Concurrent Speakers

Print Friendly and PDF
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y
Sarah Jackson
Rural and remote stroke survivors' perspective on recovery journey: preliminary findings
Biography

Sarah Jackson has worked as a physiotherapist in Mount Isa since 2007. She first went to north-west Queensland as a student in 2006 and couldn't wait to go back. She has worked across the public and private sectors as a physiotherapist, team leader and clinical educator. Most recently, Sarah was employed in the role of North West Community Rehabilitation Project Manager before enrolling in a PhD with James Cook University. Sarah is passionate about people in rural and remote areas having access to high-quality services and supporting rural and remote health professionals to develop their clinical skills. As part of her PhD, Sarah is investigating how stroke survivors could be using technology to enable them on their recovery journey in rural and remote north-west Queensland.

Abstract

Background: The number of people living with stroke is rising in Australia due to the ageing population and increased survival rates. People living in rural and remote Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, are more likely to be affected by stroke yet have access to a proportionally smaller health workforce and infrastructure.

Technology can connect people with services. Some industries extend this connection through active participation e.g. children participating in class at School of the Air. Similarly, technology could be used by stroke survivors to actively participate in their rehabilitation and ongoing recovery. Telerehabilitation has been shown to be an effective modality for stroke service delivery but implementation in rural and remote areas has been minimal. In Mt Isa, a pilot study exploring the use of videoconference to review people with neurological conditions demonstrated high participant satisfaction, suggesting telerehabilitation may offer an acceptable service option for stroke survivors in northwest Queensland.

Aims of study/project: The aim of this research project was to investigate how technology can be used to enable stroke survivors to ‘actively participate’ in their recovery journey. In Phase I of this project, rural and remote stroke survivors’ perspectives on their recovery journey were explored, with consideration given to the culturally diverse population in northwest Queensland.  

Methods: A series of individual and focus group interviews were conducted with stroke survivors’ from mining, agriculture, tourism and semi-traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lifestyle across northwest Queensland. Interview transcriptions were analysed using principles of constructivist grounded theory.

Results: There are many similarities and differences in stroke survivors’ perspective on their recovery across the stroke population of northwest Queensland. 

Conclusions/recommendations: Information gleaned from this study is being used to guide service delivery for people living in northwest Queensland. In addition, the information is guiding subsequent phases of the project that include a systematic literature review, scoping of technologies and assessing e-health readiness of northwest Queensland. This will all lead to a series of case studies to trial technology options that enable stroke survivors to actively participate in their recovery journey.

Slides | Paper
Vicky Jacobson
Network of networks: refugee health in rural and regional Queensland
Biography

Vicky Jacobson is the coordinator for the newly established Refugee Health Network of Queensland. Vicky comes to the Network with 15 years' experience working in the health industry, including health promotion, primary care and public health services. Vicky’s previous roles have centred on developing partnerships between and across health and community services to improve coordination of care for vulnerable populations. Vicky began her career working in health promotion and holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Family and Consumer Studies) from QUT. Vicky has managed Family and Mental Health Programs with the Divisions of General Practice and more recently worked as a Service Integration Coordinator with Public Mental Health Services. Growing up in a regional town in Far North Queensland, Vicky is passionate about advocating for inclusion of the needs of regional, rural and remote communities and strives for equitable access to services for those outside of metropolitan areas.

Abstract

Introduction: The Australian government has committed to resettling an extra 12000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees in this financial year and in the coming years to increase from 13 000 to 18750 per annum the Humanitarian settlement program. Approximately 13% of this intake will be settled in Qld and some will settle in rural and regional areas including Toowoomba and Cairns. It is well documented that people from refugee background experience difficulties accessing health services due to language and cultural differences as well as poor health literacy and health system literacy. It is imperative that an integrated and coordinated approach is implemented to ensure that some of the most vulnerable communities are provided with the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

Aim: The presentation will outline the substantial work being undertaken to build the new Refugee Health Network Qld and develop partnerships with key stakeholder including PHNs, refugee health specific services, settlement services and refugee communities. Through these partnerships and the work being undertaken at the policy level including the launch of the Refugee Health and Wellbeing Strategic Framework for Qld in March 2016 and the soon to be launched Refugee Health and Wellbeing Action Plan it is imperative that the work is relevant and grounded in the experience of the regions.

Method: Through show casing two specific case studies, one based in Toowoomba and one in Cairns, the key enablers and barriers to building refugee health capacity will be distilled and will provide a useful analysis of the challenges faced in rural and regional areas.

