The Einstein Award – Innovative Team Recognised for Blazing a New Trail in Online Rehab

The live online Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation Group launched earlier this year, and proved very popular with clients.


“Wouldn’t it be great if the lessons we are learning through COVID make it easier for more people to access healthcare services in the future?”

So mused BRHS Physiotherapist Eilis O’Haire back in September, when we brought you the story of how a team of Allied Health staff and community health nurses were revolutionising how they provided cardiac rehabilitation services during a pandemic lockdown.

That effort, among others, saw the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team honoured during this year’s BRHS Trademark Behaviours Awards, as recipients of the Einstein Award.

In addition to Eilis, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team is Allied Health Assistant Tarrlita Kay, Exercise Physiologist Kath Hempenstall, and the Community Health Nursing Team of Jane Bennett, Jo Woodward, Di Gibbs and Helen Lieuwen.

The annual Trademark Behaviours Awards feature staff nominating their fellow workers and praising their commitment, energy and talents.

Usually awarded to an individual, the Einstein Award celebrates staff that demonstrated a commitment to professional and personal development, and generously shared their knowledge and skills for the benefit of the health service.

Thanks to their ability to be open minded and adaptable, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team was the first of a handful of services across Victoria to implement a live online Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation Group.

The sessions are run completely online by a Physiotherapist and an Allied Health Assistant, and include a safety chat, warm up and cool down, exercise session and constant support and motivation.

The exercises are tailored to the individual with modifications demonstrated so that there is something for everyone. The exercise session can sometimes be followed by a Dietetics education session.

The eventual roll out of the group took weeks of planning, checks and balances to make sure patient safety was at the forefront in each step of the process, and accessibility was not a concern.

Community Health Nursing played a key role in screening potential candidates for the online version of the group, whilst the Physiotherapy and Dietetics departments expertly facilitated the virtual group, of exercises and education.

Proving very popular with patients, the online Cardiac Rehabilitation Group has been the trial of online learning for our community, paving the way for other groups to move online.

Congratulations to these savvy and committed staff, and to everyone that was nominated for a Trademark Behaviours Award.

Here’s the full list of winners: