Group 17

Crossing the street to close the gap


Closing The Gap

Crossing the Street to Close the Gap

Two Toowoomba based health organisations are crossing the street to close the gap.  Whilst the national focus on Closing the Gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the broader community might seem like a lofty aspiration, Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co Ltd and St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba are literally crossing the street in an exciting new partnership to address the health needs of local First nations people.  St Vincent’s Private Hospital is on one side of Curzon Street, East Toowoomba with Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co Ltd on the other side.

National Closing the Gap Day will be acknowledged this Thursday, March 21st.  This day commenced officially in 2008 when COAG (the Council of Australian Governments) made a commitment to reduce the disproportionate level of disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by ‘Closing the Gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“This is a really exciting development,” stated Kathryn McKeefry, CEO of St Vincent’s Hospital Toowoomba.  “I have a personal commitment and our organisation as a whole is committed to partnering local Aboriginal people in achieving better health and wellbeing outcomes.  This is a true partnership with the beginning point starting with conversations between our staff and Goolburri staff.”

“It is wonderful to combine our knowledge of our people’s health and wellbeing with the expertise of a Wound Care specialist from St Vincent’s hospital,” stated Lizzie Adams, CEO of Goolburri Health Advancement Co Ltd.  “It makes sense for us to work together for the benefit of the whole community, especially as we are literally a stone’s throw away from each other.  All of the research demonstrates that any real progress in closing the gap can only be brought about through respectful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the table.  This wound care project demonstrates what is possible when we sit down and share our resources.”    

The chronic wound care project is designed to increase the capacity of Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co Ltd to deliver wound care and management resulting in an improvement in health outcomes for patients.  A SVPHT wound care specialist will provide training to increase the capacity of Aboriginal Health Workers in managing chronic wounds.  Baseline data will be recorded and the impact of the project measured in terms of increased capacity of Aboriginal Health workers and outcomes for patients.  This has been identified as a significant gap by Goolburri Aboriginal Health.

The project is funded by the Inclusive Health programme, which is an initiative of St Vincent’s Health Australia.

For more information, please contact:

Cassandra Teale

Marketing and GP Liaison, St Vincent's Private Hospital Toowoomba

p 07 4690 4007

m 0407 489 676

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