Waminda marks three healthy decades

DEDICATED: Part of the team at Waminda (from left) practice manager Nikki Wellington, management support trainee Melissa Wellington, transport officer Shirley Taylor, Aboriginal primary health care worker and Chronic Care and Supplementary Services co-ordinator Kristika Kumar-Williams, administration manager Cleone Wellington, Aboriginal primary health care worker Hayley Longbottom and nurse/midwife Carly David.

DEDICATED: Part of the team at Waminda (from left) practice manager Nikki Wellington, management support trainee Melissa Wellington, transport officer Shirley Taylor, Aboriginal primary health care worker and Chronic Care and Supplementary Services co-ordinator Kristika Kumar-Williams, administration manager Cleone Wellington, Aboriginal primary health care worker Hayley Longbottom and nurse/midwife Carly David.

WAMINDA, the South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation, this year celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Chief executive officer Faye Worner said it was sometimes difficult for Aboriginal women to access services, including health care.

“We provide a number of services aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle for Aboriginal women of all ages,” Ms Worner said.

“We take a holistic approach to everything.”

As well as doing case management for a wide variety of programs, including drug and alcohol support, sexual assault support, family support and domestic violence, the service runs a number of health clinics and programs and a Mums and Bubs program.

The women’s health clinics runs four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) with seven Aboriginal health workers to meet clients’ needs.

The centre, which bulk bills, has two nurse/midwives and four GPs.

Practice manager Nikki Wellington said Waminda offered flexible services.

“While we have set appointments, we also have the flexibility to cater for walk-ins off the street,” she said.

“We cater for Aboriginal women and their children and non-Aboriginal women who have Aboriginal children.

“We also have extended hours that allow for working women who might not be able to access healthcare during working hours.”

Waminda is the only service of its type in the country to offer such a wide variety of services under the one roof.

“As well as having specialist medical practitioners we also offer a triage service where our staff work with patients, provide health checks and information. We build up relationships with patients,” Ms Wellington said.

One vital program is Chronic Care and Supplementary Services, in which five of the major health concerns for Aboriginal women, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular disease, are addressed.

“A lot of the time, patients come in for one reason and may not even realise they have other life-threatening conditions,” said Kristika Kumar-Williams, an Aboriginal primary health care worker who co-ordinates the CCSS program.

“By compiling a full picture of patient’s health condition we can best assess what treatments and services they require,” she said.

Waminda is planning a health assessment promotional day for September 16.

The promotional day will be staged from 9am until 7pm at its Worrigee Street offices in Nowra.

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