News Archive: Mar 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Important Information

Posted on 19th March 2020

Dear Staff, Patients, Visitors, Partners and Stakeholders, 

Heart of Australia’s purpose and main ethos is to improve health outcomes and living conditions for all, ensuring that everyone has access to specialist medical services without having to travel long distances from their home.

As the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic outbreak continues we wanted to share with you some important information about the steps we’re taking to minimise the risk of exposure in our communities and what we are doing to keep both our staff and patients safe. Our greatest priority at this time is the health and safety of all our team members and our patients.

We have always made sure our facilities, trucks and clinics are clean and hygienic environments for everyone, and we are taking extra steps to ensure we continue having that during this time with the increased health concerns surrounding COVID-19.

These measures include increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitisation on all our trucks and clinics, including high-touch areas such as handrails, counter surfaces and door handles and also providing access to hand sanitisers on-board our trucks and clinics. We are also advising our staff to wear facemasks and gloves until further notice for the safety and protection of all our patients and team members.

We are at this stage continuing with all our specialist clinics and we will be moving forward with our scheduled visits to the communities. We have however made the decision to cancel and not undertake any other activities and events for the rest of March, meaning we are having to cancel some planned GP Education Sessions and other community events we had scheduled for the month. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause anyone, but we believe this is the best course of action.

We are actively following the health and travel advice issued by the Australian Government, and ensuring our team is supported with clear health and hygiene protocols. We have also adopted a policy that provides information and support to all team members if they need to stay at home due to feeling unwell.

At Heart of Australia, we remain committed to supporting all our team members and patients throughout this time.

Thank you to all our loyal supporters for your continued support, please take care and stay safe.

Read full article here.

A service close to heart and home.

Posted on 9th March 2020

For the last 20 years, Kelly Shann has been living on a rural cattle property that’s close to her soul. But not to specialist healthcare.

Kelly first heard about Heart of Australia through her doctor.

“After discovering an issue with my heart, my GP quickly helped me arrange an appointment with the Heart Truck. I have Cardiomyopathy, a genetic disease that requires twice-yearly check-ups with a Cardiologist.

Moranbah was the town closest to Kelly’s home on the Heart Truck route.

“With Moranbah being within driving distance, I didn’t even need to think about the logistics associated with travelling to Brisbane, which would have been the next closest place for treatment.

“Living and working on a cattle station makes it difficult and expensive to travel for health care. It would take at least a month to prepare to be away for just a few days. Not to mention the costs, time and everything else that goes into travelling to Brisbane.

“Heart of Australia being in Moranbah completely removed all that worry and expense.”

“I wasn’t sure what to expect on a mobile clinic, but I was blown away with the high levels of equipment, specialists, and professionalism on board.

“With the excellent treatment, state of the art equipment and the high calibre of doctors, there is simply no need to make the big trip into the city. The facilities that Heart of Australia provides are of such high quality that I couldn’t imagine anywhere doing it better. And to get this level of care in the bush is revolutionary.”

“Since starting my journey with Heart of Australia, my condition has improved significantly, and I feel fitter and healthier.”

As Kelly’s health improved she was able to turn her attention and some of her spare time to helping others within her community.

In 2019 Kelly played a leading role with the ‘Sisters of the North’ fundraiser. Kelly and her small team raised 1.4 Million dollars for those Queensland producers tragically struck by the 2019 monsoon.

“We created a system where affected people would receive an SMS code they could redeem at participating local stores. Allowing all the money to stay within those communities. We didn’t want to overlook any businesses, so it was up to the owners to join, and luckily a lot did.

Kelly also started making vlogs in which she interviews people who have faced extreme challenges, using the platform to share their inspiring stories.

“The work I am doing to support and elevate my community, including the fundraising and the vlogging, is only possible because of my good health. If my health was poor, I would struggle to do all the work required of me on the cattle station, let alone engage in the community work I do.

“Heart of Australia is keeping me healthy, and I’m glad to have the chance to pay it forward by supporting my community.”

We asked Kelly how important the Heart of Australia services is for rural Australians like herself.

“The specialist healthcare Heart of Australia provides is crucial, especially for elderly people in these rural towns. Unfortunately, as people grow older, being forced to move into the city for medical attention is something that regularly happens. I hope that the Heart of Australia trucks will limit the number of older people from being forced out of their community too soon. For many, the city is a place far from their family, friends and the life they have known. Having to leave that all behind to access the healthcare they need shouldn’t be the only option.”

In recognition of International Women’s Day, we asked Kelly what the date means to her.

“International Women’s Day is a day to recognise what women bring to our communities and families. It’s an important day to give acknowledgement to women right across the board, in both paid and unpaid roles.”