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Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation, CheckUP acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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Queensland Mental Health Week

Who we are

CheckUP works with partner organisations and health providers to create healthier communities and reduce health inequities through a range of initiatives.

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Partner with us

There are so many ways you can support the work of CheckUP and our vision of better health for the people and communities that need it most.

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News & publications

Read the latest news and publications from CheckUP.

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Valuing what patients say about Outreach services 

CheckUP supports and encourages Outreach service providers to collect patient feedback. Information sourced from patients is incredibly valuable in supporting quality improvement of health services, enhancing patient experience & engagement, as well as identifying trends and patterns. 

All contracted Outreach service providers are supplied with various resources to assist with the collection of patient feedback, making it easy to source valuable input from patients.

One of the many focuses for Outreach services across Queensland is providing quality care that is closer to home, as this continues to still be a challenge for people living in rural and remote areas.

In addition to collecting information from the patient about their experience of the health service, we also ask them what distance they travel to attend their Outreach appointment.

Surveying 802 patients from 2020 to now, we noted that patients travelled these distances to attend appointments:

64.2% of patients indicated they travelled 10km or less

19.4% indicated they travelled between 11-50km

We encourage all service providers to make gathering patient feedback a priority, so we can continue to work together to effectively create healthier communities and reduce health inequities.

Here are some quotes from the patients expressing their gratitude for services delivered closer to home.

“Fantastic care and the service that is available for our remote location by Cecilia and the team is vital to the health and well-being of our community. Thank you.”

 

 

“Grateful that I didn’t have to travel 2 hours.”

 

“The service is good for the community and for those unable to travel long distances for consultations.”

“Maintain the excellent service in Ranveshoe. If it wasn’t available, diabetics in Ravenshoe would have to travel many kms to see a diabetes educator and if this was the case they probably wouldn’t go to see one. There are many elderly diabetics who need this service as well as indigenous and young people.”

 

 

“Its a wonderful service for a rural town.”

Patient Feedback Survey

If you would like to share the patient survey link with your patients you can access it via the button below.

If you would like patient feedback printed resources including, posters, postcards and a hardcopy of the survey please contact contracts@checkup.org.au and our team will arrange these to be sent.

Embracing the spectrum

Next week is Neurodiversity week. Neurodiversity week is a worldwide initiative designed to recognise and celebrate the strengths of people who are neurodiverse, while challenging the stereotypes and misconceptions that are associated with neurological differences.
CheckUP Outreach provider Laura Zimmerman, Director of Macintyre Health, recently shared her powerful personal story with us. Laura’s story emphasises the importance of understanding and embracing the strengths of individuals with neurodivergence.

Article originally shared in CheckUP’s IMPACT Magazine Vol. 1o

 

It was 1991 and I was six years old, standing next to my mother in her favourite jewellery store in our small suburban town when a woman  told her that I would struggle academically. “You will have to come to terms with it”, the woman told her. “She’s not smart. You will have to make plans for this. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to her.” My speech was delayed until I was eight years old. I have encountered numerous levels of stigma throughout my life – yet this comment, when I was six years old… never left me. Never underestimate the power of words.

I have only recently started discussing my synaesthesia. I work in diabetes and metabolic health – everything is graphs and numbers. My singular focus allowed me to achieve high marks in my post-graduation qualifications, start multiple businesses and run clinics across half of Australia. People living with autism or neurodivergence are more than their list of perceived deficits. When understood, we contribute greatly to the world around us.

 

Inspired by reducing stigma, I’ve chosen to reveal my autism journey, driven by my son’s diagnosis and the desire to reduce the stigma for him and others like us in accessing healthcare. This transformative decision has allowed me to unmask my struggles while celebrating the strengths that arise from my neurodivergence.

 

 

As a business owner living with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia, I recognise that individuals with firsthand knowledge of their conditions are the true experts in their lives. Sharing my experiences with disability can help me help others overcome stigma – creating more inclusivity and compassion. Openness fosters understanding and acceptance and empowers others to share their stories. Together, we can build healthier, more vibrant communities that celebrate and support disability and neurodiversity.

