The WA Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) has formalised its partnership agreement with Pilbara Health Network (PHN) as the research and training partner in the Karratha Central Healthcare GP Superclinic.
On Thursday 28 April 2016, the Superclinic was officially opened.
The Superclinic will serve as a central agency for General Practitioners, Allied Health, Mental Health and ancillary health services for the Karratha region and provide educational programs and clinical training in regional health.
It features four areas: clinical, allied health, social and emotional wellbeing and corporate, as well as specific areas for Aboriginal health and chronic disease.
WACRH’s Social and Wellbeing Learning Hub within the Superclinic was created with funds coming from Innovative Health Training funding of the Commonwealth Government.
WACRH Director Sandra Thompson said the Hub will broaden access and experiences for nursing, allied health and medical students in the Pilbara region.
Professor Thompson is excited by the partnership and the many opportunities it presents for education, community partnerships and research in the Pilbara.
‘Our first students arrive in Karratha in mid-June. We know they will have great learning opportunities and hope that they add value both within and outside of the clinic.’
‘As we build our infrastructure as well as academic and clinical placement support, WACRH aims to extend from our Karratha base into other parts of the Pilbara region.’
‘Local Karratha health students will benefit from WACRH’s student placement opportunities within the Superclinic. They will avoid paying the substantial costs associated with relocating to Perth for their placements,’ she said.
Student placements will include nursing, dietetics, podiatry, social work, public health and pharmacy. Over time, it is hoped that WACRH will support speech pathology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy student placements.
Particular research interests of WACRH staff are in health services research, improving chronic disease management, health promotion, population health, Aboriginal health, health workforce and exploring innovations in technology. All of these areas are important to reducing health disparities.
The Rural Clinical School of WA (RSC) has co-located with WACRH within the Superclinic.
(Photo caption from left to right: Pilbara Health Network (PHN) Chair/Director Narda Schneider, Woodside Chief Operations Officer Mike Utsler, PHN CEO Jocelyne Halpin, Department of Health Assistant Director Amanda Harriott, and WA Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) Director Sandra Thompson.)