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Tamworth to Host Inaugural Parkinson’s Symposium for Health Professionals.

The Hunter New England and Central Coast, Primary Health Network (the PHN) has selected Tamworth to host its inaugural Parkinson's Symposium for Allied Health professionals and Nurses in November. Bringing together Australia’s leading Parkinson’s clinicians and academics, the Symposium will discuss recent discoveries and promising pathways for a better understanding and treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.

The PHN has been funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health to trial a new approach to improve the quality of life of people with movement disorders. Rural Fit, a Tamworth based Allied Health organisation has been commissioned to lead the pilot, of which the symposium forms a part of.

The PHN CEO, Richard Nankervis, said the prevalence of Parkinson’s has increased by 17% in the last six years with costs to the community increasing by over 48%. “Parkinson’s is the second most common neurological disease in Australia after dementia, with 38 Australian’s being diagnosed with the disease every day.”

“Our objective through the Symposium is to bring leaders in this field together and provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and cross discipline collaboration.”

Rural Fit Managing Director, Andrew Mahony said the pilot aims to provide both nurse and allied health led, person centred care for people living with Parkinson’s and build capacity in our current healthcare providers. “Parkinson’s disease is poorly understood. Many people associate the disease with an elderly relative or the odd celebrity on TV. The majority of the population understand it to be ‘just the shakes’. The reality is much different.”

“For comparison purposes, the prevalence of Parkinson’s is greater than prostate, bowel and many other forms of cancer and the total number of Parkinson’s sufferers is 4 times the number of people suffering with MS. Additionally, 20% of sufferers are under 50 years old and 10% are diagnosed before the age of 40.”

The Symposium will feature Tamworth local Anna Moulder as Master of Ceremonies. Anna is the ABC NSW Drive host, and accomplished presenter and has a passion for living regionally. She is an advocate for a strong and equitable health care system for people who live rural and regionally. Keynote Speakers include Dr Stephen Duma, Consultant Neurologist with subspecialty interests in Parkinson’s disease and other Movement Disorders, and Clyde Campbell AM who was diagnosed at the age of 44 with Parkinson’s disease and is the founder of Shake It Up Australia Foundation.

The Symposium and Health Clinicians Dinner will take place on November 5, 2022 at the Mercure Hotel, Kent Street, Tamworth. Nurses and Allied Health professionals from across the region are invited to register via the following link: Parkinson's Symposium for Allied Health & Nurses and Health Clinicians Dinner - Primary Health Network (thephn.com.au)

Media enquiries to Rebecca Brennan, Communications and Public Relations Manager rbrennan@thephn.com.au 0437 478 138

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