A series of events and workshops to help inspire and educate AHP members in growing their businesses. Held online on the last Tuesday of every second month.

Allied Health Assistants: National Developments & Local Workforce Models.  

The Allied Health Assistant (AHA) workforce is increasingly in-focus as health planners and employers strive to improve access to allied health services in rural and remote Australians. Services for Rural & Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) likewise regards AHAs as a key ingredient to build a more responsive allied health workforce in rural areas. Cath Maloney (SARRAH CEO) will present a summary of recent AHA developments on the national front, including the recent AHA Training Package review and potential AHA-delivered service models in aged care. She will also update on the place of AHAs within the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway program under development through SARRAH.

On the local front, Chanelle Clark from Glasswing Therapy based on the North Coast will describe integration of AHAs into the Rural & Remote Therapy Program that Glasswing is developing in their practice. She will describe challenges to integrating AHAs into the model, but also innovative solutions to achieve an efficient and effective program.

If you have an interest or involvement with allied health assistants in your workplace, make sure you link into this Zoom event on August 31st.

Speaker Profiles:

About Cath Maloney:

Cath has a background in physiotherapy with over 25 years of clinical experience prior to moving into health service management roles.  Cath has worked in public sector, private and non-government settings including running her own practice, delivering allied health services across central and southern NSW.  Cath completed a Master of Science in Medicine (Pain Management), is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and the advanced leadership program with Women and Leadership Australia (2019).  Over the past 12 years Cath has held leadership and management positions in state and Commonwealth government and with a remote Aboriginal Community-Controlled organisation, and served 6 years on the Board of a rurally-based Primary Health Network.  Cath is now the CEO of SARRAH, a role she has held since April 2019

About Chanelle Clark:

National Projects Manager – Glasswing Therapy:  Chanelle has a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) and a Masters of Public Health with over 20 years experience working in health care across government and community settings in the areas of research, program and service development. She has been with Glasswing Therapy for just over 3 years, a growing Allied Health Company based in Northern NSW. Chanelle has held various roles with the company as it has transitioned into the dynamic and innovative company that it is today. Chanelle has recently stepped into the National Projects Manager role to lead and support the company’s expansion and service development across NSW, QLD and Victoria.

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This is an ONLINE event and the Zoom link will be sent to you upon registration.

NCAHA Monthly Hub – Tue 31st August  I  6.00pm – 7.00pm

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Independent Ageing: The Essential Role of Allied Health Workers.

Transition care arrangements for older Australians from hospital to home is a challenge right across the country and it is certainly an important issue here on the North Coast.  The transition environment is complex with Commonwealth, State and NGO service entities involved, a mixture of health care and aged care services required, and the need for effective access to private health providers, including allied health professionals.  To add to this complexity, the current service mix in transition care is poorly integrated with little overall capacity for effective coordination.  Our speakers will cover some of these issues, discuss the need for and current access to allied health services in transition care, and consider some directions or solutions for elderly residents here on the North Coast.  They will argue that difficulties encountered in transition care are reflective of concerns about access to allied health in the broader primary health care setting and the need for improved capacity of the health system to optimise functional living capacity for older people in their own homes and also in RACFs.

Speaker Profiles:

About Susan Nancarrow:

Adjunct Professor Susan Nancarrow is a much-travelled academic and health researcher living on the North Coast with her young family. She trained as a podiatrist, but has now been researching across disciplines for over 15 years at local, national and international levels.  She is a director on the North Coast LHD Board, a recent director with the NCAHA, and formerly Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor of Health Sciences & Director of Research in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University.

Susan has a particular interest in health workforce research and reform, service delivery and organisation. Her research is underpinned by the principles of capacity building and user-focused engagement to ensure that the findings are relevant and meaningful to the end users and contribute to organisational capacity and skill development. Her vision is for the provision of the best quality, and best access to allied health services for any people in Australia.

I strive to prepare the workforce to be resilient and future proofed and that systems are aligned so that they work efficiently to provide the best services possible.”

About Craig Gilmore:

Craig is a physiotherapist and director of his own multi-disciplinary health business, Cirrus Health, on the North Coast. He has worked in rural towns in sole positions and on work sites as the only allied health professional. On any given day his caseload could include paediatrics, spinal cord injuries, work place health and safety and elderly care. He has also worked in major cities, across Australia and overseas, where clinical assistance for practitioners was readily available. He well understands the asymmetry in access to services and support for clinicians that exists between metro and rural/regional areas and the need for advocacy to address inequities.

