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Reflecting on the past 15 months of life during this pandemic, I am proud of the achievements of both the Connect Health & Community team and our resilient, connected community.
When the realities of March 2020 dawned on us we were all uncertain how this newly declared pandemic would affect our workplaces, our lives, and indeed our health and wellbeing. But by pulling together – while necessarily keeping apart – we were able to tackle and meet each of the challenges in our path. We continue to do that, and shall continue to do so, for some time.
While we were no longer able to gather in place during 2020, we recognised the importance of staying connected through embracing technology. With new phone and video services we were able to see clients remotely and maintained essential human connection by adopting stringent COVID-safe practices in every aspect of our work.
The Connect Health & Community service teams quickly assessed the risks faced by clients, volunteers and staff, and modified delivery to ensure services were maintained. Operating under our COVID-Safe plan, staff in service areas that were not able to see clients filled the roles of volunteers who were not able to continue volunteering – ensuring essential assistance was delivered for the most vulnerable members of our community.
The demand for counselling increased during the pandemic and our teams were there to help. Both staff and clients readily embraced online and telehealth opportunities – recognising that we are healthier together, no matter how we do it.
Our Sandringham Ambulatory Care Centre staff found themselves at the frontline, but never faltered, delivering thousands of essential COVID-19 tests to help keep our community safe. And with the arrival of vaccines to help the community, the team opened a COVID-19 vaccination centre to bring vital access closer to home. At the time of writing this newsletter nearly 60,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted and thousands of vaccines delivered.
Our COVID Positive Care Pathways team supported low-risk persons with a COVID-19 positive test to isolate safely in their home until cleared to resume daily activities. Our High Risk Accommodation Response team was also at the forefront of our response. The team ensured appropriate public health measures were in place to protect the health and wellbeing of vulnerable residents in sensitive accommodation settings. They ensured adequate, culturally appropriate and accessible assistance (like health and social services, food and essential supplies) was in place.
During the two 2021 outbreaks, Connect Health & Community teams mobilised to support residents and test people on site who would not able to attend a testing clinic.
And all the while, our organisation kept working as one - driven by the recognised need to keep our community connected to their health in these unprecedented times.
As we come to terms with the challenges of life in the second year of COVID-19, I wish to thank all our community and staff for their ongoing resilience, and look forward to their continued engagement as we work to keep our community supported, connected and healthier together.
CEO, Connect Health & Community
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Speech pathologists provide assessment and management of communication, swallowing and feeding difficulties.
We have been offering safe and quality door-to-door transport options to our community since 1975.
We provide Occupational Therapy to help children, adults and those experiencing mental health issues, to achieve their full potential.