Chair of Board
It has been an honoured journey to complete my first year serving as Chair of the Adelaide PHN Board and what a year it has been! 2020-2021 has been a year of continued challenges for all of us. More than ever, the words and deeds of care, compassion and community have been so important as we battle through the pandemic together. In this context the challenges facing primary health care in the Adelaide metropolitan region have been unprecedented and on behalf of the Board I would like to recognise and thank everyone working in the sector for their extraordinary commitment over this year.
The Adelaide PHN Board, its membership and staff are focused on how we can further support local primary health care, particularly in strengthening the vital partnerships between all agencies, providers and community groups that are so essential for ensuring the most vulnerable in our community receive the care they need, when and where they need it. The Board is delighted that Michelle has joined us as the new CEO to lead our organisation forward with a new direction of active collaboration and person-centred service improvement – with the express aim of seeing more integrated services develop across the community and hospital system. The Board would also like to acknowledge and thank Deb Lee, Adelaide PHN inaugural CEO for her commitment and work building the strong foundations of Adelaide PHN and for her unstinting advocacy for equitable primary care services.
As part of engaging with our membership in a more effective way, this year saw the transition of our membership structure into a more cohesive approach, bringing together clinical, community and subject matter expertise in combined meetings, collectively contributing to the identification of needs, community concerns and identifying opportunities in primary health care across the whole metropolitan Adelaide region. I wish to acknowledge our retiring council members and welcome our new members. We look forward to working with you to improve the health of our Adelaide metropolitan community.
Following the launch of our strategic plan and our outcome report cards in 2020, this year’s report will focus on the achievements in the national priority areas of Aboriginal health, aged care, mental health, alcohol and other drugs, digital health and general practice, population health and health workforce. But there is also a big focus on the important work we’ve done on supporting the community COVID-19 response. I also commend you on the stories of the differences being made to people’s lives in our community through the great work of our commissioned services and partners from across the year. It is great to see the significant achievements in primary mental health care in particular. I was excited to be at the launch of the headspace Marion centre in February, with over 400 young people attending in the first 5 months, a true demonstration of the need for this service in the inner southern suburbs of Adelaide. The leadership of the youth ambassadors was inspiring to hear. This and the many other stories showcase how Adelaide PHN is pursuing its strategic vision – ‘A Healthier Adelaide by 2030’.
Our response to the challenges we face, is to strengthen our commitment and action to engage with our community. As a member elected director from the community this is incredibly important to me. Connected conversations and the alignment of our work programs with all of you will be of paramount importance to Adelaide PHN and I know Michelle and the team look forward to enhancing all opportunities, as we move forward together to really make a difference in 2021/22.