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NSW optometrist who saved child from brain haemorrhage awarded Dame Mary Perkins Medal

Dame Mary Perkins Medal

Specsavers co-founder Dame Mary Perkins made a special appearance to congratulate the first ever Australian and New Zealand recipients of a medal named in her honour recognising outstanding patient care.

The 2021 winners of the Dame Mary Perkins Medal for Outstanding Patient Care were announced at a SCC live event in Brisbane where she acknowledged the contributions of Ms Mariella Coluccio from Specsavers Bankstown, New South Wales, and Ms Celeste Raisbeck from Specsavers Rotoura in New Zealand.

Coluccio was recognised for her persistence in following through with a three-year-old child with severe swollen optic nerves but was discharged from the hospital with severe fever and nausea.

With the child’s parents speaking limited English, she persisted on contacting the hospital until the child was taken into emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage.

Raisbeck’s outreach work earned her the New Zealand award. She was involved in providing an ocular health screening program to Murupara, a small Maori community in Rotorua that would not have had access to eyecare.

More than 100 people in the community were screened with 38 pairs of free hobby glasses provided. It was her sixth outreach to the community.

While the Specsavers Doug Perkins Medal recognises consistently high standards of clinical excellence for partners and their teams, the Dame Mary Perkins award recognises exceptional acts of patient care in 2021 — going above and beyond in one or more of the following categories:

  • customer service
  • clinical care
  • clinical leadership
  • or teamwork to benefit patient care

Unlike the Doug Perkins award, based on clinical data, the Dame Mary Perkins award considers nominations within the Specsavers network. Individuals, teams or stores are eligible, including retail and optometry team members, as well as partners.

Dame Mary congratulated all finalists and everyone across ANZ, acknowledging what they had achieved even during adversity.

“A huge thank you to all the staff, teams, partners and individuals who have collectively made such an impact in Australia and New Zealand over the past 12 months, especially during these challenging times. Well done, all of you,” she said.

The Dame Mary Perkins Medal will now be a permanent fixture on the SCC calendar every year.

More infromation and a video of Dame Mary Perkins announcing the winners can be found here.

More reading

Specsavers ANZ introduces Dame Mary Perkins Medal

Specsavers unveils Doug Perkins Award finalists