HONOURED: Cherbourg Hospital senior hearing health worker Cecil Pickle Brown.
HONOURED: Cherbourg Hospital senior hearing health worker Cecil Pickle Brown. Contributed

Cherbourg ear health worker honoured

A CHERBOURG health worker, who specialises in hearing health, has been been awarded for his dedication to helping children to achieve their full learning potential.

Cecil 'Pickle' Brown won the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service vision award at their employee awards in Toowoomba recently.

The Senior Health Worker for Hearing Health at the Cherbourg Health Service has been instrumental in improving hearing health services across the South Burnett, particularly for school aged children.

Mr Brown said it was pleasing to be nominated for the award and it was a great surprise to win the award considering the calibre of the other nominees.

"I have seen first-hand the benefits of early detection and intervention through our hearing health screens,” Mr Brown said.

"One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is that I've taken children right through from preschool to Year 12.

Mr Brown said he saw how hearing affects students learning potential.

"If a child can't hear, they can't learn and once you fix their ears, you see the improvements - their attendance at school goes up and their learning abilities increase,” he said.

"Around six years ago we didn't have one Indigenous child in Cherbourg complete Year 12 and last year we had about 16 or 18 kids finish, giving them employment opportunities and career paths.

"These children are given the chance to reach their full capacity and capability so in the long term they are able to contribute to society instead of slipping through the cracks and ending up in trouble.”

Mr Brown was nominated for the award by Cherbourg Health Service Manager for Tarita Fisher as well as Manager for Community Health Christine Stewart and Director of Nursing Roslyn Hansen.

Ms Fisher said Mr Brown was always looking for new and innovative ways to improve services across the South Burnett.

"Pickle started doing hearing health screening 14 years ago, targeting Aboriginal children across three schools in Cherbourg and Murgon,” Ms Fisher said.

"Through Pickle's dedication this service has expanded to 37 schools across the South Burnett, accessible by all children who return a consent form.

"Thousands of children have had hearing health screens done during this time with many benefiting from improved hearing health as a result, increasing their ability to listen and learn in school.

"Pickle also coordinates and hosts the outreach ears, nose and throat (ENT) clinics and surgery at the Cherbourg Hospital twice a year.

"The ENT clinic now sees about 160 people with approximately 24 operations done locally.

"Pickle's commitment to the expansion of hearing health services across the South Burnett has decreased the need for families to travel to other facilities for minor treatment.”

The DDHHS Vision category was awarded for delivering excellence in rural and regional healthcare.

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