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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Hornsby honours award-winning dementia doctor

Hornsby Shire Council has acknowledged the invaluable contribution of local resident, Professor Susan Kurrle MD PhD, who has been working alongside Council to have the Shire recognised as a Dementia Friendly Community.

Professor Kurrle (pictured) was recently announced as the recipient of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) 2022 Sidney Sax medal.

Reading a Mayoral Minute, Hornsby Shire Mayor, Philipp Ruddock, spoke of Professor Kurrle’s impact across the Shire, which has a significant population of older people and rising rates of dementia.

“Congratulations and thank-you to Professor Kurrle who has played a key role in developing services for the older residents of Hornsby Shire,” said Mayor Ruddock.

“In her capacity as Co-Chair of the Northern Sydney Dementia Collaborative, she worked alongside Council in having Hornsby recognised as a Dementia Friendly Community. She has provided her support through presentations regarding dementia support and healthy ageing and raising dementia awareness at a range of Council events and activities.

“Most recently, she spoke at the Launch of the Hornsby Village Hub, a collaboration between Council and the Sydney North Public Health Network together with a range of community partners and supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Social Services through their ‘Seniors Connected Program’.”

Professor Kurrle is Curran Professor in Health Care of Older People at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, and a practicing geriatrician for the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD), specialising in the areas of dementia, frailty, elder abuse, successful ageing and intergenerational care. She is also the expert geriatrician leading the work on the internationally award-winning ABC TV documentary series ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’.

The Sidney Sax medal is awarded annually by the AHHA to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of health services policy, organisation, delivery and research. It awards outstanding achievements in and contributions to the development and improvement of the Australian healthcare system.

AHHA Board Chair, Jillian Skinner, paid tribute to Professor Kurrle when announcing her award.

“Her work across professional groups, and in using an inter-generational and educative approach, has been of great benefit to older people, their families and the Australian health system as a whole,” said Ms Skinner.

At the Council meeting, Councillor Janelle McIntosh acknowledged Professor Kurrle’s contribution to the development of Council’s draft Healthy Ageing Strategy.

Adopted in September, the Strategy is on public exhibition until 7 November. Produced following extensive community consultation, it is centred around four key focus areas: living in age-friendly environments; participating in inclusive communities; staying safe, active, and healthy; and being resilient and informed.

For more information, including a video of a webinar by Professor Kurrle, visit  https://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/dementia.

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