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Calvary evolving to meet community needs


A major part of the lives of many South Australians since 1900, Calvary has evolved and expanded over the years to meet the changing needs of the community.

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Today the charitable Catholic not-for-profit organisation operates hospitals, aged care and retirement facilities, community care programs and a range of health services throughout Australia.

In Adelaide, one of the recent additions to the suite of offerings is the Calvary Adelaide Hospital (CAH) on Angas Street, which celebrated its first birthday in January.

Open for only seven weeks before COVID began to impact operations, the hospital may not have had the first year it expected but there were still many achievements to celebrate, according to general manager Tanya Brooks.

“Despite COVID restrictions and regulations, we increased our patient experience throughout the year, we employed more staff and we will continue to grow in the future,” Ms Brooks said.

With a restriction on the number of visitors for much of the year, Ms Brooks said pastoral care had been at the forefront of everything and the CAH team had gone to great lengths to keep patients connected with their families, either via Zoom or Face Time calls.

The camaraderie between staff also came to the fore.

“Coming to work and being surrounded by people who are in the same situation, there was a real camaraderie and a great sense of pride as we looked after patients day after day,” she said.

Despite the pandemic, several other Calvary services also experienced growth and achieved major milestones in 2020.

A COVID ‘baby boom’ resulted in a record number of births at Calvary North Adelaide Hospital (CNAH).

In 2020 the maternity unit recorded an 11 per cent increase in births over the previous 12 months, with clinical manager Liz Kleinig revealing that current activity indicates there will be further increases seen this year.

Caring for babies from 32 weeks and with an adult intensive care unit for women who need that intervention, Ms Kleinig said CNAH offers a range of services for parents and their support network.

“There are prenatal classes for the expectant parent, breast feeding classes and even a session for grandparents,” she said.

“A postnatal clinic enables mothers and babies to return to see a lactation consultant and every fortnight we host a coffee morning for new mothers and fathers and their babies.”

At Calvary Central Districts Hospital (CCDH), a recently-opened centre is supporting the needs of breast cancer patients.

The Northern Breast Centre offers a welcoming and friendly environment where patients have access to all the service providers for their treatment, in one centralised location.

“At the centre we aim to ensure the burden of all appointment bookings, including all surgical needs, are taken care of, while ensuring patients are less anxious and confused with what may lie ahead,” said CCDH general manager, Lachlan Ophof.

Close to free parking and public transport, the centre welcomes public and private patients and aims to schedule an appointment within the first 24-48 hours of referral from their GP.

Calvary is also committed to caring for those in the regional areas of the State and is currently undertaking a major project at Berri.

Construction of the new St Catherine’s Retirement Community is well underway, with an expected completion date of October this year.

The purpose built 50-bed residence will replace the existing facility, and includes best-practice support for varying levels of dementia.

“The care needs for residents have changed over the years and this will be more fit-for-purpose,” said Ryan Midgley, general manager of Retirement Communities SA.

“We had a lot of consultation with residents and staff in the design of the new facility and it will have a lovely homely feel.”

The new St Catherine’s will include a café hub open to the public, indoor and outdoor courtyards, recreational activity spaces, dining and entertainment areas, 24/7 med-ical services, physiotherapy care, an on-site chapel, pastoral care and administration services.


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