NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Kowanyama’s Mums n Bubs Family Health Centre officially opened on Cape York

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“The Centre was being opened in line with community protocol and Apunipima’s Family Health, Men’s Health and Healthy Lifestyles Teams would be working with community over the coming months to ensure Atharpuch programs meet local health needs.”

Apunipima Cape York Health Council CEO Cleveland Fagan

Kowanyama’s Mums n Bubs Family Health Centre was officially opened by Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Robert Holness and Apunipima Cape York Health Council Chair Thomas Hudson

The Kowanyama Health Action Team, which liaises with Apunipima on the health needs of the community, has named the new facility Atharpuch (ART – AH – PUTCH) which means ‘children’.

The event featured speeches, a traditional smoking ceremony and a barbeque luncheon and was attended by a range of health, government and community stakeholders.

Atharpuch will operate solely as a health promotion and education centre until clinical arrangements are finalised. Until that time, clinical appointments will continue to take place in the Queensland Health facility.

CEO Cleveland Fagan said the official opening marked an important milestone for Apunipima.

‘We are pleased and proud to have officially opened Atharpuch. Investment in health infrastructure in Kowanyama and the Cape is critical to improving the health of residents and we acknowledge the contribution of the Australian Government’s Health and Hospital Fund which enabled the refurbishment of Mums n Bubs building.’

‘Atharpuch has a special room for the Kowanyama Health Action Team to meet and discuss the health needs of the community and share those needs with us. This is bricks and mortar support for the principle of community control which see the community owning their own health solutions.’

Mr Fagan said the Centre was being opened in line with community protocol and Apunipima’s Family Health, Men’s Health and Healthy Lifestyles Teams would be working with community over the coming months to ensure Atharpuch programs meet local health needs.

‘Apunipima runs a range of fantastic health promotion programs including Mum n Bubs Group, Antenatal Clinics and Classes, Men’s and Women’s Groups, Healthy Eating and Cooking Classes, Tackling Smoking and many more. We are in the process of planning our service schedule to best meet the needs of the Kowanyama community.’

Atharpuch is a former Queensland Health facility which was known locally as the Mums n Bubs Clinic. Apunipima acquired the lease in 2012 and spent a number of months refurbishing the building. The facility will host Apunipima, Queensland Health and community programs, meetings and initiatives.

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NACCHO member good news : Apunipima Cape York Mossman Gorge PHCC named (AGPAL’s) Rural & Remote General Practice of the Year

Mossman Gorge Primary Health Care Centre (1)

“AGPAL accreditation demonstrates our ability to provide the highest quality care. This award means we are providing the highest quality of care possible in a rural and remote setting.

This award is significant as we were competing against mainstream organisations from across Australia.

To be recognised as the Rural and Remote General Practice of the Year sends a clear message that Aboriginal Health Organisations are providing the best care in the country.’’

Mossman Gorge Primary Health Care Centre – Rural & Remote General Practice of the Year

Mossman Gorge Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC) has been  named Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited’s (AGPAL’s) Rural & Remote General Practice of the Year at a gala event in Sydney on Friday September 27.

AGPAL Rural and Remote Practice of the Year Award

Mossman Gorge PHCC, the only community controlled primary health care centre on Cape York, is run by Apunipima Cape York Health Council which provides culturally appropriate, family centred comprehensive primary health care to 11 Cape York communities.

AGPAL is the leading provider of accreditation and related quality improvement services to general practices. Accreditation is based on standards developed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Apunipima Program Manager: Family Health Leeona West says the award was a significant milestone for Apunipima, Mossman Gorge PHCC and most importantly, the people and communities of Cape York.

‘AGPAL accreditation demonstrates our ability to provide the highest quality care. This award means we are providing the highest quality of care possible in a rural and remote setting. This award is significant as we were competing against mainstream organisations from across Australia. To be recognised as the Rural and Remote General Practice of the Year sends a clear message that Aboriginal Health Organisations are providing the best care in the country.’

‘The people of Cape York deserve the very best care. This award recognises that our service is providing it.’

The health picture in Mossman Gorge has changed significantly since Apunipima took over the community’s small Queensland Health clinic in 2009.

‘Back then, the clinic had paper records and doctors who visited the community for four hours a week. Anecdotally, health outcomes were poor with high rates of smoking, drinking and chronic disease,’ Ms West explains.

‘Apunipima took over the clinic in December 2009, rebuilt it to AGPAL standards by June 2010, introduced electronic records and billing and was accredited by AGPAL in January 2011.’

‘We even implemented an Aboriginal patient friendly recall system which was so successful that the Brisbane Aboriginal and Islander Community Health Service copied our system for their clients.’

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