September was annual reporting month for the IEPCP, and a time to reflect on the year’s significant achievements. It has been such a privilege to be able to support so many partnership activities, whether it be in planning, evaluation, facilitation and secretariat for leadership groups and networks, capacity building, steering funded projects, service coordination, and sharing information – across all of our Health and Wellbeing priorities.
Two key projects supported by the IEPCP targeting prevention and early intervention in gestational diabetes concluded this month, with significant improvements being made to systems to support women.
Carrington Health researched a suite of strategies within a community setting to provide support for women during and after pregnancy to manage GDM and reduce future risk. Mobile health solutions such as a specific website and text messages were explored within the community health setting and provided insights into how these could be further developed and tested as a local solution.
Eastern Health aimed to improve the coordination of care for women with GDM who are in shared care by improving communication with GPs regarding screening, diagnosis, and management of their patient’s with GDM. The project developed an automated, electronic letter for GPs within Eastern Health software, and set up a secure message delivery system for letters and discharge summaries for GPs. The project also involved testing and monitoring of the systems developed, and training of clinicians and administrators. Benefits of this work are that high risk patients are identified early with potential for less patients to require insulin management. The systems and processes can also be adapted for other clinical areas of Eastern Health.
We were very pleased to be able to provide this opportunity for our partners to make an impact on the management of gestational diabetes in our catchment. The work has highlighted the key role of the Diabetes Initiative Steering Committee (DISC) and the IEPCP in providing guidance and support and coordinating the work to successful outcomes. More information on this issue can be found on the IEPCP website.
It was also exciting to meet up with two catchment-based organisations to share information. From Beyond Blue we met with Rebecca Lee, Acting Head of Policy (former Vic Chair PHAA) and Sonya Stanley, PHN and Government Engagement Manager; and from Family Access Network (FAN) we met with CEO Sue Carlisle. We were also delighted to welcome FAN as new partners: a wonderful dedicated community organisation with 37 years history in the region that provides a range of early intervention programs for young people, young families and children, experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
September has also been a month of preparing for upcoming events – a Liveability-focussed forum is being established in partnership with DHHS, to be delivered in November – details to follow shortly.
We have also attended a number of meetings and forums to increase our understanding and connect with experts in our core priority areas, and to help us support our partners:
- Welfare to work in UK and Australia: Sanctions, Supports and conditionality was an informative symposium delivered by the Brotherhood of St. Lawrence, which provided an international and local lens on the barriers to economic inclusion;
- A meeting with The HealthWest Partnership to explore their work in Workforce Mutuality and understand how supporting organisations to work towards leadership which is representative of the communities they service may fit with our regional work in social inclusion, as well as our focus on intersectionality under the TFER strategy;
- Innovate for Impact: International and local perspectives on co-design and developmental evaluation provided an in depth look emerging theory and practice for co-design and how we might use the process and principles of developmental evaluation to drive innovative thinking around intervention in complex systems, with fascinating international experts guiding the conversations focused on local examples of developmental evaluation, including the work of the Child & Youth Area Partnership in the Outer East.
- Our colleagues at the Inner North West PCP were also kind enough to extend an invitation to their social inclusion partner workshop. Collaboration and sharing of learnings and wisdom across this emerging field of health promotion is essential to our shared PCP capacity to support partners and it was exciting to note some of the similarities in our work in social inclusion.
- We were also fortunate to attend the Statewide PCP Prevention Network meet up to hear Dr Seanna Davidson from The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre deliver a workshop on Practicing Systems and a discussion on how we can apply systems thinking to our everyday practice.