3 August 2016

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

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

News at HealthWest

HealthWest welcomes a new staff member

HealthWest welcomed Sarah Cousins to the team this month as Project Manager – Health Promotion and Community Participation.

Sarah will be working on improving mechanisms for community participation in projects, programs and decisions that affect the health and wellbeing of the community.  Her role will also explore new opportunities for collaboration between community members and local organisations and service providers.

Sarah most recently worked as Project Coordinator, Place-based Revitalisation at Maribyrnong City Council where she was instrumental in the Revitalising Braybrook initiative. Sarah brings with her a wealth of experience and enthusiasm for partnering with the community.

Sarah can be contacted at: sarah.cousins@healthwest.org.au


Access & Equity Summary Report

Early in 2016 HealthWest commissioned a consultation to scope opportunities for system-level efforts to improve access and equity. This consultation found that there was strong support for HealthWest’s engagement in this area and that the direction is aligned with the activities of HealthWest, its members and developments in the external environment. Three inter-related themes emerged from the consultation; vulnerability, universal and specialised services and workforce diversity.

In May, HealthWest coordinated a Strategic Leadership Forum for members to explore these themes further. Jason Rostant presented the findings of the consultation and Virginia Lewis presented on the topic of vulnerability. For a summary of the outcomes and future directions, please refer to the summary report from the strategic leadership forum and the consultation report prepared by Jason Rostant.

HealthWest are currently in the process of recruiting an Access and Equity Officer and looking forward to working more with our members on this new venture.

More info: Please contact Tanya Sofra, Equity & Integration Coordinator 9248 9659 or tanya.sofra@healthwest.org.au.

Download the Access and Equity Consultation Report here, and the Strategic Leadership Forum Summary Report here.


Something to Do? The role of local government in reducing social isolation amongst seniors. A one day forum presented by HealthWest, the VLGA and COTA.

Isolation and loneliness are a growing issue for Victorian Seniors. A recent senior’s commission inquiry estimated there to be over 180,000 chronically lonely seniors across Victoria by 2030. Loneliness is a key driver for gambling among seniors, with significant gambling harm in the community being borne by those over 55.

This one day forum for local government brings together researchers, advocates and practitioners from the ageing and gambling sectors to discuss strategies for reducing social isolation and related gambling harm amongst seniors throughout Victoria. Presenters include Victorian Seniors Commissioner Gerard Mansour, Anna Thomas of the Australian Gambling Research Centre and speakers from the ReSpin Gambling Awareness Speakers Bureau.

Who: Aged care workers, managers and policy makers
When: 11am-3pm, Wednesday 14th September 2016
Where: Victorian Local Government Association
More info: Contact the VLGA Registration and Enquiries on 9349 7999


HealthWest Blog

We launched our new revamped blog last month to provide a platform for our members to discuss issues and share their work, including challenges, solutions and reflections.

This month we have a post from Home Instead Senior Care – click here to read the post.

More info: If you would like to contribute to the blog, please contact Claire East: claire.east@healthwest.org.au.

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Health Literacy and Community Partnership

National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards

The next consultation on the NSQHS standards in underway.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) wants feedback from organisations and individuals on different options for implementing version 2 of the NSQHS Standards, and on the costs and benefits to you of doing so.

More info: Download Version 2 of the standards and read more about the consultation on their website. Submissions must be received by 5 August 2016.


Patients as partners

The recent report ‘Patients as partners: Building collaborative relationships among professionals, patients, carers and communities’ looks at how patients can be partners in their healthcare and the healthcare system.

The report suggests five approaches to developing an effective relationship:

  1. Find your collaborative partner(s)
  2. Invest in developing leadership and collaborative relationships
  3. Make time for learning and share that learning
  4. Go where the energy is
  5. Embed collaborative activity at all levels in your system or organisation.

More info: Download the report here.


Patients’ experiences in Australian hospitals

This Evidence Check identified factors reported in primary research as relating to positive and negative experiences of patients in Australian hospitals.

Key themes include reciprocal communication and information sharing, as well as engaging patients and their families more fully effectively in their health care.

The authors concluded that: “Tangible opportunities to enhance the patient experience are apparent. Small changes to the way that the health system operates, is resourced, and the way that health professionals engage with patients could substantially improve care. Examples include inviting patients and carers to contribute to decision making and discussions about treatment options and care preferences.”

More info: Download the Evidence Check review here.


Working with patients when there are language barriers

North Western Melbourne PHN has released a guide to accessing and using the Translating and Interpreting Service for health professionals working in private practice.

More info: Download it here.


Health literacy and cultural competence

There is a lot of interest in the links between health literacy and cultural competence. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (USA) conducted a workshop on the integration of health literacy, cultural competency, and language access services.

