Aboriginal Health News Alert : New National Partnership Progresses Health Equity in Cape York

Cape York

Apunipima is delighted to be entering into a partnership with such a significant organisation. We looks forward to a long term, positive relationship with Catholic Health Australia and its members.

We recognise their long service in this country, their commitment to the poor and disadvantaged our society and their expertise in healthcare, hospitals, aged care and health training.

We believe their knowledge, compassion, capacity, scope of experience, advocacy and commitment to health equity will improve health outcomes in Cape York.”

Apunipima CEO Cleveland Fagan said the partnership would help with additional expertise and support to make sure the people of the Cape who suffer some of the worst health outcomes in Australia have access to the best level of health care.

Pictured above Dr Mark Wenitong from Apunipima signing the agreement at the Catholic Health Australia’s national conference in Sydney on 30 August 2016: see NACCHO TV Interview

Apunipima Cape York Health Council has signed a Strategic Partnership Statement with Catholic Health Australia (CHA), signifying the two organisations commitment in partnership to closing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health gap in Cape York.

CHA represents Australia’s largest non-government grouping of hospitals, aged and community care services with member providers in both metropolitan and regional areas across the country.

The partnership between Apunipima and Catholic Health Australia will see Catholic hospital and aged care groups work in collaboration with CHA and Apunipima to assist Apunipima to deliver additional health care services to the people of Cape York. CHA is also supporting Apunipima’s advocacy efforts to deliver health equity for the people of Cape York. Additionally, the organisation has agreed to participate in knowledge sharing activities including workshops and community visits.

The agreement was signed by Catholic Health Australia and Apunipima at Catholic Health Australia’s national conference in Sydney on 30 August 2016.

Catholic Health Australia’s CEO, Suzanne Greenwood, has acknowledged tomorrows signing of the Strategic Partnership Statement with Apunipima signifies an important step towards improving health outcomes in Cape York.

“While Apunipima and others are providing essential healthcare services on the frontlines, the health gaps for Aboriginal people in Cape York are simply unacceptable,” said Suzanne Greenwood.

“This Statement of Strategic Partnership with Apunipima Cape York Health Council represents another significant step towards reaching our shared goal of providing equitable access to culturally-appropriate, high-quality healthcare to all Australians in need, whether they are living in Aurukun, Margaret River, Tamworth or Melbourne.”

“Major challenges, identified by Apunipima at CHA’s recent community visit and health workshop in Cape York included a severe shortage of clinical staff. GPs, midwives, chronic disease workers, allied health workers, and Aboriginal and Torres Islander health workers in clinical and community engagement are all in short supply.

“The Catholic health and aged care sector trains and employs some of the country’s leading clinicians and allied health personnel – an area in which CHA’s members have acknowledged they have the capacity to assist.”

“The signing of this Strategic Partnership Statement formally signifies the Catholic sector’s aim to work with Apunipima Cape York Health Council towards closing the Aboriginal health gap in Cape York.”

Second agreement signed

Collaboration creates opportunities for Cape

Apunipima Cape York Health Council and Mercy Health Australia have signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding at the Catholic Health Australia Conference .

The MOU will see Mercy Health join forces with Apunipima to strengthen and consolidate the skills of both organisations through a range of projects designed to share experiences, develop collaborative learning programs and skill development.

It is envisaged that this collaborative partnership will result in both organisations sharing their extensive experience and expertise for the betterment of all who receive their services.

The partners were introduced by John Mero (Vision Method Outcomes) who has worked with Apunipima and Mercy Health and recognised the opportunity and benefits that a partnership could provide.

Mercy Health and Apunipima have a common goal of achieving health equity for Cape York communities. The partnership will initially involve establishing sponsored scholarships in health professions, provision of clinical governance and supervision support, participation in a Cape York aged care facility review and planning exercise and a skills exchange including temporary secondment between both parties.

Cleveland Fagan, CEO of Apunipima said, “We are delighted to be entering into a partnership of this calibre. To be able to combine the expertise and experience of both organisations can only see improved outcomes for the people we serve.  With shared values and a common aim, I am really looking forward to seeing this partnership flourish and grow well into the future.”

Mercy Health Group Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen, said “This is an exciting collaboration between organisations committed to improving the health outcomes, opportunities and ultimately the lives of thousands of Australians. The sole purpose of Mercy Health serving in this region is to provide and support better opportunities and outcomes for the communities of Far North Queensland. Initiatives such as this only strengthen the likelihood of this occurring.”

Note to Editors

Mercy Health is a Catholic organisation grounded in a 2,000-year tradition of caring for others. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Health employs over 7,000 people who provide acute and subacute hospital care, aged care, mental health programs, specialist women’s and babies’ health, early parenting education and support, palliative care, home and community care, and health worker training and development. Mercy Health employs people from many cultures and backgrounds who, irrespective of their beliefs, share a common bond to care for those in need.



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