A new Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse has been appointed in Goulburn to support people living with Parkinson’s in the Goulburn, Yass and Crookwell areas.
Nurse Lauren Hogan is a Goulburn local who has spent 13 years working at Goulburn Base Hospital – nine of which have been as a Registered Nurse. Her most recent role was Clinical Nurse Educator on the surgical ward. She has also had experience in nursing, assessment and planning for Parkinson’s patients, reduction in falls causing serious injury, working in multidisciplinary teams, and infection control.
Lauren’s appointment was made possible by years of fundraising by the Goulburn Support Group, and the support of loyal local donors including the Goulburn Workers Club and Goulburn Invitational. Both organisations also made additional surprise donations during the announcement event for the nurse position. Ganter Constructions has also been extremely generous but its representatives were unable to be present on the day.
“We are extremely excited to see our hard work come to fruition, this has been our dream for over 10 years. The support of the local community, our family and friends who all had faith in our dreams has made this all possible,” said Gill O’Connor of the Goulburn Support Group.
“Lauren will make an immense difference in the lives of all those living with Parkinson’s in our community – not just for our Support Group participants but for all people living with this disease, their caregivers, and families in our region.
“It’s a great outcome for us all. It has been so wonderful to have people stop us in the street to congratulate us – news has spread!” said Gill.
Announcing the new role, Parkinson’s NSW CEO Jo-Anne Reeves said the Local Health District-based Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse model had already been proven to deliver benefits for people living with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.
“This model permits the Specialist Nurses to work across a number of settings including hospitals, clinics, patient’s homes and Aged Care facilities,” she said. “There is also evidence that this model of care helps to reduce the sense of isolation many people with Parkinson’s experience, along with the high rates of depression and anxiety associated with the disease.”
“Where communities have access to a Specialist Nurse, carers and family members also show significant improvements in their own well-being, with reduced levels of depression,” she said.
Parkinson’s NSW, in partnership with Local Health Districts in NSW, now co-manages neurological nurse positions in five regional areas – Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Shoalhaven, Tweed and Goulburn. A sixth position is based at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital in Sydney.