Relevance: In particular the key role of partnerships and integrated models of primary and tertiary care, health care homes and transferability of findings into policy will be highlighted.

Results/conclusion: The importance of networks, partnerships, flexibility and building on local resources to deliver integrated care are key findings. Simultaneously a strong policy context that addresses key actions in collaboration with all stakeholders is critical to good long term health outcomes for people of refugee background .

Slides | Paper
Lesley Jandric
Tracking former RAMUS holders by rurality
Biography

Lesley Jandric is the Manager of the Rural Australian Medical Undergraduate Scholarship (RAMUS). The National Rural Health Alliance has managed RAMUS since its inception in 2000. The scholarship has helped over 1500 students with a rural background complete their university studies.

Abstract

Introduction: The Rural Australian Medical Undergraduate Scholarship (RAMUS) Scheme was designed by the Australian Government with a view to alleviate the doctor shortage in rural and remote Australia. The scholarship scheme commenced in 2000, with cohorts starting each year until 2016 (n=1490). The research project tracks former scholarship holders from their childhood home to the University they attended and finally their place of practice as of June 2016 to determine impacts on rural practice.

Aim: To determine if the RAMUS scheme has been effective in alleviating the doctor shortage in rural and remote area in Australia by supporting medical students with a rural or remote background throughout their study.

Method: The data has been collected from RAMUS applications received by the National Rural Health Alliance for RAMUS Scholars, including information provided by the scholarship holder throughout their university studies. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency database was used to determine each scholarship holders’ current place of practice. Information has then been analysed to determine the factors associated with rural practice of the former scholarship holder and medical graduate. Rurality is measured using the Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Area (ASGC-RA 2006).

Results: Results indicate that over half of former scholarship holders remain in an urban RA1 area across all graduation years following completion of study. The proportion of former scholars returning to practice in rural and remote RA2 – RA5 areas ranges from 30 per cent to 48 per cent across years. This variability may be due to further study opportunities being more available in major cities than in rural and remote areas.

Evidence indicates that medical schools located outside of major cities have a higher proportion of graduates practising in an ASGC-RA2-5 area.

Conclusion: Former RAMUS scholarship holders are returning to rural and remote areas. The time taken for further training and specialisations may keep graduates in metropolitan areas after graduation before they begin. Medical schools located in a rural or remote location do retain graduates in rural or remote areas.

Slides | Paper
Uma Jatkar
Closing the gap: advancing Indigenous eye health across diverse regions and systems
Biography

Uma Jatkar is a lawyer and public health practitioner with an interest in health policy, equity and human rights. Prior to working in Indigenous health, Uma undertook a specialist public health fellowship based in Victoria focusing on public health, law and policy, and worked extensively within the NGO and not-for-profit sectors. She has also undertaken several roles within the federal and state governments, including with the Office of the Victorian Minister for Health. Uma has also been involved in several international health projects and programs, including managing a health reconstruction project in Aceh, Indonesia, public health programs focusing on marginalised populations in India and working with Human Rights Watch and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law in Washington DC.

Abstract

Aim: The national Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision (the Roadmap) outlines a regional approach to improve disparities in eye health outcomes for Indigenous Australians, which account for 11% of the overall health gap. The Roadmap, endorsed by the Commonwealth, jurisdictions and key stakeholders such as NACCHO, addresses the four main eye conditions responsible for the gap: cataract, refractive error, diabetic retinopathy and trachoma.

Methods: The Roadmap’s evidence-based approach outlines a common methodology that has successfully resulted in measurable gains for Indigenous eye health across several regions in Australia. Regional elements include a regional collaborative network, needs analysis, coordination, data sharing and analysis, and monitoring of Indigenous eye health outcomes.

Relevance: The strength of the Roadmap approach allows urban, regional and remote areas to adapt elements to fit local contexts and a variety of regional settings. This results in specific system challenges being addressed through local needs analysis and coordination by regional stakeholders, particularly Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS), and promotes service improvements that address regional requirements.

Results: The Great South Coast and Grampians regions in Victoria, and the South East region of Queensland, have successfully adapted the Roadmap approach to specific local contexts, networks and relationships to improve regional outcomes in Indigenous eye health.

The Great South Coast advanced eye health outcomes through cultural engagement by a dedicated Indigenous eye health officer. Specific engagement with local Aboriginal community and mainstream service providers promoted eye care service networks, and improved mainstream optometry and ophthalmology services for Aboriginal people in the region.