Given his extensive experience as an employer in rural Australia, Craig is keenly aware of the difficulties in recruiting and retaining allied health staff, as well as the benefits to those staff of addressing health needs across whole communities rather than just the narrow band they would be exposed to working in urban practice. He is also passionate about the need for better integration of health care in his community.

“Health care should be truly interdisciplinary. As Allied Health Professionals we should work alongside our colleagues, learn from them and teach them. Allied health care shouldn’t be an “add-on” to medical care but integral to the whole system.”

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This is an ONLINE event and the Zoom link will be sent to you upon registration.

NCAHA Monthly Hub – Tue 29 June 6.00pm – 7.00pm

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Allied Health Research In The Field

  • Want to hear about some innovative Allied Health research on the North Coast?
  • Thinking about a research project yourself?
  • Curious about some of the benefits and the pitfalls of undertaking research?

Come and join in the conversation with our panel of researchers. This presentation will focus on the research endeavors of 3 local allied health professionals, their research findings as well as the benefits they have attained from the process and the difficulties they encountered.

Researchers profiles:

About Helen McGregor:

Helen has been working as a Podiatrist in private and public practice for over 35 years in Australia and the UK. She is a full-time clinician and has written and delivered multi-disciplinary clinical skills training programs. Helen has been a past board member of her professional association, Services for Rural and Remote Allied Health and Wounds Australia.

Having been a health professional for so long Helen has attended hundreds of hours of CPD. Through her research she would like to know what motivates Allied Health Professionals to undertake CPD, and what influence the design and delivery of CPD has on the likelihood of translation into practice.

The working title of her PhD research is: Alignment of Educational Intent and Learner Experience in Post Qualification Allied Health Continuing Professional Development.

About Sarah Miles:

Sarah is an occupational therapist with over 15 years’ experience working across Australia and the United Kingdom. She has resided on the North Coast for the last 10 years where she has worked across both public, private and not-for-profit sector. Sarah has worked at the University Centre for Rural Health in Lismore for the last 4 years and is a Clinical Educator (Occupational Therapy) and the Team Leader – Clinical Education (Multidisciplinary Health). Sarah is also a Director on the North Coast Allied Health Association and has mentored and run early career allied health professionals’ groups in the local region for the last few years. Sarah is passionate about helping students and early career graduates’ transition to the workforce and developing supports and mechanisms to assist in navigating the transition.

Sarah has just transferred to a PhD and her topic is: To explore how work readiness is understood and designed for in final practice education placements within the occupational therapy profession.

About Shelley Barlow:

Shelley’s research journey started during her undergraduate course in the 1980’s. Shelley chose research as an elective in her final year of physiotherapy. In those days research was all quantitative, statistics and hypotheses. Shelley was then presented with the opportunity to apply for the Rural Research Capacity Building program in 2010-2021 and completed the course, at which time she did a qualitative study. Between the two opportunities Shelley worked as a clinician and completed a Graduate Diploma of Gestalt Therapy and Masters in 2015. The basis of Gestalt Therapy is the use of phenomenology.

Shelley’s PhD topic is “the lived experiences of physiotherapists in their clinical encounters with people with chronic pain: a Phenomenological inquiry”. She hopes to submit by June this year.

Her wish is that, for anyone embarking on research, they get the support they need to match their passion and perseverance.

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This is an ONLINE event and the Zoom link will be sent to you upon registration.

6.00 – 7.00pm

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The Voice of Allied Health

Join us on Tue 23 February as we kick off our program for 2021 with Dr Jennifer Hewitt presenting on The Voice of Allied Health.

This presentation will focus on the role of allied health in leading change. Dr Jennifer Hewitt will talk about the journey of her Sunbeam Trial – from a clinician identifying a need for change, to a researcher lobbying for health policy reform. The highs and lows, key messages and where to from here. The aim of the session is to promote thought and discussion about what we as Allied Health Professionals can do to advocate for the people we serve.

