NSW nurse honoured with top stroke award

September 24, 2019

New South Wales nurse Sandra Lever has been recognised for her extraordinary long-term dedication and commitment to stroke, winning the Stroke Foundation and Stroke Society of Australasia (SSA) 2019 Stroke Care Champion Award. 

Working at the Graythwaite Rehabilitation Centre at Ryde Hospital, the Clinical Nurse Consultant has dedicated her working life to supporting survivors to live well after stroke. This includes recognising stroke recovery extends well beyond learning to walk and talk again. Sandra has a particular interest in patient relationships and intimacy after stroke. 

Ms Lever said it was a great honour to receive the award, which was presented by former Governor-General of Australia and Stroke Foundation Ambassador the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC(Mil) CVO MC (Retd) at a special event at Federal Parliament House as part of Stroke 2019: New frontiers in Stroke Conference.

“I am so fortunate to love the work that I do and being recognised with this award inspires me to continue working towards making a positive difference in stroke rehabilitation care,” Ms Lever said.

“I know that this would not have been possible without the support of the many people I work with who are also passionate and enthusiastic about improving the lives of stroke survivors.”

In being nominated for the award, Ms Lever was described as someone who was a strong advocate for stroke survivors and dedicated to driving improvements in stroke rehabilitation at a local, state and national level. A clinician, researcher and teacher, Ms Lever is known for her passion and enthusiasm to empower others to deliver best practice, evidence-based care.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan congratulated Ms Lever on her achievement.

“Thank you to Ms Lever for her enormous commitment to improving outcomes for stroke survivors and reducing the burden of stroke,’’ Ms McGowan said.

“With almost 160,000 stroke survivors already living in the New South Wales community and more Australians surviving stroke than ever before, we need champions like Ms Lever to lead the way in stroke care.  

“Stroke is a devastating disease which attacks the brain and changes lives in an instant, but it can be treated and it can be beaten – there is life after stroke.”

There were around 20 nominations for 2019 Stroke Care Champion Award. Nominees included neurologists, stroke nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists and researchers, with three named as finalists

Sir Peter Cosgrove winner Sandra Lever and Stroke Foundation CEO Sharon McGowan