#CEOdesk

We invite you to stay up-to-date with the latest news and views from our CEO, Lizz Reay.
You can also follow her on Twitter: @NBMPHNceo

Oct 03 2020

COVID-19 Update

This year has certainly taken some unexpected twists and turns. We have found ourselves playing a pivotal role in coordinating communications and integration between the primary and acute care health systems, enabling us to help manage the medical response in our region during the pandemic.

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Aug 21 2020

Wound Awareness Week

This week is Wound Awareness Week. Nearly half a million Australians suffer from chronic wounds each year, with most of those caused by pressure injuries. People with chronic diseases such as diabetes and those over 65+years are most at risk.

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Aug 18 2020

headspace Katoomba is Open

We are delighted to announce that headspace Katoomba is now open with a new bright and welcoming premises on Waratah Street in Katoomba.

This vital service will provide early intervention support to local young people aged 12-25 years and their families across mental health, work and study, and alcohol and other drugs.

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Jul 31 2020

Our Submission to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements

We welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements. 

Our region was one of many to be affected by the 2019-20 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires that tore through homes, businesses and communities. 

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Jul 17 2020

Experiencing Coronavirus Symptoms? Get Tested!

We are urging anyone who visited the Crossroads Hotel or Planet Fitness in Casula, the Picton Hotel in Picton, or any other identified locations during the designated dates, to get tested for COVID-19 in line with NSW Government recommendations. We particularly encourage people in the upper Blue Mountains, who are experiencing even mild COVID-like symptoms to come forward for testing following four confirmed cases associated with the Crossroads Cluster. 

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Jun 24 2020

New GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic Opens in Windsor

We are pleased to announce the region’s third GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic has opened in Windsor today.
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Jun 01 2020

Don't put Your Health on Hold

Coronavirus has put our health in the spotlight over the last few months, yet many of us have been avoiding the doctor and putting our health on hold.
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May 13 2020

A GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic for Hazelbrook

The region’s second GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic opens today in Hazelbrook.

Like the GP Respiratory Clinic that opened at the Homemaker Centre in Penrith last month, this service will assess people with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms such as a sore throat, cough and shortness of breath and offer testing for COVID-19.

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Apr 21 2020

The region’s first GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic opens in Penrith

The region’s first GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic opens in Penrith today. This Clinic will assess, test and diagnose people with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms including fever, sore throat, cough, tiredness and shortness of breath. 
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Apr 21 2020

The region’s first GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic opens in Penrith

The region’s first GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic opens in Penrith today. This Clinic will assess, test and diagnose people with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms including fever, sore throat, cough, tiredness and shortness of breath. 
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Apr 17 2020

We're In This Together

This week is National Reconciliation Week. At Wentworth Healthcare we recognise that “Reconciliation” is not just a word - it is a process that requires change and positive action. It is a journey for all Australians - as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples.
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Apr 17 2020

Be Kind and Look After Yourself

It’s been an unbelievable time for our region. From drought and raging bushfires, to floods and now a world-wide pandemic.
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Mar 31 2020

A Message from the CEO about COVID-19

On behalf on Wentworth Healthcare, I would like to acknowledge the challenging times we are all facing as a result of the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. This is an unprecedented time, on top of an already difficult few months for many in our community dealing with the recent Bushfires.
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Mar 05 2020

Introducing our Statement of Business Ethics

We are proud to introduce our Statement of Business Ethics that formally sets out our expectations, and our responsibilities, in the relationships we form with the many organisations we interact with.
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Feb 20 2020

It takes a village to grow old and stay healthy

This week we celebrate the NSW Seniors Festival and the unique contribution older people make to our community. It is also a chance to highlight that for many older Australians social isolation and loneliness is a significant issue.
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Feb 19 2020

Katoomba headspace to be run by Parramatta Mission

We were pleased to announce that Parramatta Mission will establish and operate the new headspace service in Katoomba.
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Jan 13 2020

Recently announced federal mental health funding for the bushfire disaster

We welcome Federal Government’s announcement yesterday of $76 million for mental health support in response to the current bushfire crisis.

