To coincide with International Nurses Day on 12 May 2023, Epworth HealthCare held an inaugural awards event at Zinc Federation Square.

Over 400 staff from Epworth attended this event to recognise and celebrate the vital role our nurses and midwives provide to the care of our patients and to each other.

Across 6 award categories, we had 26 deserving finalists, recognised for their amazing contribution and dedication to patient care at Epworth.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate Epworth nurses and midwives, and recognise through these awards, some of the exemplars. Nurses and midwives are the backbone of our healthcare system who contribute clinical expertise and leadership to our organisation. Without them, the quality of patient care at Epworth would not be where it is today.” said Kate Gillan, Executive Director Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer.

A big congratulations to Pranitha Govender, Associate Director Clinical Services, Surgical Epworth Eastern, who was awarded the prestigious Susan Harris Medal for Distinguished Nursing and Midwifery.

Congratulations to all our finalists and recipients!


Excellence in Clinical Practice – Kirstin Bull, Cardiac Educator, Epworth Richmond

Kirstin is a recognised leader in her field. As well as being an educator at Epworth, she teaches at Deakin University. As an example of her expertise, a Code Blue was called in one of the cardiac wards. Kirstin assumed the team leader role and coordinated resuscitation efforts, prior to the arrival of the Code Blue response team. On arrival, the code team was so impressed with the coordination of the team, they were able to focus on other elements of the arrest and Kirstin continued as ALS team leader. It is this calm, capable leadership that gave the senior ICU doctor the opportunity to seek clarity about the patient’s condition and goals of care.

Kristin Bull - Epworth HealthCare

Excellence in Educational Practice – Louise Wilson, Clinical Nurse Educator, Epworth Eastern

Louise is a dedicated and high achieving member of our education team, having completed her Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice and Post Graduate Certificate in Education and Simulation. She has over 10 years of service at Epworth. Louise supports and provides learning opportunities to all, from students through to postgraduates and staff, keeping our patients safe and providing the best care possible.

Louise Wilson - Epworth HealthCare

Excellence in Leadership – Neisha Hall-Sullivan, Nurse Unit Manager, Epworth Geelong

As a unit manager of the Coronary Care Unit, Neisha is an important member of the ward team and she leads by example, working alongside her team. She has developed a strong and capable team, actively encouraging further education and development to her staff, to progress their careers and to improve the care they provide to patients. She advocates for her staff and patients and led the development of the neurosciences ward, providing specialised care to patients with various advanced neurological conditions.

Neisha Hall Sullivan - Epworth HealthCare

Excellence in Person-Centred Care – Julia Segal, Mental Health Consultant Liaison Nurse Practitioner, Epworth Rehab and Mental Health

Julia began work at Epworth Clinic as a Nurse Unit Manager in 2015 and since 2019, she has worked in the role of Consultant Liaison Psychiatric Nurse. She became a Nurse Practitioner in 2022. Julia provides a service during the week and after hours on call service, six days a week until 10pm across Epworth. Julia provides assessment care and management options for patients with unstable mental health conditions in the ED. This role and the service Julia provides is unique to the private health sector in Australia.

Chelsea Bell - Epworth HealthCare

Excellence in Quality Improvement or Research Practice – Chelsea Bell, Midwife, Epworth Freemasons

Chelsea is constantly mentoring, assisting and supporting her colleagues and she provides exceptional care to our maternity patients and their families. Chelsea is an active team member in the Safer Care Victoria Post-Partum Haemorrhage (PPH) Collaboration. She has been tireless in sharing her passion with other staff, actively promoting and educating about weighing blood loss, collaborating with other team members to improve staff awareness by developing lanyard cards for quick reference, PPH risk cards for patient files, risk alerts for the patient rooms and also developing a PPH trolley to ensure quick access in the event of an emergency. Chelsea has just commenced further studies in perinatal mental health.

Chelsea Bell - Epworth HealthCare

The Susan Harris medal for Excellence, the overall Excellence in Nursing or Midwifery Award, went to Pranitha Govender, Associate Director Clinical Services, Epworth Eastern.

Pranitha exemplifies the profession of nursing. She has a driving commitment to ensure patients not only receive the best possible care, but the best possible experience. Pranitha will always advocate for her patients, and she galvanises staff across Epworth Eastern into action. Pranitha accepts extra shifts when there is a shortage and she speaks to patients to understand their experience and how Epworth can improve. Pranitha works with staff across the hospital, supporting new and junior doctors. She is an important part of the Epworth Eastern leadership team, always willing to contribute her insights, experience and passion into any challenge the hospital might face. Pranitha lives the vision of this organisation. To her, every patient matters, every day.

Pranitha Govender - Epworth HealthCare


Epworth Freemasons

  • Jodie Renton
  • Gemma Hayes
  • Jane Peters
  • Maryann Scaturchio
  • Wendy Dawon

Epworth Eastern

  • Stephanie Jeffrey
  • Natasha Ciampoli
  • Anne Imbesi

Epworth Geelong

  • Rebecca McFadzen
  • Vladimira Adamy
  • Heidi Uwland

Epworth Richmond

  • Sheila Salonga
  • Laura Brennan
  • Sally Heillbron
  • Susan Goosen-Street
  • Erin Tilyard

Epworth Rehabilitation and Mental Health

  • James Stribling
  • Jo Kevill and Glynis Cacavas

These awards have been made possible with thanks to Epworth Medical Foundation and their community of generous donors.

“Epworth is fortunate to have extraordinary support from our philanthropic community. It has been vitally important right throughout our history at Epworth and is even more essential, as we move forward. To our community of supporters, your recognition of the vital role of Epworth nurses and midwives is greatly appreciated and we thank you,” said Kate.


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