21 January 2015

Welcome to HealthWest’s fortnightly newsletter. Read on for the latest in health news, resources, events and more!

News at HealthWest
Health Literacy
Community Partnership and Engagement
Service Integration
Aboriginal Health
For Your Diary


News at HealthWest

HealthWest Partnership Forum

Join us on 18 February from 2.15-4.25pm as we celebrate our achievements in 2014 and announce some exciting initiatives for 2015 at the annual HealthWest Partnership Forum.

Community Partnership is the theme for this year’s event. To celebrate we will be launching ‘Stories of Participation: partnering with the community to improve health and wellbeing’. This professional video captures the stories of community members who have participated in a partnership with services. The aim of the video is to encourage community members to collaborate with services so that they can work together to improve health.

Our guest speaker is Damian Ferrie, Chief Executive Officer, Inner South Community Health Service. Damian has developed and implemented programs to narrow the gap between disadvantaged communities and the rest of the state. He has initiated place-based interventions to build community capacity through partnerships with community, businesses and the philanthropic sectors.

Furthermore, HealthWest and a few HealthWest members will be presenting on the achievements of the past and some initiatives for the future in the community partnership space.

More info: you can register for the event via our website.

Announcing the New HealthWest Website

We are excited to announce the launch of our sparkling new website. Over the last few months we’ve worked hard to build a website that is easier to navigate, current and accessible to our members and the community. Our mission is to work together to create better health and we hope this new website will provide the platorm through which we can provide information, identify solutions, facilitate collaboration and thus create better health for communities in the west. So please take a peek and let us know your thoughts.

Save the Date – Health Literacy MEET-UPs

After some fantastic MEET-UPs in 2014, HealthWest and the Health Literacy Community of Practice are looking forward to continuing the series in 2015. MEET-UPs will be held in the afternoon on:

  • 2 March
  • 1 June
  • 7 September
  • 7 December.

More info: contact Mindy Allott on 03 8379 9948 or mindy.allott@healthwest.org.au to learn more or to get involved. More details to come.

Health Literacy Development Course – Expressions of Interest CLOSE TODAY!

HealthWest together with cohealth and the Centre of Culture, Ethnicity and Health are offering the Health Literacy Development Course in 2015. This course seeks to develop health literacy understanding and practice at both a client and an organisational level, with a specific focus on Melbourne’s west.

More info: view the flyer. To register your Expression of Interest or to discuss course details, contact Gail O’Donnell 8379 9942 / gail.odonnell@healthwest.org.au or
Mindy Allott 8379 9948 / mindy.allott@healthwest.org.au.

2015 Department of Health & Human Services Structure

On 1 January 2015 the Victorian Government established the Department of Health & Human Services, bringing together the former Department of Health, Department of Human Services and Sport and Recreation Victoria to align and integrate policy-making, programs and service delivery to improve the wellbeing of all Victorians.

More info: visit the Department of Health & Human Services website or view the new structure here.

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Health Literacy

Internet Use and Health Information

This article shows that older patients and patients from a low socioeconomic background are least likely to look for health information on the internet. However, a patient’s English-speaking background did not affect their use of the internet to seek information.

More info: read the full article.

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Community Partnership and Engagement

Maribyrnong City Council Call Out for International Women’s Day

Maribyrnong City Council is looking for women and girls who live, work or play in Maribyrnong to take part in International Women’s Day on 8 March 2015.

Maribyrnong women and girls are invited to put together an activity under the theme of ‘Make it Happen’. Maribyrnong Council can provide a range of supports to make it happen, such as resources, funds or connections. Anyone interested is invited to make a submission to Maribyrnong Council.

More info: contact Emma Wilkinson at Maribyrnong City Council on 9688 0237 or emma.wilkinson@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au.

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Service Integration

New ‘Let’s Get Started’ Group at cohealth

Do you have clients who want to improve their health but are feeling stuck? Let’s Get Started is a supportive group that works with people with long-term health conditions to help improve their motivation and confidence to move forward and achieve their health goals.

Groups run from 1.30-3pm every week from Thursday 12 February and cost is a gold coin donation.

More info: contact Tess or Melanie in the Living Well Team on 9680 1141 or 9680 1106.

