Celebrating 10 years and 11,300 patients at the Peel Health Campus kids wing
Sep 04, 2020
The Ralph and Patricia Sarich Paediatric Wing at Peel Health Campus celebrated 10 years of operation this month with a morning tea to mark the anniversary of the first patient admission.
PHC chief executive Andrew Tome said since the 12-bed wing opened in 2010, more than 11,300 children and young people mostly from Peel-Murray had been cared for at the facility.
“Having a dedicated space to care for children and young people is critical to their recovery and supporting local families,” Mr Tome said.
The Wing is a uniquely Peel-Murray success story: It was paid for through a record-breaking fundraising campaign by the Peel Health Foundation, which raised about $4 million.The Foundation attracted substantial donations from the State and Commonwealth Governments and high profile WA philanthropists Ralph and Patricia Sarich, after whom the wing was named. Burns specialist Professor Fiona Wood was patron of the Foundation, and cricket legend Justin Langer was the Foundation’s ambassador.
“I would like to thank every person who put their hand in their pockets and donated to this remarkable achievement, and all the volunteers who dedicated their time to the Peel Health Foundation’s efforts,” Mr Tome said.
“Whether it was $5 or $500,000, attendance at a fundraiser or shaking tins, it showed the true community spirit of our region. The outcome is a special place just for kids to receive appropriate care when they’re not well - I don’t think we can put a price on that.”
The legacy of the Peel Health Foundation has continued to support access to health care in the region, contributing $250,000 to the Peel Youth Health Hub and remaining funds were donated to the Curtin Foundation to establish a multidisciplinary Curtin Clinical School at the PHC precinct in the future. The Foundation was voluntarily deregistered in 2017.
The interest earned on the $1.25 million donated to the Curtin Foundation has provided a total of 13 individual scholarships to students from Peel to study health care professions.
Former Peel Health Foundation Chairman Ann Fletcher said the 10-year anniversary was testament to the hard work and dedication of all those who put time and effort into the project.
“The Ralph and Patricia Sarich Paediatric Wing truly belongs to the people of Peel-Murray. They worked for it, fundraised for it and now it has been caring for local children and young people for a decade. We couldn’t be prouder.”
Mr Tome and Ms Fletcher paid tribute to founding Chairman of the Foundation Arthur Marshall, who spearheaded the fundraising campaign.
“Arthur was instrumental to bringing attention to the growing number of children and families in Peel and highlighting how important it was to have a dedicated health
service for them,” Ms Fletcher said.
Mr Marshall set up the Foundation upon his retirement from politics in 2005. He passed away in 2018 at the age of 83.
Former PHC Sarich Wing patient and aspiring cricketer Teague Wyllie (17), who was one of the first patients admitted to the wing when it opened in 2010, Chief Executive Officer of Peel Health Campus Andrew Tome, and Chair of the former Peel Health Foundation Ann Fletcher.