February 25, 2017
Cherbourg senior health worker Cec “Pickle” Brown has been commended for his dedication to helping South Burnett school children achieve their full learning potential.
Pickle won the “DDHHS Vision” category of the annual Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service employee awards, announced at a ceremony in Toowoomba recently.
The DDHHS Vision category, which was contested by 12 nominees and three finalists, was awarded to Pickle for delivering excellence in rural and regional healthcare.
As the Senior Health Worker for Hearing Health at the Cherbourg Health Service, Pickle has been instrumental in improving hearing health services across the South Burnett, particularly for school-aged children.
He was nominated for the award by Health Service Manager Cherbourg Tarita Fisher, Manager Community Health Christine Stewart and Director of Nursing Cherbourg Roslyn Hansen.
Ms Fisher said Pickle was always looking for new and innovative ways to improve services across the South Burnett, engaging with communities, elders, schools and health service providers.
“Pickle started doing hearing health screening 14 years ago, targeting Aboriginal children across three schools in Cherbourg and Murgon,” Ms Fisher said.
“Through Pickle’s dedication this service has expanded to 37 schools across the South Burnett, accessible by all children who return a consent form.
“Thousands of children have had hearing health screens done during this time with many benefitting from improved hearing health as a result, increasing their ability to listen and learn in school.
“Pickle also coordinates and hosts the outreach ears, nose and throat (ENT) clinics and surgery at
the Cherbourg Hospital twice a year.
“The ENT clinic now sees about 160 people with approximately 24 operations done locally.
“Pickle’s commitment to the expansion of hearing health services across the South Burnett has decreased the need for families to travel to other facilities for minor treatment and operations.”
Pickle said it was very pleasing to be nominated by his peers and said it was a great surprise to win the award considering the calibre of his fellow nominees.
“I have seen first-hand the benefits of early detection and intervention through our hearing health screens,” he said.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is that I’ve taken children right through from pre-school to Year 12.
“If a child can’t hear, they can’t learn and once you fix their ears, you see the improvements – their attendance at school goes up and their learning abilities increase.
“Around six years ago we didn’t have one Indigenous child in Cherbourg complete Year 12 and last year we had about 16 or 18 kids finish, giving them employment opportunities and career paths.
“These children are given the chance to reach their full capacity and capability so in the long-term they are able to contribute to society instead of slipping through the cracks and ending up in trouble.”
The annual DDHHS Employee Awards program recognises employees for excellence. It is a formal reward program where nominations are received from managers and peers, with all staff eligible to take part.