News Archive


A Pastoral Letter to Catholics regarding euthanasia
​The following excerpts are from a letter that has been jointly issued to all Catholics in Victoria from the Archbishop and Bishops of Victorian Dioceses regarding the current debate on euthanasia.  "There is a renewed push in Victoria and in many other parts of Australia for euthanasia and assisted  suicide to be legalised. Misplaced compassion leads some to call for the deliberate ending of life by the direct action of a doctor or by doctor helping someone to suicide. Read more.
A simple test could predict premature labour
​A simple bedside test for pregnant women to accurately predict early labour is under development at the University of Melbourne. Researchers are working towards the affordable, painless and reliable test, that could be taken at 24-weeks pregnant, giving doctors a clear indication of risk of pre-term birth within days, or even weeks.  Scientists at the University of Melbourne's Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Mercy Hospital for Women and the Royal Women's Hospital are searching f Read more.
Stepping out for a silent tragedy
​ Every year, more than 2,000 babies are stillborn in Australia - more than the national road toll.  Stillbirth is the death of a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In Australia, one in 130 pregnancies end in stillbirth and one-third of cases are unexplained.   While the rate of infant death has decreased, the rate of stillbirth has not and is a tragedy devastating families.    Complications from premature birth also remains the leading cause of death for children under f Read more.
Professor Tong named Catholic Health Australia’s Emerging Leader 2016
​ Professor Stephen Tong has been honoured at the Catholic Health Australia (CHA) Awards in Sydney and named CHA Emerging Leader 2016.    Prof Tong is a specialist obstetrician-scientist based at Mercy Hospital for Women in Heidelberg. Prof Tong is part of a team that helps care for 6,000 pregnant women each year; he also leads an internationally recognised research program committed to improving outcomes in high-risk pregnancies.    Linda Mellors, Chief Executive – Health Services, Me Read more.
Medical Disorders in Pregnancy 2016
​Organisers have hailed the Medical Disorders in Pregnancy (MDIP) 2016 meeting, which was held on Saturday 23 July in Melbourne, a huge success. The conference attracted more than 500 delegates, ranging from obstetricians and midwives through to GPs, anaesthetists, physicians, students and nurses.  MDIP 2016 aimed to tackle controversial and hot topics such as Zika virus in pregnancy and the remarkable new treatments designed to cure Hepatitis C. It also covered important core obstetric topics s Read more.
Nappy Collective
​Do you have any unused disposable nappies that your baby has grown out of? The Nappy Collective is your chance to give back and support families who might be going through a hard time.   Mercy Health, through its Home & Community Care offices and Public Hospitals, is proud to be participating in the May Nappy Collective (May 6 – 20) to support women and babies in need. The Nappy Collective started via Facebook in October 2013 and has spread to 39 towns and cities across Australia, coll Read more.
Murray to Moyne
The  Perinatal Pedalers , made up of 27 Mercy Health staff members, family and friends, took part in the Murray to Moyne over the weekend. The 520 kilometre charity bike ride is in its 30th year and raises money for health services in Victoria.  The  Perinatal Pedalers  departed from Echuca on Saturday at 9am and faced strong headwinds early on. Luckily the team had plenty of experienced cyclists on hand to help out any new riders struggling Read more.
Werribee Mercy Hospital maternity services
A recent article by The Age newspaper has reported on allegations that Werribee Mercy Hospital maternity services are unsafe.    Werribee Mercy Hospital disputes these allegations, which are misleading.        Victorians generally are afforded very high quality maternity and obstetric services. Werribee Mercy Hospital is no exception. It is routinely one of the better performing community hospitals in Victoria in relation to  maternity and birthing outcomes .       Werribee Mercy Read more.
STATE BUDGET: Werribee Mercy Health expansion funded
Mercy Health is delighted to announce that the Andrews Government will fund a much-needed $85 million expansion of Werribee Mercy Hospital as part of today's State Budget.  The expansion will include a critical care unit, six operating theatres, 56 inpatient beds and a central sterile supply department, which will be constructed in four storeys above the year-old Catherine McAuley Centre at the northern end of the hospital.  Mercy Health Group Chief Executive Officer Adj Professor Stephen C Read more.
