Hepatitis NSW is delighted to announce that Professor Robert (Bob) Batey is the 2020 winner of our Annual Cheryl Burman Award, which acknowledges outstanding work or achievements by an individual or team in NSW within the viral hepatitis sector.
Hepatitis NSW CEO Steven Drew said, “The Cheryl Burman Award this year recognises Professor Batey’s distinguished career of service to communities affected by viral hepatitis through research, clinical excellence, prioritising patient needs and advocacy.”
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.
Mr Drew said, “As an advocate for the affected hepatitis C community, Professor Batey was a member of the group of clinicians who lobbied the Federal Government to ensure equitable access to treatment.” The first subsidised treatment for hepatitis C – Interferon – was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in 1994 and was placed under the management of Professor Batey and the National Interferon Database.
“Collaborating with Hepatitis NSW in 1995, he devoted many hours and much energy to provide education to the public, dispelling myths and reducing stigma and discrimination experienced by the affected community,” said Mr Drew.
He was the first Visiting Medical Officer to provide hepatitis C treatment and care services in NSW custodial settings, treating his first patient in 1996.
Professor Batey visited many regional and rural locations within NSW to assist in the education of staff, leading to the development and commencement in hepatitis C treatment and care services in places such as Coffs Harbour, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, and Lismore. He has also supported the southern part of the state, providing Visiting Medical Officer clinics to Wagga Wagga, Albury, and Nowra.
In 2002, Professor Batey was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for services to Medicine in the field of hepatitis C, medical education, and research.
Mr Drew said, “Professor Bob Batey has always put the needs of the patient and the affected community as the priority, to ensure their needs are not only heard but addressed.”
“The outstanding work being done by individuals across NSW to improve health outcomes for people living with and affected by hepatitis B and hepatitis C is inspiring,” said Mr Drew. “This is demonstrated by the calibre of the of our other finalists, Sinead Sheils and Bill Lenane.”
Sinead Sheils was nominated for her substantial contribution to improving the quality of life of people living with viral hepatitis. Her clinical approach has ensured great outcomes for all stakeholders, including clients. As a Hepatology Nurse Practitioner at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Ms Sheils has built workforce capacity and initiated evidence-based best practice.
Bill Lenane was nominated for his long standing and ongoing commitment, and efforts in community advocacy and representation. As an Illawarra based volunteer with lived experience of hepatitis C, Mr Lenane has worked to increase the profile and voice of people in that region with lived experience of hepatitis C.
Mr Drew said, “Hepatitis NSW congratulates Bob, as well as finalists Sinead and Bill, and thanks all nominees for this year’s award. Once again, all nominees for this year’s award demonstrated strong leadership and initiative in the sector.”
Published 26 November, 2020
For a list of previous Chery Burman Award Recipients>>>CLICK HERE