The workshop covered:

  • Skills and competencies needed for effective health communication, including health literacy, cultural competency, and language access services.
  • Interventions and strategies for integration.
  • Differing perspectives such as providers and systems, patients and families, communities, and payers.

More info: Download the workshop summary for free.


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Service Integration

Changes to referral process to My Aged Care Gateway

From now until 30 June 2017, where a client is requiring only nursing and/or allied health services, they can be referred directly to the provider. They will not need to undergo an assessment by a Victorian Regional Assessment Service Outlet.

Where these clients are subsequently identified as needing other aged care services, these clients will then need to be referred to the My Aged Care contact centre for a referral for a holistic assessment of need as appropriate.

More info: To download the fact sheets, click here and here.


Newly established Multicultural and Social Cohesion Division

The Government is bringing together three key agencies to form one dedicated office.

The new Multicultural and Social Cohesion Division will work to address the needs of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and the wider community into the future. The new division brings together the Community Resilience Unit, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, and the Office of Victorian Multicultural Commission.

More info: Download the fact sheet here and the media release here.


New Chronic Disease Report Card

The Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) at Victoria University has launched Australia’s Health Tracker, a report card that provides a comprehensive assessment of the health of Australians in relation to chronic diseases and their risk factors. The report cards will be issued regularly and will track progress towards the targets for a healthier Australia by 2025.

More info: Download the Health Tracker here. 


Access & Support Worker brochure

HealthWest is pleased to release a brochure for use by Access & Support workers across the region. The brochure was created in partnership with Access & Support Workers using health literacy principles.

Community consultations informed the development of a brochure which is easy to read with an emphasis on pictorials. The template below can be easily customised, thereby meeting the needs of our diverse consumers.

More info: Download the brochure here.


Refugee & Asylum Seeker migration update

It is anticipated the Syrian and Iraqi refugee intake will start arriving steadily from July – August 2016 for approximately 12-18 months. A sizeable proportion are likely to settle in the north-west metropolitan area of Melbourne in current areas of high Syrian and Iraqi community settlement (mainly Hume, Darebin, Moreland, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Brimbank and Melton). A fact sheet has been developed in response to recent national immigration policy changes, providing consistent information and supporting strategic local and regional responses.

More info: Download the fact sheet here.


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Tech Savvy Seniors Training for CALD communities

Victorian Tech Savvy Seniors is a Seniors Card Age Friendly Partners Program. It is designed to give older people, the opportunity to develop skills to use technology for socialising, accessing important services, or conducting personal business. From July 2016 seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are able to access the program’s technology classes.

More info: Information on locations and languages available here.


VicHealth Alcohol Cultures Framework

On July 15 VicHealth launched a new Alcohol Cultures Framework. The Framework draws on alcohol research literature and expert opinion to define and explore the concept of drinking culture. The framework provides a guide for public health action as one part of a broader alcohol harm-reduction approach. It identifies four types of intervention – societal, settings, subcultures and family-individual, each representing a possible way to approach alcohol culture change.

The Alcohol Cultures Framework is a joint initiative of VicHealth, the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR) (a joint undertaking of La Trobe University and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education), and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (formally the Australian Drug Foundation).

More info: Download the framework and supporting resources from the VicHealth Website


Perils of Place – Grattan Institute Report

The Grattan institute released a report ‘Perils of Place – Identifying hotspots of health inequality’.

The report shows that extreme and persistent disparities exist among areas in Victoria, and acknowledges the important role place plays in shaping health.

The report looks at how to identify and address geographic health inequalities.

More info: Download the report from the Grattan Institute website.


Victorian Government plan to halve suicide over next 10 years

On July 28 Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley released the Victorian Government’s Suicide Prevention Framework, which is backed by a $27 million investment in two key suicide prevention initiatives.

One of the initatives is an investment in local community approaches which help support strategies such as workforce training, school-based support and mental health literacy programs within six local government areas including Brimbank/Melton.

More info: Download the Suicide Prevention Framework from the health.vic website


Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) new translated health resources

CEH have produced new health resources into different languages:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Understanding the Australian medical system
  • How to use medicine properly
  • Catch up vaccinations for refugees and asylum seekers in Victoria
  • Getting medical help on the weekends, public holidays and at night

More info: Click here to access the resources.


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Aboriginal Health

Aboriginal Resource Guide

In conjunction with the Department of Health & Human Services and the Brimbank City council. VU recently finalised the Aboriginal Resource Guide for use by service providers and agencies and Aboriginal people.

More info: Download the resource guide here.


