NACCHO affiliate AHCSA wins the national ‘Excellence in Indigenous Health Award

The Aboriginal Health Council of SA Inc. has won the national ‘Excellence in Indigenous Health Award for Improving Access to Primary Health Care’ for their outstanding resource ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult health checks made easy’.

The 3rd Annual Excellence in Indigenous Health Awards ceremony was held in Sydney on 28 March 2012, and recognised inspirational work from service providers, communities and individuals making a difference in Aboriginal health disadvantage.

Yvonne Buza, AHCSA Chairperson, Mary Buckskin, AHCSA Chief Executive Officer, and Ann Newchurch, AHCSA Workforce Manager, attended the Award Ceremony with Mary-Anne Williams who led the team that created the winning resource.

Mary Buckskin said, “I am ecstatic by the win and wish to thank all those who brought the resource to life including staff members Mary-Anne Williams, Beth Hummerston, Dr David Scrimgeour, Alicia Nowak, Andrea Murphy, Michele Robinson, Ann Newchurch and Harold Stewart; Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service staff for trialling the resource and giving critical feedback, the South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector Advisory Group; Flinders & Far North Division of General Practice; and Dreamtime Public Relations for designing and printing the resource.”

Ms Buckskin explained that the resource had been created in response to data indicating that among SA’s population of 26,000 Aboriginal people only 1,264 Aboriginal health checks were processed by Medicare in 2010.

“Aboriginal Health Workers indicated the number of health checks being performed could be improved through the production of a step-by-step health check reference guide that provides clear and practical tips and tools, and so work on the resource began,” said Ms Buckskin. “Performing regular health checks is essential for holistic preventative primary health care and it is vital that more are performed. The ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult health checks made easy’ resource, and recently obtained funding to promote its use, should go some way to achieving this.”

The award category of ‘Improving Access to Primary Health Care’ recognised services that centre on the needs of the community, provide accessible and appropriate models of care, and are important to improve primary health care. To be eligible for the award, entrants were required to engage with their community, use community resources and deliver a primary health care service which improved health outcomes in the community.

The Aboriginal Health Council of SA Inc. (AHCSA) is the peak body representing Aboriginal community controlled health and substance misuse service, and Aboriginal health advisory committees across South Australia. AHCSA is an affiliate of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

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