Two more nurses receive Bernadette East Scholarship

Two South Canterbury nursing students have received $3000 each toward their third-year studies for a Bachelor of Nursing from the Bidwill Trust Hospital Bernadette East Nursing Scholarship.

Michelle Marshall and Loren Sugrue each received their scholarship at a presentation on 26 March.

The scholarship was created in 2022 in memory of the late Bernadette East, who was a senior nurse at Bidwill Trust Hospital for 39 years. Applicants had to have successfully completed year two of their studies toward their degree, and either be resident in South Canterbury or have completed their high school education in the province. Marshall and Sugrue were the successful applicants for the second year of the scholarship after applications opened in October last year.

“Bernadette East had a passion for nursing with a focus on quality and excellence,” said Bidwill General Manager Tina Rogers. “She gave many people their professional break, mentoring and encouraging people to see things in themselves that they did not see.

“We are pleased to see strong evidence of how the two successful candidates intend to benefit their nursing careers and their communities through the assistance provided.”

A former Roncalli College student in Timaru, Sugrue is studying at Otago Polytechnic. She says the scholarship will reduce her need to work part time to support her studies, meaning she will have more time to focus on her studies to help achieve a high standard of academic excellence.

“After I graduate I would love to come back to Timaru, gain some work experience and give back to the community I grew up in,” she said.

Marshall, who studies at Ara | Te Pūkenga in Timaru, says she intends to use the funds towards childcare costs for her two boys which would mean she could reduce her work hours during her clinical placements and spend more time with her whanau.

“I am committed to staying in Timaru with my family, and I would love to work in a role that is community focused. I have a passion for quality improvement, patient advocacy and striving for equity,” she said.

Bidwill Trust opens charitable grants applications for up to $20,000

The charitable trust that owns and operates Bidwill Trust Hospital in Timaru has opened applications for grants from its annual charitable funding round.

Trust Chair Ken McKenzie said in the past the trust had notified likely candidates for a grant and invited them to apply. In an effort to ensure that the trust is aware of the full range of health-related work in South Canterbury that could benefit from support by the trust, this year the grants process has been publicly notified.

Grants can be from a minimum of $5000 to a maximum of $20,000. Grants can be for up to three years and the often makes more than one grant in any year.

Applicants for a grant must be registered charitable organisations operating within the South Canterbury region (Timaru, McKenzie and Waimate District Council boundaries). Their work must relate to providing positive health outcomes within the community.

McKenzie said that The Bidwill Trust Hospital Foundation was established in 1987 with objects to provide and operate hospitals and health services, and provide donations for charitable purposes.

“The trust has a proud history of giving substantial grants to organisations working in South Canterbury to support the health and wellbeing of its people,” McKenzie said. “We believe that the work we have supported over the years has made a real difference to the health resilience of South Canterbury and to the lives of people and their families.”

He urged potential applicants to carefully check the grants criteria before applying as some activities, such as educational institutes or projects already completed, are not eligible. The grants criteria and application from are available here:

Business Excellence Award 2023 – Community Impact Award

Bidwill Trust Hospital is honoured to have won the Community Impact Award at the 2023 Business Excellence Awards.

It is exciting to be recognised for the benefit that Bidwill Thrust Hospital provides to the community, as well as to our patients.

Our commitment is to provide services equal to the best in the country, including continual investment in people and training, innovative and modern equipment, and providing a lasting benefit to the community through educational scholarships, hospital expansions and annual donations.

Thank you to the award sponsor – RSM Law.


Knee surgery robot at Bidwill Trust Hospital “miraculous”

Bidwill Trust Hospital in Timaru was the first in the South Island to install a new VELYS™ orthopaedic robot that has been described as near miraculous in terms of the difference it makes for patients undergoing knee replacement surgery.

The  Robotic-Assisted Solution was developed by DePuy Synthes, the orthopaedics company of Johnson & Johnson.

Bidwill General Manager Tina Rogers says the hospital was pleased to acquire the robot for use in the hospital’s theatres as part of the governing board’s strategy of equipping specialists with state-of-the art technology, and giving patients the best possible outcomes.

Orthopaedic Surgeons Mark Cvitanich, Dave Templeton, Sean van Heerden and Frank Wurmitzer say the robot is making a big difference to the early outcomes of knee replacement surgeries. While surgeons are fully in control of the process, the robotic guided system provides considerable advantages for the patient.

