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Indigenous public health champions awarded AMA healthcare award

Date posted: 1 June 2016

Associate Professor John Boffa and Ms Donna Ah Chee, who have made an enormous contribution to reducing harms of alcohol and improving early childhood outcomes for Aboriginal children, have been recognised by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) with its Excellence in Healthcare Award for 2016. Outgoing AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, presented the award at the AMA’s National Conference in Canberra.

The Excellence in Health Care Award recognises ongoing commitment to quality health and medical care, policy, and research, and is awarded to an individual or individuals who have made a significant contribution to improving health or healthcare in Australia. Professor Owler said that Associate Professor Boffa and Ms Ah Chee had made a significant contribution to the health of Aboriginal people through their involvement with primary care, research, education and public health.

'This award recognises and acknowledges Professor Boffa and Ms Ah Chee’s unwavering efforts to achieve the best possible health outcomes for Aboriginal people,' Professor Owler said. 'For almost two decades, they have formed a crucial partnership, working together to implement core services and reform Aboriginal primary health care in the Northern Territory.'

Associate Professor Boffa is the Chief Medical Officer of Public Health at the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation and has worked in Aboriginal primary care services for more than 25 years. Ms Ah Chee is the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress and is the former CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Professor Owler said the pair had gone above and beyond in their commitment to improving the health of Aboriginal people. 'Their service model on alcohol and drug treatment, which focused on three streams of care including medical, psychological and social and cultural support, resulted in a major alcohol treatment service being funded within an Aboriginal community controlled health service...They have initiated major and highly significant reforms in not only addressing alcohol and other drugs, but in collaborating and overcoming many cross cultural sensitivities in working in Aboriginal health care.'

Source: Australian Medical Association (AMA)

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Last updated: 1 June 2016
 
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute