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VHA Annual Conference-Creating a Healthier Future: Population Health Approaches to Planning-Oct2010

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MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Monashlink dental project wins Victorian healthcare award.

Monashlink Community Health Service has won the 2010 Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA) Award for My Health Lounge, a program aimed at improving oral healthcare for people living in supported residential services (SRS’s).

The award recognises an outstanding contribution to Victorian public healthcare in the area of population health approaches to planning. Sponsored by human resources consultancy Dakin Mayers, it was presented to Monashlink at the VHA’s annual conference in Melbourne on Thursday 14 October.

Population health approaches encourage innovation by recognising the changing needs of populations and how they are influenced by the social determinants of health - the factors that determine health and wellbeing.

My Health Lounge targets health and social inequities in a specific population group and plans interventions based on local evidence. It was developed after a Knox and Inner South Community Health Services pilot found 22 per cent of pension-level SRS residents had no natural teeth, 88 per cent had missing teeth, 54 per cent had tooth decay and 36 per cent needed teeth extracted.

Monashlink Oral Health Services Manager, Dr Felicia Valianatos, said My Health Lounge was an innovative program for a community challenged by health and social inequity.

“Their general health and, in particular, oral health is neglected due to psychological, social and environmental factors,” Dr Valianatos said.

“They are frequently socially isolated, affected by chronic mental health issues and cognitive deficits. These act as barriers to this community group receiving oral healthcare.”

My Health Lounge will assist 127 residents at Manalin House in Clayton South, Achmore Lodge in Clarinda, Coorondo Home in Ashwood and Oakern Lodge in Mount Waverley.

They will receive fortnightly oral healthcare visits, allied health activities and health education programs run by dieticians, diabetes nurse educators and financial counsellors.

“Our staff will meet the clients directly and create a strong affinity to Monashlink early in the process,” Dr Valianatos said.

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Finalists, from left to right:  Melissa Sapuppo, (Health Promotion Unit Manager, Dianella Community Health Service), Trevor Carr (CEO, VHA), Di Couch (GM-Primary & Community Health, Doutta Galla Community Health), Gregg Nicholls (CEO, Monashlink), Philip Mayers (Dakin Mayers), Cameron Butler (CEO, Beechworth Health Service), Fran Patterson (Project Officer, Western District Health Service), and Campbell Rule (Peninsula Health)

                                           

vha_pop_health_con_day_1_pm_046 Winners! from left to right:  Michelle Varcoe (Dakin Mayers), Gregg Nicholls (CEO, Monashlink), Philip Mayers (Dakin Mayers), Felicity Smith (Chairman, Monashlink), Trevor Carr (CEO, VHA) and Fran James (Coordinator of Quality & Health Promotion, Monashlink)