July has been a month of challenges and changes – adjusting to another lockdown, celebrating eased restrictions; some goodbyes to dearly valued partners and welcoming of new faces.
Whilst partners have become exceptional at responding to community need and managing family situations, I reflect on the resilience of my colleagues who had to postpone flights and leave, postpone wedding celebrations, attend a funeral online, or postpone farewell celebrations. I also acknowledge those working diligently to protect vulnerable community members in housing estates, hospitals, aged and disability care, or supporting vaccination roll out as we look forward to better days.
We said an online farewell and heartfelt thankyou to Ronda Jacobs, CEO of Carrington healthAbility and IEPCP Board member, with face-to-face goodbyes deferred. And we welcomed Agata Jarbin, new CEO of healthAbility and our newest Board member. I also took the opportunity to have an informal chat with Jacky Close, in this edition of our ‘coffee with’ to hear her reflections on her time at the Outer East PCP before we sadly say farewell to her in August.
In some exciting partner news, I commend Eastern Community Legal Service on their successful submission for Victorian government funding to combat racism, with their ‘Amplifying Community Voices in the East’ initiative. The IEPCP provided feedback from our Health Promotion Partners to VicPCP who are collaborating with the VHA and AHPA to provide input to the Department of Health on the draft Integrated Health Promotion guidelines. I was also delighted to meet with Peter Redden, new Partnerships Coordinator at Access Health and Community, to share notes on mutual areas of interest IEPCP Activity.
I was excited to attend my first ‘online’ meeting of the North East Public Health Unit, to hear Director Paul Johnson and colleagues updating on their structure and progress, and extensive vaccine coordination. I also enjoyed a VHA initiated sector consultation discussing the draft Health and Human Services Climate Change Adaptation action plan – an increasing area of health priority for our partners. The IEPCP is now an official member of the Climate and Health Alliance, a coalition of health care stakeholders, who work together to see the threat to human health from climate change and ecological degradation addressed through prompt policy action and we encourage our partners to join.
In other activity, the IEPCP have signed up to the Obesity Policy Coalition’s new campaign “Brands off our kids!” and in support, will be rolling out a pilot Healthy Eating resource developed in partnership with Maternal and Child Health Services in coming months; and we look forward to our first Systems Leaders Community of Practice, exploring effective leadership in a pandemic hybrid environment.
Staff are continuing to support numerous partnerships, as we remain in ‘current state’ of the PCP transition process, with our funding body working with the statewide data collection, toward the proposed implementation phase.