The Administrator's Medals in Primary Health Care for 2016 were presented on Wednesday 31 August by His Honour the Honourable John Hardy OAM, Administrator of the Northern Territory, during a ceremony at Government House.
These prestigious awards are presented annually to recognise and reward the outstanding service provided by the Northern Territory's (NT) primary health care professionals.
A strong field of nominations was received, with each showcasing the high-level primary health care provided to communities across the NT. Those nominated demonstrated client-centred care, acted as role models, and advocated for and advanced the health and wellbeing of the local community.
Nominations were reviewed by a panel comprising representatives of the eight partnering organisations to select the individual and team medal winners.
The Individual Medal was presented to Ms Joanne Berry, Senior Aboriginal Health Practitioner and the Team Medal was presented to Urapuntja Health Service.
A summary on the winners is presented below.
NT PHN congratulates Ms Berry and the Urapuntja Health Service team on their award and appreciates their ongoing commitment to improving primary health care for people in the Northern Territory.
Individual Medal Recipient: Ms Joanne Berry, Senior Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Barunga Clinic
Ms Joanne Berry is a Senior Aboriginal Health Practitioner at Barunga Clinic, where she has worked for over 30 years. Joanne was nominated for the key role she plays within the clinic, particularly the development and management of their preventative health and chronic disease programs.
During her time with the Barunga Clinic, Joanne has acted as a mentor and trainer for many trainee Aboriginal health practitioners and remote nurses. She often takes on the role of support person for other external health staff within the area. Joanne is highly respected within Barunga as a senior member of the community and role model.
Joanne works tirelessly to advance the health and wellbeing of the community through a commitment to education and client-centred care. Joanne ensures all patients are educated on their health and any illnesses, the medications available to them and the risk factors associated with these. In the case of young clients within the community, Joanne ensures family involvement in all aspects of their care.
Team Medal Recipient: Urapuntja Health Service
Urapuntja Health Service was nominated for their ongoing commitment to the provision of services directly tailored to the community and outstations in which they have worked for more than 30 years. Effective teamwork supporting unique skill sets and collaboration with external providers has led to a strong sense of responsibility to deliver best practice care in a respectful environment.
The team understand that community involvement is critical to everything they do and community involvement confirms the service as a safe place where the experience of Aboriginality is understood and special needs are not only recognised but supported. Urapuntja Health Service actively seeks the guidance of the community when considering the delivery of health services both in the traditional clinic setting and at outstations – increasing the community emphasis on addressing primary health issues such as diet, nutrition and lifestyle.
In June 2016, the team delivered a Teen and Family Health Festival to over 200 community members and staff from 15 organisations, the success of this event showcases the team’s firm commitment to the delivery of comprehensive primary health care that is accessible to the whole community. Their willingness to work with all providers has led to improved access to services and strengthened relationships between organisations.
Their clear dedication to the homeland communities they service and community-centred care has strengthened the wellbeing of its residents and provided a strong focus on individual and family empowerment.