2019 Endowment Grants

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to award $1.3 million in Endowment Grants supporting 38 different projects across St Vincent’s Hospitals and facilities!

These grants provide funding for urgent equipment purchases, innovative medical research projects and ongoing clinical education to ensure St Vincent’s Hospitals can continue to provide the very best care to our patients.

The full list of our 2019/20 Endowment Grants are below:


Ms Maita Caldwell, Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Palliative Care Unit, received a total of $27,799 for a virtual reality program to provide immersive experiences that are physically beyond reach for palliative care patients, enhancing quality of life and assisting in the management of distressing symptoms ($25,000); and the purchase of a sofa bed for use by families visiting palliative care patients ($2,799).

A/Professor Roger Chen, Senior Staff Specialist, Endocrinology, received $12,812 to introduce a pilot program with an exercise physiologist to coordinate targeted, individualised exercise programmes in the Diabetes Service to deliver metabolic and mental health benefits for patients.

Ms Jeanette Cudmore, Health Education Officer, O’Brien Centre, received a total of $63,368 for the development of arts-based therapies to assist in mental health recovery in both impatient and outpatient settings ($25,488); continuance of exercise physiology to enhance the metabolic health initiatives in the Mental Health Service ($18,200); and continuation of the Yoga for Wellbeing program which is specifically designed to benefit clients with serious mental illness ($19,680).

A/Professor Mark Danta, Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, received $86,000 for a research project designed to provide important data on the complex interaction between the gut microbiome and the body in disease.

Mr Andrew Dinale, Senior Clinical Perfusionist, Cardothoracic Surgery, received $46,040 for a blood monitoring system to enable better real time monitoring of patients on bypass.

Ms Elizabeth Dyer, Physiotherapist, received $5,351 for a Manual Muscle Tester, a hand-held electronic device used routinely in physiotherapy to test a patient’s strength and the ability of their muscles to contract.

Dr Kate Fennessy, Clinical Psychologist, Gambling Treatment Program, received $42,818 to assist in the launch and evaluation of an Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy program for problem gambling developed by the St Vincent’s Hospital Gambling Treatment Program.

Miss Miki Hachigo, Senior Social Worked, Gorman Unit Alcohol and Drug Service, received $50,000 to renovate the courtyard to create a safer, more therapeutic environment.

Mrs Christine Harvey, Volunteer Co-ordinator, received $41,579 to extend the music program delivered in partnership with A Sound Life to new wards, including Palliative Care.

A/Professor Richard Hillman, Senior Staff Specialist, HIV Immunology and Infectious Diseases, received $99,896 to trial new genetic testing to further refine screening tests for anal cancer.

Professor David Kissane AC, Professor of Palliative Care Research, received $99,582 to undertake a randomised controlled trial to examine the efficacy of Meaning and Purpose Therapy in promoting psychological wellbeing and ameliorating existential distress in people living with advanced illness.

Dr Lydia Lamb, Pituitary Fellow, Department of Endocrinology, received $40,000 for a study investigating the role of immunotherapy in the treatment of aggressive pituitary tumours.

Dr Mike Millard, Clinical Director, CRUfAD, O’Brien Centre, received $30,000 to produce short videos on common mental disorders and key strategies for reducing distress for THIS WAY UP, the digital mental health unit of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney which provides evidence-based online therapy for anxiety and depression.

Dr Michelle Moyle, Director, Department of Anaesthetics, received $15,000 for a portable ultrasound device for use in inpatients at St Vincent’s Public and outpatients at Kinghorn and Garvan for the purpose of facilitating peripheral venous cannulation.

Dr Jennifer Stevens, VMO Anaesthetist, received $18,860 for a study investigating pain management of vulnerable elderly patients with hip fractures, examining the differences in post-operative infection, blood clots, opioid use and length of stay over the years this program has been running between those who received the nerve block option and those who did not.

Mr Mark Young, Vascular Access Clinical Nurse Consultant, received a total of $43,153 for a Sonosite S2 Ultrasound machine with a HFL 38xi probe ($33,686); a simulation model of a human chest and arm to improve vascular access education of front line medical and nursing staff ($2,449); and a simulation model of a human neck and chest to facilitate realistic clinical education of inexperienced medical staff who are new to the central line insertion procedure ($7,018).


Ms Cassandra Bartley, Head of Occupational Therapy, received a total of $31,518 for a replacement patient lever arm drive wheelchair with pressure relieving cushions ($6,730); a motorised feeding system for the equipment loan pool for patients with MND and Huntington’s Disease ($9,148); five replacement wheelchairs for the equipment loan pool ($7,830); and replacement of two neurological treatment plinths in the Occupational Therapy physical treatment gym ($7,810).

Ms Blessy Merlin Joseph, Nurse Unit Manager, Huntington Disease Unit, received $8,740 for inpatient dining room furniture in the HDU mental health unit.

Ms Annie Molejona, Nurse Unit Manager, Rehabilitation, received a total of $20,106 for the purchase of patient lounge area furniture ($5,662); the purchase of eight new Lindsay Patient Care Chairs for patient use in the Medical Rehabilitation Unit and Aged Care Rehab Unit ($9,015); and the purchase of eight new Deluxe Pressure Care Chairs for patient use in the Medical Rehabilitation Unit and Aged Care Rehab Unit ($5,429).


Mrs Caroline Basaly, Senior Pharmacist, Parklea Correctional Centre, received $41,206 for an ‘iDose’ software and equipment package which provides the most accurate, safe and efficient delivery of the opioid treatment program for the treatment of drug affected patients.

Mr Michael Hagarty, Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Parklea Correctional Centre, received $7,287 for a replacement clinic treatment bed.


Ms Diane Flecknoe-Brown, Quality and Safety Risk Manager, received $100,000 towards the achievement of accreditation to the National Safety and Quality Standards version 2. St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney is the first in the SVHA group to undergo assessment to these new and rigorous standards. When approved by the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards as an accredited quality certification agency to the National Safety and Quality standards, the hospital may be regarded as a centre of excellence.

Mrs Bridget Flynn, Nurse Unit Manager, Level 8, received $5,594 to purchase the ‘Keri’ complete nursing skills mannequin, which will be used to provide realistic and immersive simulation for nurses, and the ‘Chester Chest’ mannequin, which will provide the nursing staff with a unique teaching tool to develop total competence with the most common types of long-term vascular access routes.

Ms Kate Harel, Nurse Unit Manager, Uspace, received $10,000 to replace sofas and chairs in the group room.

Mrs Kathryn Murphy, Clinical Nurse Educator, St Vincent’s Private Intensive Care Unit, received $55,000 for a Servo u ventilator.

Dr Malcolm Pell, VMO Neurosurgeon, received $56,760 for the purchase of a radiofrequency generator to help patients with chronic intractable pain, such as trigeminal neuralgia (chronic facial pain), neck and back pain due to facet joint arthropathy or pain conditions resulting from a spinal cord injury.


Ms Emily Christie, Perioperative Services Manager, received $32,000 towards the purchase of a Zeiss Callisto Eye which enables computer-assisted cataract surgery, making precise, premium intraocular lens surgery fast and easier for patients and surgeons.


Mr Matthew Kearney, Director of Mission, received $15,000 to undertake a comprehensive review of all current programs and the visual art collection to develop art in health program which models excellence in practice.

Ms Margaret Kenny, Director of Clinical Services, St Vincent’s Private Hospital, received $16,000 to support an Art Curator or Interior Designer to co-ordinate the artwork with the renovation of Levels 4-15.