HeartInfoNetwork » Yarning board


HealthInfoNet Cardiovascular health (HeartInfoNet) update

  • 19 March 2015

    Hi mob members,

    Here's your second CVD round up for March.

    Best wishes,

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

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    News

    New Centre for Research Excellence: $2.5 million funding boost for RHD research
    Researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia, were awarded more than $11 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in October 2014. The grant is to develop two Centres of Research Excellence, one of which will tackle rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

    New tool used at Hopevale to improve heart health
    A new tool, Your heart forecast, is being used at Hopevale, in Queensland, to demonstrate a person’s risk of heart attack, stroke and other major artery diseases. Developed by the Heart Foundation and University of Auckland, the tool works by using risk factors like age, blood pressure and smoking status, to calculate a patient’s current health age and predictions of their risk of heart attack or stroke.

    Poche Indigenous health centre opens in Queensland
    Improving health outcomes for urban Indigenous people will be the focus of the new University of Queensland (UQ) Poche Centre for Indigenous Health. Sydney couple Greg Poche AO and Kay van Norton Poche donated $10 million to establish the centre, after funding sister centres at the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, the University of Western Australia and Flinders University in Adelaide and Alice Springs.

    Top paediatric health specialist sets focus on scabies mite
    Telethon Kids Institute Director, Jonathon Carapetis, is calling for increased attention to one of the smallest irritants in Aboriginal communities, the scabies mite, which would provide some relief from the largest health and social problems.

    Broome residents take heart for important health cause
    The WA RHD control program, based in the Kimberley Population Health Unit in Broome, Western Australia hosted an outdoor film night in its township to raise awareness about RHD. The event, hosted in December, saw more than 150 local residents attend to support families and community members affected by RHD.

    Job vacancies

    Remote Area Nurse (Rheumatic Heart Disease Program) (NT)
    Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Remote Area Nurse (Rheumatic Heart Disease Program). This position requires a general nursing background with knowledge and experience in delivering a rheumatic heart disease program, including monitoring and reporting on KPIs.

    Remote Area Nurse (Chronic Disease & Paediatric) (NT)
    Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation has a vacancy for a Remote Area Nurse (Chronic Disease & Paediatric) to join their team working to improve the health of local people in Aboriginal communities within the East Arnhem Region. This position will be delivering direct high quality and comprehensive nursing care and individual case management within the chronic conditions program.

    Primary Health Nurse/Practice Nurse (Chronic Disease Management) (WA)
    Sugarman International is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Primary Health Nurse/Practice Nurse (Chronic Disease Management). This position will work in a practice servicing communities in regional and rural WA.

    Indigenous Family Support Worker (Mobile Unit) (NT)
    Danila Dilba Health Service has a vacancy for an Indigenous Family Support Worker to join their team providing culturally-appropriate, comprehensive primary health care and community services to Biluru people in the Yilli Rreung region of the NT.

    Chronic Disease Nurse (Qld)
    Cornerstone Recruitment is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Chronic Disease Nurse. This position will be responsible for the screening, promotion, education and prevention strategies. The successful applicant will also participate in providing support and information on risk factors associated with smoking, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol consumption.

    Publications, resources and reports

    Underuse and overuse of anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation: a study in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (2015)
    This study sought to characterise anticoagulation use in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with atrial fibrillation (AF). The study finds that anticoagulation for AF is frequently not prescribed in accordance with guideline recommendations. The article recommends improving adherence to guideline recommendations for anticoagulation in AF, which may reduce both ischaemic and haemorrhagic strokes in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

    The Malkulkul mob (2014)
    This resource is a 3.11-minute video that aims to promote healthy heart messages. The resource focuses on: stopping the strep germ from living in the throat and skin sores; symptoms of acute rheumatic fever (ARF); the importance of regular penicillin injections for ARF; the importance of hygiene and keeping homes clean; and keeping the heart healthy by eating healthy food, regular physical activity, no smoking and regular hand washing.

