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O’Brien Centre Officially Opened

One of Australia's first integrated mental health, drug and alcohol, community health facilities opened on 27th May 2010 and is named after a Sister of Charity.
The O’Brien Centre is named after Sr. Mary Francis De Sales (1809-1871), who was born Catherine O’Brien.  Inspired by Mother Mary Aikenhead, she arrived in Sydney in 1838 to establish the Congregation’s healing mission to the sick and poor.

New South Wales patients will now have access to the state-of-the-art O’Brien Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital.  On 27th May 2010, State Premier Kristina Keneally and Minister for Health, Carmel Tebbutt officially opened the new centre - a one-stop-shop providing improved homeless accommodation and health treatment options.

The new Centre will include:

  • an inpatient psychiatric ward;
  • on site and roving teams of mental and community health workers;
  • Rankin Court Opiod treatment program for drug rehabilitation;
  • Gorman House Detox Unit for drug rehabilitation;
  • NSW Quitline to assist patients with smoking addiction;
  • Anxiety Disorders unit; and
  • Primary Care Team dedicated to vulnerable patients.  

The new O’Brien Centre, located on the main St Vincent’s Hospital Campus, is a joint partnership between the NSW Government and St Vincent’s Hospital.
“St Vincent’s Hospital is one of this country’s busiest mental health and alcohol and drug services,” Ms Keneally said.

“Staff at the hospital cater for a higher than average prevalence of homelessness, acute presentations, mental health disorders, drug and alcohol use, people living with HIV and AIDS.
“The new O’Brien Centre is located close to the hospital’s Emergency Department and will give patients easy access to a range of services they need, together in the one facility.
“Integrating services at the O’Brien Centre will help coordinate patient care and ensure better follow-up care for patients after they are discharged.”
Deputy Premier and NSW Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt said the new model of care is designed to assist patients with a range of services, helping them to return to the community.
“The new facility focuses on improving quality of care and improving patient outcomes,” Ms Tebbutt said.
“This is a comprehensive approach that will tailor services to the needs of individual patients - who often require multiple health services.”
Jonathan Anderson, Executive Director of St Vincent’s Hospital, said the co-location of Alcohol and Drug, Community Health and Mental Health made it possible to deliver a fully integrated model of care.
“The ability to link closely with other hospital and broader community services will make a difference,” he said.

His Eminence George, Cardinal Pell, AC, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney & the Hon. Kristina Keneally, MP, Premier of New South Wales, unveiling the plaque after the Opening and Blessing.

From left to right: The Hon. Carmel Tebbut, MP, Minister for Health, Mr Steven Rubic, CEO St Vincent’s & Mater Health, Sydney (giving the Vote of Thanks), Hon. Kristina Keneally, Cardinal Pell and Mr Richard Harpham, Chairman, Trustees Mary Aikenhead Ministries.