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Western Sydney Health Check

Author: Western Sydney Local Health District staff

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Hear from leading healthcare experts in Western Sydney and the patients they're treating. Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) provides healthcare to the people of western Sydney at Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt, Auburn and Cumberland hospitals.Proudly produced by WSLHD.
35 Episodes
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In this powerful episode, we are joined by Dipti Zachariah from Western Sydney Local Health District’s Multicultural Health Services and Nat, a member of her team. Dipti and Nat provide extensive support to help culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women and survivors of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) find their voice.With International Women’s Day and Harmony Day fast approaching, the pair took this opportunity to share their very personal journeys to empowerment, in the hope o...
With the COVID-19 lockdown extended through August, many causes of stress and anxiety in our lives right now are beyond our control.But there is a tool within your control that anyone can harness: mindfulness meditation.David Johnson introduced the practice to Western Sydney Local Health District staff last year to help manage the additional stress of COVID-19, and he continues his twice-daily sessions for staff online.In this episode David introduces the concept and takes us through a 15-min...
Mitch first experienced anxiety and depression as a high school student, and in the years that followed he struggled with suicidal thoughts and post-traumatic stress disorder.He is now a lived experience peer worker with the Towards Zero Suicides team at Western Sydney Local Health District, meaning he uses his own experience to help others experiencing a suicidal crisis – as he explains on the latest episode of the Western Sydney Health Check podcast.The program also features an interview wi...
We're mad about sport in western Sydney but it still might come as a surprise that there are some extremely talented athletes who work for Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).Alvina Ng always loved the Ninja Warrior franchise but never imagined she would take on the famed obstacle course known as Mt Midoriyama.The Auburn Hospital emergency doctor is now the face of the fifth Australian season, featuring on billboards around the country – all because one of the producers noticed her i...
Emma Watkins is best known as the girl with the bow in hair. The singing, dancing, drumming, Yellow Wiggle delights audiences across the globe with her dazzling warmth and energy.But what people didn’t realise was behind the scenes, Emma was in serious pain for a long time – silently suffering from a debilitating condition known as endometriosis.Endometriosis, commonly referred to as “endo”, is a common disease in which the tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb grows outside it in ...
Julia can remember looking down at her broken arm, the bone through the skin, as the propeller of the helicopter that carried her to Westmead Hospital for lifesaving surgery whirred to life.She was riding her motorcycle on Valentine’s Day when she had a head-on collision with a four-wheel-drive, destroying her bike and nearly claiming her life.Julia was the first patient transferred to the new trauma ward in Westmead Hospital’s Central Acute Services Building, a dedicated unit focused on cari...
From training with the Cronulla Sharks to lying in a hospital bed, Fine Kula’s heroic battle with brain cancer captured hearts across western Sydney, the Shire, and Australia last year.The rising NRL star was diagnosed with medulloblastoma at the start of 2020, and underwent treatment at Westmead Hospital.Fine and his oncologist Dr Vivek Bhadri join us on the latest episode of Western Sydney Health Check to share how the 21 year old beat the aggressive medulloblastoma tumour thanks to the exp...
One in four young people in Australia will suffer from some kind of mental health issue. But how do you bring up the topic with them?It’s a question many parents agonise over, and one that we tackle in our latest podcast episode of Western Sydney Health Check for NSW Youth Week.Carlie Dodds, clinical psychologist with our Prevention Early Intervention and Response Service, brings expert insight from her role working with young people experiencing severe mental health issues.“Parents often und...
Western Sydney is home to Australia’s tallest health building – the Central Acute Services Building at Westmead Hospital – and we’re celebrating its official opening in this week’s Western Sydney Health Check podcast.NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Health Minister Brad Hazzard visited on Monday 22 March to open Westmead Hospital’s new 14-storey medical tower–a $1 billion investment in western Sydney.WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy discusses what this landmark project means for our fast-gr...
Associate Professor Nirmala Pathmanathan - the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute Executive Director - delves into spotting the signs and treating breast cancer and Carol Boulous shares her story of survival.How to check for breast cancer:National Breast Cancer FoundationBreast Cancer Network AustraliaSydney Breast Cancer FoundationMcGrath FoundationFor location of clinics in greater Western Sydney, head to the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute.For more information, please visit:BreastScreen NSW...
