Keeping your finger on the pulse

Bringing quality healthcare and wellness to St George

Date - 5 June 2023

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SQRH, in partnership with Goondir Health Services, are creating health student placement opportunities while promoting holistic wellness in St George with the establishment of the Allied Health Education and Training Hub.

The first block of the innovative Healthy Lifestyles program has wrapped up with excellent results and we look forward to commencing a new round later this year.

Since establishment, the hub has been bustling with activity as we welcomed local St George community members and introduced them to the comprehensive range of health services.

Participants have benefited from working with students and highly skilled health professionals from the areas of dietetics, exercise physiology, social work and occupational therapy to improve their overall health, setting them up for long term success.

The Healthy Lifestyles program has been designed to empower individuals to achieve their optimum health and wellbeing through education, resources, and support. Participants have had access to personalised health assessments, nutritional counselling, fitness and exercise programs, stress management techniques, and ongoing support from allied health professionals and health students.

Throughout the first round of the program, we have witnessed remarkable transformations in the lives of our participants. Many have embraced healthier lifestyle choices, are successfully managing chronic conditions, and experienced improved overall wellbeing. The dedication and commitment shown by participants have been outstanding, and the team are immensely proud of their achievements.

In conjunction with the Healthy Living initiative, we introduced the Strength and Balance program, addressing the specific needs of individuals over 50 years in maintaining their physical wellbeing and preventing falls.

The Strength and Balance program is designed to improve participants' strength, balance, and overall confidence while equipping them with essential skills to prevent falls in the future. Led by the team of allied health professionals and supported by enthusiastic students, the program offers a supportive and engaging environment for participants to learn new exercises and techniques. These sessions were held twice a week, allowing ample time for individuals to practice and integrate the exercises into their daily routines.

The program's holistic approach not only focused on physical wellbeing but also encompassed educational components that provided valuable insights into fall prevention strategies and tips for maintaining a safe home environment. The Strength and Balance program has been met with overwhelming positive feedback from participants. Many expressed improved strength, enhanced balance, and increased confidence in their daily activities. The program's collaborative nature, with allied health professionals and students working together, fostered a supportive and nurturing atmosphere that encouraged participants to achieve their goals.

Occupational therapy students were also given the opportunity to conduct outreach home visits across the region, to perform assessments and make recommendations for adjustments around the home. This gave students a chance to taste life on the land and witness some of the setbacks to accessing health services.

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University of Queensland students, Gabby, Phoebe, Alex, Kate and Neve were amongst the first students to complete these first-of-their-kind placements in St George. While living in the SQRH accommodation, they made the most of rural living with exploring the region and embedding themselves in the community. Program participants thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them and working with them to learn and improve together.

We hope that by creating these opportunities for student placement experiences, the rural healthcare workforce will ultimately be boosted.

As we celebrate the completion of the first round, we are already looking ahead to the next phase of the Healthy Living and Strength and Balance programs with initial assessments taking place soon. Building on the lessons learned and the feedback received, the program will continuously evolve to address the specific needs and aspirations of participants.

SQRH remains steadfast in the aim to make a positive impact on health in rural communities. The completion of the first round of the Healthy Living program is a testament to the power of interprofessional healthcare and the dedication of our team and participants.

For more information about the programs at the Allied Health Education and Training hub, visit here.

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