Rave reviews after one year of Maternity Group Practice
Mercy Hospital for Women's newest birthing model has helped birth more than 400 babies in its first year. The Maternity Group Practice was officially launched on Monday 10 February 2014, allowing mothers to be cared for by the same midwife throughout the term of their pregnancy.  The model includes 10 midwives working in an on-call capacity. As expectant mothers book in to the hospital they are allocated a midwife who provides their antenatal care. When women go into labour they call their prima Read more.
Mercy Health staff spread Christmas cheer to those in need
Mercy Hospital for Women employees have given struggling Heidelberg West families something to smile about leading into the festive season. During the past two months staff have been collecting items such as food, toys, books and supermarket vouchers, which have subsequently been sorted into 20 Christmas hampers.  Access Ministries Chaplain Jeff Lampard, who works at Charles La Trobe College in Macleod West, will now distribute the hampers to some of Heidelberg West's most disadvantaged families Read more.
Triple the joy for relieved young family
It's fair to say 2014 was a big year for Pip and Bryan Donnelly. The couple had their first child Archie in January, were married in May and welcomed triplets Frankie, Georgina and Isabelle in November.  And while the thought of caring for four children under the age of one seems like a daunting prospect, the couple believe they can survive anything after the emotional rollercoaster that has been their past 12 months.  Pip and Bryan were overjoyed when Mercy Hospital for Women doctors confirmed Read more.
A family’s courageous donation delivers comfort for parents of stillborn babies
Six months ago Meg Witham and Mathew Rae's world was shaken in ways that can only be understood by the parents of stillborn babies. However in the midst of their tremendous pain and loss, the young couple have managed to support families who will be faced with the same tragedy in years to come.  In late 2013, Meg and Mathew found out they were going to have their first child. And despite the baby being diagnosed with birth defect gastroschisis at 18 weeks, the couple were confident they would so Read more.
A call for more Werribee Mercy Hospital funding
Mercy Health has publicised its need for more Werribee Mercy Health funding by distributing a letter.       Read more.
Mercy Health receives National Standards accreditation
Mercy Health has met all requirements as part of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHSS)!!!  The health provider was today informed by NSQHSS surveyors that Mercy Hospital for Women, Werribee Mercy Hospital, Mercy Palliative Care and Mercy Mental Health had met all 209 criteria within the 10 Standards. Mercy Mental Health also met additional 68 mental health standards.  Mercy Health Chief Executive Officer Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen said the result is a Read more.
Mercy Health pays tribute to its three outgoing board members
We recently said farewell to three board members who served a collective 27 years. The trio have each made fantastic contributions to Mercy Health and played major roles in making it the strong and successful organisation it is today.    Gerard Dalbosco: Strong Mercy ties make for healthy 11-year tenure Gerard Dalbosco has had a lifelong connection with Mercy Health. The outgoing board member was born at Mercy Hospital for Women in East Melbourne and has spent the past 11 years on the B Read more.
Mercy Health opens new Barwon office in Geelong West
Mercy Health officially opened its brand new Barwon office close to the centre of Geelong on Wednesday 12 November. The new Barwon office, which provides care and services to more than 700 clients, was previously located in Fairlie Street, Hamlyn Heights.  The office services the City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire, Colac Otway Shire, Borough of Queenscliffe and employs 189 community care workers who make an average of 4,155 service visits each month. Mercy Health Home & Community Care Read more.
Gavin’s proud service continues on through next generation
Remembrance Day holds special meaning for Gavin Baumanis. Before joining Mercy Health as an Application Support Team Leader at Support Services earlier this year, Gavin held a number of positions with the Royal Australian Navy, serving in Australia, Asia and even Antarctica.  On Tuesday 11 November (Remembrance Day) 2014, Gavin will join three of his children Jade, James and Jared – who are also Australian Navy Cadets – at a Dawn Service at the Frankston Cenotaph. The cadets are presently statio Read more.