Access for All

Approximately 18% of Australia’s population is estimated to have a disability, with around 10% experiencing profound discrimination that hinders their day-to-day activities, including medical visits. This discrimination has tangible effects on their health and mental wellbeing. The healthcare system still struggles with addressing the historical and present stigma surrounding disability.

CheckUP’s Access for All training course bridges gaps in knowledge and experience that healthcare providers face in delivering patient-centred, culturally safe care to people with disability. This initiative, funded by the NDIA, equips healthcare providers like Macintyre Health with vital tools and resources for delivering person-centred care.

Find out more

Burnout support for healthcare providers

What is burnout?

The World Health Organisation defines burnout as “a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” It includes feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and feeling negatively about work.

To monitor the mental health of healthcare workers each year, Mental Health Australia commissions a survey. The most recent 2022 Annual Healthcare Professionals Survey found that burnout rates remained high from 2020 – 2022 (80% in 2020, 86% in 2021 and 84% in 2022).

So, what can healthcare workers do to prevent burnout?

If you think you are experiencing burnout, it’s important to focus on your wellbeing and seek support when needed. These tips can help you regain balance in your life:

  • If you can, take a break (even a short one) to remove yourself from the root cause of stress
  • Prioritise your physical and mental health, nutrition and sleep
  • Seek support from professionals, family and friends
  • Do something creative or explore things that interest you

Even though it may seem difficult to prioritise yourself in challenging times when you feel burnt out, it is an important step in managing your overall health and wellbeing.

Support for healthcare professionals

In 2020, The Black Dog Institute established The Essential Network (TEN), a series of resources aiming to prevent burnout and support the wellbeing of healthcare professionals. Created by health professionals for health professionals, TEN is a multifaceted e-health hub offering discrete and confidential ways to access support. Users can access five free telehealth services, personalised support and a variety of practical resources.

Visit website

The Black Dog Institute also created a separate nine step program titled Navigating Burnout, which aims to help users understand burnout and develop skills to manage their work without feeling overwhelmed. The sections are easy to complete, with some taking as little time as 10 minutes.

Visit website

Hand-n-Hand, is a registered charity founded by health professionals, for health professionals. They offer free, confidential peer support for those working in the health industry across Australia and New Zealand.

​Their volunteers are experienced healthcare professionals with dedicated mental health training. Both one-on-one and group peer support are available. For more information visit the Hand-n-Hand website here.

Visit website

Additional resources

There are plenty of additional resources available to help you prevent burnout and offer support. Here is a selection below.

Remember, your health comes first! Take time to nurture it!

The Queensland Government’s Your mental wellbeing website has Apps, Courses and Podcasts to help build resilience and improve mental wellbeing.

Visit website

Mental Health First Aid Australia highlights ways to navigate burnout.

Visit website

 

 

 

Beyond Blue features advice on recognising and managing burnout.

Visit website

St John Vic offers ways to prevent burnout at work.

Visit website

QMHW 2024 dates announced!

We are very excited to announce the dates for Queensland Mental Health Week (QMHW) 2024! The week will take place from Saturday 5 October to Sunday 13 October, inclusive of World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October. Read more in our dates announcement here.

Read the announcement

Collaborating to combat Queensland’s silent killer

Located in the heart of Western Queensland, Eulo is little more than a pub and a general store, an outback oasis set on the banks of the Paroo river. Eulo is home to just over 90 residents.

CheckUP engages The Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) to assist in the delivery of the Skin Cancer Early Detection Outreach program. The RFDS travel to the five priority locations across Queensland, operating skin cancer clinics for those that would otherwise have to travel hundreds of kilometres for specialist skin cancer assessment and treatment, improving the health equity of regional, rural and remote Queenslanders.