Urgent call for Royal Commission into Aboriginal suicides

In a recent report in the Medical Journal it was reported that in just one month, suicide rates in remote Western Australia communities had doubled over the last decade.

More info: Click here to listen to the audio file on the Central Australia Aboriginal Media Association website.


Managing Aboriginal people and programs- Training with VACCHO

This training was one of the outcomes of the North West Metropolitan Region PCP Koolin Balit project. This training was provided to managers of participating member agencies, particularly HR managers, to help support Aboriginal staff. Nicole Cassar from VACCHO delivered a pilot training session on ‘Managing Aboriginal People and Programs’ on 20 July to 25 participants.

The training provided Managers with the tools and skills to develop:

  • a whole of organisation approach to Aboriginal employment and the policies and procedures required to implement these core components
  • policies and processes to address the additional pressures that Aboriginal staff may experience within the workplace
  • feedback mechanisms for continuous quality improvement and to ensure that Aboriginal staff have a voice in workplace development.


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For Your Diary

Western Region

Working Together with Men to prevent violence against women – Information Session

Working Together with Men is looking for men (18+) who are connected to Brimbank and who want to make their community a safer place for women to attend an information session tomorrow.

Working Together with Men will explore myths about men’s violence; causes of violence; male privilege; men and sexism and promising practice of men’s activism in prevention of violence against women and girls.  We will support some men to develop and implement projects to create social change in their community.

When:  Thursday, 4th August 2016 (10:00am—12:00pm)
Where: VISY CARES HUB – 80 Harvester Road, Sunshine
Tea, coffee and lunch will be provided
More info: Please register on the HealthWest website, call (03) 9248 9657 or email Cuong La.


International Overdose Awareness Forum

Odyssey House Victoria is working with a local community organisation to conduct the Wyndham International Overdose Awareness Day Forum. Guest speakers to include Robert Richter, QC, Les Twentyman and Gavin Crosisca.

When: 25th August 2016
Where: Encore Events Centre, Hoppers Crossing
More info: Download the agenda here.


Commissioning for Primary Health Care Providers

The primary health care landscape is rapidly changing and there is increasing need for providers to be ready to commission for services and funding.  This workshop will cover what a commissioning cycle is, clinical and business governance, how to change practice and other considerations.

When: 17th August
Where: 111 Evans St, Sunbury
More info: Visit the website here.


Cultural competence and disability training

Develop understanding of how culture influences perceptions of disability. Outcomes focus on reflective practice and skill development in:

  • Cultural awareness, knowledge and competency
  • Understanding our own values and assumptions
  • The cultural context of disability
  • Genuine engagement with CaLD families
  • Family and community structures, values and practices
  • Effective use of interpreters and bicultural workers.

When: Wednesday 28 September 2016 9.30 am – 4.00 pm
Where: VISY Hub, 80B Harvester Road, Sunshine 3020
How much: $220 (includes training materials & lunch)
Register: Contact Ebony Simon on 9353 5811 or esimon@vicsegnewfutures.org.au



Melbourne Metro

Health Literacy Workshop

On completion of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify principles of health literacy and models of practice
  • Apply tools to improve individuals’ understanding of health information
  • Identify organisational priority areas for health literacy action
  • Contextualise health literacy within cultural responsiveness, quality improvement and diversity planning requirements

When: Monday 8 August 2016 9.30 am – 4:30 pm
Where: AMREP Seminar Room, The Alfred hospital, Commercial Road, Prahran, Melbourne
Cost: $220 (inc GST)
More info: Visit the website here.


Effective Responses to Aboriginal Family Violence

This pilot training is designed to support family violence workers to be better equipped in embedding cultural respect, awareness and responsiveness across the sector when responding to Aboriginal people seeking support in addressing family violence issues.

When: Tuesday 9th August, 2016
Where: VACSAL, Northcote
More info: Download the Information and Registration sheet here, and the flyer here.


Collecting Feedback from Healthcare Consumers: Keeping it Simple

The session focusses on simple and inexpensive strategies that can be built into everyday practice, without being arduous or time consuming for consumers (or staff). You will have the opportunity to trial a range of tools and techniques within the session and will be provided with a copy of the Consumer Feedback Toolkit.

When: 17th August, 2016
Where: Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth St, Melbourne
More info: Visit the website here.


Cultural Competence & Reflective Practice

Cultural competence requires constant attention to our own cultural biases and interpretations. Reflective practice provides strategies for individuals and teams to examine experiences, attitudes and assumptions when working with migrant and refugee clients, and allows for ongoing learning and sustainable improvements.

Where: Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health, 23 Lennox Street, North Richmond
When: 17 August, 2016
More info: Click here to visit the CEH website.


