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Bernis Parikh, Making the Right Career Moves

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Bernis Parikh is a new member of the ACFI (Aged Care Funding Instrument) team based in Macquarie Park but is not so new to Catholic Healthcare. Bernis began her career with our organisation in 2009 and has never looked back.  Known as a ‘quick fixer’ with a hands-on approach, Bernis’ ‘can do’ attitude, skills and experience have seen her making all the right career moves at Catholic Healthcare.

Bernis joined Catholic Healthcare as a Care Service Employee/Team Leader at Mary MacKillop which are now St Joseph and St Anne’s Aged Care Homes in Hunters Hill, which Catholic Healthcare acquired in 2014. At the time, Bernis was studying her Bachelor’s Degree in Registered Nursing with the University of Western Sydney.

From 2014 to 2015, Bernis held the position of Senior Registered Nurse at St Anne’s Aged Care. In 2016, she was offered the role of Education and ACFI Coordinator also based in Hunters Hill, which she saw as an opportunity to learn something new. In 2019, Bernis was offered the Acting Care Manager position at St Joseph Aged Care and four months later she was promoted to this position. Six months after that, Bernis’ role expanded to include both St Anne’s and St Joseph Homes as the Deputy Residential Manager (2nd in charge). Bernis enjoyed this challenging role and she saw it as an opportunity to learn about Catholic Healthcare’s operational structure and requirements and complemented her skills in clinical care.

Fast forward another 11 months and in 2020, a new opportunity presented itself when an ACFI Regional Manager position became available. This role oversees a portfolio of Residential Aged Care Homes in the Western NSW Region and Bernis applied and was successful.

Now in her new role, Bernis will work closely with Residential Managers and Care Managers to achieve best practice ACFI outcomes, maximise and maintain their revenue management program, ensure funding is relative to resident needs and act as a Mentor and Coach to local ACFI Coordinators.

“Maintaining contact with the Homes and residents is very important to me. Though I won’t be based in a Home in this new role, I will have a different ‘hands-on approach’,” says Bernis.

When asked what is so special about Catholic Healthcare, Bernis says, “It is a great place to work as your expertise and skills are highly valued, and your career journey is supported. I have always wanted to be part of Catholic Healthcare and grow within the organisation. I’m humbled that hard work and effort is really appreciated and I have been fortunate to experience some wonderful opportunities.

“Providing care to residents in their later years is very fulfilling. What I do gives me purpose. I am driven by our Mission of promoting life in all its fullness in the lives of our residents. This is dear to my heart, as are our values which I display in my work every day,” she adds.

Bernis attributes her success to being a giver rather than a receiver, having a positive attitude, being flexible, supportive, having positive stakeholder engagement and ‘thinking outside the box’.

At the time of writing, Bernis is completing her induction in her new role. Asked where she sees her career headed in the next five years, she says, “While the future is uncertain, one thing is certain, I feel valued here at Catholic Healthcare and would like to stay.”

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