Recently the CheckUP team joined the Royal Flying Doctor Service on a trip to Eulo to observe the new skin cancer clinic that was opened as a part of CheckUP’s Skin Cancer Early Detection service. During the trip, our team spoke with Eulo residents and the RFDS healthcare team involved in delivering the service. Watch the video below to witness why the SCED program is important to those living in remote areas and how small towns, like Eulo have benefited.

We would like to thank the RFDS for giving the CheckUP team the opportunity to attend the Eulo visit.

Register now for the Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops

Are you a GP working in rural, regional, or remote QLD? Attend one of CheckUP’s FREE Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops in Mount Isa, Roma, Mackay, Rockhampton, or Townsville.

An introduction to practical skin cancer medicine and surgery, workshops will feature a core theory session followed by a hands-on practical session. Covering topics such as:

  • Basics of dermoscopy – diagnosing common skin lesions and sampling lesions effectively.
  • Practicing surgical procedures – including curettes, shave and punch biopsies, elliptical excision planning and closure, suturing: basic interrupted, deep dermal, pulley sutures and haemostatic stitch.
  • Case discussions – participants are welcome to bring their own cases to discuss.

Upon completion attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance which can be used to claim CPD hours.

Workshops include complimentary lunch, morning tea, and afternoon tea.

Places are limited. Register now to secure your spot.

Register for a workshop near you

IMPACT Magazine Issue 10

This milestone tenth edition of IMPACT magazine, coincides with CheckUP’s 25th anniversary that took place in 2023.

For 25 years CheckUP has been dedicated to creating better health for people and communities who need it most. While our programs have diversified over the years, the work that is highlighted in this publication has one common thread that binds them all – the power of collaboration. The impact of our work stands as a testament to the collective efforts of our partners, members, and providers, who have all played a role in supporting health and well-being across Queensland.

In this edition you’ll find stories from across Queensland, from Cherbourg to Palm Island and all the way up to the Torres Strait! For us, IMPACT magazine is not just a publication; but a celebration of the people and communities who feature throughout these pages.

We hope you take time to read these stories and learn more about the wonderful work taking place.

You can read IMPACT below or download the PDF.

View PDF

Embracing inclusivity: Synergy Health Centre Townsville overcome barriers with Access for All

The team at Synergy Health Centre Townsville share how completing CheckUP’s Access for All online disability awareness course has enhanced their delivery of person-centred care. In addition to their Townsville clinic Synergy Health are also a CheckUP Outreach provider who provide their services to rural and remote communitites.

Detailing the small changes they have made to their centre practices to be more inclusive, from increasing resource development for use in consultation to adjusting the booking process to be more flexible ensuring patients have a comfortable experience.

Complete Access for All online disability awareness training for free until 30 June 2024.

Complete Access for All

Access for All is an online course that aims to improve disability awareness among health providers and increase understanding about the barriers people with disability experience when accessing healthcare.

  • FREE until 30 June 2024 ⁠
  • Suitable for all health professionals
  • Enhances person centred care⁠
  • Fully online training completed in 2/2.5 hours ⁠
  • Earns CPD points for most health professionals
Sign up for Access for All training

Meet our team: Mary-Anne Quilter

Mary-Anne Quilter CheckUp’s Program Manager – Skin Cancer Early Detection, coordinates the Skin Cancer Early Detection (SCED) outreach service. Focusing on regional towns, the service aims to create fairer access to the professional assessment and treatment of skin cancer.

The SCED service not only facilitates skin cancer clinics across the state but is also facilitating 5 free upskilling workshops in 2024 for GPs living in rural, regional and remote Queensland. Covering essential skin cancer detection skills, workshops will be held in Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Roma and Townsville. For more information or to register for a workshop please click here.

Below Mary-Anne shares a little about herself and the crucial role she plays in the CheckUP team.

Tell us a bit about what exciting projects you are currently working on?

