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Sarah Morriss awarded Jeff Wassertheil Medal for Excellence in Emergency Medicine

Sarah Morriss is a caring and supportive colleague who puts patients at the front of everything she does, according to Dr Shyaman Menon, Emergency Department Clinical Director.

On 28 January Sarah, Associate Nurse Unit Manager, was awarded the twelfth Jeff Wassertheil Medal for Excellence in Emergency Medicine.

“Sarah has contributed to many aspects of the care and service we provide in the twenty years she has worked in the emergency team and I was not surprised that she received multiple nominations for this award,” said Shyaman.

“Sarah’s willingness to develop others and her leadership of part of the Quality Portfolio and Clinical Practice Guidelines demonstrates a commitment to excellence that this medal represents.”

Sarah was delighted to accept the award on her birthday. “I feel privileged to accept this award. I love the people I work with and who lead me and they make it easy to come to work.”

It commemorates former Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine at Peninsula Health, Associate Professor Jeff Wassertheil, and his leadership and contribution to emergency medicine, prior to his passing in September 2008.

Dr Mohan Kamalanathan worked with Jeff and was a recipient of the medal in 2009.

“I was honoured to work as Jeff’s registrar. He was a staunch advocate of excellence in emergency medicine who believed in the principles of support, care and academia. He was highly respected for his ability to develop the expertise of those around him,” said Dr Kamalanathan.

Jeff’s wife Correne Wassertheil attended the ceremony and spoke of Jeff’s legacy as public access to defibrillation ensuring greater community safety. His research identified higher survival rates following a heart attack with greater access to defibrillation, particularly evident at the MCG, earning him the coveted John Gilroy Potts Research Award in 2000 and leading to the widespread introduction of defibrillation.

Congratulations Sarah on being recognised for your outstanding contribution to Emergency Medicine.