Western Sydney Health has committed to improving staff development and patient care through its first bursary program.
The philanthropic trust, made up of voluntary contributions from the health district board members and committees, will be used to support individual staff in their education and training.
The 11 inaugural recipients were announced on October 31 by board chair Richard Alcock and NSW Health secretary Elizabeth Koff.
Mr Alcock said the bursary was milestone for the board, who was “proud to be able to support these staff in their future endeavours”.
Blacktown Hospital physiotherapist Marie March was one of the recipients.
As a mother to young children, Ms March said it was good to be supported in pursuing post-graduate studies.
“Health services that invest in research improve their level of patient care and outcomes long-term, so it’s an investment into the next five years,” she said.
Ms March’s research is focused on knee replacement surgery, and exploring the effects of psychological health on the length of patient stay and recovery.
She is hoping to run an intervention study next year that would see physiotherapists practice holistic care by training patients in resilience for six months before surgery.
Ms March said the bursary would support balancing work and family life with her doctorate, as well as travelling to London next year as part of her studies.