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Monday, September 22, 2014

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  Welcome to Country Health SA Local Health Network (CHSALHN)  

The Country Health SA Local Health Network (CHSALHN) is part of SA Health which oversees the rural health system in South Australia.  We are transforming health care and delivering health benefits so that rural and remote South Australians live healthy lives.



First Riverland Hospital Pharmacy opens - 9 September 2014
For the first time the Riverland General Hospital has an onsite pharmacy, improving access to medicines for all Riverlanders. SA Pharmacy’s Director of Country Pharmacy Services, Jenny Pink, said the service, which opened last week, would bring a new level of pharmacy expertise to the hospital. “Previously, patients would receive a prescription for new medications started during their admission and visit a community pharmacy after discharge to have them dispensed,” Jenny said. “Now, with the opening of the hospital’s own onsite pharmacy, people leaving hospital can receive up to a month’s supply of medicine with appropriate counselling from a pharmacist prior to discharge.

Whyalla Welcomes New Physician - 29 August 2014
More health services will be provided by specialists living and working in Whyalla, with the appointment of a second resident physician at Whyalla Hospital. Eyre, Flinders and Far North Regional Director, Ros McRae, said Dr Ravi Ruberu will provide general physician services at the hospital from Monday, 8 September. “We are very excited to announce that we will soon have a second physician living and working in Whyalla,” Ros McRae said.

New Psychiatrist for the Riverland - 7 August 2014 
Country Health SA has appointed its first full-time psychiatrist to the Riverland. Dr Geetha Giri will be based in Berri on a six-month placement, delivering services in the new Riverland Integrated Mental Health Inpatient Unit, as well as across the region’s community mental health services. Country Health SA Executive Director of Mental Health, Rebecca Graham, said the appointment was another exciting achievement for mental health services in the Riverland.

Work gathers pace at South Coast Health Precinct - 14 July 2014
The South Coast Community Health Care Precinct’s main slab will be poured this week, marking an exciting milestone for the $10 million project. Country Health SA Barossa, Hills and Fleurieu Regional Director, Debbie Martin said work on the precinct, due for completion in mid-2015, is quickly gathering pace. “The laying of the foundation marks a critical point in this project and we will now be able to see the real progress that has been occurring at the construction site,” Debbie Martin said.

New pelvic floor equipment to benefit Whyalla Residents 10 July 2014
Whyalla Hospital is now home to an important exercise machine designed to help people prevent and overcome bladder and bowel control problems. Whyalla Health Services Acting Director of Allied and Community Health, Ilse-Marie Foord, said the Kegel Exercise Chair, worth around $29,000, is already being used by local residents to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles.

Mental Health Forum - Berri (Wed 11 June 10:30am-3pm)
Mental health consumers, carers and the general community can hear about the latest mental health developments in their area at a forum in Berri next week. The Consumer and Carer forum will provide information about local mental health care services and the focus on youth mental health care. Riverland and South East Mental Health Network Manager Claire Smith said the forum would provide people with meaningful and practical information about regional mental health services and developments. Click here to download Berri Forum flyer

Support Breast Cancer Awareness - Mount Gambier (Saturday 28 June 5:30pm)
A mini-field of women event, incorporating more than 100 pink lady silhouettes, will be on display at The Cave Gardens in Mount Gambier, on Saturday, 28 June at 5.30pm, in a meaningful show of support for women and families affected by breast cancer. Event organiser and Breast Care Nurse Margie Atwell said each day 41 women learn they have breast cancer and seven lose their lives to the disease.

Pit Stop Health Check - Mount Gambier (Thursday 12 June 10:00am-3pm)
Mount Gambier residents will be able to get free health checks next week at a Pit Stop event being organised by the South East Regional Community Health Service. The Pit Stop Health Initiative will be held on Thursday 12 June at Market Place Shopping Centre, Penola Road, Mount Gambier, between 10am and 3pm. Community Nurse Lisa Maywald said the Pit Stop aimed to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining your health.

Take part in Reconciliation Week
Country hospitals and health sites are taking part in Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) and encouraging local residents to do the same. Country Health SA Executive Director of Aboriginal Health, Rob Zadow, said the week-long celebration is an opportunity for all country South Australians to explore ways to join the national reconciliation effort.

South East surgeon's new book
A South East surgeon is helping to change the face of palliative care surgery with the recent publishing of an important new medical textbook. Dr Matthias Wichmann, of Mt Gambier, together with Adelaide surgeon Professor Guy Maddern, are the joint editors of Palliative Surgery, an important reference book now available to surgeons worldwide.

