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Researchers keen to know

community’s health issues

Researchers from universities and health services will visit Warracknabeal next month to gain a better understanding of health priorities for the Wimmera and Grampians regions.

The research team wants to hear from local community members about what they believe are their future health care needs. Victorian-based speech pathologist Dr Renee Clapham is leading the study which is supported by Ballarat Health Services, Ballarat Community Health, East Grampians Health Service, Stawell Regional Health, Wimmera Health Care Group and Rural Northwest Health.

Dr Clapham told “insert newspaper”that people who lived in rural and regional areas generally had poorer health and died earlier than people living in metropolitan areas.

“Despite these poorer health outcomes, research studies often do not address the health issues of the community,” Dr Clapham said.

“Our research team is doing a study partly funded by a Western Alliance research grant, to find out what people think are the priority health issues in their community,” she said.

“We believe it is essential that research considers the needs, interests and values of people who live and work in this region.

“We have teamed up with researchers and health services to hear what people and health professionals in the local area want from future research.”

RNH CEO Kevin Mills said the sessions provided an important opportunity for community members to make a difference.

“While RNH has a strong focus on community input in everything we do, it’s not often we all get a chance to help guide the future health priorities for the entire region,” Mr Mills said.

“It’s really important that our people attend events like this so the appropriate bodies have the right information on which they can base their decisions.”

Community members can have their say in improving the health of the community during two public information sessions at Warracknabeal Neighbourhood House and Learning Centre on August 15. The sessions will be at 2.30pm and 7pm and light refreshments will be provided.

Dr Clapham holds a conjoint position with Ballarat Health Services and Deakin University. Her role as regional allied health research clinician is to carry out allied health-related research and develop research capacity and capability in several Victorian health services.

The research team includes members from Ballarat Health Services, Deakin University, Rural Northwest Health and La Trobe University.

  • The health services supporting the study are Ballarat Health Services, Ballarat Community Health, East Grampians Health Service, Stawell Regional Health, Wimmera Health Care Group, Rural Northwest Health. The study is partly funded by a Western Alliance research grant.

Caption:Associate Professor Anna Wong Shee and Dr Renee Clapham are included in a team of researchers visiting Warracknabeal on August 15.

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