The poor state of our community’s health has been in the spotlight over the past few years. In response East Grampians Health Service has made a commitment to planning and implementing strategies to reduce the growing number of people developing chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. Staff have been working with key partners including Ararat Rural City, Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership, Grampians Community Health Service, local business and Healthy Together Victoria to ensure a coordinated approach is achieved with the best outcomes for our community.
Some of the strategies that have been implemented recently include:
Development of a coordinated approach to implementing the Ararat Rural City Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan
Assisting Ararat Rural City with the Ararat Active 8 program. Dietitians and exercise physiologists at EGHS have supported participants and the community to change their eating and exercise behaviours.
The physiotherapy department has reviewed their group exercise programs in Willaura to improve participation and increase variety. Other smaller rural towns will be reviewed in the future.
Participation with the Grampians Food Alliance to improve access to fresh food and improve knowledge about cooking and nutrition.
Education session in primary schools for parents to improve knowledge about providing healthy lunchboxes and meals for children.
A survey of schools in the area to determine how many are conducting regular cooking sessions with recommendations to improve the nutritional value of the recipes and to provide ideas for resources to schools who are not providing cooking as part of the curriculum.
Happy Mouths Happy Kids school dental program is increasing the number of primary school aged children attending the dentist in addition to providing education on healthy eating and oral health care. Result have shown a reduction in the number of children requiring dental treatment 12 months later.
We encourage all members of the community to get involved and support these health promotion programs so that together we can improve the health of the community of Ararat. We are expecting to receive the Victorian Population Health Survey soon and hopefully we will see improvements in the community’s health following concerted efforts over the past few years.