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Doutta Galla wins the primary health service of the year award

Stories in the media - November 2011

Moonee Valley Leader - 28 November - Local Knowledge - Martin Fitzsimmons Volunteer

Martin Fitzsimmons Volunteer bus driver for Doutta Galla

Martin Fitzsimmons, of Airport West, is a volunteer bus driver with Doutta Galla Health.

What was the motivation to get into volunteer driving?
Just retirement, really. It was something I always had on my mind. I've had a go at a few things, but this one has lasted a bit longer. I'm tied up with the local bowling club and on the tribunal for the EDFL (Essendon District Football League).

How long have you been volunteering for?
In this role, about two to three years.

What do you enjoy about the work?
I really enjoy the people. The (clients) are mentally handicapped to an extent, but we have no problems and they like a bit of a laugh. The Doutta Galla Community Health poeple who run the service are all nice, so it is a good environment.

What is your background in the area?
I've been in the area for about 40 years. I've been tied up with Doutta Stars Football Club for a while and am a life member there. I'm on the tribunal of the EDFL and volunteer with Meals On Wheels. For a few months I was working at a soup kitchen in Sunshine. I'm actually a Kiwi by birth and moved here in 1949. All my boys went to St Bernard's College.

Melbourne Leader - 21 November - news-in-brief - Health centre win

Doutta Galla Community Health was named the state’s top primary health service at last week’s Victorian Public Healthcare Awards. Doutta Galla, which runs several centres – including in Kensington and North Melbourne – employs 280 staff and cares for more than 17,000 clients a year. Its programs include services specifically geared towards public housing tenants and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents.

Moonee Valley Leader - 21 November - Healthy win for leading care group

A local health service has been recognised as the among the best in the state for public care. Moonee Valley- based Doutta Galla Community Health was named primary health service of the year at the recent Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.
The awards recognise Victoria’s top health care leaders and acknowledge their contribution to the public service.
Doutta Galla prioritises access to its services to those in greatest need.
This includes helping people in marginal housing or homeless, adults with mental illness, people with complex alcohol and drug issues, public housing residents, frail aged, new and emerging communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and people with chronic illness and complex care needs.
Acting Doutta Galla chief executive Dianne Couch said the award was a tribute to her hard-working staff. ‘‘This is an acknowledgement of our continuing commitment to excellence in healthcare services and I would like to thank our staff and volunteers for their efforts to continually provide high quality responsive services.
‘‘This award is recognition of the important work we do every day.’’
The awards were assessed by eight healthcare experts and were presented by Premier Ted Baillieu, Health Minister David Davis, Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge and Department of Health Secretary Fran Thorn.

Moonee Valley Weekly - 22 November - news-in-brief - Healthy signs for health service

Kensington-based Doutta Galla Community Health has won the Primary Health Service of the Year award for 2011 in the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards. The awards pay tribute to Victoria’s outstanding healthcare leaders. Doutta Galla’s acting chief executive, Dianne Couch, said the award acknowledged its ‘‘continuing commitment to excellence in healthcare services’’. Last year, 280 Doutta Galla staff provided services to more than 17,500 clients. Doutta Galla prioritises access to those in greatest need including people in marginal housing or homeless, adults with mental illness, people with complex alcohol and drug issues, public housing residents, frail aged, new and emerging communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and people with chronic illness and complex care needs. The awards were assessed by eight healthcare experts and were presented by Premier Ted Baillieu.

Moonee Valley Weekly - 22 November 2011 - Purpose not lost in translation

Margaret Yung is more than a social worker. She’s a friendly face, a shoulder to lean on and the first person many Chinese residents across the west turn to.
Her work with the Chinese community was recognised recently when she received the 2011 Lydia Kauzlaric Award at Doutta Galla Community Health’s annual general meeting.
Mrs Yung has co-authored a regional parenting manual, arranged the translation of the ABCD Parenting program into Chinese and starred in a Tuning into Kids instructional DVD for Chinese parents.
She’s also helped develop a pilot program which gets dementia patients and their carers together in a social environment.
Mrs Yung said established and newly arrived Chinese often needed assistance to become part of the Australian community.
‘‘It’s very important to get them support or direct older residents and families to where they can get support,’’ she said.
Acting Doutta Galla chief executive Dianne Couch said Mrs Yung was an asset to the community.

Moonee Valley Leader - 14 November - Outdoor smoke bans hit hurdle

A smoking ban in outdoor dining areas is not on the cards, despite a statewide push from health organisations.
Quit Victoria and the Heart Foundation recently called on the State Government to impose a ban after 32 councils introduced partial restrictions.

Moonee Valley was among the first councils to ban smoking at children’s playgrounds and on council-owned reserves.
But several councillors, including Crs Narelle Sharpe, Jan Chantry and Paul Giuliano, have ruled out supporting more council-imposed restrictions.

Mayor John Sipek, a smoker, said if there was a ban on alfresco dining, other areas would become off-limits.
“Sooner or later, you’ll be banning smoking on footpaths too,” Cr Sipek said.

Cr Jim Cusack, a non-smoker, said he was open to the council looking into more restrictions.
Doutta Galla Community Health recently announced it would extend its ban to include outdoor areas, outreach services and client visits.

Acting chief executive officer Dianne Couch said the health service wanted to protect the wellbeing of staff and clients.
“In all of the chronic diseases that we work with people on, smoking is an indicator,” Ms Couch said.
“So it is certainly one of the key things that people can do to reduce the impact of their chronic disease and prevent their chronic disease.”

Heart Foundation chief executive Kathy Bell said its aim was to “de-normalise” smoking.
“The issue is kids see people smoking around them quite a bit and think it’s a normal and OK thing to do,” she said.
Health Minister David Davis’ spokeswoman Kathryn McFarlane said the Government would meet the councils that had tried outdoor smoking bans to assess their results.

The Federal Government passed the world’s first plain-packaging tobacco legislation last week, though tobacco companies have vowed to mount a legal challenge.

Moonee Valley Weekly - 8 November - Help for homeless

Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation

Doutta Galla Community Health’s Health Time Project has received $130,000 in the second instalment of funds from the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. The project works with people experiencing homelessness, tailoring help to meet individual needs and improving access to health and welfare services. Funding will be used to provide more sessions and build better referral pathways for clients between health and welfare services.

(pictured left to right: Complex Needs Program Manager Brian Sardeson and Chief Executive Officer Lord Mayor's Foundation Catherine Brown)

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