This year’s Levinia Crooks Emerging Leaders Award provided an opportunity to showcase the significant contribution nurses make to the viral hepatitis sector. The 2021 recipient, Megan Hughes embodies the values and integrity associated with the award criteria:
- Bold, innovative and inclusive leadership
- Establish, promote and strengthen meaningful partnerships and collaborative opportunities to drive outcomes
- Ensures community-based and person-centred care and engagement at all times
- Successful advocacy with government and/or other regulatory bodies
- Sets a high standard of integrity by leading through example
Megan has utilised her clinical skills and knowledge of the mental health & alcohol and other drugs sector to support capacity building opportunities for colleagues, strengthen partnerships across Tasmanian regions and organisations, secure policy change and implement hepatitis C and other BBV-STI screening for people attending community mental health services.
Megan presented preliminary results of her work at the recent 12th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference, where her enthusiasm, approach to her project aims and support of people accessing community mental health services were well received. We look forward to working with Megan as an identified future key opinion leader in the sector.
There was also a high calibre of nominations received for the award, with the adjudication panel deciding on honorable mentions to acknowledge work being undertaken by the following nurses:
Bin Chen - Viral Hepatitis Nurse Consultant with South Australia Department of Health. Bin has initiated and extended community-based hepatitis services for people within the Chinese community in South Australia, resulting in significant engagement with the Chinese language viral hepatitis information service and subsequent increases in screening, vaccinations, fibroscans and referrals.
Jen Anderson - Registered Nurse/Research Assistant (EPOCH-SIR study) at the Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) - North Richmond Community Health. In short, Jen has been responsible for implementing point of care hepatitis C testing and BBV treatment within the MSIR, leading to improved access to treatment and care for a vulnerable client group.
Thank you to Behzad Hajarizadeh, the 2019 Levinia Crooks Emerging Leaders Award recipient for providing an overview of the significant work he has undertaken since receiving the award and for passing this year’s award to Megan.