ABCD – Asset Based Community Development in Practice – A night with Peter Kenyon

Explore ways to create change by mobilising the hidden strengths and talents from within the wider community. At this forum, you will be able to:

  • Hear from world renowned Peter Kenyon
  • Participate in discussions, workshop ideas and learn from others to learn how to implement ABCD in your community.
  • Connect with local people, groups and organisations to share knowledge, successes, learnings and skills.

When: 17th August, 6.30pm – 9.30pm
Where: Encore Events Centre 80 Derrimut Road, Hoppers Crossing
Cost: FREE, with light dinner provided. It is essential to RSVP.
More info: Go to the Wyndham City Council’s website, call (03) 9742 0777 or email Sharon Brown.


Health literacy symposium

Teaching about Health Literacy in Health Professional Education and Training Symposium

Health literacy is increasingly a priority for governments, organisations, health professionals, and communities as it is key to supporting people to better manage their health. Health professional education has an important role in achieving this by advancing health literacy practices of health professionals.

This half-day symposium provides a forum for health professional educators, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and community members with an interest in health professional education.

When: Tuesday 13 September 2016, 1.30-5.00pm
Where: 1888 Building, Grattan St, University of Melbourne
More info: See the flyer here, and register here.


Graduate Certificate in Consumer and Community Engagement

This is a four-day course for health service staff who work in the area of consumer engagement, run by the Health Issues Centre.

The course will provide staff with the skills and knowledge to work collaboratively and strategically in consumer engagement services alongside consumers, health services, government bodies and other health-related organisations.

When: Starting Wednesday, 14 September 2016 (registrations close Wednesday 17 August)
Where: Health Issues Centre, Melbourne
Cost: $2860.00 per student incl GST
More info: Go to the Health Issues Centre website, call (03) 9664 9343 or email Mary Macheras-Magias.


Dementia Awareness Month Lecture – Latest insights and research findings about dementia and the US and global experiences in establishing a national dementia strategy.

Dr Ron Petersen is a world leader in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Dr Petersen is Director of the Mayo Clinic in the U.S. and was also Ronald Reagan’s personal physician and treated the former President of America’s Alzheimer’s disease. He is the director of the Mayo Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Mayo Clinic Study on Ageing. He has authored over 700 peer-reviewed articles and edited five books on memory disorders, ageing, and Alzheimer’s disease. In 2014, he was appointed to the World Dementia Council by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

When: Thursday 22nd September, 9.30 – 11.30am
Where: Zinc, Federation Square, Melbourne
More info: TBA


Course in Consumer Leadership

This is a three-day course for consumer representatives, consumer leaders and staff of health services run by the Health Issues Centre.

This foundational course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to work collaboratively and in a range of settings to facilitate and promote consumer engagement with consumers and health service staff.

When: Thursdays 13, 20 and 27 October (registrations close Thursday 15 September).
Where: Health Issues Centre, Melbourne
Cost: $1089 per student incl GST
More info: Go to the Health Issues Centre website, call (03) 9664 9343 or email Mary Macheras-Magias.


Engaging Melbourne – A program that aims to bring local and international students together

The Melbourne Football Club, in conjunction with the University of Melbourne, launched the Engaging Melbourne.

  • This free program seeks to bring together both local and international students from different institutions based around the themes of Football and the City of Melbourne.
  • Engaging Melbourne is designed to deliver engagement opportunities for students in a fun and creative way.
  • After a successful semester 1 program registrations have opened for semester 2. You can see photos from the Semester 1 program on the Facebook page.

More info: Go to the Melbourne Football Club website.


Better Questions Workshop

This workshop is suitable for health & wellbeing, aged and disability care professionals who want to be able to have more empowered conversations with their clients to help them to be more resourceful.

More info: Click here for the flyer.



Local Area

Prevention of Elder Abuse Workshop

This workshop will include information on Elder Abuse, including available services, systems and networks, and Powers of Attorney and other legal matters.

When: Wednesday 10th August 2016, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Where: Clayton Community Centre, Youth and Family Services, 8 – 15 Cooke Street, Clayton
More info: Call 9388 9998


Focus on diversity for managers

Delivering services in a culturally inclusive way enhances the quality of service provision to consumers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and embeds inclusive practices into organisational culture.

When: 11 August, 2016
Where: Level 2, 818 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill, Victoria
More info: For further details and to register, click here.


Diabetes Foundations 2016

Diabetes Foundations provides a strong grounding in essential information about diabetes including pathophysiology, prevention of complications and an overview of management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes including psychological issues.

Where: Simonds Stadium, Geelong
When: 12th September, 2016, 9am – 4.30pm
More info: Click here for the flyer.


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