The Victorian Rural Health Gala Awards were held on the evening of the 27th June 2023 – and it was a very exciting and inspirational night for all who attended.
Many outstanding health professionals were nominated for the Outstanding Rural Outreach Provision Award, and we held our breath as the winner was announced – Dr Jennifer Coller from Connected Cardiology.
We’re so honoured to have this wonderful recognition of the work we have done over the last few years in developing sustainable cardiology outreach services to Shepparton and Cobram, as well as an echocardiography service at Numurkah. We’ve loved supporting patients in the Goulburn Valley and surrounding areas and providing education and support for local health professionals whenever needed.
Jennifer accepted the award of behalf of the Connected Cardiology team, who have had enormous, ongoing support from the Rural Workforce Agency of Victoria, and to whom we are extremely grateful.
Our new Regional Hub was opened in early June at 588 Wyndham St, Shepparton. We’re very excited about this new location, which will offer both cardiology patient consultations and cardiac investigations.
A lot of thought and planning has gone in to developing the hub, with our patients firmly in mind. As well as offering a range of cardiac investigations, we planned for the practice to welcoming and calming on first entering.
We’ve already taken on several new staff members to provide services at the new hub, and we hope to attract more cardiologists and allied health professionals as well.
We continue our outreach service to Cobram Medical Clinic as well as providing telehealth services.
We have some changes to our Connected Cardiology team as we start the new year. We say farewell to Ashley Barnard (embarking on Nurse Practioner training) and Susan Abbey (Practice Manager) and wish them all the best in their new endeavours.
We’re excited to have experienced practice manager, Lisa Underwood, join our team. Lisa has extensive experience as a practice manager in cardiology and running specialist consulting suites.
We also welcome cardiology nurse, Catherine Maulion, to the Connected team. Catherine will be supporting clinics at Shepparton Medical Centre in 2023 and working alongside our nursing team members, Kanaga Lagma (NP) and Jemma Rigby.
In June, we held our last clinics at Medical Specialists on Rathdowne in Carlton North due to our relocation to Shepparton. The team at MSOR have been an enormous support throughout the last two challenging years during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have thoroughly appreciated the opportunity to consult at their beautiful, calm rooms.
Our team will continue to support patients in the Goulburn Valley region through in person and telehealth consultations. Consultations will continue at the Shepparton Medical Centre (cardiologist and nurse practitioner clinics) and the Cobram Medical Clinic, now on a fortnightly basis. Echocardiography continues at Numurkah (NCN Health).
It was a privilege to take part in developing a video showcasing the work of the Goulburn Valley branch of Heartbeat Victoria. The video was filmed shortly before lockdown in 2020 and was very timely indeed. The longer term issues for people living with heart conditions in the Goulburn Valley area, such as accessing specialist cardiac services and cardiac rehabilitation, became more acute during the following year.
GV Heartbeat pivoted quickly to provide virtual, and later hybrid, support and education and provides vital ongoing support to people with heart issues living in Shepparton and surrounds.
Jennifer was recently invited to speak at the Wise Well Women Program in Shepparton – a program arising through collaboration between Women’s Health Goulburn North East, Greater Shepparton Foundation, Upotiponpon Foundation, Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District, Project Partnerships and local health and community services agencies.
It was a great privilege for Jennifer to present a talk on “Heart Health” to this group of 12 women from diverse backgrounds, who were participating in training to become health educators within their own communities. The program has a particular focus on understanding the wide range of factors that impact upon refugee and migrant women’s health and wellbeing and how to navigate the Australian health care system and provide health promotion and education.
It was very clear during that talk that this was a driven and passionate group of women who were highly engaged with the program being delivered at St Paul’s African House. We look forward very much to seeing the positive impacts this health educator program will have within their communities in Shepparton.