It was a typically busy day in Westmead Hospital’s emergency department when administration officer Elizabeth Rasmussen suddenly felt severely unwell.“It was like an atomic bomb was going to go off in my head, there was just nothing like it,” she said.A quick check from a colleague revealed her blood pressure was through the roof, prompting an urgent visit to her GP and follow-up care from powerhouse Westmead Hospital cardiologist Professor Clara Chow.Elizabeth and Prof Chow both join us on t...
Despite having two heart procedures in one week, Gloria Ring is counting her blessings.We took our microphone to the bedside of the 76-year-old Northmead resident for a special podcast episode to capture the reality of a hospital stay — complete with a few interruptions from a cleaner hard at work in the bathroom!Gloria talks about what brought her into hospital, praises the care she's received from the "wonderful" staff and even compliments the "beautiful" food.She also reminisces on r...
Mention Australia to people overseas and one of the first things that comes up is our array of deadly snakes and giant spiders. But how worried should we actually be?Clinical and forensic toxicologist Professor Naren Gunja joins us on this episode to shed some light on the creepy crawlies found across Sydney.Naren talks about the death adders, brown snakes and funnel-web spiders you might encounter in Sydney, and shares tips on how to avoid getting bitten.He also explains the science behind v...
Carol Wilson never has to buy her husband Ian another Christmas gift.The doting wife gave her partner of more than 40 years the incredible gift of a kidney — just in time for Christmas for Ian, a local shopping centre Santa.Carol and Ian join us on this episode to discuss how they made the decision and the "phenomenal" care they received from Western Sydney Local Health District every step of the way.They also share some advice for any couples seeking to emulate their wonderful love story.
December 12 marked 20 years since the first nurse practitioners (NPs) were endorsed in Australia. There are now over 2,000 around the country, including more than 30 in Western Sydney Local Health District — but what exactly is an NP?Joining us to answer this question is transplant nurse practitioner Kathy Kable and sexual health nurse practitioner Donna Tilley.Kathy was the first NP at Westmead Hospital and has been the main carer for many people who have benefited from life-saving or life-e...
A landmark report in 2005 revealed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have shorter life expectancies and are more like to die in childhood, along with other gaps compared to non-Aboriginal Australians.How have we progressed in the 15 years since toward closing the gap?In this episode we speak to WSLHD Aboriginal Health Strategy director Braiden Abala and Aboriginal Mental Health clinical lead John Fetuani about the challenges and successes in Western Sydney.The pair also reflec...
Eight Australians die by suicide every day. More than twice as many Australians die by suicide each year than in car crashes. For every person who dies by suicide an additional 30 will try to take their life.This is the confronting reality that inspires the Towards Zero Suicides (TZS) project, a NSW Premier’s priority initiative to reduce the rate of suicide deaths in NSW by 20 per cent by 2023.Driving that work within Western Sydney Local Health District is Rowena Saheb, the TZS me...
When seven-year-old Deyaan Udani learned about organ donation at school, he was excited to share the news with his father Rupesh.None of them could have imagined that just months later a sudden tragedy would claim the young boy's life — and leave his parents with the heartbreaking choice to honour their son's wish and give four others a second chance at life.In this emotional episode, Rupesh shares his story and how he has since dedicated his free time to raising awareness of organ and tissue...
Do mozzies like sweeter blood? Do they transmit COVID-19? Is it only female mosquitoes that bite?These are the kinds of questions ‘Mosquito Man’ Dr Cameron Webb gets regularly, and breaks down for us on the latest episode of Western Sydney Health Check.As the weather begins to warm, Dr Webb warns that mosquito numbers will rise and provides some tips on protecting yourself from the annoying bites.He also explains why he's one of the only people to willingingly get bitten by these airborne nui...
Dementia affects close to half a million Australians. Yet despite the stigma, it is possible to enjoy a rich and active lifestyle for years after diagnosis.In this episode we speak to Geetika Dayal, whose mother has early onset dementia, and WSLHD dementia advisor Sue Tolhurst.Geetika speaks about the reality of her mother's condition and how it has been for her father to transition from partner to carer after 46 years of marriage.She also discusses the importance of looking after your own he...
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