July is always a busy and exciting month, finalising the end of the financial year and planning preparation for the next.
A highlight of last month was the inaugural meeting of the Social Inclusion Community of Practice, which brought together Community Health, Local Government and IEPCP staff from across the catchment to discuss the challenges and opportunities of working to increase social inclusion, and what support needs could be met through a monthly community of practice. Potential speakers are being canvassed to bring a stimulating series of topics and capacity building to practitioners.
The CoP will be supplemented by practice workshops, and we were very privileged to have the support of Deakin University to present a workshop on Measuring Social Inclusion. Professor Ann Taket, who heads the Centre for Health through Action on Social Exclusion at Deakin, co-facilitated with Sarah Pollock Executive Director Research and Advocacy at Mind Australia, a well-attended, informative and interactive day. Participants explored the complexity of social inclusion and exclusion, and the application of a range of indicators, and the benefits and disadvantages of using the various instruments. Reference was made to the value of understanding the theory of change and working through a program logic. The IEPCP will be making this the focus of the next workshop scheduled for August 23.
The IEPCP have also been active in supporting Integrated Health Plan partners (Access Health & Community, Link Health & Community and Carrington Health) in finalising their annual action plan and evaluation ready for the first year of reporting as a collaborative. We are also busy exploring the relationship between the community health work in social inclusion and the concept of liveability, and how this might be built on at a practice level.
We are also very excited to have commenced our work with Health Futures Australia (HFA) – holding our first steering committee with the regional Department of Health and Human Services, Population Health representatives, HFA, and the Outer East Primary Care Partnership – to begin preparation for engaging regional stakeholders around a strategic process for obesity prevention.
In addition, we are delighted to have appointed Nicole Preston to the role of Access and Inclusion Coordinator, to lead some work with the Volunteer sector in the region. For more on Nicole’s background have a browse through our E-bulletin Coffee with… We also offer our congratulations to IEPCP partners funded in prevention of violence against women, and SalvoCare East for their ROAR project report.