Mercy Health human resources team takes out two national awards.
Mercy Health has won the AHRI R U OK? Workplace and Age Diversity in the Workplace categories at the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) Inclusion and Diversity Awards 2014.  The prizes were awarded on Thursday 30 October with Mercy Health acknowledged ahead of peers including Austin Health, Bristow Group, Monash University and P&O Maritime Australasia.  Mercy Health Chief Executive Officer Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen said both awards were a testament to the organisation's Read more.
Mercy Day brings Catherine McAuley’s example to the fore
Mercy Health will celebrate the inspiring example set by its Foundress Catherine McAuley on Wednesday 24 September. Sisters of Mercy organisations around the world will participate in Mercy Day, marking the date in 1827 when Catherine opened her first school in Baggot Street, Dublin. All Mercy Health services from Victoria to Western Australia will take part in the year's celebration in order to remember and appreciate the origins of the Sisters of Mercy. Mercy Health Executive Director Leadersh Read more.
Mercy Health encourages good mental health through R U OK? Day events
Thursday 11 September is R U OK? Day, whick aims to prevent isolation and foster community spirit. The initiative is also being run during Mercy Mindfulness Month, which looks to educate staff on how to reduce stress and live happier lives.  The R U OK? Day campaign encourages everyone to ask friends, family and colleagues whether they are alright.  Mercy Health Support Services held a morning tea on the day with a presentation by Mercy Mental Health's Maria Malic who discussed reaching out and Read more.
Mercy Health releases its first report on FGM/C
A new Mercy Health report highlights the impact of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) on a group of Australian women who were born overseas. Mercy Health has provided support, counselling and advice to women who have experienced FGM/C for the past 16 years. And during the past 12 months, the health provider has conducted a project to explore young women's experiences in accessing support relating to FGM/C. The project was funded through the FGM Support Grant from the Federal Government. Read more.
Mercy Health joins WA aged care community to run six facilities
Mercy Health is proud to announce it is now providing aged care services to Western Australia, welcoming six existing homes in and around Perth. Mercy Health is an experienced aged care provider, caring for communities in Victoria, southern New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and now Western Australia. On Monday 1 September 2014, Mercy Health started providing aged care services at Mercy Place Mont Clare (Claremont), Mercy Place Lathlain and Mercy Read more.
Conference to educate on the most up-to-date perinatal medicine
Mercy Health has brought Victoria's medical community together for a conference focused on the latest obstacles and breakthroughs in perinatal medicine. Almost 400 midwives, doctors and specialists, from Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Bairnsdale and Foster will attend the Medical Disorders in Pregnancy conference at Leonda by the Yarra on Saturday 6 September. Director of Perinatal Medicine at Mercy Hospital for Women and Sheila Handbury Chair of Maternal Fetal Medicine Prof Read more.
Residents go giddy up as Melbourne Cup makes its way to town
Just weeks before the excitement of the Spring Racing Carnival devours Victoria, the iconic Melbourne Cup, a champion horse and jockey stopped in for a visit at Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged. The 1 September visit was part of the 2014 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour, which includes 34 destinations across Australian and New Zealand, running all the way  To the joy of residents and staff, the cup was accompanied by 1992 Melbourne Cup champion Subzero and 1976 winning jockey Bob Skelton . Me Read more.
Kate Hewett wins inaugural national award for services to pastoral care
​ 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 Vict Read more.
Nurse exceeds fundraising goal after dropping the drink for a month
​ Mercy Palliative Care Nurse Jackie Hosking has witnessed the rawest emotions of patients battling life-limiting illnesses in Melbourne's west. She has also seen the emotional and financial impact the patient's condition has had on families who often have to leave work to care for their sick loved one.  As a result, the mother of three has taken part in her own revised version of Dry July, drinking no alcohol between Sunday 13 July and Tuesday 12 August in a bid to raise money for Mercy Palliat Read more.
