When Erin saw a TV promotion to nominate her ‘hero’, she had one name in mind – Mum.
The 22-year-old is the daughter of Djerriwarrh Health Services Chief Executive Belinda Scott, who has the monumental task of overseeing patient care in some of the worst-affected areas for COVID19 in the State.
Less than a month ago, DjHS was caring for almost 150 COVID19 patients through its rapidly-adapted Hospital in the Home program.
It also set up one of the state’s first drive-through testing clinics at Melton and was overseeing help for several surrounding aged care homes facing challenges with the virus.
For seven days a week, Erin and her younger siblings have juggled running a household, paying bills and making sure there is food on the table when mum finally comes home.
“We’ve found it harder with Mum not being home as much and I think we’ve done pretty well filling in as a team,” Erin said.
“We just want our mum.
“Nothing fixes a bad day like a big mum hug – but we do know she is doing this for the greater good.
“Once the pandemic is over, I’m hoping life will return to whatever the new normal looks like.
“We’d like to see her relax and spend some time to herself.
“She is so selfless. Everything is about the team effort. She doesn’t do her job for recognition, but I think she’s worked so hard to deserve it.”
ERIN’S ‘LOCAL HERO’ NOMINATION:
My mum Belinda Scott is the CEO of a regional health service.
Djerriwarrh Health Services is in the fastest growing catchment in Victoria.
Before the pandemic she was in the process of advocating for her staff and local communities as they were going through an amalgamation process.
Then COVID happened.
Since the first reported case in Victoria, she and her team have planned what to do and how they could help.
Their thoughts included protecting their aged care facility and providing easy access to testing.
They were the first in Victoria to open a drive-thru testing clinic.
It saw them provide care for all of their community by protecting the most vulnerable who were still needing care within their health service while providing a separate testing centre for those with symptoms.
She worked 21 days straight at the beginning to support drive-thru staff and was often the first person to greet patients in their cars.
While she couldn’t do the work on her own, she inspired and influenced so many of her staff to be confident as they stepped outside of the comfort zones of their normal day-to-day jobs.
This has been appreciated by her staff. They say thing like: ‘You are the only CEO we know who would work on the frontline with us’.
Mum continues to work in the fever clinic as well as complete her normal CEO work in crazy hours of the day.
This includes creating policies and procedures to keep the residents in her residential aged care facility safe.
The work they have done has ensured there is little risk of an outbreak.
In addition to her day-job and assisting the clinical teams, she also runs their Facebook page responding to the comments and messages of the local community at all times of the day including weekends.
Mum does this work because she truly loves caring for her community and the philosophy behind her work is that the patient must come first in everything they do.
On numerous occasions she has bought groceries for her staff or locals in the community who are isolating and are unable to go shopping – or for those who just can’t afford to eat.
Mum believes that educating the community about COVID will assist in fighting this virus.
Mum achieves all of this through sharing her vision and inspiring others.
While my mum is the face of DJHS, she is very modest and will boast about her wonderful team whenever credit has been received.
She is lucky to have a wonderful executive team who support her but she is a fearless leader who has shown nothing but courage, support and guidance on some very tough days.
Mum is not only my local hero – but a local hero to many.
** As of Wednesday (2 September) DjHS was supporting 22 COVID19 patients via its Hospital in the Home program – down from 56 on August 26 and a peak of 143 patients on August 5.
The service has also carried out a total of 21,705 coronavirus tests since the pandemic began.
## COVID19 symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss of smell.
If you need to be tested, Djerriwarrh Health Services has a drive-through clinic in Barries Rd Melton, open the new hours of 9am-4.30pm weekdays and 9am-12pm weekends.
Until 28 July 2021, Worksafe must be notified on 13 23 60 when employers or self-employed people become aware of a confirmed diagnosis.
The National Coronavirus Health Information line is 1800 020 080.
You can anonymously report people doing the wrong thing by calling 1800 675 398 (option 4) and police will follow up.
Lifeline can be contacted on 13 11 14 (24 hours), via text on 0477 13 11 14 or via online chat: www.lifeline.org.au
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