Collaboration to solve rural workforce challenges

Gateway Health and the La Trobe Rural Health School have jointly appointed a staff member focused on solving the organisation’s rural health workforce challenges.

The new Learning and Development Coordinator, Dr Lyndal Sheepway, will support staff to undertake further education, increase the number of students placements, enhance the quality of those student placements, and develop research capability and capacity.

Gateway Health CEO, Leigh Rhode, said she hopes the conjoint appointment will bolster their workforce strategy.

“With current skill shortages, not only within Australia, but also across the world in a number of different health disciplines, it has never been more critical to look locally and adapt a ‘Grow your Own’ strategy,” Ms Rhodes said.

“Through our partnership with the La Trobe Rural Health School, we will be looking to create an active student placement program, articulating to recruitment and career opportunities.

“We will share expertise and knowledge in leading research and teaching opportunities across both organisations andhope to create opportunities for current Gateway Health staff to discover further study opportunities,” Ms Rhode said.

Dean and Head of the La Trobe Rural Health School, Professor Jane Mills, said both organisations have a joint mission focused on rural health outcomes.

“The La Trobe Rural Health School is distinctive, as it is entirely based in rural areas, so we very much align with Gateway Health’s mission of growing their own,” Professor Mills said.

“Most of our students are from rural areas and are passionate about working in rural communities after graduation.

“Our closest campus to Gateway Health is at Albury-Wodonga, and we are very much looking forward to working with Lyndal and the Gateway Health team to support their development as a learning and research organisation,” Professor Mills said.

About Gateway Health:

Gateway Health deliver primary health and wellbeing services to rural communities. With sites in Wodonga, Wangaratta and Myrtleford, Gateway Health have over 300 staff and also provide outreach services across northeast Victoria and southern New South Wales.

About La Trobe Rural Health School (LRHS):
Australia’s largest rural health school has played a critical role in improving healthcare in rural and regional communities since its formal establishment in 2009. Each year LRHS graduates hundreds of nurses, dentists, paramedics, social workers, midwives and allied health practitioners, among others, at its campuses in Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Mildura and Shepparton. LRHS also has a strong research component, aiming to address critical health challenges affecting rural and regional communities.

Media contact | Rebecca Crossling | 0408 600 060