    CommDoc (2015)
    CommDoc is a language tool developed for health professionals working in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. The aim of the tool is to culturally enhance interactions with Aboriginal patients. CommDoc provides audio translations of common terms used during medical consultations in different Aboriginal languages. The tool was developed by the Northern Territory General Practice Education in consultation with Aboriginal people, clinic staff, doctors and cultural educators and interpretive services.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences and events

    19th Annual Chronic Diseases Network conference: Darwin, Northern Territory, 24-25 September 2015

    The 19th Annual Chronic Diseases Network conference aims to examine the complex interplay between chronic conditions and life course events which influence chronic conditions. The theme for 2015 is Connecting the care – across the lifespan. There is a particular focus of the conference theme in the context of the Northern Territory. Aboriginal Health Workers, and workers in remote locations and anyone with a strong interest and focus on Aboriginal health are strongly encouraged to attend and be involved in the conference proceedings.

    Awards

    NT Chronic Diseases Network recognition awards
    NT Chronic Diseases Network recognition awards have been held annually since 2008, and provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate innovation, leadership and achievements made by those working in the field of chronic conditions across the NT. There are four award categories: chronic disease health promotion/program delivery award; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and leadership award; outstanding contribution to the prevention and management of chronic conditions in the NT; continuous quality improvement award. Winners will be announced at the Chronic Diseases Network Conference. Nominations close 15 May 2015.

    Spotlight on an organisation

    Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia
    Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia provides information specific to rheumatic heart disease in Australia, with the aim of reducing death and disability from acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Australian Indigenous people. RHD Australia was established in 2009 as the National Coordination Unit to support control of RHD in Australia. Funded under the Australian Department of Health’s Rheumatic fever strategy, the organisation is based at Menzies School of Health Research.

    The CVD team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other organisations doing great work for Aboriginal communities. If you’d like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your organisation on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our CVD Twitter page!

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  • 11 March 2015

    Hi mob members,

    Here's your first CVD round up for March.

    Happy reading!

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

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    News

    Report released: information for action: improving the heart health story for Aboriginal people in WA
    The Western Australian Centre for Rural Health has released a report which draws on research looking at disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Western Australians in cardiovascular health and health care. The report notes that Aboriginal people experience both illness and death from heart disease at higher rates and at a much earlier average than non-Aboriginal people, and the data in the report underscores the importance of directing efforts ‘upstream’ towards primary prevention and earlier, community based detection and intervention.

    Health bodies concerned about decision not to label trans fats
    Health experts are concerned about Australia’s decision not to label trans fats in food, which are linked to increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Public health experts are concerned that the foods which have high levels of trans fats are commonly cheaper, and consumed more frequently by lower socio economic groups, the groups with the highest risk for poor health outcomes, notably Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    Travelling skipping team to target health inequities in rural NSW schools
    The Heart Foundation is partnering with La Perouse Public School to launch a new initiative that aims to help close the gap in children’s health in New South Wales (NSW). A Jump rope for heart outreach skipping demonstration team has been formed, comprising 13 students from the school. This team will be trained by the Heart Foundation in skipping drills and how to take care of their health with regular physical activity and a healthy diet. In May 2015, the Heart Foundation will take the team to priority schools in regional NSW to showcase their skipping routines and conduct peer-to-peer workshops.

    Job vacancies

    Clinic Nurse (Qld)
    The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (Moreton Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service) is seeking suitable applicants to fill the role of Clinic Nurse. This position is responsible for specialist community and primary health nursing services that focuses on the prevention, early detection of health problems for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with a focus on chronic disease.

    Clinic Manager (Qld)
    The Institute for Urban and Indigenous Health (Moreton Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service) has a vacancy for a Clinic Manager to join their team. This position is responsible for providing the day to day oversight and management of clinic operations and will lead, manage and motivate the clinic team to ensure an efficient and effective delivery of clinical care to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

    Chronic Disease Nurse (WA)
    Cornerstone Recruitment has a vacancy for a Chronic Disease Nurse, based in the Pilbara region of WA, to provide primary health care to patients who have chronic disease living in the community. The position will be responsible for everything from patient care to implementing health programs.

