A new consultancy service to help the health care sector implement, evaluate and improve community health programs will be officially launched by the Southgate Institute for Health Society and Equity on Tuesday (July 22).
An arm of the Southgate Institute at Flinders University, Southgate Solutions will work with policy-makers, primary health care providers, community groups and government departments to plan and evaluate their health promotion and community service projects.
Southgate Solutions will also provide short courses and training in the social determinants of health, health equity, evaluation, community development, health promotion and primary health care.
The service builds on the work of the former government-funded South Australian Community Health Research Unit at Flinders, which conducted research, evaluation and capacity-building in community health, primary health and health promotion for 30 years.
Southgate Institute Director Professor Fran Baum said the team will help health and community organisations meet a diverse range of needs through the development of resources, tailored training and independent evaluations.
“Our service will help organisations build the capacity to actively engage in research to recognise areas they do well, reflect critically though evaluation on areas of improvement and develop plans to build on the quality of their work,” Professor Baum said.
“At the end of the day it’s about helping organisations improve the health and wellbeing of their clients.”
The launch will be held as part of the Southgate Institute’s latest Southgate Policy Club event, which will celebrate the achievements and legacy of South Australian community and women’s health groups in policy, practice and research.
Chaired by Professor Judith Dwyer, Director of Research at the Flinders Health Care and Workforce Innovation, the event will feature several guest speakers including; Professor Ilona Kickbusch, Adjunct Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies; Dr Liz Harris, Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Primary Health Care at the University of NSW; Jocelyn Auer, author and public health consultant; and Steve Parker, a community development worker in Noarlunga and Bangladesh.
Professor Fran Baum, also a guest speaker, said the event aims to celebrate the legacy of community health and women’s health agencies in SA.
“SA has always been recognised for excellence in keeping people healthy in the community but the funding has been withdrawn from the broader health promotion work that these groups have done.
“Now the focus and funds have shifted to hospitals, where people are already sick, so there’s little left for health promotion.
“The idea of the event is to celebrate the legacy of community health and women’s health centres and look at the messages that should inform future health policy.”
Achievements and Legacy of Community Health in South Australia will be held at Flinders University Victoria Square, 182 Victoria Square, on Tuesday, July 22, from 5:15pm to 8pm. To register, click here. Live-streaming will be available here.