Mar 22
Rural clinicians gather to update their skills, knowledge

Over 150 delegates will attend a two-day conference in Dubbo this week to learn more about diabetes, cardiology and stroke which will include a ‘speed dating’ interactive dinner with specialists answering questions about their field of expertise.

The “DICAST” conference on Thursday and Friday (24-25 March 2011) at Dubbo RSL will feature clinicians speaking on subjects relating to diabetes, cardiology and stroke and concludes on day two with a series of concurrent workshops.

The sessions include an overview of initiatives to identify and address inequities in access to services.

“The DICAST program of keynote speakers and workshops is all about providing education to rural clinicians,” said local organiser, Ms Michelle Baird, Transitional Nurse Practitioner Chronic and Complex Care, Western NSW LHN.

“It highlights the holistic approach in managing chronic conditions and co-morbidities as one. The aim is to provide people with chronic conditions with a coordinated model of care from their GPs and Local Health Network,” said Ms Baird.

“Patients will benefit from a strengthened link between GPs and health providers and services to improve their health outcomes,” she said.

“Most importantly, DICAST provides a forum for health professionals from rural areas who may be professionally disadvantaged in their access to specialist services, an opportunity to network and build professional networks, and gain education and resources from the specialists available.

“It combines the pieces of a puzzle and provides a forum for questions to be answered and for health professionals to develop or reinforce their clinical skills in the workshops,” said Ms Baird.

Conference speakers feature visiting specialists and staff from Dubbo Base Hospital including Dr Randall Greenberg, Dr John Yamba, Dr Kanishka Kamaladasa, Dr Geoff Hardacre, Dr John Worthington and clinicians from the Dubbo Plains Division of GPs, Betty Orth Centre Dubbo, Lourdes Hospital, Orange Health Service and Western NSW LHN. The Acting Chief Executive of Western NSW LHN Ms Lynne Weir will welcome guests to the conference

A conference highlight will be a “speed dating with specialists” dinner on Thursday evening in which participants will be able to ask questions to a team of diabetes, cardiology and stroke specialists.

“TheGP education evening will be offered for the first time as a rotating workshop with the aim of increasing discussion and participation from attendees,” said Ms Baird.

The delegates will be equally divided into groups and assigned a Guest of Honour who will be a specialist in their field to sit with them. Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss case studies with the specialist at their table. At the conclusion of the evening we will be holding a question and answer time.

The conference has been jointly organised by the Western NSW Local Health Network and Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI). It is sponsored by Sanofi Aventis

The ACI is a board-governed statutory health corporation that works to improve public health care services in NSW by engaging clinicians and consumers to drive clinical innovation across the system.

The program has attracted clinicians and participants from throughout the Western NSW LHN including from Albury, Port Macquarie and Bateman’s Bay.