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Workers to get free health checks


Brigid Veale
20 November 2014
An innovative on-site health program at Crowley Care Services in Ballina with Southern Cross University will provide workers access to free health checks and advice, while at the same time providing allied health students with valuable clinical experience.

The joint initiative week-long Wellness Program, from November 17 to 21, will be run out of SCU’s mobile health facility, giving workers at the Crowley Care Centre access to a wide range of health services.

Dr Louise Horstmanshof, from the School of Health and Human Sciences, said the joint program with Crowley would follow a similar successful mobile health partnership offered to the residents of the centre last year.

“We know that a healthy workforce is a critical part of any industry, and health workers are no different. Through this program we will putting the focus on primary health care and helping people take responsibility of their own healthcare, so they can function at their best, and know how to take care of themselves,” Dr Horstmanshof said.

“A recent national survey of more than 6,000 nurses by Southern Cross University (Ross & Barr), identified obesity, hypertension, respiratory disease, musculoskeletal problems and risk of developing type II diabetes. It is most likely that these health concerns would be prevalent amongst other health workers, including those who work in aged care.”

Dr Horstmanshof said health and social welfare students would be working alongside clinical supervisors covering services includingosteopathy, podiatry, speech pathology, diabetes, nursing and social work.

“This is really great model for our students. They will be working in interdisciplinary teams with fellow students and supervisors, and will also get to work closely with health staff already in the industry,” she said.

“The Crowley workforce will include health workers, administration and facilities staff, who will also benefit from seeing our interdisciplinary teams in action and the range of allied health services that are available.”

Crowley Care Services Residential Care Services Manager Whenua Oner welcomed the extension of the program partnership.

“We have learnt the health and wellbeing of our staff is critical to our success because happy and healthy staff engage positively with our residents and clients. As we are in the people business, that positive engagement is everything," Ms Oner said.

"This joint project with Southern Cross University helps guide and educate our staff to better understand how they can manage and monitor their own health. The flow-on effects are considerable.

"Crowley is proud to once again provide workplace training to prepare our region’s students by supporting their clinical skill development in primary health care.”

This project was possible due to funding through the Australian Department of Health.
Photo: Anna Moon, Southern Cross University graduating osteopathy student and Angie Ratcliffe, a first year nurse.