Prescription Clinic at Cowell Hospital
Country Health SA will run prescription clinics via its digital telehealth network while GP services at the private medical clinic in Cowell are temporarily unavailable. Country Health SA Eyre, Flinders and Far North Regional Director Michele Smith said the clinic would ensure residents could continue to access prescriptions for medication in Cowell.

Blood Pressure Checks for Kidney Health Week - Roxby Downs
Roxby Downs residents will be able to get free blood pressure checks during the upcoming national Kidney Health Week (25 to 31 May). Roxby Downs Health Service Community Health Nurse, Jazzy Grenville, said high blood pressure was one of the main risk factors for kidney disease.

Celebrating our health volunteers - South East Health Service
The South East Health Service will join thousands of organisations around the nation to mark the 25th anniversary of National Volunteer Week in Australia (12 - 18 May). This year’s campaign theme “Celebrate the Power of Volunteering” is all about appreciating and understanding the work of volunteers across the nation.

New Name for Medical Practice covering Cleve, Elliston and Kimba
The Cleve, Elliston and Kimba communities have a new name for GP services in their area. The Elliston Medical Practice, the Kimba Medical Practice and the Cleve Medical Practice will now be known as Mid Eyre Medical. Eyre, Flinders and Far North Regional Director Michele Smith said the name reflected the new way of delivering GP services in the region.

New Rural Mental Health Ward opens at Glenside
Country South Australians receiving specialised mental health care in Adelaide will benefit from the opening of a brand new facility on the redeveloped Glenside Campus. Country Health SA Executive Director of Mental Health, Rebecca Graham, said the purpose built 23-bed Rural and Remote Mental Health Unit was specifically designed to meet the needs of its country consumers. “The opening of this state-of-the-art ward signals a new era in metropolitan mental health care for country residents,” Rebecca Graham said.

Mental Health Forum - Whyalla (9 April 2014-10:30am to 2pm)
Mental health consumers, carers and the general community can hear about the latest mental health services coming to their region at a forum in Whyalla next month. The Experts by Experience forum will focus on the soon to open Whyalla Integrated Mental Health Inpatient Unit, community mental health services and a new model of youth mental health care that is set to be introduced across the state later this year. Download Registration Form

Caring Cancer Support Group achieves $17,000 Laser Target - Port Lincoln
Months of tireless fundraising by Port Lincoln’s own Caring Cancer Support Group has resulted in the $17,000 target being achieved for a new Laser Scanning Machine at Port Lincoln Hospital. With the support of the Port Lincoln community, Port Lincoln Health Services, 2013 Tunarama entrant Scarlet Lukin and a $3,000 donation from Beyond Bank Australia the machine has now arrived.

Taking Steps towards a Healthier Life - Jamestown
Over 60 local health staff are virtually walking their way from Jamestown to Uluru in a 10,000 steps Pedometer Challenge. Thirteen teams from Jamestown Hospital, Helping Hand Belalie Lodge and the Jamestown Medical Centre have joined the challenge, which began on 1 March and will continue until the teams reach Uluru. Jamestown Hospital Health Promotion Officer and Challenge Organiser Carolyn Dent said she had been overwhelmed by the interest in the challenge.

Country Health SA Young Achiever Finalists (click names below to open media release)
Young people in the country are being recognised for the important role they play in health care at the upcoming Channel 9 Young Achiever Awards. Three Country Health SA employees have been nominated for the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency Rural Health Award, which is designed to acknowledge, encourage and promote the positive achievements of young South Australians. The nominees include Angaston’s Jess Mitchell, a registered nurse with the Inner North Community Health Service, Mt Gambier’s Chloe Slarks, who is a paramedic intern with the SA Ambulance Service, and Brock Wilkins, of Yaninee, who works as a carer at Wudinna Hospital and is also a volunteer ambulance officer.

Get involved and help close the gap
Health services across country South Australia will be promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health as part of Close the Gap Day (20 March, 2014). Country Health SA Executive Director of Aboriginal Health Rob Zadow said Close the Gap Day is an important reminder to think about how we can all improve Aboriginal health outcomes.