A career with Mercy Health has produced a lifetime of happy memories
  While the four walls of a hospital are key to its success, it is the unconditional passion of its staff that makes the care truly special. There's no better example of this spirit than John Kotsiris, 64, who retired in February 2014 after 42 years working at Mercy Hospital for Women.  Mr Kotsiris barely spoke a word of English when he started in the East Melbourne hospital kitchen on Friday August 20, 1971. In fact, the then 21-year-old had only just migrated to Australia from Kamaria, Gr Read more.
Mother’s bid to help Mercy Hospital for Women is paying off
​ A mother whose sons were born prematurely at Mercy Hospital for Women, has raised hundreds of dollars for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) by selling her handmade dolls online. Melissa Bavin's 20-month-old twin boys Owen and Aedan were born at 26 weeks at Mercy Hospital for Women in November 2012, weighing just 695g and 849g respectively.  To add to the stressful situation, the family – which includes husband Stuart and children Rhianna, Rylan and Lucas ­– was also in the process of rel Read more.
Compassion changes destinies
  Dr Virginia Saxton has helped save and improve lives thousands of kilometres away simply by running a workshop for aspiring radiologists. Dr Virginia Saxton has dedicated her career to looking beyond the surface. As director of  Mercy Hospital for Women’s radiology department she spends her days detecting problems only a trained eye can see. Thousands of kilometres away, a team of charity workers is watching the streets of Cambodia to protect women and girls through a charity Dr Saxt Read more.
No place like home
​ Mercy Health’s Homeless Outreach Program opens the door to hope and healing for those with nowhere else to turn. Cara is a warm and welcoming host. “Usually it’s a bit more spic and span than this,” she says shyly as she opens the door to her home. Inside it’s no messier than the average house — miraculous given the tiny space — and made cosy with curtains she has sewn herself.  Yet it’s hard to ignore the gaffer tape lacing the roof and the pervasive smell of damp. Cara’s home is a 1970s era Read more.
Guiding mothers back to health
  As a leader in perinatal mental health, Dr Klara Szego has guided hundreds of women and babies out of the darkness of mental illness. We celebrate her pioneering work with a look back at her long career. Dr Szego retired last year as director of the mother and baby unit at Werribee Mercy Hospital. It’s an unconventional retirement. “I still go in and supervise once a month,” she says. “It keeps me in touch and I really enjoy it.” There is no one within Mercy Health more qualified to share Read more.
Smoothing the path to a new beginning
​ Mercy Hospital for Women was privileged to care for three extraordinary people who are focussed on a bright future. As Bridget Ure and Casey Tutungi counted the months to the birth of their first child, they knew their world was about to change forever. They could not have known it would be turned upside down much sooner. A talented AFL footballer, Casey was playing for South Barwon in Geelong on Saturday 22 June 2013 when he collided with an opposition player. Unable to move, Casey was airlif Read more.
Gender equality pivotal to Mercy Health care
​ Mercy Health has long been committed to gender equality across its services located in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. In fact, the health provider has a proven track record, receiving an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation six years running.  Mercy Health Chief Executive Officer Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen said gender equality was a basic human right that should be a pivotal part of any organisation.   "I Read more.
Mercy Health Foundation Ball a huge success
   Close to $150,000 was raised for the carers of terminally ill people at the 2014 Mercy Health Foundation Ball. A total of 460 people attended the charity event, held at the Plaza Ballroom on Saturday 14 June, which included a range of entertainment and live and silent auctions.     Proceeds from the night went to Mercy Palliative Care’s Urgent Need Appeal, which provides financial support to those people who care for loved ones with a terminal illness. The appeal aims Read more.
Mercy Health relishes chance to take part in aged care open day
Mercy Health Aged Care homes will fling open their doors in June to promote services offered at 11 sites located across Victoria and New South Wales. All homes, from Mercy Place Warrnambool to Mercy Place Mount St Joseph�s in Young, New South Wales, will host individual events on Friday 20 June as part of the ACSA National Open Day initiative.      Mercy Health Executive Director Residential Aged Care Voula Yankoulas said the day gave all aged care homes the chance to celebrate the fanta Read more.
