The 7th Rural Health & Research Congress includes six themed Concurrent Streams:

I) Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing
workforce, wellbeing, research projects with Aboriginal people and communities, social determinants of rural Aboriginal health, Closing the Gap initiatives

In Partnership
equity and access to health care, primary health care, health promotion and prevention, integrated health services, consumers as partners

III) Tech Talk and Ingenuity
patient safety – system redesign, integrated care, clinical improvement, digital health

IV) Unexpected Inspiration
innovative strategies in rural health care and research

V) Our Workforce
workforce development and planning, workplace culture, wellbeing, health and safety, resilience

VI) Diversity and Inclusion
minority groups, refugee health, gender based health, LGBTQI

Below are the presentation summaries for the sessions held in each theme:
Please email for more information.

I) Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing

Session Title:
Identifying reasons for delay in accessing Early Intervention Services for rural Indigenous children with developmental disability: is there a gap and how do we close it?
Presenter: Emma Gorman, Junior Medical Officer, Murrumbidgee LHD
Co-presenter: Jennifer Preddy, Junior Medical Officer, Murrumbidgee LHD

Presentation Summary: Significant differences exist in the prevalence of developmental delay between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. Many factors influence engagement of the Indigenous population with intervention services, including cultural and social factors and accessibility in rural areas. This study looked at delay in assessment and commencement of early intervention services (EIS) for Indigenous children with developmental disability (DD) compared to non-Indigenous children in the same region of rural NSW and possible contributing barriers.

Session Title: The views of Aboriginal women on health supports: a mixed methods study
Presenter: Sarah Perkes, PhD Candidate, University of Newcastle
Co-presenter: Noelene Skinner, Aboriginal Health Worker, Mid North Coast LHD

Presentation Summary:
Today we present the views of 79 Aboriginal women in the Hunter New England and Mid North Coast Regions on supports used for health. The types of health supports Aboriginal women use are generally consistent across health domains, but some health topics remain off the agenda. Novel, acceptable approaches are needed to increase access to health support.

Session Title: Rheumatic heart disease: educating health professionals
Presenter: Linda Bootle, Clinical Midwife Consultant, Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Service, Western NSW LHD
Co-presenter: Geri Vaughan, Associate Researcher, Australasian Maternity Outcomes Surveillance System

Presentation Summary: Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is rare in Australia and New Zealand, yet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Maori and Pacific Islanders have among the highest documented rates of RHD in the world. Poverty is a key determinant of this preventable condition. Awareness of RHD – a serious complication of rheumatic fever that causes damaged heart valves – is even more important in pregnancy, where an increased (30-50%) cardiac workload can unmask previously undiagnosed RHD and exacerbate symptoms. This presentation will explore new approaches to screening and early identification leading to better outcomes.

Session Title: Empowering the local Aboriginal community through the implementation of a soap making program: new ways of working and doing
Presenter: Ann-Marie Thomas, Registered Nurse, Pius X Aboriginal Corporation
Co-presenter: Kerry Sampson, Aborignal Health Worker, Pius X Aboriginal Corporation

Presentation Summary: Bacterial skin infections are common in Aboriginal families in rural NSW. Current clinical guidelines may not incorporate the social determinants of health or Aboriginal knowledges or practices as important elements of care. At the community’s request, a soap making project was developed and implemented, using a local traditional bush medicine to strengthen cultural knowledge, community resilience, and address skin infections.

Session Title: Burden of hypertensive disease in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians: assessed for vascular disease in regional centre
Presenter: James Carroll, Junior Medical Officer, Murrumbidgee LHD
Co-presenter: Joseph Suttie, Director, Coronary CT, Murrumbidgee LHD

Presentation Summary: This presentation aims to provide insight into cardiac risk factor management in patients from remote and rural areas. While patients with clearly defined Ischemic heart disease (IHD) are regularly managed well, what is the management of rural, remote and indigenous patients in an intermediate risk group.

