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One last act of service

After 178 years of caring for the community, the former Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) was officially decommissioned on Friday 13 July 2018, with Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) staff members, Chris Barber and Joe Antosik departing the building for the last time. 

Following the move to the new hospital, Chris and Joe remained at the former site to undertake a mammoth decommissioning task. This involved finding a home for every item that was left behind while ensuring maximum benefit to the community and minimal waste.  

Furniture and equipment that still met requirements was transferred to 29 other health sites, including 15 Country hospitals from South Coast to Port Pirie.  

Surplus equipment was then offered to Rotary’s Donations in Kind Program, with medical and nonmedical items sent to health sites in 24 developing nations, including Congo, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Nigeria, Nepal, Zambia and Sierra Leone. 

In addition to the overseas charities, second hand items were also donated to 58 local community groups such as schools, sports clubs, scouts groups and animal welfare. 

Chris said that while the project didn’t come without its challenges, it was also extremely rewarding.

“I am particularly proud of the charities and community groups we have been able to help, both locally and overseas,” Chris said.

“While it is difficult to put a price on the donations, the benefit to the community is priceless.” 

Auction partners, Evans and Clarke National, facilitated the sale of nonmedical equipment, with revenue going back into SA Health.

Throughout the 10 month project, Chris and Joe developed a solid working relationship and shared many memories, including Joe’s 40 year work anniversary at CALHN. They were also incredibly grateful for the support from their extended team. 

“I can honestly say this has been one of the most rewarding projects and amazing teams I have ever worked with," Chris said. 

"The best part about our team was that we were all determined to get the best outcome from the closure of the former RAH.” 

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