    Associate Professor/Professor Streptococcal and Rheumatic Heart Disease Research (WA)

    The Telethon Kids Institute is seeking suitable applicants to fill the role of Associate Professor/Professor Streptococcal and Rheumatic Heart Disease Research. This position will provide oversight on a broad range of basic, clinical and population health research and translational activities in group A streptococcal diseases with a particular focus on rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

    Nurse Practitioner (Chronic Disease) (NT)
    Katherine West Health Board are seeking suitable applicants to fill the role of Nurse Practitioner (Chronic Disease). The successful applicant will provide high quality and individualised chronic disease care for clients and their families suffering from or at risk of chronic disease, and work collaboratively with health care staff to ensure appropriate planning and implementation of care for clients receiving care.

    Publications, resources and reports

    Initial hospitalisation for atrial fibrillation in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations in Western Australia (2015)
    This study aimed to describe differences in the clinical profile and incidence between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people with first-ever hospitalisations with atrial fibrillation (AF) in Western Australia. It also aimed to examine differentials in the risk of 30-day and 1-year mortality. The article concludes that the incidence (particularly at young ages) and long-term mortality following hospitalised AF is significantly higher in Aboriginal people. Better control of the antecedent risk factors for AF, improved detection and management of AF itself and prevention of its complications are needed.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health: accuracy of patient self-report of screening for diabetes, high cholesterol and cervical cancer (2015)
    This study aimed to examine the accuracy of patient self-reported screening status for diabetes, high cholesterol and cervical cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients when compared to pathology records. Results from the study indicate that reliance on self-report for patients’ screening history is inappropriate due to missed opportunities for health gain. However, patients who report not being tested are sufficiently accurate to ensure that ordering the test in this group will involve only a small percentage of unnecessary assays. Implications are the GPs often rely on self-report as a fast and inexpensive way to determine whether a patient requires screening, and new strategies are needed to identify patients at risk.

    Assessing improvements in survival for stroke patients in the Northern Territory 1992-2013: a marginal structural analysis (2015)
    This study measured long-term survival for Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients after hospital admissions for stroke care, using hospital admission data analysed by marginal structural models. The study demonstrates the usefulness of this approach to the quality assessment of health care interventions. The article recommends using hospital administrative data for monitoring long-term outcomes of acute care, and notes that coordinated acute and primary care plays a vital role in management of chronic diseases to improve stroke survival.

    Information for action: improving the heart health story for Aboriginal people in Western Australia (BAHHWA Report) (2015)
    This report primarily draws on research looking at disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Western Australians (WA) in cardiovascular and health care. The report was based on the Bettering Aboriginal heart health in WA project (BAHHWA), which analysed detailed epidemiological, service utilisation and costing information on a range of heart and associated chronic diseases among Aboriginal people in WA.

    A doctor’s dream: a story of hope from the Top End (2014)
    This book, written by Dr Buddki Lokuge, provides an insight into his journey of improving the health of Aboriginal children in Arnhem Land, by working with community to eliminate scabies.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Awards

    NT Chronic Diseases Network recognition awards
    NT Chronic Diseases Network recognition awards have been held annually since 2008, and provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate innovation, leadership and achievements made by those working in the field of chronic conditions across the NT. There are four award categories: chronic disease health promotion/program delivery award; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and leadership award; outstanding contribution to the prevention and management of chronic conditions in the NT; continuous quality improvement award. Winners will be announced at the Chronic Diseases Network Conference. Nominations close 15 May 2015.

