New CEO meets care recipients and frontline staff

HammondCare’s new Chief Executive Officer, Mike Baird, has spent much of his first week meeting staff and care recipients at various locations including Hammondville, Miranda and Greenwich.

Mike Baird First Day 580 1Conducted within COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, the visits will continue and provide Mr Baird with an opportunity to see first-hand the frontline care provision of HammondCare.

“As I was preparing to come to HammondCare over the past few months – I was struck by how many said I was joining a ‘very special’ organisation that has been led so well by former CEO Dr Stephen Judd,” Mr Baird said.

“This included a long-time family friend who gripped my arm a week before he died to tell me of the ‘angels’ who were caring for him in his last days. He said you are ‘very lucky to be joining them’.

“I have already met some of our amazing teams at Hammondville, Miranda and Greenwich. They are so passionate and making such a difference!”

Mike Baird First Day 580 3Mr Baird said his first step as CEO had been to spend time at Hammondville in south west Sydney, the original HammondCare site, first established during the Great Depression by Rev Bob Hammond.

“I want to be sure that we continue to honour the legacy of Bob Hammond and it is remarkable to see what is there today following his faithful service. Then to understand how this legacy now extends across the nation and internationally is quite breathtaking.

“On a daily basis, living out the mission for HammondCare, are more than 4000 staff and hundreds of volunteers. I can think of no greater privilege than to help them care for vulnerable people,” Mr Baird said.

Turning to the broader challenges of health and aged care, Mr Baird said the care provided for the people we love as they move into their final years “says everything about us as individuals, and as a society”.

“The impact of an ageing population, the increasing prevalence of dementia and need for palliative care is a growing challenge that HammondCare is passionately and expertly engaged with.

“I’m looking forward to understanding from our care staff and clinical experts, in partnership with the people we serve, how best to face this challenge and set the benchmark of care for all of the residents, clients and patients we serve.”

Mr Baird has previously indicated that the new CEO role resonates with his own family experience of care for loved ones.

“As a son, and as a grandson, I’ve had to experience firsthand the deep challenge, and even heartache, that comes as the people we hold most dearly grow old and need care.

“I know what it is like as a family to hand across someone you love so deeply to a team of carers - and hope and depend on them to care for your Mum in a way you would."

Mr Baird, a former NSW Premier and Chief Customer Officer for NAB, replaces Dr Stephen Judd who has stepped down after 25 years in the role.

CAPTIONS: Top - Mike Baird reviews the Arts on Prescription program with Prof Chris Poulos during a visit to the Centre for Positive Ageing in Hammondville. Bottom - Mr Baird joins Residential Care General Manager Angela Raguz and other staff in a 'covid-safe' visit to Harding cottages for dementia care in Hammondville.