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Rural Northwest Health has appointed six wellbeing coordinators to forge its new model of care to assist community members live well and keep well.

The wellbeing team is available to every community member of any age in Rural Northwest Health’s footprint. The team will begin work on Monday. (July 3)

Rural Northwest Health Community Health manager Ngareta Melgren said all six wellbeing coordinators had extensive experience and knowledge and were excited about their new role.

The team includes Janet Coghill, Sharon Taylor and Anne Clark, Sue Sanford, Kathy Poulton and Kate Watson. Angie Cox will provide administrative and reception support to the wellbeing coordinators.

Ms Melgren said the wellbeing coordinators would be the first point of contact for any community member who wished to access services and support.

“If a community member wants to improve their wellbeing in some way, all they have to do is make a free call on 1800 667 301,” Ms Melgren said.

“Once they have made contact, the wellbeing coordinator will guide them to access services from Rural Northwest Health or other providers to undertake activities that support them to improve their wellbeing,” she said.

“The wellbeing coordinator will develop a plan that includes regular follow up calls, emails or SMS with that person to make sure they continue to feel supported and that they are connecting to services that are improving their wellbeing.”

Ms Melgren said health providers and other services would support the program by identifying health risks in individuals and connecting them to the wellbeing team.

“These services will include the local GP’s, the shire, specialists, telehealth and the neighbourhood houses,” she said.

“We encourage all community members to take control of their health and contact the wellbeing team.

“The team will assist you to develop a plan that is achievable and centred on you. Any community member who wishes to improve their health and wellbeing needs to call 1800 667 301.

“If people want to see a wellbeing coordinator in person they will visit your home or farm and there is no cost for the service.”

Rural Northwest Health CEO Catherine Morley said the new model, based on the Wagner model, would include Latrobe University undertaking a research project with Rural Northwest Health and the community members to demonstrate the success and areas that could improve the model.

“We have undertaken an extensive community consultation process including a governance committee in place with community members involved in the development of the model,” Ms Morley said.

“I would like to thank community members Joy Wilkin and Peter McDermott for the expertise and support they brought to our governance committee,” she said.

“The committee will continue to meet while we work through any teething problems of the implementation.”


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