Edenhope manager wins Celebrating Aged Care Leadership Award

Edenhope & District Memorial Hospital’s associate nurse unit manager Arun Thomas has been awarded the Victorian state-wide Celebrating Aged Care Leadership Award.

Nominated by nurse unit manager Debbie McLeish, Arun was one of three aged care workers shortlisted. 

Arun was announced the winner at an event co-hosted by the Victorian Healthcare Association and the Public Sector Residential Aged Care Committee on Thursday in Melbourne.

The award is about recognising the positive impact that dedicated public health workers make within residential aged care.

The Public Sector RAC Leadership Committee host the celebrations which aims to highlight the rewarding and crucial work of those caring for our valuable older people living in public sector residential aged care.

Arun was very humbled to receive this award, saying, “The other nominees had a lot more experience than me and hold higher leadership roles.

“It is my personal philosophy which I shared on accepting the award if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go with people.”

Arun, an experienced registered nurse for over five years, began working at EDMH in February. He started his nursing career in Adelaide before moving to the Wimmera Health Care Group, where he spent 12 months before commencing at Edenhope.

Arun has a strong focus and passion for leadership, professional development, aged care and palliative care.

Since starting at EDMH Arun identified a gap at the Lakes Hostel in the area of advance care planning documentation compliance and lack of resources in palliative care pathway.

From this he instigated and facilitated courageous conversations and authentic discussions with residents and their family members regarding end of life goals, wishes and bereavement needs.

Arun acts as a palliative care resource and is a strong advocate for resident care at the Lakes Hostel and is experienced in identifying and responding to residents who show signs of deterioration.

Recently Arun was able to recognise a resident’s deterioration at a critical time which then improved the transition to palliative care, ensuring the resident's end of life wishes were respected and communicated with family and doctor in a prompt manner.

As a part of continuous improvement Arun has implemented an 'Annual Remembrance Service'. The goal behind this initiative is to provide further support for grieving families.

Arun was recently nominated by residents' families and was awarded Horsham Florist's Unsung Hero Award for his passion, commitment and leadership in Aged care.

Arun is an active member and a contributor to the hospital's Clinical Governance committee and quality and risk committee. Arun currently serves as a board director at Stawell Regional Health.