcome aboard 65 first-year doctors starting their internship orientation at Austin Health this week! After graduating last year, they will transition from medical student to junior doctor with the support and guidance from our experienced staff.

Austin Research: growing, nurturing and maturing research leaders

09 January 2023 - Research-active health services deliver safer and better evidence-based care to our patients. This means better outcomes for our patients. The Austin precinct celebrates the promotion of three prominent precinct researchers and congratulates two clinicians who have been awarded an NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship.

Sandra Fisher wins BHT Foundation Clinical Leadership Award

03 January 2023 - Congratulations to Sandra Fisher, a medical physicist with Austin Health, who has been awarded the Better Healthcare Technology Foundation Clinical Leadership Award.