RPA PD Day December 1, 2023 – Sydney
Hospital engineers and maintenance managers gathered for a remarkable professional development day focused on disaster resilience in the healthcare-built environment. The event aimed to equip these professionals with the knowledge and tools necessary to strengthen the resilience of healthcare facilities in the face of extreme events. The discussions revolved around the importance of preparedness, staff capabilities, and critical infrastructure systems.
The event commenced with an insightful presentation by esteemed speakers from various disciplines. They emphasised the significance of hospital resilience and highlighted real-life case studies where resilient infrastructure played a vital role in mitigating the impact of disasters. Attendees were encouraged to adopt a holistic approach that considers not only physical infrastructure but also the well-being and preparedness of the staff.
Special mention goes to James Moyes and Manus Freeman from VA Sciences, who identified to facility managers the difficulties in undertaking the mammoth task of natural gas removal, the cost and real estate required to do so effectively, without disruption and significant impact to the facility as a whole. I am happy to report James and Manus lived once delivering this news!
It was also quite reassuring the empathy that came from Sven Nilsson, one of the most experienced Disaster Response Unit Managers in our state, who walked us through not just the many and varied versions of resilience plans - ranging from WHO, Australian Government and NSW Government amongst others – but also the people-centred side of things; taking the time to consider how economic and climate pressures impact our homeless and other vulnerable groups, and the impact that has on us. If you want to reduce your bedtime reading on this topic, I suggest you connect with Sven, who has read everything and can give you the abridged version. You can find him somewhere in the Sydney Local Health District.
Of course, our sponsors made all of this possible, with great food throughout the day and a networking event on a yacht in the evening. It must be mentioned this was completely above board (pun intended) as paid members of IHEA are absolutely allowed to attend IHEA events, which their membership (aka professional fees) goes towards covering not only their attendance but also their continued development as professionals in their industry through education, consultation and networking opportunities. If you are not already a member of IHEA and wish to join, you can do so at ihea.org.au.
In conclusion, the professional development day for hospital engineers and maintenance managers provided a unique platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration in the realm of disaster resilience in the healthcare-built environment. Attendees walked away with a deeper understanding of the critical elements required to enhance the resilience of healthcare facilities. By implementing the insights gained from this event, these professionals are poised to create safer and more resilient healthcare environments, ensuring that patient care remains uninterrupted even during times of crisis.
I would like to make special mention to the Meenal Sharma, Anne Louise Georgas and the gang from Sydney Local Area Health District for organising speakers and the conference room for the day.
Also these days do take a massive effort to put together and I do thank Vanessa Galina from the national board and the working members of the NSW/ACT IHEA board, especially Jackie MacCullagh who took hold of the reins and ensure this was a great event.
NSW/ACT Branch President