Hospital staff from Hutt, Wairarapa and Capital and Coast DHB’s come together for these awards in eight categories. This year the Hutt Hospital Foundation Trust sponsored $1,000 for the ‘Excellence in Clinical Practice Award’ that recognises excellence in Allied Health, Scientific & Technical clinical/technical practice by an individual. The finalists were:

  • Stephanie Johnstone, Speech Language Therapist, CCDHB
  • Molly Kallesen, Speech Language Therapist, CCDHB
  • Louise McHutchison, Speech Language Therapist, HVDHB

Winner: Molly Kallesen, Speech Language Therapist, Capital & Coast DHB

Molly pushes the boundaries for herself and for the teams she works in. Molly was instrumental in setting up the tracheostomy review and management service at CCDHB – a multidisciplinary service that provides advice and management for hospital patients with tracheostomy tubes in place after they have left the Intensive Care Unit. Molly’s work alongside her colleagues was recognised in this year’s showcasing innovations category at the National Allied Health Conference in Hamilton.

More recently, Molly has paid for herself to undergo training in FEES (Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing), and has put successful proposals forward for specialist equipment to be trialled in ICU so patients get a bedside assessment with immediate feedback as to their risk of choking without the need for more lengthy tests. This has resulted in minimising the “Nil by Mouth” status of patients and the managed risk of swallowing issues, development of pneumonias and shortened lengths of stay. Feedback from ICU staff has been fantastic with requests from other wards asking when they can do this.

Molly is collecting data on the results from her FEES assessments for her PhD research and will be the first PhD Allied Health staff member from the ORA (Older Persons, Rehabilitation and Allied Health services) to have undertaken a PhD which is just another example of how Molly chooses to push herself to provide excellence in clinical practice.

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