    Spotlight on a project

    A randomised controlled trial of alternative treatments to intramuscular penicillin for impetigo in Aboriginal children
    This project was developed by Menzies School of Health Research to determine if simple, cheap regimens of oral antibiotics will lead to the equivalent cure rates of impetigo (skin sores) to those achieved with penicillin injections. The project also examined the relative contribution of Staphylococcus aureus to the development of impetigo. The research found that short courses of oral antibiotics work just as well as the standard treatment with penicillin injections. This is beneficial for children in remote communities needing treatment for their sores, as the oral antibiotic regimen is simple, short, tastes good and is pain-free.

    The CVD team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you’d like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your program on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our CVD Twitter page!

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  • 19 February 2015

    Hi mob members,

    Here's your yarning place digest (now officially known as a 'round up') for February.

    The CVD team will be trialling sending out these round ups once a fortnight now, instead of monthly. Please let us know if you have any issues or concerns with this.

    Happy reading!

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

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    News

    Closing the gap annual reports released
    Two critical reports were released recently, the Closing the gap: Prime Minister’s report 2015 and the Closing the gap – progress and priorities report prepared by the Close the Gap Steering Committee. The seventh annual report card on the progress made toward meeting the nation’s targets to close the gap in life expectancy, early childhood, health, education and employment showed that a number of targets are not on track to be met, which Mr Abbott said was ‘…in many respects profoundly disappointing.’

    Closing the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heart health outcomes
    The Heart Foundation’s Leader on Aboriginal Health, Vicki Wade, is joining in the call for the Government to stay the course and continue to lead the Closing the gap strategy, in coordination with all state governments. The Heart Foundation aims to recognise the challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia – in particular the unacceptable disparities they experience in health, wellbeing and life opportunities.

    Health coaching significantly improves risk outcomes for chronic disease sufferers
    A telephone-based coaching program in Queensland has been shown to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants. Queensland Health introduced the centralised statewide coaching program, utilising a model of the COACH program originally established in Victoria. A review of the program has found that patients who received coaching significantly reduced their risk factors for both diseases.

    Aiming for a slam dunk on chronic disease
    The far north’s front-running Central Queensland University (CQU) Cairns Taipans are lending their deadly support to a new drive to combat chronic disease in Cape York communities. Students from Western Cape College at Weipa, along with kids in Mapoon and Napranum, will be encouraged to make the Deadly choice to join in the battle against chronic disease.

    Health checks aim to ensure clean bill of health
    Apunipima Cape York Health Council was offering free checks to the community of Hopevale, Queensland, to assist the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to maintain good health. People were screened for a number of health risks, including high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, sexual health, social and emotional wellbeing, and cardiovascular disease.

    Indigenous use of aged care services far less than that of wider population
    Indigenous Australians seek aged care services at just over one-third the rate of the wider population, a Productivity Commission report has found, despite requiring aged care facilities earlier due to high rates of disability and chronic disease.

    Job vacancies

    Chronic Health Nurse (WA)
    A health centre in remote WA is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Chronic Health Nurse. This position will provide care coordination and self-management support for people diagnosed with chronic or complex conditions, ultimately working towards the improvement of Aboriginal health in the region.

    Aboriginal Health Manager (Closing the gap program) (NSW)
    Nepean Blue Mountains Medicare Local has a vacancy for an Aboriginal Health Manager to join their team to deliver primary health care services to the communities of the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Lithgow and Penrith. This position will ensure efficient delivery of the Closing the gap program, which aims to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s access to mainstream primary health care by assisting clients to manage their chronic illness.

    Nurse Practitioner (Chronic Disease) (NT)
    Katherine West Health Board are seeking suitable applicants to fill the role of Nurse Practitioner (Chronic Disease). The successful applicant will provide high quality and individualised chronic disease care for clients and their families suffering from or at risk of chronic disease, and work collaboratively with health care staff to ensure appropriate planning and implementation of care for clients receiving care.