Global Status Report on Non-Communicable Diseases 

The World Health Organisation have released their new report on preventing and controlling non-communicable diseases. The report focuses on how to reach the internationally agreed target which would see a 25% reduction of premature mortality from four major non-communicable diseases by 2025: cancers, lung disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

More info: view the article.

Victorian Dementia Action Plan 2014-18

The Department of Health recently released the new Victorian Dementia Action Plan 2014-18. Through a consultation process with organisations and consumers the plan refined and identified seven priority areas for action:

  • Increasing awareness of and responsiveness to dementia, and the possible impact of maintaining health and wellbeing for older Victorians
  • Supporting timely assessment and diagnosis
  • Planning for diversity in the delivery of services and support
  • Maximising independence, health and well-being of people with dementia
  • Promoting dementia friendliness in age-friendly communities
  • Supporting families and carers of people with dementia
  • Supporting people with dementia at the end of their lives.

More info: view the full action plan.

Shared Medical Appointments

A recent interview with Dr Garry Egger explored the concept of ‘shared medical appointments’ (SMAs), or ‘group visits’, whereby GPs conduct individual consultations in a supportive group environment in the presence of other clients and health professionals. Research suggests that SMAs could provide an efficient and effective adjunct to traditional GP consultations and approaches to chronic disease management in Australia.

A trial was recently conducted by the Baker International Diabetes Institute in Melbourne with a grant from the RACGP. More than 90% of clients reported they would probably or definitely continue to use SMAs and 95% rated them as a good or great form of medical care.

More info: view the article.

Responding to Diabetes in Braybrook

HealthWest are currently undertaking a project that uses a place-based approach to consider the barriers and enablers to managing and living with diabetes in the suburb of Braybrook. The recently released needs analysis examines the role of the physical and social environment and how this impacted on choice and opportunity for community members. This information was complemented by the thoughts and experience of community members and local health and community workers regarding diabetes management in this geographical location.

More info: the needs analysis can be found on our website.

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New Report: Global Status on Violence Prevention

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released the Global status report on violence prevention 2014, which reflects data from 133 countries. It is the first report of its kind to assess national efforts to address interpersonal violence, namely child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner and sexual violence, and elder abuse.

Jointly published by WHO, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the report reviews the current status of violence prevention efforts in countries and calls for a scaling up of violence prevention programmes, stronger legislation and enforcement of laws relevant for violence prevention and enhanced services for victims of violence.

More info: visit the WHO website.

Maribyrnong City Council Community Satisfaction Survey Results Now Available

Each year Council conducts an extensive Community Survey of 800 households to gauge community satisfaction with a range of Council services and to determine emerging issues and priorities. Results from the survey are now available.

More info: the full report is available on the Maribyrnong City Council website.

The Life! Diabetes & Heart Disease Prevention Program

This group seeks to help people avoid diabetes and/or heart disease. If you’re above your healthy, happy weight and over 45 you may be at high risk of getting Type II diabetes, heart disease or stroke. As we all know, healthy eating and being active can help you avoid these conditions, but keeping up healthy habits is not always easy to do on your own.

The Life! Group is run by two ISIS health professionals who will work with you to help you start and keep up healthy habits. Topics include:

  • How to read supermarket food labels
  • How to organise nutritious and inexpensive meals at home
  • Ways to be more active
  • Stress and relaxation.

The group sessions contain lots of other tips on making small changes which can lead to a big improvement in your health now and into the future. Please note: this program is not for people who already have diabetes.

The next group is being run at Cairnlea Community Hub from Monday 2 February 1-3pm and runs for five sessions. There is no cost involved.

More info: please contact Mary-Anne on 9296 1334 or Dung on 9296 1331 to find out more or view the flyer.

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Aboriginal Health

Food and Health Communication Across Cultures

Developed by the Menzies School of Health Research, this resource was developed during the two-year Food and Health Communication Across Cultures project and aims to provide non-Indigenous health staff with practical guidance and insights to support critical reflective practice and assist with the participatory process of health and nutrition communication, education and promotion activities that integrate both Indigenous and western belief and knowledge systems.

More info: view the resource.

Free Clinic for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children

Free clinic with Dr Anita D’Aprano, Paediatrician. Includes the following services:

  • General health and wellbeing
  • Learning difficulties
  • Social and emotional wellbeing
  • Developmental concerns
  • Family appointments available.

A referral from a GP is required.

