CEO Primary Matters – 26 February 2020

Cancer education on a ‘grassroots’ level

Whilst Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) does extensive work in state and national initiatives, such as National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, BreastScreen Australia and National Cervical Screening Program and in Optimal Care Pathways, it is important to acknowledge the hard work that is being put in at the ‘grass roots’ level of the community to ensure greater participation rates in cancer screening, especially with World Cancer Day occurring earlier this month.

Since 2018, WVPHN has been facilitating community-led Bowel Cancer Screening and Peer Education projects in the suburbs of Corio and Norlane in Geelong. The Peer Education project has involved the training of educators so that they can promote cancer screening and the importance of take home bowel test kits, which are readily available for any member of the community.

The projects are in response to the Corio and Norlane National Bowel Screening Program rates sitting below the national average and emphasise our dedication to maintaining focus on our smaller communities – our grass roots.

If you are interested in more information or a bowel cancer screening presentation at your organisation/community group, please contact: Anne O’Callaghan, Cancer Screening Community Project Officer, WVPHN, phone (03) 5222 0800 or email

Recognising our world first

As the global health industry went into overdrive to find out as much as they could about COVID-19 after the outbreak, I can proudly say that the WVPHN HealthPathways team responded so well that they pulled together the first clinical and referral information health pathway for COVID-19 in the world. The HealthPathways editors from our Horsham site were quick to grant GPs access to the COVID-19 information which outlines how to provide appropriate assessment, management and referral when dealing with a patient who is potentially infected with the virus.

Other organisations naturally followed suit over the following days, but it is a testament to the professionalism and responsiveness of our HealthPathways team, who are constantly improving primary health care pathways and service information.

Our health alert page for COVID-19 is still the best way for GPs and health professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest information on the virus.

Appointment of Senior Manager – Workforce Development

We are delighted to announce that Fiona Quigley has been appointed to the newly created position, Senior Manager Workforce Development. Over the past two years at WVPHN, Fiona has successfully led the My Health Record project and more recently, as Digital Health Lead, has led the introduction of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Community of Practice (Victoria-wide online forum) and worked on Project ECHO Persistent Pain which has just been successfully launched.

Fiona will provide strategic leadership in the development, implementation and ongoing management of the new Workforce Development Program which involves initiatives targeting the health workforce which improve the capacity of the primary care health system to deliver better outcomes for patients and the community.

It is an area of focus for WVPHN for 2020 and we anticipate Fiona driving the program forward with great success.

Contacting us and sending us your feedback

For your convenience, please find a ‘Contact Us’ button at the very top right (beside the ‘Search here…’ bar) on all pages on our website.

We are always looking to improve the ways in which we provide information to you and your opinion matters to us.

If you have any constructive feedback for us that you would like to share, please visit the ‘Contact Us‘ page on our website and complete the brief ‘Feedback’ form.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Dr Leanne Beagley

Chief Executive Officer

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