    Publications, resources and reports

    Closing the gap: Prime Minister’s report 2015 (2015)
    This publication is the seventh Closing the gap report produced since targets were set by the Council of Australian Governments in 2008. The report shows that although there has been some improvement in health and education outcomes for Indigenous Australians, most Closing the gap targets are not on track to be met. There is a strong emphasis on practical actions, such as getting kids into school, adults into work, make communities safer and advancing constitutional recognition.

    Close the gap: progress and priorities report 2015 (2015)
    This report, released annually, presents the Close the Gap Steering Committee’s assessment of the Australian Government’s progress towards achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality under the Closing the gap strategy. Key recommendations from the report include: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health measures survey findings are used to better target chronic conditions in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population; the Australian Government continues to lead the COAG Closing the gap strategy; and the Australian Government restores the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee.

    Pathways between birth weight and later body size in predicting blood pressure: Australian Aboriginal cohort study 1987 – 2007 (2015)
    The aim of this study, within the Aboriginal birth cohort study, was to examine the relative contributions and mediating pathways of birth weight, and later growth and lifestyle factors to variation in blood pressure at age 16-20 years. Results from the study show that increased BMI at 18 years was significantly associated with both increasing systolic and diastolic blood pressures. The article concludes that blood pressure in this cohort is primarily influenced by contemporaneous BMI which in this population at this age is generally lower than seen in non-Indigenous populations in developed countries.

    Better prevention and management of heart failure in Aboriginal Australians [editorial] (2015)
    This editorial examines heart failure in Aboriginal communities, and presents ideas around: strategies to enhance the prevention and early detection of heart failure; and strategies to improve the management and outcomes in patients with clinical heart failure.

    Improving access and equity in reducing cardiovascular risk: the Queensland Health model (2015)
    The aim of this study was to measure changes in cardiovascular risk factors among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and/or type 2 diabetes enrolled in a centralised statewide coaching program delivered by telephone and mail out in the public health sector in Queensland. The main result of the study was positive changes in fasting lipids, fasting glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin levels, blood pressure, body weight, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity, as measured at entry to and completion of the program.

    Community participation in health service reform: the development of an innovative remote Aboriginal primary health-care service (2015)
    This case study describes the integration of a remote area health service with a community-controlled health service to strengthen primary care through community participation to achieve increased access to clinical and preventive care.

    Prediction of cardiovascular disease risk using waist circumference among Aboriginals in a remote Australian community (2015)
    This study examined the association between waist circumference and cardiovascular disease (CVD), and developed a model for projecting absolute risk of CVD using waist circumference (WC) and age in one high risk Australian Aboriginal community. Results from the study showed that risk of CVD among participants increased with increasing WC, and that the relationship was accentuated with increasing age. The prediction model additionally provides a tool for understanding the combined effects of WC with age on CVD events in the Australian Aboriginal community.

    Effect of a computer-guided, quality improvement program for cardiovascular disease risk management in primary care (2015)
    This study was a cluster-randomised controlled trial of an Australian primary healthcare quality improvement intervention, and aimed to address barriers to improved CVD risk, management and prevention. The study found that a computer-guided quality improvement intervention, requiring minimal support, improved CVD risk measurement but did not increase prescription rates in the high-risk group.

    Australian heart disease statistics 2014 (2014)
    This report is the first edition in a planned series of annual updates produced for the National Heart Foundation of Australia by the Heart Foundation/Deakin University Heart Disease Statistics Project. The reports will provide regularly updated relevant statistics about heart disease and associated risk factors for Australians.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Courses and training opportunities

    Bachelor of primary health care
    This new undergraduate degree, developed by the University of Technology, Sydney, is designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students currently working or planning a career in Indigenous primary health care services. This course provides participants with the skills and knowledge to provide evidence-based, culturally safe and appropriate primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The focus is on developing safe, effective and supportive primary health care professionals.

