CEO Primary Matters – 15 June 2022

Excellent turnout for the 2022 Primary Care Refresher

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2022 Primary Care Refresher conference on 4 and 5 June. This was the first time our annual keynote event was held in a hybrid format, and it was wonderful to network and learn face-to-face once again and also to see so many of our primary care colleagues tune in virtually.

We were privileged to have keynote speakers Professor Michael Kidd AM Australian Government Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Principal Medical Advisor and Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart, National Rural Health Commissioner, Australian Government Department of Health who both gave excellent insights into the journey of primary care through a pandemic.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our conference presenters for their insightful presentations:

  • Dr Russell Golden
  • Hollie Laver
  • Professor Geoffrey Sussman
  • Dr Kevin Lee
  • Simon Matthews
  • Associate Professor Peter Eastman
  • Jill Carter
  • Matthew Ely
  • Bonnie Edwards
  • David Brumley OAM
  • Dr Claire Hepper
  • Jeremy McKnight
  • Millie Gellatly
  • Dr Michael Axtens
  • Dr Richard Schloeffel
  • Chris Smeed
  • Dr Patrick Johnson
  • Professor Steve Moylan
  • Kim Poyner
  • Riwka Hagen
  • Professor Peter O’Mara
  • Tania Dalton
  • Sheree Lowe
  • Kath Travis

All session recordings from the Primary Care Refresher can be viewed on the PCR2022 Playlist on the Western Victoria PHN LEARN YouTube channel.

I would also like to acknowledge the important contributions of our conference delegates, conference facilitators, Western Victoria PHN staff and conference sponsors for supporting this annual event to ensure a quality educational program was successfully delivered.

If you did attend the conference, please remember to complete the end-of-conference survey via this link by Friday 17 June. Your responses assist with the planning of future conferences, enabling Western Victoria PHN to deliver high quality events relevant to your learning needs. Plus, all survey respondents will go into the draw to win a $200 Red Balloon voucher.

2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List

On behalf of Western Victoria PHN, I would like to congratulate the following health professionals in our region for being recognised on this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List:

  • Mr Christian Scott for service to medicine as a general surgeon
  • Mrs Gael Maxine Perry for service to multicultural aged care, and to the community
  • Mr Mark Middleton for service to medical administration

I also extend my congratulations to Associate Professor Deborah Friedman who received a Public Service Medal acknowledging her outstanding public service to health in Victoria as part of the COVID-19 response.

Free suicide first aid training for Ballarat and Great South Coast residents

Western Victoria PHN currently has two initiatives underway in our region to proactively develop coordinated and collaborative strategies for reducing the rate of death by suicide.

As part of the Ballarat Suicide Prevention Place Based Trial and Great South Coast Suicide Prevention Place Based Trial, free suicide first aid training is now available to all local residents aged 15 and over.

The 90 minute online interactive training program is delivered by Livingworks and teaches how to recognise when someone is having thoughts of suicide and how to respond to keep them safe.

I encourage health professionals in the Ballarat and Great South Coast regions to engage in this training to learn the signs and find the words to have a conversation.

Access the Ballarat training here

Access the Great South Coast training here

Men’s Health Week

This week (13-19 June) is Men’s Health Week, which serves as an important reminder of the role we play in primary care to drive better health outcomes for our local men and boys.

This Men’ Health Week, I encourage health professionals to head over to the Healthy Male website, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

Recognising the importance for primary health professionals to maximise opportunities effectively when engaging with men, the Healthy Male clinical summary guide ‘Engaging Men in Primary Care Settings’ provides evidence-based guidance on:

  • Factors that influence men’s interaction with GPs
  • Strategies for GPs to engage men in discussions about their health
  • How to approach sensitive issues
  • Myths about men’s engagement in health services (with implications for health service providers)

View the clinical summary guide and further resources here

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer

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