Stephen has been a drug and alcohol nurse for the last 22 years, the last 13 years as a Nurse Practitioner. He has practiced predominantly in consultation liaison drug and alcohol work at John Hunter Hospital but holds a nurse led opioid prescribing clinic one half day a week at Newcastle Pharmacotherapy Unit. He also holds a conjoint teaching position with the University of Newcastle.
In his acceptance speech Stephen said…
“It is wonderful that APSAD has chosen to acknowledge workers in the field in this way and the society should be congratulated for this.
It has been said before, but no-one walks their path alone. As a result of this truism I need to thank many people in winning the 2017 APSAD Clinician of the Year.
Thanks to Tony Gill, President of APSAD for all your mentoring over the years, it has been invaluable. And, thanks to Adrian Dunlop for nominating me for the award and for his support since he started working with me just over 10 years ago.
I should thank my family, my wife Tina and children Yasmin and Callum.
I’d like to thank Liz Robson, Fran Campbell and Aidan Foy who first took a chance on a very green nurse who really knew very little about drug and alcohol work and provided him with an opportunity.
Thank you to Bob Batey who has always been prepared to offer his advice and to debate contentious issues, Alan White, Andrew Taylor, Tim Hennessy and Maree Bertram who, along with Aidan Foy provided me with a clinical education.
Thanks to Amanda Baker for her support during my post-graduate work and to Sue-Ellen Mckay for her support during my efforts to become a Nurse Practitioner.
Thanks to my collaborators on published work, Janette Curtis and Renee Brighton and to the leads on other pieces of work over the years Nick Lintzaris, Julie Latimer and Suzie Nielson .
This is the fourth APSAD Clinician of the Year award and the third consecutive year a nurse has won the award. I think this is testament to the strength of nurses in the drug and alcohol sector throughout the Australasian region. But, at the same time, there is good work being done by members from other disciplines, our medical colleagues, pharmacists, psychologists, drug and alcohol workers and administration staff, many of whom are performing within their roles despite adversity and with limited funding and resources and they must not be forgotten.
Finally my thanks to the patients and staff of Newcastle Pharmacotherapy Unit and to the patients and staff who have rotated through the John Hunter Hospital Consultation Liaison Service over the last 22 years.”