I am currently working on a Skin Cancer Early Detection outreach service, which is being delivered in five Hospital and Health Services (HHS) regions across Queensland. The aim is to provide fairer access to the professional assessment and treatment of skin cancer for those living in rural and remote communities. In partnership with Queensland Health, we are also trying to improve awareness and knowledge of the five sun safe behaviours (slip, slop, slap, slide and seek) and confidence to conduct regular self or partner skin checks.

How long have you worked in the health sector? What were you doing prior to coming to CheckUP?

I have worked in the community services and health sectors for twenty years. This is actually my second time at CheckUP. Previously I managed delivery of the Tucka-Time program in six schools around the state, before moving into health workforce projects including development of the Choose Your Own Health Career website and the Health Gateway to Industry Schools program.

Prior to joining CheckUP, I worked for a mental health support and advocacy organisation, Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland (MIFQ). I have also worked for Anglicare Central Queensland, based in Biloela and the Bathurst Regional Council. In a previous life, I worked in HR for law firms, an investment bank and the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.

What does a typical day look like for you?

This has varied largely since I started in this role. Initially, there was mapping of potential service locations, engagement with the HHSs and Primary Healthcare Networks (PHNs), and identifying potential service providers to deliver SCED clinics. During the contracting period, a lot of time was spent preparing costings and negotiating service schedules.

Now that we are halfway through the financial year, my focus now is more upon service monitoring and collating data from provider Outcome Reports as well as reporting in to our funding body and Steering and Advisory Committee meetings. Together with our engagement team, I am also organising a series of SCED upskilling workshops for GPs, which will be delivered in Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Mount Isa and Roma in the coming months.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?

Engagement – with both external and internal stakeholders. I like the personal connections you make and ensuring that everyone is kept in the loop and given the opportunity to provide input into what I’m doing. I also enjoy travelling to meet with stakeholders and see programs in action.

What are 3 words you would use to describe CheckUP?

Dynamic, diverse and adaptive.

Are there any major changes in the health sector or work that CheckUP undertakes that you have noticed since you started working with CheckUP?

Definitely diversification into new areas, such as health workforce. As an organisation, I think CheckUP over the last five years has also proactively sought to strengthen partnerships with longstanding supporters and to form new connections with other organisations. There are increasingly more opportunities to work collaboratively with others on new projects and initiatives.

What activities do you enjoy when you’re not working?

Bushwalking, outback road trips with the family, cooking and reading.

Register now for the Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops

Are you a GP working in rural, regional, or remote QLD? Attend one of CheckUP’s FREE Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops in Mount Isa, Roma, Mackay, Rockhampton, or Townsville.

An introduction to practical skin cancer medicine and surgery, workshops will feature a core theory session followed by a hands-on practical session. Covering topics such as:

  • Basics of dermoscopy – diagnosing common skin lesions and sampling lesions effectively.
  • Practicing surgical procedures – including curettes, shave and punch biopsies, elliptical excision planning and closure, suturing: basic interrupted, deep dermal, pulley sutures and haemostatic stitch.
  • Case discussions – participants are welcome to bring their own cases to discuss.

Upon completion attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance which can be used to claim CPD hours.

Workshops include complimentary lunch, morning tea, and afternoon tea.

Limited places available register now to secure your spot.

Register for a workshop near you

This program is made possible through funding from the Queensland Government.

Collaboration enhances eye care in Cherbourg

Since 2010, CheckUP’s Indigenous Eye Health Program has supported state of the art ophthalmic services in communities through collaboration of services: St John Eye Van, Dr Rowan Porter, Dr Shelley Hopkins (Queensland University of Technology), Cherbourg Regional Aboriginal and Islander Community Health Service (CRAICCHS).

Funding provided by CheckUP, through the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care Outreach programs, supports visiting healthcare teams to work collaboratively to manage and treat eye health issues, and streamline the referral pathway for consumers in their community.