Bushfires have directly impacted our region, particularly in the areas of Lithgow and the Hawkesbury, with early indications that as many as 100 houses may have been lost, with possibly a further 40 damaged and over 300 other structures destroyed or damaged.

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Dec 16 2019

Well-Being Grants Round Up

Last month I had the privilege of attending the Well-Being Grants Round Up, hosted by our Empowering Our Communities Team.


The Round Up was organised to provide our Well-Being Grant recipients the opportunity to all come together in one place, learn about all of the funded projects and programs, connect and collaborate.
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Dec 10 2019

Reflecting on 2019

It has been another busy and exciting year for us as we support quality primary care, commission valuable services and facilitate more integrated care in our region.

This year has been a rewarding year for all at Wentworth Healthcare, we were pleased to commission a variety of new services to address unmet community needs.

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Dec 05 2019

New Aboriginal Mental Health & Addiction Support Workers

Our organisation has always had a strong commitment to supporting the local Aboriginal community, which is encapsulated in our Reconciliation Action Plan that we launched earlier this year.

The voice of this community is an important one, and helps us to shape how our services are designed so they culturally appropriate.

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Nov 15 2019

Busy Month for our Well-Being Grants Team

Our Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities team were very busy with various activities throughout Mental Health Month.

They attended multiple community events to talk about the mental health services and programs available in our region, and to promote help-seeking behaviours and reduce stigma. Our team encouraged the community to look at mental health the same way that they do their physical health. While most people know eating well, exercising and resting is good for your physical health, they often don't consider the benefits these can also have on their mental health.
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Oct 30 2019

October is Mental Health Awareness Month

October is Mental Health Awareness Month and a reminder to all of us to take steps to look after our mental health.

Mental ill health, just like physical ill health, can effect anyone at any time. It does not discriminate. Daily life stressors or big life events such as becoming a parent, moving countries, ending a relationship, losing a loved one or experiencing a natural disaster - such as our current prolonged drought - any of these circumstances could overwhelm any one of us.

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Sep 20 2019

Our Innovation Wins WSABE AWARD

On Friday night, we were thrilled to win the Award for ‘Innovation’ in the Western Sydney Awards for Business Excellence (WSABE) for the development of our NDIS Support Calculator.

The NDIS Support Calculator is a free online tool that helps people with disabilities better understand what they could be eligible for under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

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Aug 29 2019

Visit from the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt

Last Wednesday we were honoured to host The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and the Federal Member for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh MP at our office.

Essential to what we do as a regional health planning and funding body, is knowing our region and understanding the primary healthcare needs of our community. This visit was an opportunity for us to not only showcase some our work but to advocate for the health needs of our region, particularly in regards to mental health and addiction support.

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Aug 27 2019

Our Rethinking Mental Health Conference

On Saturday, 17 August we held our first Conference - Rethinking Mental Health: New Approaches in Primary Care.

Held in the Blue Mountains, the conference brought together experts from around Australia to provide new insights on the impact of mental illness in our region and talk about new ways to manage mental health in primary care.

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Jul 25 2019

Local Farmer Rallies for Mental Health

Our Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities project has provided us with the opportunity to engage with some of the isolated communities within our region. 

We have heard many stories from those impacted by the drought, particularly in the outer-lying areas of Lithgow and Hawkesbury. One person who has openly shared her personal journey is St Albans farmer, Sherri McMahon. Sherri has told us heart-wrenching stories of having to put down animals in poor condition, or because they have become ill from eating poisonous plants as a result of limited feed supply. 

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Jul 12 2019

NewAccess - Missing Piece in Accessing Support

On Wednesday I was thrilled to officially launch the NewAccess program for the Lithgow and Hawkesbury communities. 

Developed by Beyond Blue, and provided by Marathon Health, NewAccess is an early intervention self-referral program for people 16 years and over who may be going through tough times. 