Session Title: Association of maternal adiposity, gestational weight gain and birth outcomes with subsequent obesity risk for mothers and babies in an Indigenous Australian cohort
Presenter: Kym Rae, Director, Gomeroi gaaynggal Centre, University of Newcastle
Co-presenter: Tracy Schumacher, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Gomeroi gaaynggal Centre, University of Newcastle

Presentation Summary: A woman’s weight status in the preconception period and her weight gain during a pregnancy can affect both her own risk of obesity and the health and obesity risk of her child. This is also true of Indigenous women, where high rates of preconception obesity are found, and few women gain the optimum amount of weight during pregnancy. Findings from the Gomeroi gaaynggal cohort are used to discuss health and obesity risks due to maternal adiposity during pregnancy.

Session Title: Beyond the front door: improving access through innovation
Presenter: Matthew Crawford, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Integrated Chronic Care for Aboriginal People, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary: Hunter New England LHD (HNE LHD) is striving to address the high prevalence of chronic health conditions facing our Aboriginal population through an innovative model of telehealth service delivery. This presentation provides an overview of how the HNE LHD Integrated Chronic Care for Aboriginal People Program (ICCAPP) is providing a flexible, timely and accessible model of telehealth to the patients in their care, linking with specialist services at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.

II) In Partnership

Session Title:
Do the bus stop: partnering for country kids
Presenter: John Reid, Community Programs Manager, Royal Far West
Co-presenters: Tracey Webster, Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia and Jennifer Dowling, Royal Far West

Presentation Summary: The Healthy Kids Bus Stop connects with families in a non-threatening, non-clinical environment, bringing unique early intervention screening to pre-schoolers in rural NSW. The Bus Stops are fun with pre-schoolers racing from screening to screening to receive their special stamps in their Healthy Kids Bus Stop passport. Clinicians undertake screening in the areas of hearing, dental, vision, food/nutrition, speech and language, fine and gross motor development.

Session Title: "Relational Solutions": working with children under 10 with problematic and harmful sexualised behaviours
Presenter: Erin Baxter, Clinical Lead, Children Under 10 with Problematic or Harmful Sexualised Behaviours, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary:
Sexualised behaviours in children elicit a range of responses and emotions in adults and can be a confronting and taboo issue within general society. Sexualised behaviours are a relational problem with relational solutions. The more grown up’s who are able to respond, contain, support and explore the issues impacting on children, the more powerful the reparative opportunities. This presentation will utilise case examples to highlight the successes and challenges inherent in this approach.

Session Title: Connecting corrections: partnership between Justice Health and Hunter New England LHD improves equity and access to specialist care and overall health outcomes for prison inmates using telehealth
Presenter: Jenny Rutherford, Registered Nurse Clinical Telehealth, Hunter New England LHD
Co-presenter: Robyn Lloyd, Nursing Unit Manager, Shortland Correctional Centre

Presentation Summary: Justice Health and Hunter New England LHD are working in partnership to improve equity and access to specialist care and overall health outcomes for prison inmates. Using telehealth effectively removes barriers to optimal patient care for inmates, including cost, transport and safety and allows for improved communication and coordination of care between facilities. End of life connections between family members and inmates provides a compassionate service previously unavailable.

Session Title: Parents as partners: co-designing a localised model of care for children with medical complexity living in the Murrumbidgee
Presenter: Kristen Brown, Project Officer Paediatric Integrated Care Initiative, Murrumbidgee LHD and Sydney Children’s Hospital Network

Presentation Summary: The number of children with medical complexity (CMC) residing in rural areas is growing, challenging the health system to provide equitable care. Families of children with CMC experience significant difficulties with the need to travel long distances to access tertiary care. The Murrumbidgee LHD (M LHD) and Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN) have partnered with families and local services to generate a Model of Care (MoC) which better reflects the needs of CMC, their families and local services.

Session Title: Removing distance barriers to excellence in leadership and management qualifications
Presenter: Lucinda Matheson, Consultant, Organisational Development and Learning, Hunter New England LHD
Co-presenter: Catherine Rutledge, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary:
The Lead for Excellence, Diploma of Leadership and Management contributes to local health district manager development directly impacting on service quality. The use of technologies like Moodle™, Scopia™ and video and teleconference promotes the integration of excellence into everyday practice and upskills managers. In this way past barriers of access to resources are removed for remote and rural services and district-wide collaboration toward a sustainable and supported workforce is equally enabled.

