Stroke Week – Meet Jodi Lynch

Monday 2 – Sunday 8 September is National Stroke week, an annual opportunity to raise awareness of stroke. The theme for 2019 is F.A.S.T heroes, recognising the people who spotted the signs of stroke and called an ambulance straight away, potentially saving a life. In celebration we speak to Clinical Services Manager, Jodi Lynch.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

As Clinical Services Manager, my role is to oversee operational aspects of the Neurology unit to ensure that the planning, delivery and evaluation of services result in improved healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

This includes managing both the operations process – planning, service development, performance improvement, and human resource management – as well as operations strategy. I like to think of it as helping to build and sustain the infrastructure, systems and resources to enable clinicians to deliver high quality and safe care.

A large component of my role is also managing data. I am the Hospital Coordinator for the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry, which is quite a big task, given we have more than 1,700 admissions each year across the service.

I also manage our local stroke reperfusion registry, which monitors service specific performance metrics and outcomes for stroke patients receiving treatment at Monash Health.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health?

I’ve been at Monash Health for nearly four years and have had some great opportunities during that time. I initially started as the Quality Coordinator for Jessie McPherson Private Hospital, then the Specialty Medicine, Cancer and Critical Care Program, before moving into my current role just over 12 months ago.

National Stroke Week is 2-8 September. The theme this year is ‘Be a F.A.S.T hero!’ What are the F.A.S.T signs of stroke and how can we recognise them?

National Stroke Week is an important event that raises awareness regarding the signs of stroke. Stroke should be treated as a medical emergency as we know that a fast response helps reduce the risk of serious outcome.

The F.A.S.T test is an easy way to remember the most commons signs of stroke, which include:

Face: check their face. Has their mouth dropped?

Arms: can they lift both arms?

Speech: is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time: is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

What is your team doing to raise awareness about stroke?

Every year our team gets behind National Stroke Week to help raise awareness about stroke and highlight the great work at Monash Health. Jodie, our stroke nurse consultant, and the stroke champion group have done a fantastic job of organising this year’s activities, which have included daily guest speakers presenting information on the patient experience, stroke management and prevention, and current stroke research activities. You may have also seen our very own F.A.S.T Heroes this week!

On Saturday 7 September, our team will be hosting a bake sale at the Springvale Bunnings Warehouse from 8.00am to 4.00pm. This year we hope to raise funds for resources to improve stroke care and education and development, as well as raise money for the National Stroke Foundation, so we’re grateful for any contributions towards this important cause.

What have been some of the team’s biggest achievements?

It has been a really busy time across the neurology service. Some of the biggest achievements include:

  • Monash Medical Centre was awarded as the second designated statewide provider of endovascular clot retrieval (ECR) services, which has resulted in the stroke and neurointerventional radiology teams achieving some amazing patient outcomes, including treating the first paediatric stroke ECR case in Victoria.
  • The opening of the state-of-the-art angiography suite
  • Professor Henry Ma’s internationally-recognised stroke research outcomes involving clot busting medication.
  • Our world-first trial using stem cells to treat stroke
  • Hosting our first neurology research open house event
  • Providing one of the largest neurology outpatient services for epilepsy, stroke, movement disorders and other cerebrovascular diseases, including scientific research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders.
  • A large project to transition from a private outpatient clinic model to a fully public service – this has been a huge change process and our neurology admin team have done an amazing job managing this transition.

What major/new project or initiative is your team currently working on?

We are about to embark on a large-scale project to review the entire stroke pathway from presentation to diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and discharge. We have experienced significant growth across the stroke service, which has put a lot of pressure on our current resources.

We service one of the largest catchment areas in the state and also support seven regional and rural hospitals through the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine network, so it’s important that we effectively plan for future demand, given the large population increase and high incidence of stroke in the south-east corridor.

Stroke treatment and care requires a huge team effort from multiple disciplines across the health service, and this project will work collaboratively with our teams and patients to ensure Monash Health remains responsive to the rapidly evolving treatment of acute stroke, reinforce our statewide role as a leader in specialist stroke services, and ensure we continue to provide the highest levels of care.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Knowing that people presenting to Monash Health with a stroke or neurological disorder will receive world-class care from a multidisciplinary team of experts. It really is a privilege to be part of a team which provides some of the best patient outcomes in the state.

If you weren’t working in your current role what would you be doing?

Probably something in the field of organisational psychology, which is something I would like to continue pursuing one day.

What is something that your team doesn’t know about you?
Hmm…well they may not know that I am also studying interior design and that I am quite passionate about home DIY!