The Grampians region used formal engagement via a stakeholder group, including the local AMS, Primary Health Network, local Department of Health office, ophthalmology services and Australian College of Optometry, to purchase equipment, encourage eye exams for Aboriginal patients and improve rates of cataract and diabetic retinopathy screening. 

South East Queensland (including metropolitan Brisbane) built upon existing networks through the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health. The region developed an eye surgery committee to manage patients across 18 AMS clinics, and supported additional equipment provision, visiting optometry services and increased surgical care for Indigenous patients.

Conclusions: The flexibility of the Roadmap approach for specific regional and remote contexts has resulted in its implementation in 18 regions across Australia, covering over 40% of the Indigenous population. Elements of the regional approach can be appropriately adapted to improve eye health outcomes across the country, and close the gap for vision for Indigenous people.

Slides
Kate Jenkins
Preventing chronic diseases in remote Aboriginal communities with nutrition and integrative medicine
Biography

As a qualified naturopath, Kate Jenkins brings over nine years of practical experience as a health professional to her role as Clinical Case Manager and Coaching Supervisor for Hope For Health. Born in a small country town, Kate has lived and worked in remote Australian communities and international cross-cultural positions. Kate is actively passionate about integrative healthcare and has an extensive history of working with doctors, specialists and other health professionals. Based on Elcho Island with Hope For Health, Kate has been intensively learning Yolŋu culture and traditional healing practices from local Elders. Kate led the medical team for Hope For Health first 2016 traditionally grounded health retreat on Elcho Island, which successfully blended modern nutrition, naturopathy and medical support into the framework of traditional Yolŋu culture.

Abstract

Hope For Health (HFH) is an Indigenous led nutrition project located on Elcho Island, East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory and is focused on preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Sixty five years ago the Yolngu (aboriginal people of Elcho Island) were vital, healthy people. They now face an epidemic of NCDs such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular heart disease and a life expectancy ten to fifteen years less than other non-indigenous Australians. A major contributing factor to this situation is poor nutrition.

Due to complex cultural and political influences, the Yolngu diet has dramatically changed. No longer comprising purely of nutrient-rich, local food sources, today the Yolgnu diet is predominantly based upon refined and processed western food choices. These changes are contributing to nutritional deficiencies, multiple NCDs and high morbidity rates. The burden of these health consequences are not only felt by the health sector but also resulting in the loss of important cultural knowledge and disruptions to social order. The situation is further exacerbated by a lack of tangible, consultative, cross-cultural nutritional education.

To overcome these challenges HFH has utilised their 40 years of cross cultural work in Arnhem Land to create a pioneering blend of methodologies towards community wide nutritional and lifestyle education. This includes experiential learning with short-term health retreats focused on acutely improving individuals with nutrient dense food, daily exercise and nutritional education. Participants are then supported back in community with regular, ongoing practical and theoretical nutritional workshops. HFH also focuses on removing challenges of continuity and on facilitating the sharing of their health education to families and community.

The Yolngu culture has thrived for thousands of years. HFH’s unique methodology also empowers the local people to draw from their cultural wisdom. Essentials for the program’s successful integration into the community include a Yolngu steering committee; nutritional education workshops, exercise classes and resources all delivered in the local language, and program frameworks derived from traditional culture, diet and bush medicine.

Using an integrated medical approach the programs efficacy is evaluated using both qualitative and quantitative data including pathology testing, measurable clinical examinations and naturopathic consultations. HFH is compiling data pre and post retreat. Results thus far that are demonstrating positive outcomes include participants, under medical supervision, reducing or eliminating pharmaceutical prescriptions.

Slides | Paper
Heather Jensen
Adults with a disability living a good life in the NPY Lands
Biography

Heather Jensen is an occupational therapist and academic who has been working at the Centre for Remote Health since 2004. She continues to practise as an occupational therapist in Central Australia, currently working at Western Desert Dialysis, an Aboriginal community controlled health service. While at CRH she has developed and delivered a number of topics in the Masters in Remote and Indigenous Health programs. She has been involved with research into services for people with dementia and disability in Central Australia as well as models of allied health service delivery. She is the Northern Territory representative for SARRAH Board member of Disability Advocacy Service in Alice Springs.

Abstract

Objectives: This qualitative project aims to investigate ways to enable Aboriginal people with disabilities, their families and carers from the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara (NPY) lands in remote Central Australia to live the life that they choose.

Method: Informed by Indigenous research methodologies, this study involved in-depth, semi-structured interviews with Aboriginal people with disabilities and their families and service providers and other stakeholders. The data were collected in metropolitan, remote and very remote regions. Interviews were by conducted by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff in partnership with NPY Women’s council. A grounded theory approach has been used to analyse the data. The research utilises trained Aboriginal research assistants and is underpinned by culturally responsive governance mechanisms to ensure Indigenous community control.