Session Title: Bringing junior doctors to the country: a national study of JMO satisfaction
Presenter: Matthew Lennon, Junior Medical Officer, Murrumbidgee LHD

Presentation Summary:
Junior medical officers (JMOs), graduates in their first three years of work, are an important part of the health care team. Attracting and retaining these doctors to rural areas underpins the development of the future rural workforce. This is the first national-scale study quantifying the satisfaction of JMOs located rurally compared with metropolitan areas to inform recruitment and retention.

Session Title: Counting the chickens as they hatch: the challenges of tracking studies and the rural pipeline
Presenters: Jenny May, Director, University of Newcastle, Department of Rural Health and Tony Smith, Academic Lead – Research, University of Newcastle, Department of Rural Health
Co-presenters: Leanne Brown, University of Newcastle, Department of Rural Health,
Luke Wakely, University of Newcastle, Department of Rural Health,
Leanne Brown, University of Newcastle, Department of Rural Health, 
Karin Fisher, University of Newcastle, Department of Rural Health,
Alison Beauchamp, Monash University, School of Rural Health,
Darryl Maybery, Monash University, School of Rural Health,
Keith Sutton, Monash University, School of Rural Health,
Hanan Khalil, Monash University, School of Rural Health and
and Susan Waller, Monash University, School of Rural Health

Presentation Summary: Addressing the maldistribution of the health workforce will help reduce geographic inequity in health outcomes. The metrics that surround recruitment and retention programmes are important to identify appropriate cost effective policy. Support for medical, nursing and allied health students during rural professional placement is funded by the Commonwealth Government Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program. There is a mandated requirement under the RHMT program for the collection of data on rural workforce outcomes and the establishment of a graduate tracking system. This presentation will focus on some of the challenges in ensuring rigorous and reliable tracking data by considering two current studies in medical, allied health and nursing graduates.

Session Title: Together we can
Presenter: Ragina Rogers, Integrated Aboriginal Chronic Care Coordinator, Northern NSW LHD
Co-presenter: Marilyn Tolman, CNC Chronic Disease Aboriginal Health, Northern NSW LHD

Presentation Summary: In 2010, the Aboriginal Chronic Care Redesign Project showed that patients were confused about who was responsible for taking care of various aspects of their care, including their responsibility as patients. The Integrated Aboriginal Chronic Care model seeks to remove multiple points of contact, lessening possible confusion and providing the patient with an integration of care coordination to guide them along their health journey.

Session Title: Improving the cardiovascular health of a rural population: a unique collaboration of workforce
Presenter: Helen Orvad, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Cardiology, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary:
In recent years, Tamworth has experienced some of the highest rates of smoking, overweight, obesity and hypertension in NSW - all precursors to cardiovascular disease (CVD). A collaborative like-minded group with common ambitions to investigate and address CVD burden in Tamworth was formed in 2017 comprising of the Primary Healthcare Network, Local Health District, Rural Clinical Council, National Heart Foundation, University of Newcastle, local fitness industry and Tamworth Regional Council. Examples of work to date includes addressing access to activity in residential development applications, healthier sporting venues, CVD tools for GP practice and smoke free zones.

Session Title: Perfect positioning every time for cancer patients
Presenter: Lauren Chamberlain, Radiation Therapist, Mid North Coast Cancer Institute

Presentation Summary: Many cancer patients needing radiotherapy require additional diagnostic imaging to plan their radiotherapy treatment. Prior to I-MED offering scans in Coffs Harbour patients were required to travel to Lismore or Sydney. Our partnership has achieved a small cost effective, innovative and sustainable change with profound effect on staff efficiency, cost saving and patient quality of care simultaneously. Improving the patient’s transition through their cancer journey has reduced the cost and stress of having radiotherapy treatment.

