2 February 2020

Members sought across SW Slopes for local health advisory committees

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Marjory Tapprell and Colleen Sides

LHAC Cootamundra members Marjory Tapprell and Colleen Sides. Photo: Supplied.

The hunt is on across the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) for enthusiastic people in the community to join their Local Health Advisory Committee (LHAC).

Members are being sought in the Hilltops and Gundagai-Cootamundra local government areas, which include the towns of Young, Harden, Boorowa and Jugiong, as well as Cootamundra and Gundagai.

MLHD’s Community Engagement Manager Setchen Brimson says applications for committee positions are always open but the current campaign forms part of an annual LHAC recruitment drive.

“People from all walks of life are being encouraged to step up,” she said.

As advocates for their local community, LHAC members are chosen for their passion and ability to represent their town’s health interests, needs and concerns.

“We’re looking for people who preferably don’t have a health background, who may or may not have had an interaction with our health services or has a particular health area of interest,” Ms Brimson said.

“People with involvement in community or sporting groups or schools – anyone who has their finger on the pulse who can feed back into the health service.

“We invite anyone with the time and passion to make a difference in their community to express their interest.”

Each committee consists of seven members from the community, a clinical representative and a staff representative. Members can be involved in a range of health projects from identifying health priority areas to working together on initiatives to improve health outcomes.

“Every town across the district has their own health challenges, so each LHAC comes up with their own unique ways to prioritise and tackle health issues in their communities,” Ms Brimson said.

“We’ve seen some really great examples of how LHACS have been quite creative in addressing these challenges.”

In addition to improving access and awareness around health services, the LHACs provide feedback into and are involved in service planning together with the Health Service and the Primary Health Network.

“The key to being a good advocate is the ability to have your finger on the pulse of your local community and the ability to represent these community needs and concerns when you’re at the discussion table,” Ms Brimson said.

To become a member of your local LHAC, you will need to complete an application form and have the required screening for your nominated activity or group.

More information can be found on the MLHD website and applications can be completed online. You can also speak with your local MLHD facility manager for an application kit.

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