Whyalla - Wig library to support cancer patients
Hundreds of women and men are set to benefit from a new wig library at Whyalla. Set to open on Friday (28 February 2014), the ‘Hair to Help’ wig library will be a valuable resource for local residents who have experienced hair loss due to cancer treatment. Whyalla Hospital McGrath Sellers Breast Care Nurse, Kate Kroll, said the library is the only service of its type in the region and will help to ease the financial and emotional burdens associated with cancer treatment. “Buying a wig can cost anywhere from $200 to $600, so having a library that will loan a wig for just $25 will be extremely beneficial for those needing to access such a service,” she said

.Loxton - Patients receive faster, better x-rays at Loxton Hospital
Patients at Loxton Hospital will benefit from faster and higher quality X-ray images, following the recent installation of a new X-ray machine. Riverland, Mallee and Coorong Regional Director Wayne Champion said the new X-ray equipment would feature the latest digital processing technology. “This brand new machine not only has the capability to undertake a range of X-rays, but also delivers better quality images, reducing the need to repeat X-rays,” Wayne Champion said.

Whyalla - New Physician increases Whyalla cardiac services
More Whyalla patients are set to receive care close to home, following the recruitment of Whyalla Hospital’s newest resident physician and cardiologist. Dr Ferdous Alam started at Whyalla Hospital on 28 January and is heading up the High Dependency Unit. Dr Alam specialises in cardiology and will soon commence both general physician and additional cardiac clinics at the hospital in support of the services currently provided by visiting cardiologists. Eyre, Flinders and Far North Regional Director Verity Paterson said Dr Alam will bring valuable expertise to Whyalla.

Burra - Supportive Care Suite Unveiled
The Supportive Care Suite at Burra Hospital has undergone a $15,000 make-over thanks to a donation from the Burra Hospital Auxiliary. Set to be unveiled on Wednesday 19 February, the newly upgraded suite incorporates a multipurpose area, main bedroom, bathroom and a small lounge, which can also be used as a bedroom for a family member or carer. Burra Hospital Executive Officer and Director of Nursing Andrew Daulby said the updated room is ideal for palliative care patients, children and other patients who may require a family member to stay overnight. “The Supportive Care Suite was first established in the 1980s and has remained largely unchanged since,” Andrew Daulby said.

Kimba, Cleve and Elliston - Welcome new doctors
The Kimba, Cleve and Elliston communities have welcomed their three new full-time doctors to the area at events held across the region this week. Doctors Gerard Considine, Melanie Clothier and Gail Hitch, who officially started in their roles on Monday 17 February, were introduced to the local community at a series of barbecues, including one that was attended by over 200 people at Kimba. Michele Smith, Regional Director for the Eyre, Flinders and Far North, said the doctors were pleased to receive such an enthusiastic welcome. “Dr Considine and Dr Clothier have both expressed their excitement at practicing in such a close knit community,” Michele Smith said.

Millicent Community Midwife Service
Mothers from Millicent and the surrounding area will for the first time receive home visits from a qualified midwife for up to six weeks following birth. The Community Midwife Service will be provided by midwives based at Millicent and District Hospital Service and will also cover areas such as Mt Burr, Southend and Beachport. South East Regional Director Jayne Downs said the service would provide support to many local mothers each year. “We are very pleased that mothers from the Millicent area will now be able to access midwifery services in their own homes in the days and weeks following birth,” she said.

Riverland - New renal unit at Riverland General Hospital
A new Renal Unit has opened at Riverland General Hospital as part of the hospital’s $36 million redevelopment. The new unit increases the number of renal dialysis chairs at the hospital from two to four enabling more patients to be treated each day. Riverland, Mallee, Coorong Regional Director Wayne Champion said the dedicated, purpose-built unit will benefit patients across the Riverland.

Mount Barker - Post-Natal rooms open
The Mount Barker District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital maternity wing redevelopment is one step closer to completion, with the opening of two brand new post-natal rooms. The rooms are part of a $3.8 million state-funded expansion and renovation of the hospital’s existing obstetrics wing, which will provide increased maternity services for the community. Barossa, Hills and Fleurieu Rural Regional Director Debbie Martin said it was an exciting milestone for the redevelopment.

Ceduna - Birthing Services to continue
Country Health SA has confirmed that birthing services at Ceduna will continue after the departure of General Practitioner Obstetrician Dr Ngwazani Mhlanga in April 2014. Dr Mhlanga has advised Ceduna District Health Services that he will be leaving the Ceduna Family Medical Practice and moving with his family to Adelaide in April. Eyre, Flinders and Far North Acting Regional Director, Lisa Campbell, said the service, in conjunction with the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency, had commenced an extensive local and international recruitment campaign to find a replacement General Practitioner Obstetrician for Ceduna.

View previous announcements and Media Releases



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