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Western Health nurses receive ICU postgraduate scholarships

Tuesday 12 September 2023

Three Western Health nurses have been awarded ICU postgraduate scholarships to further their training and improve critical care in Melbourne’s west.

Vanessa Clapham, Emma Philips and Arshpreet Kaur will each receive $10,000 towards their course fees and associated costs.

The scholarships are made possible via Plenary Health's five-year partnership with Western Health Foundation during the delivery of the New Footscray Hospital.

Western Health Chief Executive Officer, Adj. Prof Russell Harrison, said the scholarships would financially support nurses' studies, which will help improve healthcare outcomes in the western suburbs.

"These scholarships will help attract, train and retain staff and keep them in the west, and allow these nurses to become ICU staff, which is vital for Western Health and our community. A huge congratulations to our three nurses and thank you to our partner Plenary Health for such an important and valuable contribution”, Mr. Harrison said.

Mr. Harrison also commented on the value of these scholarships for Western Health and the importance of focusing on training to enhance care in our area, stating, "For Western Health, the scholarships mean we can employ new intensive care nurses, grow our team, and provide the best care for those critically unwell."

Plenary Health New Footscray Hospital Project Chair, Kelvyn Lavelle, said Plenary Health were proud to support nurses and their training as part of its partnership with Western Health. "The retention and development of nursing staff, not only at Western Health but across the whole health sector in Victoria is critical," Mr. Lavelle said.

"Our partnership with Western Health Foundation is a significant contribution for Plenary to play in the community of which it's developing the new Footscray Hospital."

Scholarship recipient and western suburbs resident, Vanessa Clapham, said that after many years of study, she had found her home in the Intensive Care Unit at Footscray Hospital.

"The scholarship has been a blessing as without it - while also raising a family - completing my postgraduate studies would not have been financially viable," Mrs. Clapham said.

Western Health Foundation is the fundraising entity of Western Health, providing healthcare services to more than one million people across Melbourne's west. It raises funds to purchase equipment and certain facilities, fund medical research, provide scholarships for staff and help deliver patient support for those in need.

Plenary Health's five-year partnership with Western Health is worth more than $300,000 and includes postgraduate nursing scholarships, research awards for Western Health staff, in-kind activities and monetary and other support for events.

Scheduled to open in 2025, the $1.5 billion New Footscray Hospital Project is delivered by the Plenary Health consortium in partnership with the Victorian Health Building Authority and Western Health.

Watch the video to learn more.