Results: This research has identified the perspectives of both Aboriginal people with disabilities and their families and service providers on the key barriers and facilitators to providing supports to enable Aboriginal people with disabilities and their families to live the life they choose. There are commonalities and tensions in the stories being told by these two participant cohorts. Such tensions revolve around the concepts of disability, health and social and emotional wellbeing.

Conclusion: This presentation will highlight key considerations for providing formal and informal services and supports with Aboriginal people with disabilities in remote communities. These considerations could inform the roll out of the disability service reforms under the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Disability Strategy.

Slides | Paper
Jenuarrie
Community cultural development across Far North Queensland with a health focus
Biography

Jenuarrie’s mother’s father’s traditional country is Koinjmal (eastern coastal plains of Central Queensland). Jenuarrie was born and educated in Rockhampton and began a career in the arts in 1984 after graduating from the Cairns TAFE College with an Associate Diploma, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Visual Arts and completing numerous certificate courses for adult learners achieving higher qualification levels relevant to her visual arts practice as an artist and industry arts worker. She has been chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Board Visual Arts Panel, Committee member on their National Committee and Visual Arts, Craft and Design of the Australia Council peer assessment and policy development. She has been Panel Member on the Arts Advisory Committee to the Minister for the Arts in the Arts Office (now Arts Queensland) and worked for 14 years with Arts Queensland as the FNQ Industry Development Consultant, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art until recently retiring. Jenuarrie is currently the President of Arts Nexus, is a recipient of an Australia Council life-time achievement grant and continuing practising artist and ceramicist.

Abstract

Arts Nexus is committed to leading and facilitating strategic, sustainable development across the cultural and creative industries in Far North Queensland. Providing grassroots assistance to individuals and organisations at a time when there was very little cultural infrastructure, funding or professional development services coming into the region.

Arts Nexus has adopted a Community Cultural Development framework for the conception, design, development, implementation and evaluation of all of its programs and services. Committed to balancing the interdependency of social, cultural, environmental and economic activity, and promoting these as the principles of the ‘Four Pillars of Sustainability’ (quote: Jon Hawkes). All programs are open and inclusive communication with all stakeholders and the value of diversity to maximise access and participation. By encouraging regional cultural self-determination and working collaboratively, Arts Nexus contributes to active life-long learning, recognising the value to our society of all arts, culture and creative industries and supporting sustainable cultural enterprise.

Based on the principals of equity, participation and empowerment, community cultural development projects create opportunities to respond to community needs. Self-determined projects support communities from different cultures and backgrounds to work in collaborative environment. This provides an atmosphere of pride and true representation that inspires participants to advance their creativity, social and economic aspirations and express their opinions and aspirations.

Social cohesion comes also from feeling connected to people within your community that you may otherwise not have anything in common with. For people that feel disengaged from the broader community and may not have the confidence to interact with a stranger, to be able to then cross a new person’s path and realise you know them, just adds to how you feel that you belong within the community you live in.

This presentation will navigate through the various community cultural development projects that have had a health outcome in partnership with other key agencies across Far North Queensland.

“Community arts and cultural development is distinct from other arts practice as it is the creative processes and relationships developed with community to make the art that defines it, not the art form or genre. What is at the core of this practice, however, is the collaboration between professional artists and communities to create art." (Australia Council)

Slides | Paper
Jillibalu
Abstract

The many attributes of using circus/dance/theatre to nourish ourselves have been well documented and in the last ten years have seen a surge of uptake in a wide and varied capacity.

Many of us who were brought up with compulsory competitive sports understand the feeling of striving to WIN—be a WINNER—and flat out FAILING. Human nature is well endowed with a good dose of competitiveness within.

The notion that we are not good enough if we don’t win, drives us to share a medium where most can find a place or space to express themselves and feel self satisfaction. One of the mitigating factors alluded to overall health is self worth.

Inclusivity goes right back to our early development as a species. Without it our mobs survival was unlikely in the old world, both physically and socially. Though masked with an infinite number of individual issues, humanity is able to shine through when people feel connectivity. To connect we need to feel intrinsically included.

Benefits from social action circus, has a ripple effect. Not a cure but definitely an aid in addressing intergenerational trauma. While this is a human condition, in this instance it relates directly to the impact that colonialism has had on the First Nation peoples and the mixed families that have grown since then.