Session Title: Impact analysis of implementing an afterhours primary contact: physiotherapy service in an emergency department
Presenter: Judith Henderson, Physiotherapy, John Hunter and Belmont District Hospitals, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary: Failure to meet Emergency Treatment Performance (ETP) targets of 4 hours led to implementation of an unique collaborative care Primary Contact Physiotherapy (PCP) after-hours service. The model aimed to allow musculoskeletal complaints triaged 4, 5 to be assessed, managed and discharged by a PCP in consultation with a doctor. This model is potentially transferable to other Emergency Departments (EDs) including Regional EDs, and rural ED's in partnership, due to its governance incorporating models for workforce, training, competency, and collaboration.

III) Tech Talk and Ingenuity

Session Title:
Heparin titration is hard: let the app do the work!
Presenter: Kirstin Berry, Medication Safety and Quality Manager, Hunter New England LHD
Co-presenter: Steven Collard, Senior Analyst, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary: As a high risk medication, heparin can cause significant patient harm. A heparin infusion calculation app was developed to address safety issues when following a nurse-led infusion titration program, where nurses adjust the rate of administration based on the aPTT result. The introduction of the web-based application resulted in a 100% reduction in heparin infusion titration incidents, which were numerous prior to implementation.

Session Title: The resident guide experience: design, engagement and data in clinician focused apps
Presenter: Caitlin Weston, Wellbeing Project Lead, MedApps
Co-presenter: Tom Collins, Co-Chief Executive Officer, MedApps

Presentation Summary:
Resident Guide is a scalable, light touch technology solution contributing to better rural health services by reducing ‘access barriers’ to critical procedural and support information for clinicians. The platform provides leading orientation and onboarding for rotating clinicians, along with two-way engagement and wellness support for training and rotating clinicians. The experience of implementing Resident Guide across NSW and QLD locations has led to a greater understanding of best practice in user-focused mobile technology.

Session Title: FaceMatch: a secure portal providing automated face-matching for individuals with undiagnosed intellectual disability
Presenter: Tracy Dudding-Byth, Clinical Geneticist, Health Clinical Research Fellow, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary: FaceMatch [] is the first of its kind to provide automated face-matching for individuals who remain undiagnosed following exome or genome sequencing. FaceMatch is particularly beneficial to rural populations where longer appointment waiting times can increase the risk of patients being lost to clinical genetics follow-up.

Session Title: Size matters: bridging the gap between screen sizes when viewing heath related documents
Presenter: Kirstin Berry, Medication Safety and Quality Manager, Hunter New England LHD
Co-presenter: Samantha Fraser, District Quality Use of Medicines Pharmacist, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary: With the increase in use of mobile devices, health services need to be aware of the limitations of PDF documents and how they are viewed by clinicians using small mobile screens. To overcome this barrier, responsive web pages can be used to ensure clinicians have access to timely and reliable information at the point of care.

Session Title: Achieving equity, effectiveness and efficiency, digital health in allied health
Presenter: Richard Cheney, Executive Director, Allied Health and Innovation, Western NSW LHD
Co-presenter: Angela Firth, Associate Director, Allied Health, Western NSW LHD

Presentation Summary: This project delivers more than using telehealth to extend business as usual practice. It delivers patient-centred, responsive and agile AH services to vulnerable communities. The longer term impacts are significant, not only on access to Allied Health (AH) services, but on the sustainability of small rural health services and communities. It supports a growing specialist workforce, through skill and career development opportunities in rural healthcare which will be realised as this project continues.

Session Title: Virtual home visits: when home is a long way from hospital
Presenter: Sarah McBurney, Virtual Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapy Project Officer, Western NSW LHD
Co-presenter: Elissa Clark, District Occupational Therapy Advisor, Western NSW LHD

Presentation Summary: The Virtual Home Visit (HV) service has been developed to address the needs of patients and Occupational Therapists (OT) when a HV is required for discharge from a Rehabilitation Unit to their regional home. The Virtual Home Visit has brought the previously disconnected patient into the centre of the HV, provided the treating Rehab OT real time input and discussion during the virtual HV and made efficient use of time for the regionally based OT.

