Doors open to new Lismore primary health precinct
The Lismore Primary Health Precinct operating at the Southern Cross University Health Clinic gives flood-impacted primary care providers a new home while providing residents access to vital and urgently-needed health services.
Established by Healthy North Coast, Chief Executive Office Julie Sturgess says she was delighted to see the new precinct operational just three weeks after the flood emergency.
“It is a real testament to the spirit of collaboration across the Northern Rivers that we have been able to rapidly coordinate alternative clinic spaces for primary health providers that would otherwise be displaced,” said Ms Sturgess.
“I want to extend my thanks to Southern Cross University for supporting the initiative and working with Healthy North Coast to stand-up this new Primary Health Precinct so quickly.”
Funded by the Australian Government through the PHN Program as part of the Northern NSW flood recovery efforts, the new precinct has the capacity to house more than 20 primary health services, including general practice, pharmacy, pathology, mental health, and a range of other allied health services.
Pharmacy assistant Renee Gulliver ready to assist customers at the ChemPro Southside Pharmacy now operating at the SCU Health Clinic Lismore campus.
Professor Julie Jomeen, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health at Southern Cross University, said she was delighted to welcome health providers and community members to the new Lismore Primary Health Precinct.
“The way the University and Healthy North Coast have worked together to make this a reality within a short space of time is a true example of an effective partnership,” said Professor Jomeen.
“For Southern Cross and the Faculty to respond and meet community needs in a time of immediate crisis after the flood event and then support Healthy North Coast in the recovery phase is humbling and makes me extremely proud as the Dean of Health.
“Importantly, our students – the future workforce of the region – are a key part of this new Lismore Primary Health Precinct. Our student-led clinics will continue within the Health Clinic facility, offering osteopathy, speech pathology, exercise physiology and more.
“The precinct’s arrival with its broad range of health services is an exciting development for the students by enhancing opportunities for referrals as well as patient and provider interaction.”
Joining Professor Jomeen at the launch was Associate Professor Jacqui Yoxall, Director of Clinical Services for the SCU Health Clinic and Discipline Chair for Allied Health and Midwifery.
Professor Yoxall is also the Chair of North Coast Allied Health Association, the peak body for the region’s allied health professionals.
“This is a welcome initiative for allied health practitioners on the North Coast and their respective patients in need of ongoing care following the flood event,” Professor Yoxall said.
“I’m pleased it will deliver increased opportunity for integrated care and for interprofessional practice experience for students engaged in placement at the SCU Health Clinic.”
Ms Sturgess emphasised the Lismore Primary Health Precinct was not a pop-up operation.
“We are certainly here to meet the immediate need for primary health service continuity and are also working through the medium to long term provider and community needs, so we can respond appropriately based on future plans for recovery,” Ms Sturgess said.
Visit Healthy North Coast’s online directory of primary care services to find out more and make appointments at hnc.org.au/lismore-primary-health-precinct
Student-led treatments at the SCU Health Clinic Lismore campus recommence in April. To find out more or to book an appointment, call 02 6626 9131.
The SCU Health Clinic Gold Coast campus also offers student-led treatments. Call 07 5589 3252 for more information.
Pam Wilson (left) and Catherine Goulding are QML Pathology collectors now based at the SCU Health Clinic Lismore campus.