Case Manager Recognised as SA’s Best
Helen van As, Case Manager at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, was recently named the 2016 National Public Sector Case Manager of the Year. The Awards Ceremony took place at the National Public Sector Case Management Conference in Port Elizabeth on 18 August 2016.
The recipient of the annual award is an individual whose notable contributions and exceptional dedication have provided a positive vision for the future of Case Management, a relatively new and developing role in the South African healthcare market.
The award is presented to a Case Manager within the Public Sector who is judged to have demonstrated excellence in their profession, made a positive impact on patients, possess a passion for service to patients, provide leadership in their organisation and creatively solve problems and address barriers to patient care.
Case Management is made up of nursing professionals who, by their nature and vocation, are nurturers and caregivers. Few of them contemplate the difference they make to their patients and employers, but this prestigious award recognizes the work that Van As and her team do at the hospital.
“I am exceptionally proud of Ms Van As and her achievement. Her work exemplifies the Western Cape Government’s core values of caring, competence, integrity, responsiveness and respect; values which we ask all of our staff to live by. Nowhere else are these values more important than with the nursing profession,” said the Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.
“It is a great honour to receive this award, but it isn’t mine alone – it belongs to the hard-working and dedicated team within the Case Management Department at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and the multi-disciplinary team involved in the care of each and every patient at the hospital. Our patients and their families have never been more complex or diverse and we are reminded to advocate for our patients on a daily basis in a kind, calm and patient manner,” says Van As about winning the award.
Van As started her nursing career in 1992 at Witrand Hospital in Potchefstroom where she qualified as an Enrolled Nursing Assistant. She worked her way up the career ladder, working in various areas within different hospitals - including the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NNICU) and Trauma Unit - to qualify as an Enrolled Nurse. In 2012 she trained as a Clinical Coder before entering the field of Case Management more than two years ago.
Van As says she got into Case Management because she thrives in a challenging environment and wanted to be involved in all aspects of a patient’s care. She believes that working with patients from start to finish makes a true difference in the outcomes.
The Case Manager uses various scoring systems to determine the appropriate level of care required as well as the functional ability of the patient.
Van As adds: “Case Management in South Africa is a far cry from what it should be, but our daily duties enable us to apply our knowledge and skills and provides opportunities for us to put the field of Case Management onto the map, especially in the public sector where this is still a relatively new and unknown field.”