The Cheryl Burman Award is an annual recognition by Hepatitis NSW that acknowledges outstanding commitments, by individuals or organisations, towards improving the life of people living with viral hepatitis.
The award itself is named after Cheryl Burman (left), who was a former Board member and President of the Hepatitis C Council of NSW (now Hepatitis NSW). Sadly she died in 2011 after a long and arduous struggle with hepatitis C related liver disease.
Here are all winners since the Award’s inception in 2013.
- 2013 – Gary Gahan
- 2014 – Vince Fragomeli, with Specialised Nursing Unit
- 2015 – Professor Carla Treloar
- 2016 – Janice Pritchard-Jones
- 2017 – Dr Alice Lee
- 2018 – Gail Snelgar
- 2019 – Bev Tyson
- 2020 – Professor Bob Batey
- 2021 – Sinead Sheils
- 2022 – Hee-Sook Kim
2013 (Inaugural) Winner
Gary Gahan [Coordinator, HARP, South East Sydney LHD] Gary had shown exceptional leadership, particularly in the hep C response in NSW, since 2001 when he entered the viral hepatitis workforce as a project officer within the ground-breaking, Commonwealth-funded HepCare co-ordinated care trial in the Northern Sydney and Central Coast Area Health Services.
Since then, Gary has been and remains at the cutting edge of viral hepatitis health promotion services in NSW.
Vince Fragomeli, with Specialised Nursing Unit [Nepean Hospital] The liver clinic at Nepean is highly regarded for its treatment of viral hepatitis. Clinical nurse consultant Vince Fragomelli and his team were honoured for their work in caring for those with hepatitis C.
They were using a nursing-led model where patients were primarily cared for by the nursing staff. Vince had two nurses working with him and there were satellite clinics at Blue Mountains and Lithgow hospitals. There are also had clinics within the methadone clinic at Nepean and the needle and syringe exchange at the hospital.
A nursing model of care facilitates rapid assessment and initiation of treatment for patients living with viral hepatitis, and a reminder that this was still during the interferon days. Clinical trials being carried out at the site gave patients access to state-of-the-art therapies that they otherwise might not have been able to access.
Professor Carla Treloar [CSRH, University of NSW] Professor Treloar has worked tirelessly to combat the devastating effects of the hepatitis C virus, by better understanding the experiences of those people at risk of contracting hepatitis C and of those people living with the virus through the lens of social research.
Employing a range of methods across the fields of social psychology and public health, Carla’s work emphasises the ‘social’ aspects of living with the virus.
Janice Pritchard-Jones [Royal Prince Alfred Hospital] Janice was chosen for the significant impact of her work to implement health pathways for easier access to new DAA treatment for patients, and to provide education sessions for hepatology nurses and GPs to build treatment capacity. She played a significant role in developing and promoting hepatitis nursing as a specialist area.
Dr Alice Lee [Hep B Free and Concord Hospital] Alice is a gastroenterologist and hepatologist, clinical associate professor at Macquarie University and, at the time of the award, lead the liver services at Concord and Canterbury Hospitals.
She was a founder of the Hepatitis B Free charity which started in 2013. Hepatitis B Free initially worked in remote Papua New Guinea, where volunteer health workers traveled on foot to vaccinate and provide basic health clinics for tribal villages. They continued addressing the huge unmet need of hep B in other resource-poor areas, including North Korea. Alice was instrumental in bringing hep B awareness in the Asia Pacific region into the light.
Alice initiated a hep B virus screening program in NSW in 2014 using the Standard Diagnostics point of care rapid finger prick test, working with the Korean, Burmese, Chinese, Assyrian, Lebanese and Aboriginal communities in NSW.
Gail Snelgar [Dubbo Community Health Liver Clinic] Gail is a Registered Nurse at the Dubbo Community Health Liver Clinic where she has led the development of hepatitis services in Western NSW.
She has fostered hepatitis programs that have provided essential access to both Aboriginal and non-Indigenous people across very different settings and forged new partnerships, provided education and developed much needed services in many areas across Western NSW.
Gail has used technology to provide outreach and support throughout her region which covers a vast area and has some of the most remote communities in NSW.
Bev Tyson [Dubbo Sexual Health Service] Bev works at the Dubbo Community Health Liver Clinic where she has led the development of hepatitis services in Western NSW.
Bev is a committed, highly respected advocate, community leader and clinician. Bev (pictured right (with Margie Crowley, left)) has led and developed the Dubbo Sexual Health Service into a high performing team, delivering outcomes through clinical excellence and innovative services to at-risk communities across a large catchment area. She has attained specialist competencies and used these to pursue extensive and wide-ranging partnerships in health promotion and clinical services that extend the role and reach of her work.
Professor Bob Batey
Professor Batey received the award in recognition of his long and distinguished career of service to communities affected by viral hepatitis – through research, clinical excellence, prioritising patient needs, and advocacy. The Award also recognises his commitment to making treatment accessible to all affected communities, whether in custodial settings, regional, rural, or remote locations through the development of local treatment and care services.
Professor Batey trained at Sydney Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and the Royal Free Hospital in London. This training was the start of a fifty years plus career which has included internal medicine, gastroenterology, hepatology, and substance dependency medicine. He has held numerous prominent positions within the hepatology sector, providing clinical guidance and expertise in frontline clinical roles as well as policy development and leadership positions at a state and national level.
Sinead Sheils, is a hepatology Nurse Practitioner with Sydney Local Health District. The Cheryl Burman Award recognised Sinead for her substantial contribution to improving the quality of life of people living with viral hepatitis. Sinead’s clinical approach has resulted in great, positives outcomes for all stakeholders, including clients. As a Hepatology Nurse Practitioner at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, she has built workforce capacity and initiated evidence-based best practice. Central to Sinead’s successes is her passion for working within a social justice and equitable framework. Her passion and commitment for bettering the health outcomes for those most vulnerable has been longstanding.
Our most recent recipient, Heesook Kim, is a lived experience community activist. The Cheryl Burman Award recognised Heesook Kim for her substantial contribution to improving the quality of life of people living with viral hepatitis. Heesook Kim has shared her lifelong story of living with hepatitis B with the local Korean community and the people of New South Wales. In sharing her personal story in the face of potential stigma and discrimination – which is all too commonly associated with hepatitis B – Heesook has earned the greatest of respect of many people in the sector. In this she has become an inspiration for others living with hepatitis B and has contributed to supporting Korean people living with hepatitis B.