Session Title: Digital lifestyle change program: a viable solution for the "hardly reached"
Presenter: Narelle Sohier, Business Manager and Registered Nurse, Diabetes NSW
Co-presenter: Ian Corless, Diabetes NSW

Presentation Summary: A viable digital solution for the “hardly reached” population subsets – a 12 month education, nutrition and physical activity lifestyle change program, including the infrastructure to support human coaching – delivered via a clinically validated app platform (app). Going beyond activity tracking and calorie counting, the app leverages behavioural economics, gamification, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and personal coaching to incentivise people to adopt and maintain healthier behaviours.

Session Title: Speech pathology: linking therapy into isolated schools
Presenter: Alison Marshall, Speech Pathologist, Armidale Community Health Centre, Hunter New England LHD
Co-presenter: Mattias Grasselli, Speech Pathologist Armidale Community Health Centre, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary: Telehealth has bridged the gap between children living in isolated areas and their paediatric speech pathologist. Not only has telehealth proved to be a safe, efficient and effective method of therapy delivery it has resulted in a significant increase in occasions of service and reduction in travel time for families and staff. The introduction of telehealth services has been a success for rural families and the Armidale Speech Pathology team.

IV) Unexpected Inspiration

Session Title:
Implementing a proportionate review process for research in Northern NSW and Mid North Coast Local Health Districts
Presenter: Rebecca Lavery, A/Research Ethics and Governance Coordinator, Northern NSW LHD

Presentation Summary: As researchers we know research ethics and governance in public health organisations takes time – 'time is money' and in research endeavours, time delays are a well-touted impediment to: progress, change, quality improvement, new information, further enquiry etc. There's no denying the important role of research governance, and the merit of scientific and ethical review of human research, but like good research – shouldn't the benefits outweigh the foreseeable risk of harm?

Session Title: Riding the wave of malnutrition screening tool referrals: evaluation of a prioritisation tool
Presenter: Megan White, Dietitian, Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD
Co-presenter: Carly Zaremba, Dietitian, Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD

Presentation Summary:
The implementation of a new electronic medical record system which involves nursing staff completing the Malnutrition Screening Tool on patients on admission resulted in a 400% increase in referrals to the dietitian from 600 per month to 2500 per month. To manage this overwhelming increase in referrals, senior dietitians within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District developed a prioritisation tool to help guide dietitians to prioritise their workload for new patients in conjunction with their clinical judgement. This presentation will discuss the development, implementation and evaluation of this tool.

Session Title: Living well in NSW multipurpose services evaluated: is it home?
Presenter: Jessica Drysdale, Implementation Officer, Agency for Clinical Innovation

Presentation Summary: This presentation will outline the evaluation findings from the Living Well in Multipurpose Services (MPS) Collaborative undertaken with 25 MPS Teams over 2017 and showcase the key successful strategies implemented and outcomes generated for residents living in MPS, not as patients in hospital, but as people living in their home.

Session Title: "Golden Angels" spreading their wings: the impact of volunteer support for patients with dementia and delirium in seven rural hospitals
Presenter: Annaliese Blair, Clinical Research Officer, Aged Care Evaluation Unit, Southern NSW LHD

Presentation Summary: This presentation provides an overview of the Volunteer Dementia and Delirium Care program. The program aims to support the emotional wellbeing of hospitalised patients with cognitive impairment and reduce their risk of adverse outcomes. Initially piloted in Bega Hospital in 2009, the program was subsequently implemented and evaluated in a further seven rural acute hospitals in Southern NSW LHD.

Session Title: "Going from statistics to stories": how to capture value and diversity of practice in rural areas
Presenter: Bethany Croker, Dermatology Registrar, The Australasian College of Dermatologists

Presentation Summary: Integral to rural healthcare practice are statistics highlighting deficits, such as staffing shortages and disadvantage. While vital for imperatives to address workforce maldistribution, these statistics do not reflect the positive experiences of practicing in rural areas. We are using appreciative inquiry to explore 'rural healthcare practice'. Key to our research is the question: How do we balance the need to highlight deficits of rural healthcare AND highlight the value of working in rural areas?

