A grants program to promote good health has notched up 10 recipients in under two years of operation. Rural Doctors Foundation’s Grants for Good Health program provides funding for innovative programs. Since launching in October 2019, the program has seen more than $200,000 provided to improve health in rural and remote regions. Rural Doctors Foundation Chair Dr Dan Halliday, said all successful candidates had the same mission in mind: to improve health outcomes in rural and remote Australia. Dan who is also the Medical Superintendent of Stanthorpe Hospital said, “all recipients are committed and passionate about improving health for rural and remote people. This is matched by the innovative, and practical solutions they are implementing”. People living outside our major cities and regional centres have, on average, lower life expectancy, poorer access to medical treatment and ongoing care and higher rates of chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease.“ There’s not one silver bullet to resolve these challenges. It’s why we encourage and support new and innovative approaches to health care custom-designed to meet the unique health needs of people living regionally, rurally, and remotely.“ I congratulate all of our recipients so far. They are extending our ethos and mission into many corners of our country and helping to save lives.” Three of the grant recipients highlighted their work to delegates at this year’s Rural Doctors Association of Queensland conference held in June 2021. Sandpiper Australia used their Grants for Good Health funding to equip rural clinicians with standardised kits of emergency equipment – invaluable at the scene of rural incidents. Originating in Scotland and trialled in South Australia, the concept is being expanded throughout a ‘rural responder network’ . This will eliminate the trauma gap in rural Queensland –the critical time it takes for an injured person to receive medical attention. The Yoga Partnership is using its Rural Doctors Foundation funding to respond to the need to keep people healthy –both physically and mentally -by establishing online yoga sessions. The designers of the program, responsible for taking yoga classes into the virtual space, say the service has seen stronger uptake during Covid. It provides a much-needed social outlet for those who found themselves even more isolated. Funding from Rural Doctors Foundation also supported the development of a new health information website, aimed at supporting professionals in delivering health promotion and education activities within rural and remote communities. Launched by CQ Rural Health at the RDAQ conference, Health Exchange is a user-friendly website. It stores health promotion resources including presentations, flyers, questionnaires, screening tools and brochures for use by health practitioners. The resources originate from accredited medical sources and are approved by a qualified review panel.
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