August 25 - 31, 2019: Issue 418


The New Mona Vale Hospital Kiosk Is Open For Business: + Some Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary AGM 2019 Updates 

In the New MVH Kiosk on Friday, August 23rd, 2019 - Left to right: Pauline Wells, Jenny Parker, Carol Ingleby, Jim Parker, Vivien Wadley, Michele Moore, Pooja Punia, Waveney Perman, Val Wallis, John Saunders, The Hon. Rob Stokes MP for Pittwater, Yvonne Parsons, Bev Pretti, Robyn Cole. Photo by Michael Mannington, Community Photography.
On Friday March 23rd a catch up with members of the Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary provided an insight into the hard work the volunteers are still doing.

Earlier this month the Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary held their 2019 Annual General Meeting during which Yvonne Parsons was returned as President.

In her report for the 2018/2019 AGM the president spoke about the changes to health in our area impacting on the Auxiliary in loss of memberships and long standing benefactors deciding to support other organisations. Thankfully the local group of volunteers still has a strong nucleus of members and has attracted new members as well. 

The Auxiliary has continued to run the kiosk, hold stalls and do sausage sizzles as well as stalls in Avalon for Mothers and Father's Day, a Christmas pop up shop in Pittwater Place, and have held two election day stalls at Mona Vale and also continued to provide weekly High Tea for rehabilitation patients.

The President also took the opportunity to thank the volunteers in the MVHA who had done so much over the past year, including; Waveney Perman for her support and many hours of work as honorary secretary, Robyn Cole for her support and role as honorary treasurer and Jim Parker, MVHA's honorary assistant treasurer, as well as auditor, Peter Lever.

Thanks also went to Gail Carew and Velinda Winter, the honorary Vice presidents. Gail has been a great sounding board for discuss problems and coming up with new ideas, as well as liaising with the hospital on its needs list.

Velinda is unfortunately stepping down due to family commitments.

There are also other auxiliary members who've volunteered many hours throughout the year who deserve a special mention:

Lyn Smith who organises the monthly stall and Christmas pop up shop at Pittwater place and liaises superbly with the management there ensuring their ongoing support. Maureen Hillier as organiser of the monthly sausage sizzle and election day stalls and transport officer for all our stalls. Special thanks also went to Maureen's family for supplying and erecting the gazebo for the election day stalls.

Wendy Elliot, Kay Tomsett and Carol Georgeson for looking after our Global storage room this is a big job as this includes packing items for every stall, cataloguing and keeping members informed of what is required. Wendy also assists with transport and all three always volunteer for stall duty.

Carolyn Butcher, the Welfare officer who takes time to visit, call or send cards to members with health or other issues.

Colette Campbell who creates magnificent quilts, children's dresses and No plastic shopping bags and all the wonderful knitters, crocheters, sewers and cooks who regularly create masterpieces for our stalls.

The kiosk committee: Ros Douch, Committee chair who unfortunately resigned in December, Bev Pretti, Val Wallis, Pat Noble, Pauline Wells, Michelle Moore and newly appointed Wendy Elliot, who are all regular kiosk volunteers together with Waveney, Robyn, Patricia, Eileen and the President herself.

Last but not least past President Eileen Gordon who has been publicity officer since stepping down as President. Eileen has worked tirelessly for the auxiliary for many, many years raising the Auxiliary's profile and promoting the needs of the hospital throughout the community resulting in many donations. Unfortunately Eileen has decided to step down as publicity officer. 

The President also thanked the MVHA's benefactors; the Peninsula Bridge Club, Mona Vale Garden Club, Bayview Golf Club and the many anonymous members of our community for their generous donations. Also mentioned were Global storage Mona Vale for their generous donation of storage space, Pittwater Place Shopping Centre for their generous support of the monthly stall and Christmas pop-up shop and many thanks were given to the many members of our community who regularly donate items for the volunteers to sell.

When the hospital tower closed the Auxiliary lost around two thirds of their customer base causing a significant drop in sales through the kiosk. It was agreed to reduce the manager's hours and opening times until the Auxiliary settled into the new premises that NSW Health were refurbishing. 

One outcome of this decision was a change in kiosk manager. Leonie Royle, who was manager for over 3 years left in December. Leonie was extremely enthusiastic about the kiosk and the Auxiliary and was always thinking of new ways of improving sales and productivity. She introduced proper coffee with a Cafe machine, the electronic till and the chip machine that was such a big hit. She was involved with the High Tea and Breakfast Club in the rehabilitation unit and also volunteered with the monthly sausage sizzle. 

A new manager, Pooja Punia, commenced in January and has settled in very well. Pooja has great enthusiasm and determination to build the kiosk business.

Business remained slow while the Auxiliary waited for new premises and they were also under-going product changes due to the implementation of the second stage of the Healthy Food Options that NSW Health has instigated for all food outlets in NSW Health facilities to address the increasing rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. 