    Spotlight on a project

    Mootang tarimi (living longer) outreach screening program
    This program is part of the Nepean-Blue Mountains Local Health District’s Aboriginal chronic disease management program, and aims to improve chronic disease outcomes for Aboriginal people in the Nepean-Blue Mountains area. The program, run by a nurse and an Aboriginal education officer, aims to make medical services more accessible through the provision of a mobile bus service which visits patients and provides education on health risk factors, screening programs and referrals to general practitioners and specialist medical appointments.

    The CVD team at the HealthInfoNet is always interested to hear about other programs and projects that people are working on, or even ones that have already been completed. If you’d like to send us through some information we’d be more than happy to host your program on site! Get in touch with me at: m.harford-mills@ecu.edu.au.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our CVD Twitter page!

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  • 22 January 2015

    Hi mob members,

    Here's your firsr yarning place digest for 2015. We hope you had an excellent festive season, and wish you all the best for the year ahead.

    Best wishes,

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

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    News

    Cardiovascular risk screening study improving outcomes for patients
    A 40,000 patient strong study into the use of the HealthTracker clinical decision support tool in primary care has shown it can increase screening of patients at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and contributes new evidence on the effect of technology-assisted interventions to improve healthcare quality. The Treatment of cardiovascular risk using electronic decision support (TORPEDO) study involved 40 metropolitan general practices in Sydney and 20 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in New South Wales and Queensland.

    National register to track numbers of rheumatic heart disease sufferers
    There is hope among health workers that the creation of a national database will help reduce the number of people suffering rheumatic heart disease (RHD). RHD Australia is coordinating the development of the register of diagnosed cases, which is now underway.

    Heart condition twice as common in Indigenous people
    Research from the University of Adelaide shows Indigenous Australians suffer from a serious heart rhythm disorder twice as commonly as non-Indigenous people. A study in the University’s Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders is the first of its kind to detail the prevalence of atrial fibrillation among Indigenous Australians.

    Rheumatic heart disease at record rates in young Indigenous people
    RHD Australia, an initiative of Menzies School of Health Research, has called attention to the continuing major health problem of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), with some Indigenous communities recording the highest rates in the world. In Western Australia (WA), two thirds of the state’s RHD sufferers (about 600 people) come from the Kimberley, in the north of the state. Research published late in 2013 found 93 percent of these cases were Aboriginal people, and a survey of deceased Kimberley people who had RHD found that half died from the disorder.

    Novel approach to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait chronic disease outcomes
    Chronic disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a major concern for implementing appropriate health services that consider the role of culture and family in maintaining a person’s holistic wellbeing. The Centre of Research Excellence is undertaking two studies in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, as well as non-Indigenous researchers and clinicians to consider novel approaches to improving the health outcomes and quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living with chronic disease.

    Rehabilitation programs aim to close the gap
    Tobwabba Aboriginal Medical Centre, based in New South Wales, has started two rehabilitation programs in the hope of attracting more Indigenous patients to their services. After being successful with funding and support from the NSW Rural Doctors Network, the centre established a cardiac rehabilitation program and a respiratory program.

    Job vacancies

    Deputy Group Leader – Group A Streptococcal Diseases (WA)
    The Telethon Kids Institute is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Deputy Group Leader. This position will provide oversight on a broad range of basic, clinical and population health research and translation activities in group A streptococcal diseases with a particular focus on rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

    Healthy Hearts Manager (NT)
    The Heart Foundation has a vacancy for a Healthy Hearts Manager to join their team based in Darwin. This position will support relevant objectives and strategies under the Healthy Hearts goal of the Heart Foundation’s national strategic plan For all hearts 2013-17 and other relevant programs areas in the NT. The Healthy Hearts goal aims to create environments that give Australians health options and provide information and support to promote their heart health through the delivery of key health messages and programs in the areas of; an active Australia, a healthier food supply and tobacco control.

    Aboriginal Care Coordinator (WA)
    Goldfields-Midwest Medicare Local is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Aboriginal Care Coordinator. This role will require the successful applicant to assist in building and strengthening partnerships at local levels, identifying and addressing barriers to Aboriginal people accessing quality health care and comprehensive chronic disease management in the local town and outlying communities.

