UNITINGCARE QUEENSLAND Chief Executive Officer, Anne Cross has extended her overwhelming thanks to the people of Queensland for their support of its services Blue Care; Lifeline Community Care and UnitingCare Health during the recent flood crisis.
“I am extremely proud and grateful to all our staff and volunteers who worked so tirelessly to provide care to our clients, residents and patients and to ensure their safety and continuity of care,” Anne Cross said.
“Many suffered personal losses, yet they worked in extremely difficult circumstances throughout this prolonged disaster to ensure care was maintained to those who rely on us.”
UnitingCare Queensland is one of the largest non-profit health and community service providers in the state, with over 15,000 staff and 8500 volunteers delivering services to over 14,000 people every day of the year.
It provides these services through its key agencies including Blue Care, Lifeline Community Care Queensland, and UnitingCare Health (which includes The Wesley and St Andrew’s hospitals in Brisbane and The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital in Buderim, as well as St Stephen’s Hospitals in Maryborough and Hervey Bay).
Ms Cross said the flood crisis presented many challenges for UnitingCare Queensland’s service agencies and there were many examples of staff going the extra mile to support each other, people in their care and others in the community.
“Our staff members did whatever they could, whether it was using Blue Care’s laundry facilities to wash the clothes of people in evacuation centres; working extra shifts; evacuating 30 people with disabilities from their homes or staying at various facilities for several days when some employees were unable to get to work,” she said.
Lifeline Community Care also has deployed trained staff and volunteers into community recovery centres throughout the state, providing support and psychological first aid in every location where there is severe flooding.
The community recovery program is specifically designed to provide support to individuals and communities affected by disasters or events, to those affected and overwhelmed by the experience.
The program aims to make an immediate impact on the trauma and stress experienced by communities by providing counselling, as well as spearheading longer term recovery through a coordinated approach to rebuilding or re-establishing key community networks and support structures.
“We currently have 95 staff deployed in dozens of centres across the state, providing psychological first aid”, Ms Cross said.
“As the recovery and clean up continues our thoughts remain with those who have suffered loss or hardship during the floods and we are offering whatever support we can.
We will continue with this support over the longer-term as we know that the recovery from the loss and trauma will not occur over night,” Ms Cross said.