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EOI Opening Soon - Small Town Engagement Model (STEM)

Ready to make a real difference in your rural community?

The PHN will soon open Expressions of Interest to empower your small rural community with innovative health care through PHN's STEM Initiative.

The PHN will be seeking innovative ideas that bridge digital and face-to-face services, ensuring seamless healthcare experiences for rural populations. The PHN Small Town Engagement Model (STEM) empowers primary healthcare providers—Nurse Practitioners, GPs, Allied Health Professionals, Pharmacists, and Aboriginal Medical Services—to expand their impact and reach through innovative care models tailored for rural LGAs (Local Government Areas) with populations of less than 5000.

Collaboration is central to our approach, as we work alongside local councils and community groups to co-create solutions that address the unique health needs of rural populations. By focusing on targeted areas and prioritising impactful interventions, we aim to foster equity and accessibility, ensuring that every community receives quality healthcare services.

Get your ideas flowing—we're eager to hear all your thoughts soon. Here are some scenarios for your consideration:

Possible scenarios that could be developed include, but are not limited to

Scenario 1: A visiting health care provider—a Primary Health Care Professional—conducting face-to-face consultations at a local primary care business on a regular schedule. They could also provide telehealth support during non-visit times, ensuring continuous care and accessibility for rural residents.

Scenario 2: The integration of digital health technology into local businesses to improve access to primary health care services. This could involve implementing health measurement tools in pharmacies, setting up telehealth equipment and rooms at community centers, or other innovative solutions that bridge the gap between providers and consumers.

Scenario 3: Addressing specific health needs in rural communities. Two or more health care providers can join forces to target identified health issues, whether it's addressing the needs of priority populations like CALD or First Nations communities, or focusing on specific cohorts such as men's health, farmers' health, or mining communities.

Scenario 4: Consider partnering with an existing provider already delivering a hybrid model (face to face and telehealth for GP and/or Allied Health service provision) delivered either as an outreach program from a larger centre to a smaller town and/or created from a smaller rural town.

Who Can Participate?

  • Local councils,
  • primary health care professionals, (Nurse Practitioners, GPs, Allied Health Professionals, Pharmacists, and Aboriginal Medical Services) and
  • community groups with primary health care representation within the HNECC PHN's rural LGA's.

Rural LGA's include: Moree Plains, Gwydir, Narrabri, Gunnedah, Tenterfield, Inverell, Glen Innes Severn, Armidale Regional, Tamworth Regional, Liverpool Plains, Uralla, Walcha, Upper Hunter Shire. Muswellbrook, Singleton, Dungog and Mid Coast.

Participants are encouraged to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) from June 6. This is an opportunity for diverse stakeholders to come together and shape the future of rural health care.

Learn more about the PHN's Better Health for the Bush initiatives below or reach out to ruralhealth@thephn.com.au in the meantime.

Important Note:

It's important to note that the initial stage of the EOI process does not guarantee funding. However, it lays the groundwork for collaborative efforts and innovative solutions that could lead to positive changes in rural healthcare delivery. Eligible Expressions of Interest will proceed to grant funding applications, providing an opportunity to bring impactful ideas to life and make a tangible difference in rural communities.

Even if your idea doesn't fit within the possible scenarios, we still want to hear from you.

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