Mildura project seeks to address better care model for people with chronic disease

The Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research (VVMCRHR) first partnership funding has been awarded to a Mildura based pilot study that will investigate how to better support people with chronic disease.

The study will explore how social, community, genetic and environmental factors influence the health outcomes of people with chronic disease and look to establish an innovative care model.

Sunraysia Community Health Services (SCHS) has been awarded $50,000 for the pilot study from the VVMCRHR and SCHS will also contribute $50,000.  The funding will be used to set up, conduct and evaluate a pilot model over two years with intention of expanding the trial to other rural community service organisations.

The pilot study builds on work completed by SCHS Pain Rehabilitation Physiotherapist, Ruth Hardman, who has been investigating the same topic as part of her Industry PhD studies with La Trobe University and SCHS.

SCHS CEO Simone Heald says people from rural areas living with chronic diseases, often face barriers to self-manage their health concerns.

SCHS is a progressive organisation that understands the community in which we work. We are experts in health and wellbeing, and feel the current health system we operate in does not always meet the needs of all community members, particularly our clients who live in lower socio-economic conditions. Our clinicians witness this in their everyday practice, and to now have the opportunity to be involved in establishing an innovative care model specific to this cohort is extremely valuable.

“I have personally been so appreciative of the work and dedication of Ruth Hardman during the completion of her PhD, as Ruth has evidenced what clinicians have anecdotally experienced with their clients, and there is now an opportunity to enhance the care delivered, ensuring it meets the needs of community and improves their health and wellbeing,” said Ms Heald.

The VVMCRHR is a research centre within the La Trobe Rural Health School.  The Centre was established in 2019 and its mission is to undertake world class research aimed at narrowing the gap between metropolitan health outcomes and those in rural areas.

Media contact: Rebecca Crossling – 0484 600 060,