The first stage saw the removal of sugary drinks with no nutritional value and the second stage brought in the 75-25 rule whereby food offered had to comprise 75% healthy options and 25% non-healthy options that were also under strict size control.

The Auxiliary finally moved in June and are very grateful to NSW Health for providing such a lovely, bright clean and welcoming premises. Since the move Pooja has initiated improvement in coffee quality with a change in the coffee provider and machine and barista training for all interested kiosk volunteers - feedback has been very positive. Together with other initiates including local advertising, menu changes and loyalty cards for staff the kiosk future looks much more promising.

Pooja Punia

The Treasurers AGM report showed the funds raised by the Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary that had been donated to Mona Vale Hospital. Last year the Auxiliary funded 84 thousand dollars worth of equipment and upgrades at the hospital and this year the report shows that has been topped by 111 thousand dollars for works that included Acute Rehabilitation Unit (ARU)/Hydrotherapy Pool Refurbishment ($56, 810) encompassing; Work completed to Cleaner's Room, Work completed to Staff Bathroom, Work completed to Female Toilet & Shower, Work completed to Male Toilet & Shower and Work completed to 5 Showers.

Another ARU Refurbishment (15,160) was for a New Partition wall to the gym area and the refurbishment of the Gym area bathroom.

Further ARU Refurbishment works were; New Cleaning Cupboard and Sink Unit (3,330) Tiling of existing Balcony and Ramp of ARU (27,985) and Additional work to Balcony Area of ARU (7,700).

The Auxiliary also did, of course, what it is well known for in providing High Tea and Breakfasts - as mentioned above.

In September 2018 MP for Pittwater Rob Stokes announced a new purpose-built kiosk would be constructed at the hospital as part of the introduction of the new Urgent Care Centre. The hospital’s kiosk was to be relocated into a modern, purpose built space with convenient access at the front of the hospital.

“The Auxiliary’s kiosk has long played a central role within the hospital community,” Rob Stokes said then.

“The kiosk is an important meeting point, social space and convenient service for staff, patients and visitors.

“The Auxiliary volunteers do an incredible job on behalf of our community – so it’s fantastic they’ll have a new kiosk as part of the upcoming infrastructure works.

Mona Vale Hospital continues to provide a range of existing and new health services including: 24/7 Urgent Care, radiology, pathology, pharmacy, inpatient rehabilitation and assessment, inpatient palliative care, inpatient geriatric evaluation and management, outpatient palliative care, adult and child dental surgery, hydrotherapy, paediatric occupational therapy, paediatric speech pathology, paediatric physiotherapy, adult, youth and child mental health, adult musculoskeletal physiotherapy, acute post-acute care, a podiatry clinic, diabetes clinic, community drug and alcohol services, early childhood services, community nursing service, chronic disease community rehabilitation services, carer support services, community aged care/rehabilitation service, continence service, dietetics, outreach maternity antenatal clinic and cardiac rehabilitation.

Other infrastructure projects completed at Mona Vale Hospital in recent years include the Community Health Service Building in 2016, the Beachside Rehabilitation Unit in 2014 and the expansion of the Palliative Care Outpatient Unit in 2013.

In May 2019 the Friends of Northern Beaches Palliative Care were thrilled as the new Inpatient Palliative Care unit build got underway.

This week Mr. Stokes visited the new kiosk premises.

''The Auxiliary do an amazing job and it’s fantastic they’ve now got a brand new kiosk.'' Rob said

“There’s almost 400 staff employed at Mona Vale Hospital plus patients, visitors and multiple construction crews working on the new hospital buildings – so there’s plenty of activity.

“The kiosk’s new position at the front of the hospital campus means it’s now even more accessible.

“Proceeds are reinvested back into the hospital by the Auxiliary – so it’s a great place to grab a coffee.''

As can be read above, that new kiosk is now open!

The MVHA's members say:

''Come and taste our new blend of coffee, freshly brewed on-site. Bring a mate along to buy 1 and get 2nd coffee free. Choose from hot and cold drinks, ice creams, hot pies and rolls to fresh wraps and sandwiches.  Address 18 Coronation Street (next to Urgent Care) Mona Vale Hospital. Opening hours 8.30 – 3pm Monday to Saturday.  All proceeds will go towards the hospital.''

Pittwater Online's photographer, who states the coffees are delicious and the cake superb (he's wondering if he can it home delivered!) gives it the big thumbs up, and he knows a good coffee when he tastes one!

The MVHA would also like everyone to know they are holding their annual Father's Day stall this coming Friday - details:

Fathers Day stall at Avalon Parade, Avalon(near ANZ Bank):  August 30th 9am-3pm selling knitting, sewing craft, jams etc.

If you would like to get involved in the great work the Mona vale Hospital Auxiliary does for our community please visit: and get in contact with them.

Photographs by Michael Mannington of Community Photography, report by A J Guesdon, 2019