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Allied Health Practices share their success with the Pride in Health + Wellbeing Lite Memberships

Inclusive care supported by the PHN

The Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (the PHN) was pleased to offer Allied Health practice managers/owners in the Hunter New England and Central Coast regions the opportunity to apply for one of ten Pride in Health + Wellbeing Lite Memberships valid for a 12-month period. The membership is designed to support practices to provide improved LGBTQ inclusive health care.

The successful practices were assigned a dedicated Relationship Manager as a mentor and coach to work towards improving the practices capabilities in providing LGBTQ inclusive care, identify potential service gaps, design a tailored approach to address gaps and conduct monthly meetings to monitor and support the process of closing the gaps.

A Growing Understanding

A Growing Understanding provide individualised speech therapy and services for children in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, and Maitland areas. With a combined passion for children’s communication and education, A Growing Understanding’s Speech Pathologists are committed to providing professional speech pathology assessments and supports.

A Growing Understanding children’s speech pathology service was one of the ten successful practices receiving the membership. Their practice staff have been upskilled through consultation and ongoing training and provided access to member-only resources including, the latest research, best practice information and networking opportunities.

Emma Hyde, A Growing Understanding's Clinical Director, said the Pride Lite membership has had a very positive impact on their practice. “Access to a Pride and Well-being Relationship Manager who was flexible with meeting times was hugely beneficial. The Relationship Manager supported the review of internal policies to reflect inclusive practices. The team were provided Inclusive Care Training and the response was amazingly positive.”

“Our recruitment processes have been reviewed and new documents have been created for any potential new team members outlining our commitment to inclusive care and the dedicated LGBTQ representative within the team who can be contacted regarding policy, procedures, LGBTQ resources and for any questions.”

“A gap was identified in the teaching of pronouns in an inclusive way as a part of children’s language development, The Clinical Director of A Growing Understanding has since been inspired to write a children’s book to provide education on inclusive language which is currently under development. The team at A Growing Understanding have noticed they have developed a safe space and have had a number of client-initiated conversations including one child asking for the assistance with the appropriate language to talk to their family about their identity.”

Read more about A Growing Understanding

Myrtle Oak Clinic

Myrtle Oak Clinic has practices in the Central Coast and Newcastle with teams of expert Psychologists and Dietitians with a special focus on counselling and treatment of individuals, (children, adults and families) with difficulties around eating attitudes and behaviours, body image issues, unhealthy dieting practices and clinical eating disorders.

Practice Manager, Elisha Dematteis said the overall, participation in the Pride Lite membership has brought about positive changes, such as improved support, increased awareness, open conversations, staff development, and enhanced communication with clients, all contributing to a more inclusive and affirming practice at Myrtle Oak Clinic.

“The membership encouraged the clinic to establish an Inclusivity Working Party, which includes the Director, a psychologist, dietitians and client care co-ordinators. This group is responsible for reviewing the clinic's practices, from intake to treatment, and providing support to the team as needed.”

“LGBTQ badges supplied to all staff are now worn in clinic. The badges have sparked conversations about gender with both staff and clients. The initiative has created a sense of safety for clients, resulting in one young client feeling comfortable enough to disclose their sexuality to their clinicians, and then their family and friends. Other clients have advised they immediately feel welcome when seeing the rainbow stickers on the front door and are warmly greeted by reception.”

“Two training sessions were conducted for up to 40 staff members, including the accounts team. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive, with a focus on language education being particularly relevant. Funds and time have been allocated for staff to attend to additional training specifically around LGBTQ Healthcare.”

In next steps, Myrtle Oak Clinic will expanded services specifically designed to improve the health outcomes of the LGBTQ community. Services will now extend to support individuals proceeding with a medical transition as well as the specific health factors related to the population, particularly chronic disease. This will include nutrition therapy for pre and post-operative wound care and assistance to help individuals navigate and manage the effects of hormone treatments, ensuring their overall health and wellbeing throughout the transition.

Congratulations to both A Growing Understanding and Myrtle Oak Clinic on their success with their Pride in Health + Wellbeing Lite Memberships.

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