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Podcast salutes heroes of healthcare

By Mark Bowling, The Catholic Leader, 20 April 2020

A new podcast series from St Vincent’s Health Australia is telling the compelling stories of caregivers on the COVID-19 frontline. It’s being driven by Catholic ethicist Dan Fleming, working from a spare room at home, connecting with staff that work at St Vincent’s hospitals and aged care facilities across Australia.

“Every day they do heroic and beautiful work in offering care – their stories are an embodiment of our mission in action.” Dr Fleming, group manager – Ethics and Formation with St Vincent’s Health Australia, said.

“St Vincent’s is full of amazing people … doctors, nurses, cleaners, kitchen staff, executives, pastoral carers.”

The idea for a podcast was planted before the coronavirus pandemic hit. A broadcast enthusiast from an early age, Dr Fleming had planned a series that explored the mission of St Vincent’s health workers – however the project has taken on a powerful new significance.

“The equipment for our original podcast plan arrived in early March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic, and the wave of our lock-down measures, reached our shores,” Dr Fleming said.

“We had ordered two microphones, anticipating that the interviewer would be sitting down in the same room as the people they’d be interviewing.

“Obviously that couldn’t happen anymore. So we thought – why not repurpose our podcast equipment?

“Why not deliver an ongoing message of encouragement to our staff, with consoling words from people who love them, love St Vincent’s, and the love work we do?

“And why not make it available to the broader community, so they can get an insight into the heart of St Vincent’s at this time?”

“The technology allows us to record by phone, and uploading just needs an internet connection, so it could all be done remotely and without any risk to the safety of those taking part.

“And so, the spare room at my place in Melbourne became a makeshift recording studio, and we got underway.

“So far we’ve had Sisters of Charity, executives, the chair of our Reconciliation Action Plan, homeless health workers, infection control coordinators, nurses, and a couple of doctors on.”

The podcast can be found by searching for “Compassion, Courage, Consolation” on any Podcast streaming app.

Read the full story at The Catholic Leader, here.  
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