Blackrobats is a predominantly Indigenous community youth circus group, that has operating since 1996 with it’s roots in the outer regions of Kuranda, FNQ. With up to 40 youth at any given time, with over 200 young people being involved since the inception, Blackrobats program is used to support individuals and the communities they live in, using circus/dance/theatre as a tool for engaging youth in the arts

Social inclusion and recognition is essential to the health of our peoples, feeling connected creates a sense of well being. Blackrobats creates pathways that can affect future choices.

An accessible art form in that it exists purely within each human. Even when under resourced with material and equipment, we have always managed to work on the ground with the creativity of our bodies.

There has been unprecedented relationship and identity development with the broader, global social circus networks, ACAPTA, CIRCA, Cirque du Soleil, Circus Oz, NICA. These being the more renowned companies plus the many devoted individuals that have given their time and energy to the Blackrobats phenomena.

Jillibalu is one of the Blackrobats participants who has now become the first Indigenous person in Australia to graduate from NICA.

Slides
Tracey John
Network of networks: refugee health in rural and regional Queensland
Biography

Tracey John is an international development and health professional who has managed international development programs since 1999 in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Thai-Myanmar border refugee camps, Ethiopia and across the Pacific. More recently, Tracey returned to Australia to manage the Humanitarian Settlement Program in North Queensland. Tracey began her career as a registered nurse and midwife, specialising in reproductive health of refugees and lactation consultancy. Tracey holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) from QUT, and a Masters of Health Science (Health Promotion) from QUT. Tracey’s career achievements include the establishment of Women’s Wellness Centres in the Balkans region; formation of a health promotion NGO in Kosovo; the design and implementation of a Midwifery Education program in Afghanistan; management of health programs for refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border; and the coordination of Australia’s International Volunteer Program in PNG, Fiji and Kiribati. Tracey’s focus is now on applying her extensive development knowledge and experience to the contemporary issues affecting humanitarian settlement in Australia, in particular the northern Queensland region. Tracey John resides in Cairns, Australia.

Abstract

Introduction: The Australian government has committed to resettling an extra 12000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees in this financial year and in the coming years to increase from 13 000 to 18750 per annum the Humanitarian settlement program. Approximately 13% of this intake will be settled in Qld and some will settle in rural and regional areas including Toowoomba and Cairns. It is well documented that people from refugee background experience difficulties accessing health services due to language and cultural differences as well as poor health literacy and health system literacy. It is imperative that an integrated and coordinated approach is implemented to ensure that some of the most vulnerable communities are provided with the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

Aim: The presentation will outline the substantial work being undertaken to build the new Refugee Health Network Qld and develop partnerships with key stakeholder including PHNs, refugee health specific services, settlement services and refugee communities. Through these partnerships and the work being undertaken at the policy level including the launch of the Refugee Health and Wellbeing Strategic Framework for Qld in March 2016 and the soon to be launched Refugee Health and Wellbeing Action Plan it is imperative that the work is relevant and grounded in the experience of the regions.

Method: Through show casing two specific case studies, one based in Toowoomba and one in Cairns, the key enablers and barriers to building refugee health capacity will be distilled and will provide a useful analysis of the challenges faced in rural and regional areas.

Relevance: In particular the key role of partnerships and integrated models of primary and tertiary care, health care homes and transferability of findings into policy will be highlighted.

Results/conclusion: The importance of networks, partnerships, flexibility and building on local resources to deliver integrated care are key findings. Simultaneously a strong policy context that addresses key actions in collaboration with all stakeholders is critical to good long term health outcomes for people of refugee background .

Slides | Paper
Felicity Johns
Building cultural bridges and two-way understanding: Aboriginal people leading mainstream health
Biography

Felicity Johns grew up in country western Victoria and had a privileged middle-class upbringing not knowingly knowing any Aboriginal people even though at times a classroom would have been shared. Growing up in the white Anglo-Saxon environment where Aboriginal culture was rarely acknowledged it took a lived experience of diverse cultures in capital cities, countries overseas and twenty-three years to return ‘home’ to take action. Felicity’s career in the health sector coupled with her passion to build meaningful relationships of mutual respect, social justice and equality has seen her role in Aboriginal health go from strength to strength. Felicity partnered with local Wotjobaluk woman Joanne Harrison-Clarke in 2014 and together developed a joint delivery to train the local non-Aboriginal workforce on cultural awareness. The huge success and uptake of the co-facilitated training has enabled a local Victorian state-funded program to be delivered across four local government areas for 13 different agencies to date. The overwhelmingly positive feedback supports a ‘black and white’ approach tailored to meet the needs of the rural Victorian catchment.

