Home Hospice Pioneer Wins AMA Award

27 May 2000

The pioneer of the HOME Hospice program, Dr Helen-Anne Manion has won this year's AMA award for the Best Individual Contribution to Healthcare in Australia.

Dr Manion set up the program in the Sutherland Shire in New South Wales in 1993 as a pilot program and run as a non-profit organisation and registered charity. The program assists member of the community to fulfil their dying loved ones wishes to remain at home in the terminal stages of their diseases and to die at home.

For the past seven years Dr Manion has worked for this project, not only managing the program in the Sutherland Shire, but also developing and promoting the concept beyond the shire to other Sydney communities and to country areas.

Unfunded, apart from some assistance from the Sutherland Shire and Rotary, HOME Hospice hopes to expand into other states and territories in the coming years.

"I owe much to those patients who taught me that dying people can live life so fully until they die. These patients drew my attention to the fact that they, by nature, needed, as we all do, to be where they belong especially at such a time. That place is home," Dr Manion said.

In recent years Dr Manion has been named Sutherland Shire Council's 1998 Citizen of the Year. In November 1999 she was awarded the New South Wales Council of Professions 1999 Award for Outstanding Professional Service. She is a Foundation Fellow of the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine.

The AMA award was announced at its National Conference in Canberra by outgoing Federal President, Dr David Brand.

"Palliative care is an area of medicine that needs a special type of person and Dr Manion is one of these exceptional people and I'm sure the families of her patients will agree that she is very deserving of this award," Dr Brand said.

"The AMA is please to be able to publicly recognise Dr Manions incredible personal contribution to healthcare," Dr Brand said.

Dr Manion was presented with her award on Saturday evening at the National Conference Gala Dinner held at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra.

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