I am so very proud to introduce Mike and their inaugural Harvey's Gang member Michaella.
I am originally from the UK (born, bred and trained) and therefore am a Fellow of the IBMS. I emigrated to Tasmania in 2004 and have been here at the Launceston General Hospital ever since. I saw on Facebook your achievement award for Harvey’s Gang from the IBMS about 8 months ago and of course read your story. I had a similar (but much less grander) idea about 5 years ago but obviously just for our own Hospital rather than the global phenomenon you have created. Having seen your tour and now in a managerial role I decided to re-visit the idea of doing our own tour. I got approval from our Laboratory Manager and then approached Sonja our Nurse Unit Manager on our Children’s ward who was hugely supportive and enthusiastic about the whole thing.
Without that initial support this would have stopped where it was. Having got her approval to progress this I contacted our professional bodies asking for pens, pencils, and other items that were suitable for this tour with young children in mind. Our Transfusion Nurse mentioned Harvey’s Gang to a Doctor at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in Melbourne and she said she had heard about it and believed that you were trying to go global with Canada having just achieved that. That is when I contacted you back in May.
The attached templates you sent me have been invaluable and we have adjusted and updated to our own local needs and regulations. They certainly saved us a huge amount of time. We then needed to get permission from all levels of our Hospital structure and that in itself has taken a while to sort out especially as Children and social media are involved. While we waited we thought about new ideas to build on the experience we had planned so we added a few gifts of our own and then asked other areas if they would consider being involved. Our House services approved our Hospital Security to issue a VIP Hospital ID badge with the patient’s picture that gives swipe card access to Pathology and the Children’s ward. Afterwards it gets deactivated but they get to keep it on your Harvey’s Gang lanyard. Our Food services department made a meal that the child had identified as being their favourite and they got to enjoy that when they returned to the ward after their visit.
And finally our tour from being just a Haematology or Blood Transfusion experience became a Pathology tour as all our Heads of Department wanted to become involved. Every single person involved with this or involved with the approval process has been massively supportive. This also includes Harvey’s Gang who supplied us with some additional gifts and the Harvey’s Gang Laboratory coats. Too many people to name and not fair to single individuals out as everyone is playing their part however minor it may seem to be.
Now to the first Harvey’s Gang VIP visitor…..Michaella
Michaella is a long time visitor to our Children’s ward and regularly receives blood products from us so we were very proud to invite her and her mother Sally to the first Harvey’s Gang tour in Tasmania and indeed Australia according to yourself. She visited our entire department including our Office, Specimen Reception, Central Separating Department, Biochemistry, Cellular Pathology, Microbiology, Haematology and Transfusion Department.
She got to send specimen tube carriers in our vacuum delivery system, do an osmolality in Biochemistry, mount some sections on a slide in Histology, plate out a bug and drawing her own picture with it and finally got to look at all the Blood products and look at Blood Films in Haematology and Transfusion.
At the end of the tour I presented Michaella with her honorary Harvey’s Gang certificate and she had her picture taken with her mother holding the Harvey’s Gang gift bag. An email I received from Michaella’s mother Sally yesterday was very complimentary of our efforts and both mother and daughter enjoyed it.
A fantastic experience for all so thank you for allowing us to be part of this. We have already identified another patient and hope to show our next VIP around in the middle of January 2019.
We look forward to seeing our efforts on the Harvey’s Gang Facebook page in due course and I have attached the photos that Michaella and her mother selected for sharing.
Thanks again, Mike
Thanks Mike and all of the team in TASMANIA; I am so very proud of you all, and the extended efforts you have gone to so that your patient's benefit education and empowerment, and will always remember your kindness. You have put yourselves and Harvey's Gang number one in healthcare in Australia;
BRILLIANT work: well done Mike and THANK YOU
Harvey’s Gang Registered Charity Number: 1169181:
Twitter: Laird_Admiral: #HarveysGang