Session Title: Aboriginal community people of the Lismore region painting their journeys to improve chronic health care
Presenter: Liz Lewis, Aboriginal Immunisation Officer, Northern NSW LHD
Co-presenter: Anthony Franks, Aboriginal Chronic Care Officer, Northern NSW LHD

Presentation Summary: Joining all the dots to create the journey, we painted our journey to improve chronic health in Aboriginal community. The Aboriginal people living with a chronic health issues and their carers’ were given the opportunity to gain an understanding of ‘how to keep our kidneys healthy’, ‘the importance of immunisation’ and what is meant by ‘cardiac rehabilitation at the local hospital’, etc. Creating a culturally safe space allowed Aboriginal people to ask questions and take part in the learning. How do you create good learning outcomes in your service delivery? Let’s learn from each other.

Session Title: From Israel to Tamworth: trauma-informed group approaches with children
Presenter: Marisa Barnes, Psychologist, Northern Psychology Professional Lead, Tamworth

Presentation Summary: With 555 children referred to the Paediatric Psychology service from 2015-2017, demand for service continually outweighs clinician capacity. Tamworth children are amongst the most developmentally vulnerable, well above the state and national averages. Innovative methods of meeting community needs are required, and the long waiting list inspired a creative approach to managing this. The Healing Forest is a researched and evaluated program originally written in Israel. Whilst Tamworth is not known for its lush green forests and waterfalls, the program inspired ours - the “Healing Garden” - an approach to support children who have experienced distress and trauma.

V) Our Workforce

Session Title:
Many more than one to blaze a new trail: collaboration and the new NSW Rural Generalist Medical Training Program 2018
Presenter: Craig Shields, Senior Program Manager, Rural GP Procedural Training Programs, Health Education & Training Institute
Co-presenters: Karyn Sherman, Project Officer – Training & Support Services, Rural Medical Education, Health Education & Training Institute

Presentation Summary: The development of new and innovative models or medical education and training are rarely associated with large public health systems. An outstanding example has emerged from NSW Health with the development of the NSW Rural Generalist Medical Training Program. Established in 2012 to address rural medical workforce challenges, key stakeholders were invited to come together to design and deliver a unique and fast-track training program to bring more skilled doctors to the bush.

Session Title: Same but different: success factors for implementing Leading Better Value Care initiatives in rural NSW
Presenter: Gary Disher, Manager Strategy and Reform, Strategic Reform Branch, NSW Ministry of Health
Co-presenters: George Leipnik, Director Strategy and System Priorities, Strategic Reform branch, NSW Ministry of Health and Dianne Harvey, Program Manager, Leading Better Value Care, Western NSW Local Health District

Presentation Summary:
The Leading Better Value Care Program is one of the main ways NSW Health is transitioning towards value-based healthcare. The program includes four multidisciplinary specialist initiatives that are being implemented by all districts across NSW. These initiatives are based on Models or Standards of Care developed by multidisciplinary Clinical Networks. They address prevention and management of the clinical conditions to improve patient outcomes and experience of care. Adapting the Model of Care to fit local circumstances has helped rural LHDs overcome specific implementing challenges. The presentation will highlight these critical success factors.

Session Title: Equity considerations in evaluation of public and preventive health policies
Presenter: Xenia Dolja-Gore, Academic Biostatistician, Research Fellow, NSW Health Prevention Research Support Program

Presentation Summary:
Equity is often omitted from economic evaluations of public health and prevention interventions. Promoting the quantification of equity impacts and giving greater transparency to the equity-efficiency trade-off of health programs, will provide policy makers with key information about the health equity impacts of public health policies. This is highly relevant in a rural health context where inequity can be significant.

Session Title: Evaluating the nursing and midwifery exchange program
Presenter: Amy Byrne, Nursing Director, Clinical Excellence, South West Hospital and Health Service Queensland
Co-presenter: Andrew Hughes, Statewide Coordinator Nursing and Midwifery Exchange Program, South West Hospital and Health Service Queensland

Presentation Summary: The Nursing and Midwifery Exchange Program is a innovative workforce development program designed to exposure nurses and midwives to diverse areas across the state of Queensland. This presentation will discuss the evaluation research of this program, the benefits to the individual, the facility and to the health service. This presentation discusses how clinical exposure to rural/remote areas provides the avenue for professional development, increase in clinician confidence and potential recruitment to rural areas.

