Winning ways

A roundup of award winning aged care facilities and providers from October.

Above: IRT takes out the 2011 Australian Service Award, not-for-profit category.  L-R: Chief Strategy Officer Greg Zieschang, Sales Consultant Sarah Jones, Marketing Coordinator Stephanie Johnson, Manager – Marketing and Communications Angela Perkiss, Chief Executive Nieves Murray, Manager – Customer Service and Sales Fiona Kurtz, Sales and Marketing Strategist Jacqui Parrish, Customer Service Team Leader Tony Harrison and Manager – Procurement Terry Lackenby.

Aged care and seniors lifestyle provider IRT rose above the competition to take out a national customer service award last week.

IRT came ahead of other organisations from across the nation to win the not-for-profit category of the 2011 Australian Service Awards, which are presented by the Customer Service Institute of Australia.

Nieves Murray, IRT’s chief executive, said that good customer service was vital to the organisation’s success and described winning the award as “a wonderful achievement and an acknowledgement of the customer service journey IRT has been on over the past four years”.

“We have been driving consistently exceptional customer service experience throughout IRT,” Ms Murray said. “Our staff embraced this initiative.”

IRT’s win comes after entering the Australian Service Awards for the first time and, according to a statement, the organisation will now work towards gaining accreditation under the International Customer Service Standard, which the awards promote, by 2013.

Above: Sugarloaf Gardens wins a Better Practice Award.  L-R: SummitCare CEO Cynthia Payne and Chair of the Better Practice Awards Panel Dr June Heinrich with Stephanie Elliott, Christine Feros and Michelle Jeffries, all staff from Sugarloaf Gardens.

Staff from another NSW provider also received accolades last month, through both the Aged Care Standards Accreditation Agency’s Better Practice Awards, as well as their own management’s internal awards program.

Two SummitCare facilities were presented with Better Practice Awards at the NSW provider’s Annual Recognition Event in mid October.

Sugarloaf Gardens in Wallsend, NSW, was recognised for providing residents with weekly classes in aboriginal-style dot painting, driven by one staff member who took similar classes and developed a particular interest in the artistic technique.

SummitCare CEO Cynthia Payne said the popularity of the classes had increased, and that they had brought great pleasure to those involved, as well as an increase in self-confidence, health outcomes and general wellbeing.

Sugarloaf residents were also given an opportunity to display their work at an art gallery event, which Ms Payne described as “as source of enormous pride for the resident artists”.

Above: SummitCare wins a Better Practice Award.  L-R: SummitCare Director Peter Wohl, CEO Cynthia Payne, Chair of the Better Practice Awards Panel Dr June Heinrich, SummitCare General Manager of Operations Judith Leacock and General Manager of Care and Lifestyle Sonya Darwich.

As an organisation, SummitCare also received a Better Practice Award for its staff development and retention initiative, ‘Developing staff across the ages’.

The initiative involved a database to aid in understanding demographic information about the staff population, and analysis of complaints to target education and training to where it was needed most.

SummitCare also developed strategic partnerships with education providers to flexibly deliver more training opportunities, including courses in English literacy and computer skills.

Staff were also recognised internally at the SummitCare awards night, for long service, academic achievement and outstanding achievement.

The internal award for Most Outstanding Aged Care Service overall went to Jamison Gardens, and Summit Star Awards were presented to Robert Neale of Sugarloaf Gardens for ‘Upholding Our Culture’; Michelle Jeffries, also from Sugarloaf Gardens, for ‘Leadership in Action’; and Susie Valera from Jamison Gardens for Excellence in ‘Care and Service’.

Seven staff members were congratulated on having completed academic qualifications, and the organisation thanked about 10 per cent of its staff population for 10, 15, or 20 years of service, including 47 who have now passed the decade mark. 

Two staff members in particular, Elaine Marshall and Marietta Turigan, received special acknowledgement for long service, as both have recently retired.

Tags: accreditation-agency, activities, award, better-practice-awards, education-and-training, staff,

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