Message from the CEO

Welcome to the Autumn edition of the Country SA PHN Newsletter – a place where we highlight some of the activities we are supporting, funding, and commissioning to help reduce the gap in health inequity for country South Australians.

It’s also a place where we share events, training, professional opportunities, and other activities from organisations actively supporting the health and wellbeing of all those living in rural and remote communities across our state.

This first quarter of 2024 has seen a significant amount of such activity across country South Australia. At Country SA PHN we have officially launched the first Medicare Urgent Care Clinic in country South Australia in Mount Gambier, collaborated with the Federal and State Governments to commission another Head to Health centre in Mount Barker, and a new headspace centre for Gawler. Country SA PHN also funded and supported health and wellbeing initiatives through the Rural Health Innovation Fund Grants, and commissioned, funded, and supported a myriad of primary health programs across country South Australia.

One such activity is the GoShare Healthy Lifestyle program. Funded by Preventive Health SA and co-designed by Country SA PHN and digital health technology company Healthily the GoShare Healthy Lifestyle program is a new and innovative way to support consumers with conversations about healthy lifestyle and body image – including a focus on pregnancy and those with chronic disease.

The GoShare Healthy Lifestyle Program delivers an efficient, targeted, measurable, and culturally appropriate approach to the provision of health and wellbeing information. Thus, providing consumers with self-management support that empowers them to play a more active role in their own health.

Educational video messages from subject matter experts and community role models are sent directly to the consumer’s mobile phone from their primary health care provider - enabling them to digest the information when and where convenient. Five country South Australian community role models share their personal healthy lifestyle journeys and the steps they are taking to improve their health and wellbeing.

To complement this consumer program our Country SA PHN Practice Support Team added another crucial element to the program. It is also providing support for health professionals to assist conversations with patients about healthy lifestyle, body image and weight. Expert advice for effective communication is provided by the Embrace Foundation’s Dr Zali Yager. Australian Medical Association (SA) Chair Dr John Williams and Social Worker Donna Carr also discuss ways in which health professionals can provide support to consumers on their healthy lifestyle journey. This aspect of the program works hand in glove with the consumer package to ensure that when people do take the crucial first step to speak to a health professional they will be fully and appropriately supported.

The bundles also provide the option for consumers to make an appointment to see their GP or health professional and links to resources, an activity, and the Preventive Health SA Better Health Coaching website. This website is a free evidence based, confidential telephone coaching service to support eligible South Australians to be active, eat well and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Country SA PHN is inviting general practices and Aboriginal Controlled Health Organisations to register for the Healthy Lifestyle Program which is fully funded for health professionals utilising the GoShare Plus digital platform. Click here for more information and to register. Watch this video to learn more about the program and it's participants.

I thank Preventive Health SA for funding this initiative and I commend the Country SA PHN Practice Support Team and all those involved for their incredible work creating this innovative program for country South Australians and their GPs and health professionals.

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