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17 November 2014

Kidney transplant success earns top award for RPH medical team

A dramatic improvement in kidney transplant success rates in Aboriginal patients has earned Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) the prestigious Director General's Award in this year's WA Health Excellence Awards.

Acting Health Director General Professor Bryant Stokes presented the team at RPH's Department of Nephrology Renal Transplant Unit the top prize for its "Closing the Gap in Aboriginal kidney transplants" project.

"This project has achieved an outstanding outcome in a complex area of health for this disadvantaged community," Professor Stokes said.

"Many Aboriginal patients travel to Perth for treatment from remote and regional parts of the State, and the challenge has been for them to continue with their daily care plans after they return home.

"This program, using means including telehealth technology, ensure patients benefit from continued support and education from their medical team."

Aboriginal patients receiving kidney transplants experience a much higher transplant failure rate than the non-Aboriginal population, due to higher than average susceptibility of infections and diabetes.

The "Closing the Gap in Aboriginal kidney transplants" project introduced changes to clinical practice, service delivery and patient education with increased patient supervision reducing the transplant failure rate from 33 per cent to zero in the group of patients treated under the new protocol.

The WA Health Excellence Awards is an annual event that recognises innovation and excellence in service delivery in 10 project categories. The recipient of the Director General's Award was selected from the 10 category winners.

Also honoured this year was Thomas Tuchyna, Operations Manager of the State Cancer Centre at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Mr Tuchyna won the inaugural Minister for Health's Award for Outstanding Commitment to a Healthier Western Australia.

2014 WA Health Excellence Award winners:

Service Delivery

  • Rockingham General Hospital

Perioperative Collaboration Utilisation Design


Health Promotion

  • Pilbara Public Health Unit

Immy the Echidna—improving immunisation rates


Strategic Partnerships

  • WA Youth Cancer Service with CanTeen and Redkite

WA Youth Cancer Service


Empowering Patients

  • WA Musculoskeletal Health Network, Department of Health WA with Curtin University, University of WA and Fremantle Hospital and Health Service

painHEALTH website


Primary Care

  • Familial Hypercholesterolemia WA program, supported by the Health Strategy and Networks and Office of Population Health Genomics, Department of Health; Royal Perth Hospital, South Metropolitan Health Service and the Cardiovascular Health Network

Improving the care of inherited high cholesterol and risk of heart disease in families


Consumers, Carers and Community Engagement

  • BreastScreen WA

BreastScreen WA Online Booking Project


Aboriginal Health

  • Royal Perth Hospital, Medical Renal Transplant Unit, Department of Nephrology, South Metropolitan Health Service

Closing the gap in Aboriginal kidney transplants


Safety and Quality

  • Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit, Department of Health WA with hospitals across WA

WA Point Prevalence Survey


Overcoming Inequities

  • Pilbara Population Health Unit in conjunction with the Goldfields, Great Southern, Midwest and Gascoyne Population Health Units—WA Country Health Service; and Foodbank

Food Sensations food literacy initiative


Clinical Training

  • South Metropolitan Health Service, Nursing and Midwifery in conjunction with Curtin University, University of WA, University of Notre Dame, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, Challenger Institute of Technology, Central Institute of Technology and West Coast Institute of Technology

Maximising capacity: Improving the undergraduate nursing and midwifery clinical placement system


For more information about this year's winners and categories visit the WA Health Excellence Awards


Media contact: 9222 4333

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