Leaders take the helm at two aged care sites
 Angela Marchant and Emma Mole are the new Service Managers at Mercy Place Parkville and Mercy Place Shepparton.    The two women both have their own stories to tell but come into their new roles with the same aim, to improve the quality of care for residents.      After three decades working in health care across two continents, Mrs Marchant believes there is no task beneath her.    Born and raised in Rugby, England, Mercy Place Shepparton’s new Service Manager sta Read more.
Martin's calling provides relief for terminally ill
Martin Kaltner�s passion for his job is truly inspiring. The Mercy Palliative Care nurse has spent the past two years caring for terminally ill patients in Melbourne�s west � a job he believes he was made for.     �A life-limiting illness doesn�t mean you�re about to die and I think a lot of people don�t realise that,� Mr Kaltner said.    The Caroline Springs resident said it was his role to ensure patients were as comfortable as possible by addressing often severe symptoms. The Read more.
Dedicated to his community
   Bill Rodda believes the rewards from his 35 years volunteering at Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged have far outweighed the thousands of hours spent helping residents.    The former publican, 80, and his late wife Maureen first started assisting staff and residents at the Golden Square home in the late 1970s and have never looked back, ensuring they were always involved.       �When the home opened we went up and said hello,�� Mr Rodda Read more.
Midwives recognised across the planet
​​​​​​ Monday 5 May marks International Day of the Midwife 2014. The initiative recognises the tireless efforts carried out by midwives who deliver much-needed support to women and families before, during and after birth.    Midwives at Mercy Hospital for Women and Werribee Mercy Hospital helped deliver 8,547 babies during 2013 and play a crucial part in the service provided to our patients and families every day. Executive Director Health Services Dr Linda Mellors said it was an impor Read more.
Remembering an Easter surprise
 Easter may have come and gone but Mercy Health wants to share the moment a bouncing bunny bounded into Mercy Place East Melbourne to deliver Easter cheer and chocolate to grinning residents. Smiles widened and eyes lit up when the Easter Bunny made an appearance carrying a basket of chocolate eggs throughout the home on Wednesday 16 April. Easter celebrations were in full swing across Mercy Health facilities throughout Easter week, especially aged care homes, which ran a series Read more.
Multimillion dollar second stage at Mercy Place Warrnambool officially open
Mercy Place Warrnambool unveiled the second stage of its state-of-the-art facility on Wednesday 30 April. Bishop of Ballarat Paul Bird CSsR MA DD blessed the new section at the Hopetoun Rd home from 11.30am in front of staff, residents and their families. The $9.5 million stage includes 55 new beds, a caf�, a hairdressing salon, communal areas, a central dining space and a resident kitchen. It also includes a chapel, staff and administrative areas and a sustainable design.     Read more.
Two decades caring for a community
 From a baby�s birth to a patient�s final days, Werribee Mercy Hospital has played a pivotal role in the lives of thousands of Melburnians. The hospital, which opened on 20 February 1994, is also ready to unveil its new two-storey building, which has been named in honour of Catherine McAuley who founded the Sisters of Mercy. The celebration has also acknowledged Werribee Mercy Hospital�s legacy and its service to the community during the past two decades. The hospital is now an essential Read more.
Honouring Lexi's Legacy
 Crystal Summerhayes    may not   regard herself as heroic. Yet her   Lexi�s Legacy Car, Bike and Truck    event in February has raised more    than $10,000    for the Neonatal    Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at    Mercy Hospital for Women.     While Crystal was able to pull    her event together through    sheer hard work, online    communication was key to    her event�s success. �We used    a lot of social media to promote    the event,� s Read more.
Crafty passion keeps newborns warm
   Eating, sleeping, family and sewing are Ellen    Mason�s basic human needs. The grandmother    of three has spent the past nine years creating    hundreds of vibrant patchwork quilts for babies    at Mercy Hospital for Women.   Ellen, who has been a    member of the Australian    Quilters Association for    almost 30 years, donates up to    15 quilts to the hospital e Read more.