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Jul 03 2019

Dr Tony Rombola takes over as Board Chair

I am pleased to welcome Dr Tony Rombola as the new Chair of the Wentworth Healthcare Board.

In November our previous Chair, Dr Andrew Knight, will have served his maximum term as a Director and will be leaving our Board after a seven year tenure. This change of responsibility prior to Andrew's departure will allow Tony to have a smooth transition and a comprehensive handover. I would like to thank Andrew for his vision and leadership as Chair and for his support for me as CEO.

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Jun 25 2019

Well-Being Grants funded in Lithgow

Our Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities help build on existing strong community networks so that people have the skills to support each other and have the best opportunity to thrive. 

I’m excited to announce four more of our Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities recipients that have been successful in the Lithgow region. Capertee Valley Landcare Incorporated, Lithgow Area Women’s Shed, Lithgow Information & Neighbourhood Centre and Trybal Productions. 

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Jun 06 2019

Introducing our Reconciliation Action Plan

Last week, in recognition of Reconciliation week, we were proud to officially launch our first Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This RAP formalises our vision to improve the health of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and embed their community needs into our everyday business and culture.

“Reconciliation” is not just a word - it is a process that requires a change of culture and positive action. It is an ongoing journey. Whether we’re engaging in challenging conversations or unlearning and relearning what we know, this journey requires all of us to walk together with courage.

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Jun 05 2019

Breath of Fresh Air Campaign Launches

Last Friday, on World No Tobacco Day, we were excited to launch our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander focused smoking cessation campaign - Breath of Fresh Air.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people are still overrepresented when it comes to tobacco use, which could indicate that current anti-smoking initiatives are not effectively engaging Aboriginal people.

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May 17 2019

Planning for Disaster Management

Last week I attended the WADEM Congress on Disaster and Emergency Management and presented a paper on the important role Primary Health Networks and General Practice play during disasters and launched our disaster preparedness guide.

Disasters are part of the Australian landscape. Bushfires, floods, cyclones, and drought re-occur consistently across our continent. Primary Health Networks and GPs are inevitably involved when disasters strike their local communities.

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May 06 2019

headspace for Katoomba and Hawkesbury under Labor

On Thursday, I was invited to an event where Senator Deborah O'Neill, Assistant Shadow Minister for Mental Health, and Susan Templeman, Member for Macquarie, announced that Labor will also fund a headspace Centre in Katoomba, in addition to a new outreach service in the Hawkesbury, if elected into Government.

We are passionate about improving the mental health of our local communities and are thrilled that both Katoomba and the Hawkesbury will receive funding for headspace services if Labor is elected.

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May 03 2019

Hawkesbury Be & Co. Launches

I am excited to announce the first of our Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities recipients launched their project yesterday.

Hawkesbury Be & Co. is a fortnightly pop-up social event that aims to foster community connections and improve access to support for isolated people.

Our Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities is funded by the Federal Government’s Empowering Our Communities project, which was introduced as one of several measures to support communities affected by drought.

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Apr 18 2019

New Youth Mental Health Support for Katoomba

On Tuesday, the Hon Marise Payne, Senator for Western Sydney, and Sarah Richards, Liberal candidate for the seat of Macquarie, announced that the Morrison Government will fund a new headspace service in Katoomba.

Together with the community, we have been advocating for additional youth mental health services in our region for some time and we are thrilled that Katoomba will receive a headspace service in mid-2020 to help address youth anxiety and depression.

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Apr 04 2019

Advance Care Planning Week

This National Advance Care Planning Week we are encouraging people in our region, regardless of your age and health status, to start conversations with loved ones about what you want at the end of your life.

Almost 50% of people will not be able to make their own end‐of‐life medical decisions, yet less than 15% of Australians have documented their preferences in an Advance Care Directive.

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Photo of Lizz Reay

Lizz Reay is the CEO of Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network. Previously Deputy CEO of Nepean Blue Mountains Medicare Local & Nepean Division of General Practice, she has an extensive background in public health.

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