Pivotal to the success of the service is CRAICCHS’ local Allied Health Coordinator, Fabia Murray, whose dedication and hard work ensures consumers are not only aware of these visiting services, but are supported to attend. Fabia also assists in the coordination of the services at the local level. The close partnership between the local coordinator, visiting optometrist Dr Shelley Hopkins, and the St John Eye Van team ensures comprehensive eye health needs are met without extensive and intrusive travel to metropolitan areas. The visiting optometry clinic has expanded to include two optometrists and several Queensland University of Technology (QUT) optometry students who provide 18 clinic days per year. Demand for the service is continuing to grow.

Students have the opportunity to use eye testing equipment including Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) which provides cross-sectional scans of the retina, visual field testing, and retinal photography. More importantly, the service provides a diverse and culturally responsive approach to monitoring eye health in community, preventing vision loss, and establishing referral pathways.

“Seeing the way the optometrists did the vision tests and how they managed different eye problems was very enlightening. I also learnt the trust the optometrists build with the patient, and how they explain to the patient what is occurring in their eyes, is vital for the patients to keep returning to see them. I am grateful that I was able to see the importance of the optometrist to patient relationship and hope to be able to do the same once I am working.”   – QUT optometry student.

In addition to optometry, specialised ophthalmic services are provided by Dr Porter and his team, who deliver their service in the mobile St John Eye Van (previously the Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening (IDEAS) Van). Together, the team manage common eye diseases such as refractive change, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, offering outpatient care to local patients within their community. Having this comprehensive care delivered locally reduces waitlists, helping to prevent avoidable blindness and vision impairment.

CheckUP is committed to continuing to support the evolving eye health needs of the community, fostering partnerships, and providing comprehensive on-site care for patients like Cyril Albury, pictured below.

Initiatives to target Queensland skin cancer rates

Queensland has the highest rate of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers in the world. 

Last week the Queensland Government announced new initiatives to target skin cancer rates in Queensland, including a three-month campaign titled ‘Sunshine: You do the 5. You survive’. The campaign urges Queenslanders to embrace the five sun-safe behaviours – slip, slop, slap, seek, slide – through a mock horror movie called Sunshine. 

In addition to the campaign, there is continued support for the Skin Cancer Early Detection (SCED) program coordinated by CheckUP. The Skin Cancer Early Detection Service has a focus on regional towns and aims to create fairer access to professional assessment and treatment of skin cancer for people who have a skin cancer risk. Following extensive mapping and consultation with key stakeholders the SCED outreach services have been funded for five priority Hospital and Health Service regions that include Central Queensland, North West, South West, Mackay and Townsville.  

CheckUP joins the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service on SCED Outreach visit

David Millichap, CheckUP’s General Manager – Engagement and Business Development, travelled to Eulo last week with the team from the Royal Flying Doctor Service to observe the new skin cancer clinic as part of CheckUP’s SCED program.

David spoke with several patients in Eulo who expressed sincere gratitude for the visiting clinic, which saved them a long trip to Toowoomba or Brisbane to have their skin checked by a specially trained GP.

Register now for the Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops

Are you a GP working in rural, regional, or remote QLD? Attend one of CheckUP’s FREE Skin Cancer Early Detection Upskilling Workshops in Mount Isa, Roma, Mackay, Rockhampton, or Townsville.

An introduction to practical skin cancer medicine and surgery, workshops will feature a core theory session followed by a hands-on practical session. Covering topics such as:

  • Basics of dermoscopy – diagnosing common skin lesions and sampling lesions effectively.
  • Practicing surgical procedures – including curettes, shave and punch biopsies, elliptical excision planning and closure, suturing: basic interrupted, deep dermal, pulley sutures and haemostatic stitch.
  • Case discussions – participants are welcome to bring their own cases to discuss.

Upon completion attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance which can be used to claim CPD hours.

Workshops include complimentary lunch, morning tea, and afternoon tea.

Limited places available register now to secure your spot.

Register for a workshop near you

This program is made possible through funding from the Queensland Government.