Impact in our communities
Care Navigation Program – Ezidi Community
Following a successful pilot, the Care Navigation program will continue to provide support to the Ezidi community, resettled in Armidale, for an additional 12 months.
In 2018, the regional town of Armidale was chosen to provide refuge to 600 Ezidi refugees from Northern Iraq and surrounding countries who had fled persecution from ISIS. While the community presented with high levels of trauma, grief, depression, injury, ill-health and disability, the barriers around successful integration was largely overcome with a trial of the Care Navigation program.
Care Navigation assists refugees to identify their health goals, build skills and increase their knowledge. The concept was taken from a framework developed for an international cancer care program and adapted to the unique circumstances of the Ezidi people.
With few of the Ezidi refugees understanding English and many without any literacy in their native language, the Navigator utilises images, translators and animated videos to help people understand Australia’s complex health system.
A Care Navigator assists clients by working with them to manage appointments, obtain referrals onto support groups or other organisations, and increase their health literacy to manage or improve their health outcomes.
The service started as a 12-month pilot, however, following the success and engagement in Armidale of both the Ezidi community and general practices, the Care Navigation program has been extended until 30 June 2023.
A partnership-first between Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is contributing to a national suite of tailored HealthPathways to help former and transitioning Australian Defence Force (ADF) members move into mainstream primary healthcare.
The activity is one of many actions resulting from a national PHN submission to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. The partnership, comprised of the Hunter New England Central Coast PHN, Northern Queensland PHN and the DVA, is the first of its kind and a direct result of the recommendations made in the report submission.
The HealthPathways will help general practitioners (GPs) support former and transitioning ADF members to navigate the mainstream civilian health care system. The clinical pathways will be provided to all PHNs nationally to ensure a consistent approach. Additionally, they will be localised for each region and based on the available resources.
To help ensure the Veterans’ Health Pathways (VHP) are effective and to identify areas to improve GP and veteran engagement more broadly, HNECCPHN, NQPHN and the DVA consulted former and transitioning ADF members and GPs in two focused, yet robust workshops, held in the Oasis Centre in Townsville. Surveys were also utilised.
Pathway development and revision processes will be informed using the outcomes from the consumer workshops and surveys.