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HealthInfoNet workshops: helping to 'close the gap' in Indigenous health

Date posted: 20 March 2012

To increase access to its web resource and build the capacity of the frontline health workforce - and to assist the health workforce in 'closing the gap' in Indigenous health - the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet will deliver a program of free workshops across Western Australia (WA) over 18 months from April 2012. The program, funded by Healthway, WA's health promotion foundation, aims to reach 2,000 frontline health workers working in the area of Indigenous health in WA.

If you work in Indigenous health in WA and you are interested in attending a free HealthInfoNet workshop we would like to hear from you. Please click on this link to register your interest.

The workshops will run from one to two hours and provide interactive training to Indigenous and other health workers to increase their awareness of the HealthInfoNet and equip them with the skills to obtain the health information needed to optimise their practice. This practical, hands-on approach will ensure that health practitioners and health workers are better informed and supported. Following a general introduction to the HealthInfoNet and what it has to offer, the workshops will be tailored to the needs of particular groups, for example the focus may be on substance use, social and emotional wellbeing, or ear health.

With support of the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA), the program will direct special attention to workers employed by Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs).

The project also hopes to extend the reach of the workshops by providing 'train the trainer' type workshops for Indigenous health promotion officers based in ACCHSs.

It is anticipated that this pilot project will prove successful in increasing use of internet-based knowledge and influencing the practice of frontline health workers. Such success should lead into sustainable workshop programs in WA and nationally.

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, now in its 15th year, contributes to 'closing the gap' in health between Indigenous and other Australians by making knowledge readily accessible to inform policy, practice, research, teaching and the general community.

The HealthInfoNet's translational research work focuses on making research and other information available in a way that has immediate, practical utility. It does this by providing comprehensive reviews about individual health topics along with a range of other topic-specific information (such as policies and strategies, health promotion and practice resources, programs and projects, organisations, and publications). 'Plain language' versions of many of the topic-specific reviews are provided for workers who haven't benefitted from upper secondary and/or tertiary education. There are also special sections for some Indigenous health workers, including environmental health and social and emotional wellbeing workers. The HealthInfoNet's yarning places (electronic networks) allow people with common interests and purposes to share information, knowledge and experiences.

In reaching out to the frontline health workforce, the utility of the HealthInfoNet's translational research in bridging the divide between knowledge and practice will be more fully realised.

If you work in Indigenous health in WA and you are interested in attending a free HealthInfoNet workshop we would like to hear from you. Please click on this link to register your interest.


Last updated: 20 March 2012
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute