Kelly a Stroke Care Champion

August 08, 2014
Mt Wilga Private Hospital occupational therapist Kelly Gerrard has been recognised as the 2014 Stroke Care Champion for her outstanding dedication and commitment the field of stroke.

Passionate, dedicated and an inspiring advocate for stroke patients Ms Gerrard has been working as a neurological occupational therapist at Mt Wilga Private Hospital for around 11 years. In that time, Ms Gerrard has seen thousands of stroke patients; challenging, exciting and motivating each and every one.

National Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr Erin Lalor announced Ms Gerrard as the 2014 Stroke Care Champion at the 25th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Stroke Society of Australasia today. Dr Lalor said Ms Gerrard had shown an outstanding and ongoing dedication and commitment to improving the state of stroke.

“Kelly’s commitment to stroke is impressive, having contributed to a numerous quality improvement projects. Some of these include: developing a splinting regime, shoulder subluxation protocol, family conference forms, hemianopia glasses, adaptive telephone, writing the neurological education program for patients and carers, progressive resistance strength training protocol, spaced retrieval training, and spinal injury protocol and seating chart,’’ Dr Lalor said.

“Described by her peers as ‘a committed, enthusiastic, professional, empathetic and a human force in sometimes difficult and challenging situations’, Kelly is dedicated to improving service delivery for stroke survivors and carers.

“It has been great honour, in conjunction with the Stroke Society of Australasia, to present Kelly Gerrard the award of 2014 Stroke Care Champion and thank her for her commitment to changing the state of stroke in Australia.”

Ms Gerrard was among 15 health professionals put forward by their peers due to their commitment to improving the state of stroke in Australia. Dr Lalor said each nominee was a true champion of stroke and deserved to be commended.

The 2014 Stroke Awards recognise Australia’s unsung heroes of stroke.  Seventy-two people were nominated for an award this year across four diverse categories including; improving life after stroke, creative, fundraising and stroke care. Run in conjunction with the Stroke Society of Australasia, the Stroke Care Champion award aims to recognise formidable health professionals in the field of stroke.

The Stroke Care Champion award finalists were:

    Kelly Gerrard, Occupational Therapist, Mt Wilga Private Hospital (New South Wales)
    Anne Rodda, Stroke Nurse, Northern Health (Victoria)
    Raj Singh, Physiotherapist, Brighton Health Campus (Queensland)
    Laura King, Physiotherapist, Bankstown Hospital (New South Wales)
    Louise Kinnear, Clinical Services Coordinator for Acute Stroke Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital (South Australia)


The judging committees across categories were made up of health professionals, industry experts and media personalities. Judges were unanimous in commending all those nominated.