25 not out: Braeside Hospital marks milestone

After celebrating their 25th anniversary, Braeside Hospital is already looking towards the future.

The hospital, which is operated by HammondCare, has cared for more than 27,000 patients since taking its first admission in November 1996. They provide palliative care, rehabilitation and older persons’ mental health to the diverse communities of south-west Sydney.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the hospital’s milestone last month, HammondCare chief executive Mike Baird said the hospital’s biggest strength was its connection to its local community, including its active Friends of Braeside group.

Locals rallied to meet a fundraising target of more than $1 million to help the new hospital open with the best facilities at its present Prairiewood site next to Fairfield Hospital – after 90 years at Petersham. There were walkathons, golf days and even a spaghetti eating competition held at Club Marconi. One Smithfield RSL fundraiser raised $40,000.

“I think Braeside shows the power that comes as we connect to the local community and get better outcomes – not just with fundraising but as a broad network of people connected to others at their time of need,” Mr Baird said.

“At 25 years we have just got started. While we celebrate this incredible legacy, I am excited about what the next 25 years holds.”

Mr Baird said a master plan in consultation with the South Western Sydney Local Health District is expected to be unveiled next year and will drive a refurbishment program of the existing buildings and examine more services. A $250,000 grant from the state government will fund a new family lounge with work to begin in the New Year.

Credit: Fairfield Champion