Session Title: Grow our own: sustainable midwifery workforce in rural and remote areas
Presenter: Tammy O'Connor, Clinical Midwifery Consultant, Western NSW LHD
Co-presenter: Alison Loudon, District Manager, Midwifery and Childrens' Strategies, Western NSW LHD

Presentation Summary: This presentation will illustrate how Western NSW LHD implemented a unique model to increase the midwifery workforce within rural and remote locations. This resulted in increasing a local, sustainable midwifery workforce solution that provides women-centred care within their local community.

Session Title: Resilience and post-traumatic growth in health workers exposed to stress and trauma
Presenter: Gene Hodgins, Clinical Education Academic Lead and Clinical Psychologist, Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health, Charles Sturt University

Presentation Summary:
Exposure to stressful and traumatic experiences can have negative but also positive psychological consequences. For health professionals working in rural areas, little is known about the determinants and mechanisms of such positive outcomes, including resilience (the human adaptation to stress and trauma) and post-traumatic growth (the development of positive psychological outcomes arising from exposure to trauma). This presentation will review the relevant literature in the field and propose specific future research with rural health clinicians.

Session Title: Navigating a traumatised system: trauma-informed approaches to supervision
Presenter: Tegan March, Mental Health Social Work Clinical Leader, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary: Clinical supervision is a vital component to working and thriving in all human service industries. Daily, mental health clinicians work with some of the most traumatised and vulnerable people in our society. Clinicians also come with their own lived experiences which are sometimes complex and traumatic, as well as experiencing at times personal threat in their work. How do we as clinical supervisors navigate the space between vicarious trauma, actual trauma, and complex trauma of the clinicians that we are here to support?

VI) Diversity and Inclusion

Session Title:
Collaborating with staff and consumers to improve the uptake of inclusive integrated care
Presenter: Catherine Foley, Psychologist, Drug and Alcohol Service, Mid North Coast LHD

Presentation Summary:Uptake of best-evidence integrated care (IC) is important in rural and regional communities where per capita rates of co-occurring mental health (MH) and drug and alcohol (DA) disorders are higher than in urban areas, and the harms arising from exclusion and intolerance are amplified. This presentation describes the process of combining the expertise of MH and DA staff with consumer views and research evidence to develop and trial a standardised but flexible method for guiding the uptake of more inclusive IC.

Session Title: A consumer led model of care to increase female participation in cardiac rehabilitation
Presenter: Joanne Leonard, Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinical Nurse Specialist, Murrumbidgee LHD
Co-presenter: Elyce Green, Clinical Nurse Educator, Intensive Care Unit, Murrumbidgee LHD

Presentation Summary:
Coronary heart disease is the leading underlying cause of death in Australia and a significant burden for the healthcare system and individuals. Cardiac rehabilitation after an acute coronary event decreases healthcare costs, reduces readmission rates and improves patient quality of life and outcomes. Despite this, recent data collected in a rural health district showed that females are less likely than men to attend or complete cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Session Title: Exploring the distance: the experience of being a service provider under the NDIS in a rural area
Presenter: Rhys Dintino, Occupational Therapy Honours Student, University of Newcastle

Presentation Summary:
This project examined the experience of being a health service provider under the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Guided by phenomenology of practice we interviewed a range of health providers from a number of rural and remote areas about their experiences of this phenomenon. We found that in order to sustain and augment the fragile services existing in rural Australia, the NDIS needs to take into account the particular needs of rural service providers.

Session Title: Transgender health and gender diversity: supporting and connecting clinicians
Presenter: Sandra Fitzgerald, Clinical Editor, HealthPathways, Hunter New England LHD

Presentation Summary: Disparities and discrimination in healthcare for both rural and urban transgender populations have resulted in high suicidality and mental health issues, HIV rates and drug and alcohol issues. In 2016, Hunter New England HealthPathways, the Hunter New England LHD and the Hunter Centre for Sex and Gender Diversity collaborated to improve access to timely, appropriate and sensitive health care for transgender communities across the Local Health District (LHD) and articulate local assessment, management and referral options for clinicians in a HealthPathway.