Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
It has been a privilege to spend the first few months of my time as CEO absorbing the great work underway by the organisation, our commissioned service providers, and primary care services across Adelaide. Our staff, Board, members, partners, and stakeholders share a united focus on working towards a healthier Adelaide, and I am proud to be part of what I have witnessed.
The 2020-2021 financial year saw a full year living with COVID-19 and our sixth year as Adelaide PHN. Two lockdowns in Adelaide and for most, the discovery of new ways of working in health care, including from home, using technology and from behind masks.
In the last year our team have assisted in the establishment and support of four Respiratory Clinics and onboarding of over 200 general practices providing Astra Zeneca and Pfizer vaccinations. Primary care nationally has been responsible for providing over half of the 7,790,470 vaccinations until June 2021. A huge thank you to the incredible efforts of the entire primary health workforce. In addition to our priority areas in this annual report, you will see a dedicated COVID-19 category, sharing our achievements in this area.
Of course, one of the observations of this pandemic focused year has been the stark health inequalities we see with vulnerable populations, who are both most at risk of illness and challenged by access to vaccinations. It is great to see so much of our work focused on these groups, particularly in primary mental health care, which is the area that the bulk of our commissioned funds support.
The Way Back Support Service was launched in the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) region, providing support for people who have attempted suicide. This initiative is co-funded between the Commonwealth and the State and based on a model developed by Beyond Blue. This service has already received over 128 referrals since it commenced in December 2020, and pathways have expanded from the RAH to the QEH to include community mental health teams and the Urgent Mental Health Care Centre.
The end of our sixth year also brought about some new opportunities in areas like mental health and alcohol and other drugs where we have just approached the market for the first time in some years. I look forward with much anticipation to the outcomes and new opportunities created through this transparent process and will continue our focus on vulnerable populations.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful Adelaide PHN staff, who not only continue to weather the challenging storm of COVID-19, but also welcomed my arrival and have already demonstrated to me personally their dedication and commitment to our purpose. To them, our members, partners and stakeholders and Board, I sincerely thank you for your contributions over this last year and look forward to the difference we can make together to the health of our community in 2021-2022.