An inspiring woman
   If you or someone you know has benefited from a women�s health    service in Victoria, New South Wales or the ACT, chances are you have Sister Helen Monkivitch to thank for it.   R eading her litany of achievements, it    seems implausible one person could    contribute so much to Australian    women�s health.  B ut the evidence is all around us, not only in    the state-of-the-art facilities that house, heal   Read more.
Perfect Puccini echoes through the halls at Mercy Place Parkville
   Mercy Place Parkville hosted a matinee of high culture when four renowned musicians dropped in to serenade residents and staff.          Singers Michelle Buscemi, Nathan Lay and Rebecca Gullinello joined pianist Professor David Kram to perform a multitude of pieces ranging from Danny Boy to songs from the classic Puccini opera La Boheme.       Event organiser Bernadette Blair-Slater, whose mother Lorna is a resident at the h Read more.
What is a woman worth?
    D r Alexis Shub has one    especially prized photo    from her time teaching    obstetrics in Timor Leste. It shows    a stack of innocuous, brightly    coloured plastic chairs standing    in a gloomy room in Dili�s Hospital    Nacional Guido Valdares.   �Those plastic chairs, which cost    $60 in total, were one of the  truly lifesaving gifts I was able to    contribute to the hospital,� says    Dr Shub, obstetrician at Mercy   Read more.
Fanning a tiny spark into a steady flame
 Baby John Metaxiotis has already lived through more than many adults ever will. Born at Mercy Hospital for Women at just 26 weeks and a tiny 395 grams, John has undergone countless medical procedures and defied staggering odds to not just survive, but thrive. He's a fighter, but he hasn't had to fight alone.  From the day John opened his eyes, he has been surrounded by devoted care from his parents and the team the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)."There's a massive team of people invo Read more.
Sharing stories through song
 St Mary of the Angels Basilica, a beautiful church situated in the heart of Geelong, holds the history of the city deep within its walls. The stories of Geelong�s people, from its pioneering squatters to its early Irish immigrants exist in the basilica�s foundations and are carried by the parish that attends the church today.  These stories were celebrated in a unique event presented by Mercy Place Rice Village as part of the Victorian Seniors Festival. �Come, Share Our Story Read more.
Myths about miscarriage
 Of all of life's experiences, achievements and milestones, pregnancy is generally revered as one of the most exciting times in a woman's and a family's journey. Yet for many, pregnancies don't go to plan, with nearly 20 per cent ending in miscarriage. The first desperate question of course is why?... what went wrong?  Medicine doesn't fully understand why some pregnancies end in miscarriage, said Mary McCarthy, Unit Manager at Mercy Hospital for Women's Emergency Department. We do know th Read more.
Colours of hope
A quilt, by definition, is a layered blanket of cotton, down, feathers or wool stitched firmly together for warmth and comfort. But if you�ve ever had one made for you, draped at the foot of your bed, wrapped around you when you�re unwell or weighed down by life�s tendency to ebb more than it flows, you know a quilt is much more than that. For Jodi Higgs, creating a quilt was a way to give hope, inspiration and comfort to people with cancer. Her father Alan Kendall was diagnosed with bowel cance Read more.
Glimpsing the light within
 It�s hard to imagine your mother, your husband, your sister, your loved one no longer recognising your face. That they don�t recall the life you had together, what you mean to each other, that you love them, is a special kind of pain.   With dementia � a collection of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain − this kind of slipping away is a common experience. For some people it is gradual, elusive, the mere wisps and shadows of change. For others it can be abrupt and shocking. Fo Read more.
We are family
   B arry Elkins has one of those faces that just    make you smile.    His relentless positivity is    what resonates with most people; that and his    inclination to see the funny side of every situation.    It�s an admirable outlook for anyone to have,    let alone someone who has faced considerable    personal and emotional challenges.   In 1964, when Barry Elkins was    24 years old, a tough decision    had to be made. Barry�s    parent Read more.

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