Consumer Model – Partnering with Healthcare Organisations


Health consumers play a critical role in improving our health system. This Model shows health consumers how they can effectively do this. It highlights opportunities that exist for consumers to contribute, for all experience levels.  “This Model is the product of Safer Care Victoria, the Health Issues Centre, and consumers working in partnership to develop this helpful resource for consumers at all stages of their consumer journey. It is informative, practical, and empowering.” - Nora Refahi, Consumer Advisor on the co-production team.   It helps to:   Support consumers to understand the types of roles they could engage in, that align with their skills and interests. Map out for consumer leads, managers, researchers, and policy [...]

Consumer Model – Partnering with Healthcare Organisations2023-11-27T16:24:52+11:00

A movement of little stories


Covid-19 will be a flashpoint for consumer engagement exactly as cancer was, predicts Dr Maria Teresa Dawson. And the charge will be led by consumers. Dr Dawson – who prefers to be called Tere – is Manager of Training and Development at Health Issues Centre, where she has spent the past 18 years quietly helping to transform the health system for consumers. She says although we’ve come an impressive distance with consumer engagement over the past two decades, the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted some of the gaps that still need bridging. “Cancer survivors have revolutionised the way their voice is heard [...]

A movement of little stories2021-02-02T22:21:26+11:00

Supporting our Consumer Advisory Committee to meet through the pandemic


Staying in touch despite physical distancing by Catherine Fraser, Service Development Officer at Your Community Health One of the things we are really proud of at Your Community Health is our diverse and committed Consumer Advisory Committee. It has consistently provided high quality and thoughtful advice to our organisation over many years, so it was important for us to support Committee members and maintain their input during this pandemic. At the beginning of restrictions, in what seems an age ago now, we committed to finding ways we could continue to meet. Reaching out and listening to our Consumer Advisory Committee members [...]

Supporting our Consumer Advisory Committee to meet through the pandemic2020-10-01T10:45:59+10:00

The “one” is all of us


Partnership is the answer When you change the system for one, you change it for everyone, according to Julian Conlon. And he should know; he’s seen it happen. Julian was part of a seismic shift that saw LGBTQI acceptance and recognition go from being largely unconsidered across the health system to receiving its own awards. His local health service, Peninsula Health, received the Rainbow Tick in 2017 thanks to the efforts of Julian and his peers. “The Rainbow Tick is the highest category of recognition for delivering the highest standard of LGBTI acceptance and recognition,” Julian explains. “And that happened because [...]

The “one” is all of us2020-10-01T15:22:13+10:00

Forget your inside voice!


Consumers take a stand When Sonia Mailer first started working with consumers, they were an enthusiastic but reserved lot. Manager of Melanoma Research Victoria, a multi-centre collaborative research resource, Sonia said a lot has changed since then. “Seven years ago the consumers were shy and didn’t understand their power. They were very restrained in their feedback with the doctors,” she said. “Now they don’t hold back. They say, ‘We disagree! We’re not having that!’ “Some of the consumers have become very knowledgeable about melanoma research. They’ve lost too many loved ones along the way and don’t want to see it happen [...]

Forget your inside voice!2020-08-27T17:15:46+10:00

Community at heart


Building a framework for success Right from the beginning, Your Community Health had local people at its heart, according to Service Development Officer Catherine Fraser. “The community health service in the north was established as a result of advocacy for health services by local people in what was a fairly disadvantaged part of Melbourne,” she said. “In some ways that makes the consumer participation elements of my role easier because it’s not an alien concept for us to be working with community, and vise versa. “I work for a service provider that provides a whole range of health services like medical, [...]

Community at heart2020-06-11T12:45:11+10:00

Engaging better with communities


There's a difference between helping and engaging Ambulance Victoria's (AV’s) paramedics and call takers help the community every day by using their training and expertise. Engagement flips this dynamic, with the community teaching AV how to help them more. It's a lesson in equality that AV's Mark Scammel and other community engagement coordinators have learned studying for the Graduate Certificate in Consumer and Community Engagement (10164NAT) at the Health Issues Centre. Mark Scammel For Mark, the course is helping him see his stakeholders aren't in the office, but out in the community. "It's important for us as an ambulance [...]

Engaging better with communities2020-06-04T10:42:46+10:00

Evidence of impact


What’s the point of training if you can’t prove it’s making a difference? That’s the perspective of Patrice Higgins, former acting CEO of Health Issues Centre and expert evaluator. Patrice has been engaged by Health Issues Centre to undertake evaluation of training and other consumer engagement projects for the past several years. “If people are going to make an investment in training – and it’s a big investment – there has to be a clear connection to how the training is helping the organisation fulfil their mission,” Patrice said. “We started evaluating the training programs a few years ago and back [...]

Evidence of impact2020-06-04T11:34:57+10:00

Expert by experience


Turning heartbreak into a voice for change Natalie Ross knows more about the Australian healthcare system than she ever wished to know. She took an early retirement 12 years ago to care for her mother until her death six years later. Then her son became seriously ill. Then she lost her stepson to cancer after a four-year illness. She‘s stoic in the face of such losses. “I felt like doing some head work rather than the heart work,” she says of her decision to become a consumer representative. And with that, she plunged herself into a whole new world of advisory [...]

Expert by experience2020-05-21T13:44:47+10:00

All a matter of perspective


Taking a different view It’s interesting how looking through the same eyes, you can see different things, according to Kristiina Siiankoski. By day, Kristiina works as a health policy advisor for a government department. But out-of-hours she volunteers her time running a peer support group for a little-known condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser – MRKH for short. This experience helps her see her day job in a whole different light, reminding her what it’s like to be an everyday person encountering the health system. “MKRH isn’t very common – it affects one in 5000 females – and it’s the nature of the condition [...]

All a matter of perspective2020-05-14T11:22:43+10:00
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