Abstract

Background: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in rural and remote locations are uniquely positioned to lead mainstream health organisations towards more culturally responsive and safe service delivery, leading to improved access to services. Since 2010, the Wimmera PCP has led the Towards Cultural Security project and since 2014 has successfully delivered a bi-partisan model of cultural awareness training utilising both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal facilitators.

Method: A local Traditional Owner with expertise in delivering cultural awareness training was recruited to the project. The expected outcome was the development of a replicable training model that might be utilised across PCP catchments within the region, and tailored to the health and welfare workforce. The training component was complemented by the auditing of the physical environments of the health and welfare services participating in the project, along with the development of comprehensive reports which provided a set of practical and realistic actions for each service to implement to enhance their physical environments.

The unexpected outcome was the development of a relationship of immense trust and respect between the partners/stakeholders, and consequently led to the co-facilitation of the training by both an Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal trainer, as well as broader interest in the training across other sectors including justice, police and education.

Results: Increase in the number of staff participating in training sessions, across multiple sectors, and thereby increasing the sustainability of the training. Positive changes within the participating workplaces including the adoption of relevant cultural protocols, policy changes for Aboriginal employment, support and engagement of existing Aboriginal staff, identification of cultural champions, the establishment of an Aboriginal Advisory Group to inform policy, and Board and Executive level endorsement to fulfil targeted outcomes.

Conclusion: Local evidence-based insights to review service delivery in rural mainstream health and welfare organisations can drive significant positive change for use by Aboriginal people. This can be achieved through measuring and reporting on capacity building initiatives using local qualitative and quantitative data aimed at improving Aboriginal health outcomes. Role modelling behaviours for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to work side-by-side, promotes a shared understanding of the cultural needs and context for improving health and wellbeing outcomes for rural communities. Senior leadership support in creating local grass roots solutions enables relationships to foster, enhancing the level of trust and respect required to achieve significant actions and outcomes.

Slides | Paper
Genevieve Johnsson
Online disability training and individual support for service providers in rural New South Wales
Biography

Genevieve Johnsson joined Aspect in 2008 as a psychologist with the Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) Therapy team and has worked across home, centre and school based programs delivering early intervention services to children on the autism spectrum and their families. Genevieve has produced a number of publications for Aspect and delivers evidence-based workshops across Australia each year. Genevieve is currently delivering the Building Connections program, which is an online webinar and 1:1 support program for service providers in western NSW working with children on the autism spectrum. She is completing a PhD with the University of Sydney investigating which technology-based model under Building Connections is the most effective for delivering training and support to regional, rural and remote service providers.

Abstract

Background: Considerable barriers reduce access to disability support services in rural and remote areas of Australia. Researchers have indicated that this may be due to a short supply of allied health professionals in the region, which may be exacerbated by professional isolation, including lack of access to continuing professional development and support. In order to prepare for and support the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia, both health and disability workers and the general community in rural and remote areas require education and support. Technology may provide low-cost and widely-accessible platforms for training and support for professionals, as well as for building general community capacity. However, the nature and extent of such support requires examination.

Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate the added benefits of individual online mentoring and support over online webinar training alone for rural and remote staff working with children with autism and developmental disabilities. We hypothesised that participants receiving extra online individual support would experience better outcomes in skills and confidence than those engaging in online webinars alone.

Methods: Participants included 60-80 allied health professionals and assistants, community support workers, early childhood education and school staff, and other professionals that had worked, or were currently working, with children with autism and developmental disability. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups.

  • Group 1: Online webinars - 1 hour every 3 weeks for 12 months + individual online support sessions - 1 hour every 3 weeks for 6 months.
  • Group 2: Online webinars - 1 hour every 3 weeks for 12 months.

At 0, 6 and 12 months, we administered online surveys and structured interviews to measure participants’ perceived confidence, skills and knowledge; levels of occupational stress; and beliefs regarding accessibility and acceptability of the technology platform.

Two cohorts of participants were recruited and took part in the program (Cohort 1: 2015 - 2016, Cohort 2: 2016 - 2017).

Results: Preliminary results will be collated from Cohort 1 in October 2016 and presented at the Rural Health Conference in April 2017.

Significance: Findings will guide researchers in the development of an evidence-based model of support for rural and remote staff working with children with autism and developmental disability. The resultant model will contribute to equal access to quality training and support opportunities for all disability and community support workers across Australia, and also across the world of rural health.

