Wollondilly Health Alliance goes for bold approach

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The new priorities for the Wollondilly Health Alliance, which was relaunched today, include a health needs assessment to support planning and advocacy for future services.

Another priority of the new MOU – memorandum of understanding – is strengthening access to, and availability of, an integrated network of health services across the Wollondilly Shire including telemedicine.

The Alliance has pledged to continue to embed the principles of health and wellbeing into Wollondilly Council’s daily operations through joint training initiatives and increase awareness about the impacts that disasters have on health and wellbeing and how communities can better prepare themselves.

The Alliance is a formal partnership between Wollondilly Shire Council, South Western Sydney Local Health District and South Western Sydney Primary Health Network.

It was initially formed in March 2014 to connect services and improve health outcomes for the community.

Following a review of the previous governance structure and focus areas, the refreshed Wollondilly Health Alliance aims to apply a fresh and coordinated approach to meeting the diverse health and wellbeing needs of people in the Wollondilly Shire.

“The Wollondilly Shire will face significant challenges over the next few years due to our growing population,” Wollondilly Mayor Matt Gould said at the relaunch.

“We will continue to strongly advocate for the health services we need for our current and future communities.

“I look forward to working collaboratively through the Wollondilly Health Alliance to improve health outcomes for all our community members.”

Sonia Marshall, chief executive of South Western Sydney Local Health District, said the Alliance will draw on each partner’s strengths.

“By working together and sharing our expertise, skills and resources, the Alliance has the potential to achieve greater outcomes collectively,” she said.

“We will deliver projects aimed at improving social connection and health access for the community, including trialling innovative approaches to shape the health care of the future.”

Dr Keith McDonald, chief executive officer of South Western Sydney Primary Health Network, said the new MOU reflected the Alliance’s evolution into a more results-oriented partnership.

“With the Wilton and Appin expansions, the population of Wollondilly is set to triple in the next 30 years,” he said.

“The Alliance is focused on identifying what health services are needed to support this growing population, and ultimately, what we need to do to improve the health and wellbeing of Wollondilly residents.

“The Alliance will be looking to better coordinate our preparedness for, and response to natural disasters, and to improve how virtual technologies are used to ensure local health services are working smarter, not harder.

“The new Alliance structure allows us to build on the solid foundation of work undertaken during the past decade.’’

Pictured top: (back row) Peter Buckley, Wollondilly Shire Council director of shire services, Ben Neville,  South Western Sydney Primary Health Network integration and priority populations manager, Mayor Matt Gould, Dr Keith McDonald. Front row: Mandy Williams, South Western Sydney Local Health District director of population health and CEO Sonia Marshall.

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