When: fortnightly on Fridays from 20 June
Where: cohealth at Braybrook Community Centre, 107-139 Churchill Ave, Braybrook
More info: contact cohealth on 9334 6699.

Significant Dates for Cultural Events in 2015

Planning is underway for a number of significant cultural events for 2015, which encourage people to both participate and reflect on the importance of these ceremonies.

More info: information and links can be accessed via the Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin.

Diabetes Clinic Attendance Improves Diabetes Management in an Urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population

Optimal diabetes management involves frequent monitoring and achievement of outcome targets. A primary care diabetes clinic that provides a ‘one-stop shop’ may facilitate more regular review and improve patient care.

More info: view the article.

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For Your Diary


Small Grants to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harm

The Australian Rechabite Foundation (ARF) is providing small grants to supports research projects which will contribute evidence for policies to reduce alcohol problems and to community-based initiatives that foster change to reduce adverse effects of alcohol.

The ARF has $30,000 to allocate in its small grants program for 2015. Grant selection will be merit-based and the number of grants made will depend upon the evaluation process. The ARF will consider applications for the entire $30,000, however any such proposal must be of sufficient calibre to warrant exclusion of all other applications.  Applicants are therefore encouraged to provide alternate plans and funding amounts where possible.

Applications close 2 March 2015.

More info: for an application form or more information, please contact Brian Vandeberg at Cancer Council Victoria at brian.vandenberg@cancervic.org.au.

Melbourne Metro

2015 New and Emerging Communities Leadership Program

Applications are now open for this exciting new program run by Leadership Victoria. Interested people are invited to join with potential and current leaders from new and emerging communities across Victoria to build their leadership skills and contribute to their community. Melbourne program commences in March.

Applications can be completed online.

When: March 2015 (dates to be confirmed)
Where: JJ Clark Room, Level 1 Old Treasury Buidling, 20 Spring St, Melbourne
Cost: free
More info: contact Leadership Victoria on 96514 6590 or at info@leadershipvictoria.org.

Talking GLTBIQ Identity

Maribyrnong City Council is hosting ‘Talking GLBTIQ Identity’ as part of the Midsumma Festival, a panel discussion around issues of GLBTIQ identity and the intersection between gender, sexuality, culture, age and status. Panel members include:
  • Eilis Hughes – MC
  • Casey Northam – Community Development Officer, Wyndham City Council
  • Dr Matthew Klugman – Senior Lecturer, College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University
  • Jax-Jacki Brown – Producer and MC Quippings
  • Jo Nevill – Diversity Officer, Hobsons Bay City Council
  • Sebastian Delfino – President of Melbourne Spikers, Vice President of Team Melbourne
  • Amao Leota Lu – Transgender woman and supporter of the Miss Gay and Miss Transgender Pageant as part of Midsumma.

When: Thursday 5 February, 5.30-7pm
Where: Bluestone Church Arts Space, Hyde Street, Footscray
Cost: free
More info: RSVP online.

Health Literacy – One Day Intensive

Health literacy aims to improve an individual’s capacity to understand and apply health information by changing the way service providers work.

This workshop, supported by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, explores health literacy at multiple levels – both the client/patient and organisational factors. The workshop introduces strategies and tools to improve client/patient understanding of written and verbal health information and provides methods to embed organisation-wide health literacy strategies into systems, operations, planning and workforce development.

When: Wednesday 15 April, 9am-4pm
Where: North Richmond Community Health, 23 Lennox St, Richmond
Cost: $250
More info: email the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health at training@ceh.org.au.

Inaugural International Conference on Migration, Social Disadvantage and Health

This conference, convened by A/Prof Andre Renzaho and Monash University, brings together researchers, administrators, policy makers, industry representatives, students and stakeholders from key government and non-governmental organisations from all over the globe to collectively contribute towards improving policy, research and practice in issues of migration, social disadvantage and health.

The conference objectives are:

  • To summarise current evidence on Migration and Health across the globe
  • To identify context-specific policy gaps and challenges related to migration and health
  • To propose a national and international research agenda for reducing migration-related inequalities
  • To establish a platform for ongoing collaboration to profile the field of migration and health nationally and internationally.

When: 11-13 February 2015
Where: Rydges on Swanston, Melbourne
Cost: from $365
More info: visit the Migration, Social Disadvantage and Health Conference website.

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