Mercy Health Director of Pastoral Services Kate Hewett has been honoured with a national award for almost two decades of service to Catholic health and aged care.
Ms Hewett was presented with the inaugural Catholic Health Australia's Excellence in Pastoral Care award at the CHA National Conference, which was held in Brisbane between 25 and 27 August 2014.
Since taking on her present role in 2008, she has been responsible for a pastoral care team of 19, working across Melbourne, regional Victoria and New South Wales.
Before joining Mercy Health, Ms Hewett worked at St Vincent's and Mercy Private Hospital and Sisters of Charity Health Service. She has also served as Catholic Chaplains Association of Victoria President and on the Catholic Health Australia's Education and Formation Committee.
Mercy Health Chief Executive Officer Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen said the award was a great tribute to the positive impact Ms Hewett had made on patients, residents and colleagues.
"We want to congratulate and thank Kate for the compassion and leadership she brings to her job every day,'' Adj Prof Cornelissen said. "There is no one more deserving of such a prestigious honour."
Catholic Health Australia Stewardship Board chair Rowena McNally said Ms Hewett had a wealth of qualifications from a range of disciplines, including theology, teaching and counselling.
"She also brings attributes that can't be learned in a classroom, leadership and strategic thinking among them," Ms McNally said. "Kate provides a great example to her co-workers as one who listens with the heart."
Ms Hewett received a $5,000 cheque, courtesy of Catholic Super, which will be used for professional development.