About Dr Jennifer Hewitt

Dr Jennifer Hewitt is a practicing physiotherapist, educator and academic researcher with a passion for delivering best practice clinically and leading research that informs health care policy. She was recently awarded the ACSA Australian National Lifetime Achievement Award for services to aged and community care, a National Commendation Award from the Aged Care Quality Agency, and the 2019 Morley Award for the paper most likely to influence policy and practice from the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. She was invited to give evidence as an expert witness for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in July 2020 and her work has been used successfully to advocate for Australian Aged Care Funding Reform. 

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This is an ONLINE event and the Zoom link will be sent to you upon registration.

6.00 – 7.00pm

Rural Allied Health Workforce: Some Thinking, Developments, Opportunities

In 2020 the provision of equitable and accessible allied health professional services in rural and remote Australia remains problematic.

Hear first hand from our three speakers as they present some ideas on how the situation might be improved.

Together our  speakers represent a wealth of experience and insight into rural Australian healthcare, and particularly with regard to allied health services and interventions.  They will lead a panel discussion on issues and challenges for rural allied health workforce, with a particular focus on the context of the NSW North Coast.

Professor Susan Nancarrow is a podiatrist by profession, but she has also become a noted healthcare researcher and consultant with an interest in optimising service organisation and health workforce flexibility.  She has lived for many years on the North Coast NSW and she is a current and founding Director of our North Coast Allied Health Association.  She is current director of the North Coast Local Health District and, in her spare time, has recently authored a book ‘The Allied Health Professions: A Sociological Perspective’ to be published in March 2021.

Cath Maloney is a physiotherapist with over 25 years’ experience in healthcare in rural NSW, both in the public and private sectors, and also as a Director on the Murrumbidgee PHN Board.  Cath completed a Master of Science in Medicine (Pain Management), is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and the advanced leadership program with Women and Leadership Australia (2019).  She now lives in Canberra where she is the CEO for Services for Australian Rural & Remote Allied Health (SARRAH), working hard to promote the benefits of allied health services in rural Australia and striving to improve access to these services for rural and remote communities.  Cath will present an update on the development of the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathways (AHRGP) Program.

Professor Ross Bailie is a medical practitioner and health researcher, currently residing on the North Coast NSW where he is Director of the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) at Lismore.  He has extensive background in rural and remote health care, including in Indigenous health, maternal and child health and public health, and has worked in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Today Ross is speaking about the concept of an Allied Health Service and Learning Consortia here on the North Coast, and will also discuss relevant recommendations for allied health from the recent review of the national Rural Health Multi-disciplinary Teams (RHMT) Program.

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This is an ONLINE event and the Zoom link will be sent to you upon registration.

4.00 – 5.00pm

From whoa to go: Turning around a private AHP business in regional Australia

Jo and Anna Moran run a private physiotherapy practice in Wodonga, Victoria. Eighteen months ago, they were working 50 hour weeks and barely making a living. They took a number of steps which have put them firmly in control of their business, increased patient numbers and profitability. They were also well positioned to survive the COVID lockdown. Jo will talk through the changes they made to their practice, with lessons for other regional private allied health practitioners.

Joe Moran is the head physiotherapist and director of Optimum Physiotherapy. He has over 20yrs clinical experience working with both elite athletes and the lay population. Originally from the UK, Joe has worked with a range of sporting teams internationally, including British Gymnastics, Super League (rugby league) and world renowned cyclists. After starting his career in the NHS, Joe moved with his young family to Wodonga in Victoria where he and his wife Anna started a private physiotherapy practice.

Hear first hand from Joe as he describes his journey from ‘clinician’ to ‘CEO’ and how he turned around his private practice in a challenging environment.

This is an ONLINE event and the Zoom link will be sent to you upon registration.

6.00 – 7.30pm

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Impact of Covid on AHP – Panel Discussion

Tuesday 29 Sept, 6:00 – 7:30pm – NCAHA Online Hub

This facilitated panel session will explore the impact of COVID19 on allied health practices in Northern NSW.

The session will be facilitated by Professor Susan Nancarrow and panellists will include:

  • Rob Curry, physiotherapist, NCAHA executive officer and Chair of SARRAH;
  • Associate Professor Jacqui Yoxall, allied health lead at SCU who will discuss the effects on education, training and clinical placements;
  • Craig Gilmore, private practitioner and Director of Cirrus Healthcare;
  • Alira Bandiran, clinical psychologist from Coffs Harbour.

This is an ONLINE event and the Zoom link will be sent to you upon registration.

6.00 – 7.30pm

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