Slides | Paper
Laura Johnstone
Telepharmacy and chronic kidney disease—a making tracks investment strategy
Biography

Laura Johnstone is the Chronic Kidney Disease Pharmacist at The Department of Renal Medicine within Cairns Hospital. She completed her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree through James Cook University and is currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy. She is member of the Queensland Health Renal Pharmacist Group and Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia. She has been on the working party for the review of ‘Prescribing IV Fluids and Electrolytes in ADULT patients’ and the Clinical Prioritisation Criteria for Diabetes and Endocrinology. Laura began her career working as a community pharmacist. Since working in the hospital she has worked in a number of areas such as aged care, cardiac, hospital in the home, medical admissions unit, oncology, sexual health, surgical, rehabilitation, respiratory and renal. She has a passion for enriching healthcare delivery and experience for patients who live in rural and remote communities, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She has attended training in cultural awareness and a workshop held by James Cook University on ‘Research in an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Context’. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is a great interest to Laura and she hopes to conduct research in the future specifically surrounding ATSI kidney health.

Abstract

Background and rationale: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing public health burden that affects an estimated 1.7 million Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are up to four times as likely to have late stage CKD. In addition to this those who live in remote areas of Australia are 18 to 20 times higher than that of comparable non‐Indigenous people. Telehealth is a service that can improve access for these high risk patients to a specialised pharmacy service.

Methods: Patients are identified by an appropriate health professional to undergo pharmacy telehealth review. A consent form, appointment letter and telehealth brochure are provided to the patient. Standardised appointment scheduling is used for pharmacy appointments, prior to nephrologist or nurse practitioner. Treating clinician or nurse is present with the patient during the telehealth consultation. A patient medication list and recommendation letter is developed and delivered to the treating clinician for review.  All interventions are documented and reported biannually.

Results: In January to June 2016 the Pharmacy Telehealth Clinic recorded 82 successful occasions of service. The majority of patients (61%) identified as being indigenous. 667 pharmacist interventions were documented, an average of 8.1 interventions per patient. 93.9% of patients received education from the pharmacist. Other interventions were medication record discrepancies, drug indication, drug dose, allergies, adverse reactions, laboratory monitoring, compliance and supply issues.

Relevance: Pharmacy services targeting ATSI chronic conditions like CKD are necessary to improve medication management, awareness and adherence to regimes, and ultimately improving patient outcomes. Telehealth services improve access and allow for the provision of cost effective healthcare management.

Conclusions: Telepharmacy is an invaluable health service to prevent CKD progression onto end stage renal disease. Both Cairns and Hinterland, Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service patients have a requirement for increased investment, such as our project to promote awareness and provide education to help prevent progression of this silent disease and to help us close the gap in health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

Slides | Paper
Debra Jones
Informing health and higher education engagement with rural communities: a conceptual framework
Biography

Debra Jones is a registered nurse with over 30 years’ experience working in rural and remote Australian locations. Debra has a strong primary health care philosophy, a philosophy that includes engaging communities in the identification of their health needs and solutions to address these needs through community engaged health services design and workforce development. Debra has recently submitted her PhD by publication titled: Community-Campus Partnerships and Service-Learning in Rural and Remote Australian Contexts: Moving From Intervention to Engagement with Communities in their Health Service Design and Workforce Development.

Abstract

Aims: This paper offers a conceptual framework that can inform health and higher education sector engagement with rural communities in the design of their health services and the development of their health workforce. The framework is informed by qualitative findings from a study that explored the formation of a rural Australian community-campus partnership, development of an associated service-learning program, and the impacts of partnership and program participation from key stakeholders in the community, schools and facilitating agencies as well as campus, allied health student and academic participant perspectives. The community-campus partnership sought to address the unmet allied health needs of children by aligning allied health student placements to a school-based service-learning program.

Relevance: A conceptual framework informed by rural community perspectives, evidence and the literature is required to transform how health and higher education sectors approach rural community engagement in the design of their health services and development of their health workforce. A framework to inform engagement strategies will enhance health service accessibility, acceptability and sustainability. The need for community engagement in framework adaptation, implementation and evaluation will ensure framework alignment to diverse rural community contexts.

Methods: This pragmatic qualitative study used focus groups with principals (n=7) and allied health students (n=10), and individual semi-structured interviews with senior managers from local facilitating agencies (n=2) and allied health academics (n=2). Data was analysed using a constant comparative analysis method. Identified themes informed the exploration of complexity, social and organisational theories and community engagement, population health, community-campus partnership, and health literacy literature and principles. Study findings and this literature were applied in the framework development.

