GOOD HEALTH: At the CAN forum in Roma: Back row - from left - South West HHS Chief Executive Linda Patat with Mareea Lochel, Mary Dunne, Donna Hooper, Sheryn Hanna, Wendy Newman, Mariane Horton, Guy Newell, Melissa Wathen, James Hetherington, Donna Burke and Heather Geary
GOOD HEALTH: At the CAN forum in Roma: Back row - from left - South West HHS Chief Executive Linda Patat with Mareea Lochel, Mary Dunne, Donna Hooper, Sheryn Hanna, Wendy Newman, Mariane Horton, Guy Newell, Melissa Wathen, James Hetherington, Donna Burke and Heather Geary

Successful forum for south west health held in Roma last week

PROVING health is a priority in the southwest, more than 60 people attended the South West Hospital and Health Service’s annual Community Advisory Network forum in Roma last week.

South West Hospital and Health Board Chair Jim McGowan said Community Advisory Network representatives from health facilities throughout the region joined health service board and executive members at the forum.

“The turnout was impressive and underlines the important role local CANs play in helping shape health services for their individual communities and the southwest as a whole,’’ he said.

Mr McGowan said the purpose of the advisory network was to provide a mechanism for consumer and community engagement with their local health facility and the health service generally.

“The CANs help identify the community’s health needs, allow information to be shared regarding service delivery and allow consumers and community to have input into the planning, development and delivery of public health services in their area,’’ he said.

“Through such a process, each health facility receives ongoing broad community input into the development of services.

“CAN members also play many other important roles in their local health services.

“For instance, the CAN chair sits on the recruitment panel for the directors of nursing of their local health facility.

“They also act as conduits of information between their health service and the community.

“As such, joining their local health facility CAN is an excellent way for residents to become involved in helping guide the future service directions of their community’s health facility.”

Mr McGowan said attendees at the annual forum had received presentations on future health service planning, as well as the development of the health service’s Healthy Communities initiative.

“Our Healthy Communities initiative is designed to help southwest residents eat well, be more active and create environments that support and encourage healthy lifestyle behaviours, especially these days when a significant proportion of people lead a more sedentary lifestyle and are not active every day,’’ he said.

The initiative is being rolled out progressively across the south-west.

Mr McGowan said other presentations at the forum included sessions with Health Consumers Queensland and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare, as well as sessions on the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights and community engagement.

“As a health service, we have embedded community partnership and engagement into the way we do business and we will continue to do so,” he said.


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