Epworth scholarship inspiration

August 27, 2018| Epworth News /

Every year in winter, thanks to Epworth Medical Foundation and its generous donors, it’s scholarship application time at Epworth.

In a program unique to Epworth’s ten sites, around 100 staff annually receive a scholarship that has the power to become the highlight of their career.

Epworth Geelong Hospitality Services Manager, Alan Kurrle, confirms that being successful in Epworth’s Scholarship Program brings even more benefits than he imagined.

The magnitude of the scholarship experience is difficult to explain” says Alan, who received his 2017 award to attend a two week group study tour in May 2018 at Northwell Health in Long Island New York.

Firstly, to be recognised for my work was humbling. I started life at Epworth 15 years ago as a casual chef, so the idea of attending a study tour in the US to explore staff engagement strategies and customer service initiatives, was something I would not even have thought possible when I began my employment here.
— Alan Kurrle, Hospitality Services Manager, Epworth HealthCare

“Most of my time was spent with Northwell’s Office of Patient & Customer Experience (OPCE) team. A multidisciplinary team formed 3 years ago, it is dedicated to delivering on strategies to achieve a high patient satisfaction status. The work of the OPCE team has resulted in an increase of $3M in value based payments back into the organisation from Health funds."

“I was blown away by the way Northwell engage their staff from day one to focus on the Patient Experience. Their orientation program impresses upon staff that they’re expected to be bold at Northwell – not to accept the status quo; to innovate. Once the bar has been raised, don’t stop; continue to raise it. It was made clear that employees had been selected for their ability to contribute first and foremost to the needs of their patients and the community,” Alan said.

Epworth scholarship winners in the US as part of their study tour of Northwell Health

Epworth scholarship winners in the US as part of their study tour of Northwell Health

Northwell maintains a high patient satisfaction status (93% in worldwide ranking), which results in increased government rebates for their services.

“Northwell has 23 hospitals and 665 outpatient facilities employing just under 70,000 staff. They can afford occasional radical actions to make improvements, such as employing a Michelin-star chef to elevate the quality of food; or investing a half million dollar prize through a ‘Shark Tank’ program for a nurse who established an improvement to the call button process by making contact with a manufacturer in China to have the patient bedside telephones redesigned."

"I am so grateful to the Epworth donors who made my scholarship possible; and for the Epworth/Northwell strategic alliance. I attended the study fortnight with nine colleagues including my Epworth Geelong colleague Dr Matt Ryan from our Emergency Department; and others from areas across Epworth such as the Mental Health Clinic and People and Culture. I believe we were all inspired to reinvigorate sustainable team goals upon our return."

“I know it has made me determined not to accept less than the best for our patients.”

About Northwell Health

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 650 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 15,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. 

About Epworth Staff Scholarship Program

Epworth HealthCare is Victoria’s largest not-for-profit private healthcare group, employing around 7000 staff and 2,400 Visiting Medical Officers across ten sites. The Staff Scholarship Program supports people to undertake professional development activities related to their current or future role. Staff may apply to attend national and international conferences, return to study, complete training workshops, undertake site visits or rollout pilot projects.

The first Epworth scholarships were awarded in 2010, with seven scholarships awarded from an available fund of $91,000.  In the past three years, the program has undergone unprecedented growth, with 150 scholarships valued at $800,000 to be awarded later this year for implementation in 2019. The growth in opportunity is due to the foresight and generosity of donors and sponsors who want to invest in and empower our people to provide outstanding patient care.

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