Western Alliance Annual Symposium

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) shares the latest in primary care research innovation at the Western Alliance Annual Symposium

As an evidence-based health organisation, WVPHN recognises the need to support the generation and translation of research that improves primary health care.

The WVPHN Research Committee reviews around 50 application of collaboration and partnership every year, proritising those that show the most potential translate to real improvements in service quality, access and health equity. WVPHN staff have also coauthored studies in major journals around telehealth and urgent care.

As part of the commitment, WVPHN is a partner of Western Alliance, a regionally-based research translation institute, which works to improve the impact, quality and quantity of research in the region through strategies that promote translation of research evidence into practice. Ultimately, to improve quality of care and health outcomes for regional and rural communities.

Jamie Swann, Senior Manager Health Intelligence and Research, presenting at the symposium.

Every year, Western Alliance hold a symposium to share the best regional research from universities and health services. This year, WVPHN had a dedicated session, Primary Care Research showcase, discussing seven pieces of research and research translation looking at innovative approaches to the delivery of primary health care in the western Victoria region. These included:


  • Evaluation of the Priority Primary Care Centres: An update on a Deakin-led initiative to evaluate the effectiveness of the WVPHN-commissioned centres to provide non-urgent care to residents of Ballarat, Geelong and Warrnambool, with the goal of easing the pressure on hospital emergency rooms and GP clinics alike.
  • Measuring Outcomes in Chronic Conditions: An outline of the preliminary results, learnings and considerations obtained from the 2022/23 WVPHN Chronic Conditions Models of Care (CCMC) program – which delivered primary care and support services to around 5000 western Victorians, across 11 rural health services and one general practice.
  • Rapid cycle evaluation of a program to enhance the readiness and response to family violence in general practices: Sharing the evaluation of an introductory-level training program to improve the readiness of general practices in western Victoria to identify and support victim-survivors of family and domestic violence. This training involved six practices and 65 practice staff.
  • Understanding service needs in Residential Aged Care: A survey of providers in western Victoria: A summary of the 2022 “Telehealth and After-hours in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) in Western Victoria” survey, WVPHN established a baseline understanding of pathways of care, telehealth, and after-hours capabilities and capacities.
  • Measuring Digital Health Maturity in General Practice: An outline of the Digital Health Maturity Assessment, delivered in general practices across the region – aiming to improve understanding of the spectrum of digital health maturity across general practice.
  • Step Thru Care, Co-Design of Place-Based Integrated Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Programs: A summary of the Step Thru Care (STC) Service Delivery Model – a collaborative, shared care approach supporting consumers both with co-occurring and independent mental health and alcohol and other drugs support needs.
  • Evaluation of primary care and help-seeking promotion programs to increase dementia diagnosis and early treatment: Summarising the evaluation of a public help-seeking and stigma reduction campaign and primary care practice change program on dementia diagnosis and treatment, delivered in PHNs across three regions – western Victoria, Adelaide, and western Sydney.

Feby Savira from Deakin University also presented on a collaborative project with WVPHN analysts, examining drivers of telehealth uptake during the pandemic.

If you are a researcher or health organisation interested in collaborating with WVPHN, please see our research proposal hub or email health.intelligence@westvicphn.com.au

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