May 26
Local Researchers Recognised For Their Dubbo Aboriginal Diabetes Project

Researchers involved in the Dubbo Aboriginal Diabetes Project are presenting their work at the National Rural Health Conference currently being held in Darwin. This is recognition of the great work local researchers have been undertaking to tackle Diabetes, which is a large and complex local health issue.

There has been a steady increase of diabetes cases among the local Aboriginal population in Dubbo and significant change is needed to provide enhanced care for patients and help them better manage their condition.

The local research team - with representation from the Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service, Western NSW Local Health District and Western NSW Medicare Local - is undertaking a comprehensive study to gain insight into how best to tackle diabetes. It includes looking at ways to better integrate patient services across the hospital, GP and allied health provider network to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

Senior Lecturer in Rural Research at the School of Rural Health, University of Sydney, Dr Emma Webster, is one of the lead researchers in the study and is looking forward to sharing the team’s work in Darwin.

“Being chosen to present at the National Rural Health Conference is a great honour for our team and reinforces that what we’re doing will make a real difference to Aboriginal people who have diabetes,” said Dr Webster.

Fellow researcher and Dubbo Diabetes Educator, Mr Craig Johnson, is also thrilled about being selected to present at Darwin and looks forward to tackling diabetes in the Aboriginal community. “We want our people to live long, healthy lives and the findings of this research will be used to help better understand the needs of our patients and what type of care, support and education they need to help them get well and  stay well ,” said Mr Johnson.

The research team has already conducted several local focus groups with a range of community members and the findings have been very insightful.

Aboriginal Health Worker at the Western NSW Medicare Local, Monica Johnson said: “This is the first time I’ve been involved with research and it’s been a wonderful learning experience. I really feel like this is genuine, meaningful research which will lead to improved health outcomes, and it’s great that our work is being recognised at such a prestigious conference.”

The project is being delivered as part of the Western NSW Integrated Care Strategy, which is a joint initiative between the Western NSW Local Health District, Western NSW Medicare Local and Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service.

The Western NSW Integrated Care Strategy was launched by Health Minister, Jillian Skinner MP in December 2014 to better integrate health care services and improve the health outcomes of patients suffering from chronic disease. Dubbo was selected as one of five sites in Western NSW to demonstrate this ground-breaking initiative.

The conference commenced on 24 May 2015 and has participants from across the country.

To find out more about the Dubbo Aboriginal Diabetes Project and the Western NSW Integrated Care Strategy, please visit www.wnswintegratedcare.com.au.

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Media contact: Belinda Berryman 0413 233 707