The Administrator’s Medals in Primary Health Care 2018 were presented on Wednesday 31 October by Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory, at an official awards ceremony held at Government House.
Presented annually, these prestigious awards recognise health professionals who are striving to customise their service and engage their patients and peers to improve health and wellbeing in the Northern Territory (NT). The awards, now in their eleventh year, called on Territorians to nominate outstanding health professionals for medals in the following categories: Individual, Team and Whole of Practice/Health Clinic.
The 2018 recipients are:
Individual Medal Winner – Tracy Porter, Top End Health Service
Tracy Porter has been the Manager at Wadeye Community Health Centre since 2013. Tracy has made it her priority to ensure she has knowledge of community culture, traditions and expectations and despite her busy role is often seen out in community picking up and seeing clients herself. Tracy encourages clinic staff to deliver health care in the client environment, where possible, to give the client a feeling of control over their health care delivery. She ensures she has extensive links and communication with stakeholders in community by working closely with elders, local staff, school, police and community programs. Tracy also employs a large number of local staff, which enables the breaking down of walls from community to health centre as the community feel that they have a part in their health care delivery. Tracy is commended for creating an environment where clients feel supported and welcomed in Wadeye.
Team Medal Winner – Maningrida Pharmacy Service
The Maningrida Pharmacy Service was developed in 2014 to address the lack of access to pharmacy services that existed for Maningrida residents. The pharmacy program was initially established as a 3 days per fortnight service in 2014 and was so successful that funding was secured in early 2017 to extend it to a fully comprehensive, five days a week onsite pharmacy service.
The team in Maningrida works collaboratively to ensure the best health outcomes for people in the community are achieved. A local health worker and pharmacist work together to tailor individualised medication management plans for clients. They have also implemented a medication review service whereby home visits with a local health worker are offered to review and discuss medication issues. Access to quality advice by a pharmacist has provided a substantial enabler in maximising the health literacy and health outcomes for people in Maningrida.
Whole of Practice/Health Clinic Medal Winner – Yuendumu Health Clinic
Yuendumu Clinic works hard with local Aboriginal organisations to address barriers to health and wellbeing in the region. The Yuendumu Clinic works with an active health board, made up of community members, who provide feedback and support to the clinic. Employment of local people is also valued and proactively pursued.
All staff at Yuendumu are credited with working to individualise patient care and being attentive to individual needs to negotiate the best possible patient outcomes. The diabetes super clinic is one example: to reduce the number of times people are asked to return to see much-needed specialist services such as diabetes educators, endocrinologists, dieticians and podiatrists, the clinic coordinates a number of specialists to visit in the same week so that community members can get all their checks done in one visit.