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Monthly Archives

December 2018


New support service for new mums

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) has received almost $5,000 as part of the 2018 Freemasons Community Grants program.

The grant was awarded to fund the development and provision of a new community program called “Active Mums n Happy Bubs”, which aims to bring together new mums who want to meet other new mums who want to restore their fitness, or commence a new fitness journey.

GLCH’s Chief Executive Officer, Sue Medson OAM says, “The aim of this program is that the mothers involved will build social connections, so they’ll know where to go and feel more encouraged to seek support whenever they need it. Those initial stages of motherhood can feel overwhelming at times, so to create a space where mums can receive support, advice and connect with other mums is really valuable in terms of one’s general health and mental wellbeing.”

Based in Lakes Entrance, this innovative program will be delivered by GLCH Gym Instructor Kim Woolan, who has expertise in working with new mums and exercise.

“I’m really excited about this program because there’s a lot to be gained for new mums by just connecting with each other,” explains Ms Woolan. “Also, when women decide to start or return to exercise after having a baby, it’s really important they do so under qualified supervision.”

Darrell Traplin from the Gippsland Lakes Freemasons Lodge in Lakes Entrance says, “We’re excited to see the impact this program will have on our local community. GLCH’s application was selected because of its potential to support, educate and connect so many members of the community who can all greatly benefit from this type of program. This is one of many such programs throughout the state, to which Freemasons Victoria has provided support.”

Scheduled to launch in 2019, Active Mums n Happy Bubs will consist of weekly one-hour exercise sessions, followed by 30 minutes of socialising. The sessions will be conducted in accordance with school terms, and will be delivered in local parks, playground areas and walking tracks around Lakes Entrance.

“Our aim with these social fitness sessions,” explains Ms Woolan, “is to encourage and support mums to become active together, so they can keep exercising with other participants from the group, outside the program’s scheduled times. They’ll all be at similar places in their motherhood journey – sleep deprived, trying to find a routine, trying to maintain their identity – so it will be great for them to realise they’re not alone during this time; while also being able to surround themselves with people who are going through something similar, because shared experiences can be very powerful and bonding. I’m really looking forward to helping our community become fitter, healthier and more connected, through this program.”

Active Mums n Happy Bubs will also improve access for mums and their families, to connect with other social and health-related services, while also enhancing the visibility of the children, which could assist in the early detection of health or developmental issues.

“If we can facilitate a more connected and confident community of new mums, who know where to turn when they need support, then we can reduce that sense of isolation that is often experienced during the initial phase of parenthood – and the wider local community will also become stronger and more connected as a result,” says Ms Medson.

To find out more about the Active Mums n Happy Bubs program contact GLCH on 5155 8370.


Photo provided: GLCH’s CEO Sue Medson OAM is pictured with GLCH’s Gym Instructor Kim Woolan, accepting a cheque from Darryl Traplin from Gippsland Lakes Freemasons Lodge in Lakes Entrance.


New program helps alleviate hip and knee pain

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Around the world, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and one of the leading causes of pain and disability. But, thanks to Complete Therapies at GLCH, sufferers now have an opportunity to bid farewell to hip and knee pain caused by OA.

The first line of treatment for osteoarthritis should be education – about your specific condition – coupled with exercise, which has been found to be beneficial for all sorts of conditions, as well as overall health.

“The main goal of treatment for patients with osteoarthritis is to relieve the common symptoms of joint pain, and improve everyday physical function,” explains Zac O’Rourke, GLCH’s Exercise Physiologist, who is based in Lakes Entrance.

“Clinical guidelines recommend exercise for the management of osteoarthritis, as it can help achieve both of those goals – to relieve pain and restore function – while also potentially enabling you to avoid, delay or prepare for any hip or knee surgery.”

In response to these clinical guidelines, Complete Therapies has developed a six-week exercise and program called the “Hip and Knee Program”, which aims to alleviate pain and improve function for people with hip and knee osteoarthritis, thus restoring their ability to perform the activities of daily living with less pain and more confidence.

Prior to attending the program, participants need to have their symptoms and level of function assessed by one of our exercise physiologists or physiotherapists. Once assessed, a personalised exercise program will be designed, which you’ll then be guided through with complete supervision and instruction, to ensure you can perform the program safely and correctly.

The program will also provide you with accurate and up-to-date information about your specific condition, including tips for best management. At the end of the six-week program, you’ll be reassessed to measure your improvements.

To find out more about the Complete Therapies Hip and Knee Program, book in for an assessment, or to seek help for any other aches and pains you’re experiencing, phone our Complete Therapies team on 5155 8370.


Pictured: GLCH’s Exercise Physiologist Zac O’Rourke assists Hip and Knee Program client Gwenda Hunt.


DisABILITY: increasing awareness in the workplace

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health recently launched a workplace awareness campaign to acknowledge International Day of People with Disability.

The International Day of People with a Disability is a United Nations sanctioned day that is celebrated internationally on 3 December each year. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability.

“One in five people, or 4.3 million Australians, have a disability,” said GLCH chief executive officer, Sue Medson OAM. “There are many different kinds of disability and they can result from accidents, illness or genetic disorders. A disability may affect mobility, ability to learn things, or ability to communicate easily, and some people may have more than one.”

A disability may be visible or hidden, may be permanent or temporary and may have a minimal or substantial impact on a person’s abilities.

By starting the conversation about disability in the workplace and the community, you can challenge perceptions, educate others and normalise disability in everyday life. We all have a role to play to ensure people with disability have the same opportunities as others to reach their full potential.

The delivery of disability services is set to change in East Gippsland on 1 January 2019 with the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The NDIS will provide a new way of delivering services and support to people with permanent and significant disability. With the NDIS, people with a disability will have greater flexibility and choice regarding the supports and services they receive to meet their individual needs.

“As a registered NDIS provider, the staged rollout of the NDIS has given us time to prepare for the new scheme, ensuring a smooth transition for people with a disability and their families and carers,” Ms. Medson explained. “The NDIS represents a significant change in the way in which people with a disability will access support, which will change the way in which service providers like us do business.”

To facilitate the change, GLCH has assembled a team of experts from all relevant areas of our organisation, who meet regularly to plan for this new way of delivering services. The team has been meeting for around two years now, and is not only made up of service providers but includes representation from our marketing, finance and human resources teams.

“With with the disability sector likely to double in size to meet the increase in demand for support and services, the team is also focused on recruitment as there will be many more opportunities for people wanting to work in disability services,” Ms. Medson added.

GLCH will provide a broad range of in-home services to people with a disability, as well as allied health and paediatric therapy, and social support. For more information click HERE