    Nutrition Educator (NT)
    Healthy Living NT seek the services of a Nutrition Educator to primarily work in Darwin. This position will impart knowledge and understanding of diabetes, cardiac and related conditions to people suffering from the diseases, their family or support network to improve self-care management skills. Travel to remote and regional areas of the NT will also be required, to provide nutrition education to people with chronic disease in coordination with other medical and allied health staff.

    Publications, resources and reports

    Stroke incidence and case-fatality among Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in the Northern Territory of Australia, 1999-2011 (2015)
    This study aims to investigate the impact of stroke on Australia’s Indigenous population, and describes hospital-based stroke incidence and case fatality in the Northern Territory (NT) population. The research found that the rate ratio of age-adjusted stroke incidence between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations was 2.8 for men and 2.7 for women. The rate ratio increased to 3.8 after adjusting for multiple risk factors. The article concludes that in the NT, as elsewhere, Indigenous Australians are more likely than other Australians to suffer a stroke. The study highlights the importance for ongoing comprehensive primary and acute care in reducing risk factors and managing stroke patients.

    Northern Territory perspectives on heart failure with comorbidities – understanding trial validity and exploring collaborative opportunities to broaden the evidence base (2015)
    This narrative styled opinion review looks at the pharmacological agents recommended in the guidelines in the context of the Northern Territory (NT). The study explores the concept of validity, and aims to highlight the problems of the current guidelines based approach. It also presents alternatives that could utilise the core principles from major trials, while incorporating regional considerations, which could benefit clients living in the NT.

    Maningrida public service announcement – rheumatic heart (2014)
    This 4.29-minute video was developed to be a ‘public health announcement’ for the people of Maningrida in the NT, which had recently seen a number of outbreaks of acute rheumatic fever (ARF). The film was produced to respond to that emergency, and carry important preventative health warnings. The resource features a voice over in the local language of Barada, which discusses topics such as signs and symptoms of ARF and rheumatic heart disease, what to do if you notice any symptoms, what causes ARF, and treatment for ARF.

    Obesity, albuminuria, and gamma-glutamyl transferase predict incidence of hypertension in Indigenous Australians in rural and remote communities in northern Australia (2014)
    This study aimed to describe the incidence of hypertension in a cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The article concludes that the incidence of hypertension in Indigenous Australian adults is nearly double that of the general Australian population. High background prevalence of obesity, diabetes and albuminuria contributes to this excess.

    Support for GPs in the fight against ARF and RHD (2014)
    This article examines the prevention and treatment programs for ARF and RHD in Australia, and the move towards a co-ordinated national approach. The article also looks at recent developments, such as the evidence-based best practice guidelines, and new accredited clinician e-learning modules have recently been launched.

    Reference book for the remote primary health care manuals (2014)
    This reference book is a part of the Remote primary health care manuals, and provides background information on a number of health conditions, including chronic diseases, medical emergencies, respiratory conditions and mental health. The manual is designed for use by healthcare workers, including doctors, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners and Health Workers, remote area nurses, midwives, nurse practitioners and allied health professionals.

    Strengthening cardiovascular disease prevention in remote Indigenous communities in Australia’s Northern Territory (2014)
    This study aimed to investigate how to strengthen cardiovascular disease prevention in remote Indigenous communities. Interventions included providing regular functional reporting and decision support to frontline primary health care teams. The primary outcome of the study was the population coverage of cardiovascular risk assessment for Indigenous clients aged 20 years and older. Results of the study were increased uptake in blood pressure and lipid lowering therapy, and a higher percentage achieving clinical targets for risk reduction for blood pressure and lipids respectively.

    Management of acute coronary syndrome in special subgroups: female, older, diabetic and Indigenous patients (2014)
    This article describes the special needs of women, older people, patients with diabetes, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, in relation to acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The article concludes that some subgroups of patients experiencing ACS require special attention in assessment and management. While women, older people, people with diabetes and Indigenous patients may be underrepresented in clinical trials, there is evidence that most guideline-based therapies offer similar benefits in these subgroups. Barriers to routine prescription of effective post-ACS therapies in these patients need to be overcome.

