Moira Palliative Care celebrates 20 years

Moira Palliative Care celebrated 20 years of service to the Moira Shire in May, with an afternoon tea and “virtual get together” over ZOOM at NCN Health Numurkah campus.

The milestone coincided with Palliative Care Week which runs from May 25 – 29.

Moira Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, Heather Rice, said the service had hoped to host a community event to thank staff and volunteers past and present, but was unable to, due to restrictions around COVID-19.

“We have worked with, cared for and befriended many beautiful people and colleagues over the last 20 years. We had hoped to bring more of them together to celebrate with us.”

Mrs Rice said it was 20 years ago in May 2000, that Moira Palliative Care Service began.

“The vision was for a Hume Region Palliative Care, to have 5 sites to outreach to rural areas; Moira, Lower Hume, Benalla, Wangaratta and Wodonga.”

Mrs Rice, who has been with Moira Palliative Care since the beginning, along with colleague and Administration Officer Debra Morland, said the early days were challenging.

“We had limited support from visiting Palliative Care Specialists, but we were fortunate to have access to Nurse Consultants Coral Marks and Sue Salau. They were both great pioneers and mentors.”

The much-needed service quickly grew and Moira Palliative Care were soon able support the community five days per week.
20 years on, Moira Palliative Care have a dedicated team that includes 3 Clinical Nurse Specialists, a Bereavement Support Worker, Social Worker, Occupational Therapist, administration support and volunteers. The service has District Nurses in each town to help support patients and families.

Mrs Rice said Moira Palliative Care also benefited from the expertise provided by St Vincent’s Palliative Care Physicians and the Palliative Care Consultancy Team, based at GV Health.

“Dr Siva, our local Palliative Care Physician and his team of Clinical Nurse Consultants, provide clinics for our clients that have complex needs and require additional care and support.”

Mrs Rice said from very humble beginnings the team was very proud of what Moira Palliative Care Service has achieved.
“The highlight of our service is making a difference, no matter how big or small, to our patients and families. We look forward to many more years of providing support and care to our community.

“Thank you to everyone, past and present, who has been part of the Moira Palliative Care Service.”

NCN Health CEO Jacque Phillips congratulated the staff and volunteers on 20 years of achievement.

“The previous Numurkah District Health Service, now NCN Health, has a long history in supporting and providing community palliative care in the Moira Shire.

“The palliative care staff, volunteers and local health services are congratulated on your commitment to high standards of palliative care and seeing the service grow and expand to what we see today.”

Moira Palliative Care is based in The Community Health Centre, at NCN Health Numurkah. It is a free service that operates across Nathalia, Numurkah, Cobram and Yarrawonga. The service aims to improve the quality of life for people living with life threatening illnesses.

NCN Health would like to acknowledge Heather Rice for her 20 year contribution to Moira Palliative Care and wish her well in her recent retirement.

For more information on Moira Palliative Care contact NCN Health Numurkah on (03) 5862 0555.

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