Results: Six key framework concepts were identified: 1) Community contexts, 2) Features of engagement, 3) Focus of engagement, 4) Engagement influences, 5) Impacts of engagement, and 6) Potential engagement outcomes. A number of components are associated with each of these concepts with high levels of connectivity between concepts and their components.

Conclusion: There is a need to transform health and higher education sector engagement approaches in order to ensure health service alignment to community needs and the development of ‘community literate’ health professionals. A failure to transform has the potential to contribute to community avoidance or rejection of health services and poorly prepared professionals for rural practice. This framework can support health and higher education sector and rural community endeavours to work collaboratively in achieving meaningful engagement and enhanced rural health outcomes.

Slides | Paper
Martin Jones
Preparing non-government workers to improve the physical health of people living with serious mental health issues in regional South Australia
Biography

Associate Professor Dr Martin Jones commenced his role as the Director of the University Department of Health, the University of South Australia in May 20014. Before this, Martin had been working as a practising Mental Health Nurse (MHN) in the UK. He has held a comprehensive portfolio of clinical, managerial and academic roles in the NHS. He has published widely and is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences. His research interests include the dissemination and sustainability of Enabling Health Workers to Practice Evidenced Based Medicine in Rural and Remote Communities, Adherence Therapy, Physical Health and Schizophrenia, Mental Health in West Africa, and Nurse Prescribing.

He has research experience in conducting controlled trials in real-world clinical settings, qualitative research and surveying mental health workers attitudes. He is an advisor to the Department of Health (UK) on nurse prescribing, the pharmaceutical industry on developing training and practice development programs for Mental Health Nurses and other Health Care Professionals. More recently he has provided evidence to the Senate Select Committee on the health implications of changes in Commonwealth funding for people living in rural and remote Australia. He was the lead author of the first UK study evaluating the patient experience of Mental Health Nurse prescribing. More recently he was part of a team which has completed an important study on the effectiveness of preparing MHN to better support people with schizophrenia in the management of their physical health.

Working with regional Australian’s to improve the health and wellbeing of the regions is important to Martin, as people in Rural and Regional Australia can experience additional challenges to obtaining quality health care. Martin is interested in working alongside health care providers to enable them to build quality learning experiences for future health care professionals. He has a keen interest in helping to retain quality health care professionals in the regions. Finally, Martin is committed to enabling the UDRH to work with local schools to attract young people to pursue careers in the health sector and develop quality learning experiences for health care students in the school environment.

Martin is also a keen hill walker, enjoys swimming and cycling - cycling so much that he has cycled on two occasions for charity across the UK, from Lands End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in Scotland. Martin is married with two daughters, Kente who is named after a Ghanaian cloth symbolizing vibrancy, vivaciousness, wealth and royalty and Volta named after a Ghanaian lake which provides power and dynamism to Ghanaian country.

Abstract

Introduction: The life expectancy of people living with a Serious Mental Health Issue (SMHI) is up to 10-15 years less than the general population. People with a SMHI living in regional Australia can experience additional barriers to accessing services, in part due to the difficulties associated with recruiting health professionals in regional Australia. The study reports the experiences of non-Government organisation (NGO) workers in regional South Australia trained to plan and deliver a programme of physical health care referred to as the Health Improvement Profile (HIP).  This study reports: insights into the workers’ experiences of planning and delivering the HIP with people living with SMHI; aspects of the HIP programme workers perceived as being most and least helpful; how the HIP program could be modified to better support its application in regional Australia.

Method: Participants were provided with one full day’s training on the use of the HIP. This provided participants with a simulated exercise where they practiced the HIP. The HIP training was supplemented by six 1 hour supervision sessions in which participants reported their experiences of using the HIP in the previous week. NGO workers were invited to participate in the study if they: attended the HIP training; attended six 1 hour team supervision sessions; and reported using the HIP with at least four people in the previous 6 months. We followed consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research standards for reporting qualitative studies using a focus group was chosen as the primary method of data collection. The study was approved by the University of South Australia Human Research Ethics committee.

Results: Four main themes emerged:

1. Taking control

2. Accessing services

3. Guiding my conversations

4. Working with others

These were then developed into the following overarching theme: Lay workers can seemingly work effectively to address physical health problems in SMHI patients.

Conclusion: The participants reported an increased awareness of focussing upon the physical health care for people with SMHI and reported meaningful improvements in the health of people they were working with.  NGO employees in regional Australia may have an important role in supporting people with a SMP to access physical health services in particular primary care services.

Slides