“Every knee is different,” they say, “and the beauty of this robot system is that it allows us to individualise knee joint replacement to match the unique bony anatomy and soft tissue envelope of each patient’s knee. It also allows us to make very precise, accurate bony cuts. This results in far better outcomes for the patient including less pain, less time in hospital and faster recovery.”

As far as Temuka man Mylen Hamilton is concerned, the new knee replacement surgical robot is near miraculous. A Timaru police officer, Hamilton has had two knee replacement surgeries, the right knee using traditional procedures and, more recently, the left knee with the robot-assisted procedure. He says the difference was like “night and day.”

While he has had excellent results from both knee surgeries, the robot-assisted procedure resulted in far less swelling, and a marked reduction in pain. He was also mobile much more quickly.

“I walked out of hospital with crutches because they said that was procedure, but I tossed them into a corner when I got home and that’s where they stayed. With the first operation on the right knee, I had pain at night with trouble sleeping for more than a week. With the new robot-assisted left knee, I slept through the night my first day back at home.”

Hamilton  says that both knees are now very good.

“I can run, jump, exercise . . .  whatever, it’s all good.’’

Rogers says the VELYS™ Robotic-Assisted Solution is available to all of the orthopaedic specialists who use Bidwill’s operating theatres through their private practices.

“Every year, Bidwill specialists perform more than 150  knee replacement surgeries for patients, which means the robotic-assisted solution will be in high demand,’’ she says.


Two nurses awarded new Bernadette East Nursing Scholarship

The Bidwill Trust Hospital Board in Timaru has decided to support not one, but two nurses for the inaugural year of the Bernadette East Nursing Scholarship.

Erin Robertson from Timaru, and Tessa Orange, Geraldine, will both receive $3000 toward their third-year studies for a Bachelor of Nursing. Both are studying nursing through the Ara Institute of Canterbury, with Orange at the Christchurch campus and Robertson studying at Timaru.

The new scholarship is in memory of the late Bernadette East, who was a senior nurse at Bidwill Trust Hospital for 39 years. Applicants had to have successfully completed year two of their studies toward their degree, and either be resident in South Canterbury or have completed their high school education in the province.

Bidwill General Manager Tina Rogers said the board decided to grant two scholarships because of the very high standard of the two successful applications, and in recognition of how challenging it has been for nursing training with the impact of Covid-19.

Tessa Orange: Tessa has been a South Canterbury resident most of her life. Her secondary education was at Geraldine High School where she was deputy head girl. She was captain of the Geraldine women’s second division hockey team, and a volunteer swimming coach. She is currently a volunteer with Arthritis New Zealand. A placement at St George’s Hospital in Christchurch helped her discover a passion for surgical nursing. Her ambition once she has completed her degree is to return to South Canterbury and seek a surgical or post anaesthesia care unit role.

“Gaining this scholarship means I will have more time to focus on my assessments and clinical placements, without the worry of having to work part time to support my living costs. It will also enable me to purchase valuable equipment, and pay for textbooks, uniform items and travel fees.”

Erin Robertson: Erin lives and studies in in Timaru, while also working part-time and being a Mum. Her secondary education was at Waiuku College in Auckland. In Timaru, her interests have included volunteer committee member and treasurer for the Washdyke Playcentre and, later, the same role for Timaru Plunket. She volunteers as a parent helper at Waimataitai School. The highlight of her nursing training to date has been a placement at Bidwill Trust Hospital where she learned many practical skills and observed several surgeries. Her intent, following completion of her degree, is to practice nursing in Timaru where she hopes to specialise as a theatre nurse.

“So far, I have been juggling full-time study along with working part-time and raising two young children. Receiving this scholarship will enable me to forego part-time work and focus fully on my last year of study.”


Kerr Wing consulting rooms open

Bidwill Trust Hospital will open a new consulting room suite to be known as the Kerr Wing on Friday 20th July. The new 450m2 development will house two surgical practices Aorangi Surgical Group and South Canterbury Surgeons. Nine surgeons will now be based in professional rooms at the rear of Bidwill Hospital creating benefits for patients, surgeons and the hospital alike. The chairman Mark Hervey said “The board is indebted to the E.G. and D.M. Kerr Charitable Trust who made a substantial donation to the hospital in support of the project.” The EG and DM Kerr Charitable Trust is pleased to be associated with the development at Bidwill Hospital, trust chairman Tim Austin said.

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