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Supporting our communities - responding to disasters

Disaster Response - Flood Recovery Grants

In May 2022, the PHN provided $325,000 in grants to communities in the Hunter New England and Central Coast regions in the wake of devastating flooding events.

Flood Recovery, Community Wellbeing and Resilience Grants of between $5,000 and $50,000 were provided to non-government organisations (NGO's) and community groups to deliver projects and initiatives to promote mental wellbeing and resilience.

The grants, funded by the NSW Government and facilitated by the PHN, received over 30 applications, with 12 projects being selected for funding.

The PHN Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis said the grants could not have come at a better time. “The past few years have been challenging for our communities across the Hunter New England and Central Coast as a result of the numerous natural disasters such as bush fires and major flood events.”

“The PHN is pleased to facilitate the allocation of grant funds to support social and emotional wellbeing and support resilience building for communities and individuals.”

Projects that received funding were located in Narrabri, Central Coast, Marlee, Wollombi Valley, Gunnedah, Moree, Yarramalong, Cessnock, Singleton and Muswellbrook.

The target groups ranged from youth, financially disadvantaged, culturally and linguistically diverse, First Nations and the general population.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative

The PHN COVID-19 Response activities continued throughout 2021-22 and expanded to include providing support for primary health care providers to enable them to deliver 1.4 million COVID-19 vaccinations, representing 50 per cent of all COVID-19 vaccinations delivered across the region.

The PHN worked with vaccination providers including Health Care Australia, International SOS and Aspen Medical to facilitate the COVID-19 vaccination program for the residential aged care and disability sectors. Under the COVID-19 Vulnerable Population Measure, the PHN collaborated and formed partnerships with both the Central Coast and Hunter New England Local Health Districts to coordinate home visits to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations and establish a series of pop-up vaccination clinics supporting the homeless community.

As the COVID-19 vaccination levels increased and some public health restrictions eased, the Australian Government introduced the Living with COVID-19 Primary Care Package. The package was announced to support the safe management of COVID-19 positive patients by their GP in the community and included provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Bundles and Pulse Oximeters for remote patient monitoring. The coordination of PPE distribution by the PHN significantly increased during this period with 425 bundles assembled and distributed to GPs, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, GP Respiratory Clinics and Vaccinating Pharmacists.

Throughout 2021-22 the PHN continued to deliver a series of regular COVID-19 education webinars and rapidly developed localised clinical health pathways to support the introduction of access to COVID-19 antiviral medication through General Practice.

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