    Chronic diseases in Australia: the case for changing course (2014)
    This paper summarises the evidence and provides the case for changing course in Australian policies, to address the health and non-health factors contributing to the prevalence of chronic diseases. Four major directions for change are put forward: national commitment given force through public accountability; dedicated funding for prevention of chronic diseases; adoption of a broad, multifaceted approach to prevention across multiple sectors and partners; and national infrastructure, research and evaluation of progress in preventing chronic disease.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Courses and training opportunities

    Bachelor of primary health care
    This new undergraduate degree, developed by the University of Technology, Sydney, is designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students currently working or planning a career in Indigenous primary health care services. This course provides participants with the skills and knowledge to provide evidence-based, culturally safe and appropriate primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The focus is on developing safe, effective and supportive primary health care professionals.

    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our CVD Twitter page!

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  • 21 October 2014

    Hi mob members,

    Please see below for your October edition of the CVD digest.

    Happy reading!

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet


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    News

    Researchers, communities, government and not-for-profit sector band together to improve Indigenous health outcomes
    Health and medical researchers have teamed up with Indigenous community organisations, policymakers, businesses and others on the frontlines of health care delivery to help improve the health of Indigenous communities as part of five National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership project grants. The grants aim to find ways to improve access to dialysis treatments, improve development outcomes for children, reduce cardiovascular inequality and improve testing of sexually transmitted diseases.

    Aboriginal stroke health booklet to save lives
    A Gomeroi woman from New South Wales, Pam Smith, is urging people to educate themselves about the warning signs of stroke, sharing her own experience of the disease in a stroke education booklet developed specifically for Indigenous communities in the Barrabri region.

    RHDAustralia seeking feedback on a potential app to diagnose acute rheumatic fever
    RHDAustralia is seeking feedback on the usefulness of an app to diagnose acute rheumatic fever (ARF). The app would be based on the diagnosis flowchart, and would be available on multiple platforms.

    Framework for nurse practitioner role to specialise in ARF and RHD being developed
    RHDAustralia and a multidisciplinary working group have begun to develop a framework for a nurse practitioner role to specialise in acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). The aim of the role would be to prevent recurrences of ARF, improve health outcomes, and reduce the burden of RHD.

    National approach needed to improve specialist care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
    Despite a higher burden of illness and chronic disease, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people access fewer Medicare-rebated specialist services than non-Indigenous people, prompting calls from a peak medical group for a national approach to address the inequity.

    Indigenous dementia rates three times higher than general population
    The peak body for Alzheimer’s sufferers and their carers has said that not enough is being done to combat a ‘looming epidemic’ of Indigenous Australians suffering dementia. The risk of dementia doubles every five years after the age of 65. A range of chronic diseases of serious concern to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have similar risk factors, with dementia risk being greater if you have heart issues, diabetes, are obese or smoke.

    25 years of Heart Foundation Tick program
    This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Heart Foundation’s Tick program, a public health initiative undertaken to help consumers make healthier food choices and to drive critically important changes to the food supply. The program is designed to help guide consumers towards a healthier product while they’re standing in the supermarket isle. The program also works with food manufacturers to make foods healthier by setting strict nutrient standards for foods which manufacturers are encouraged to meet by changing their product recipes.

    New tools to support health services deliver better programs
    A strong desire to support health workers deliver better programs to prevent chronic disease was the motivation behind a research project undertaken by a Charles Darwin University PhD candidate who will graduate this week. The project explores ways to assist health services deliver programs in their local communities to help people make healthy lifestyle choices and reduce their risk of chronic disease.

    Job vacancies

    Indigenous Health Project Officer (WA)
    The Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Indigenous Health Project Officer. This role will provide support and state wide coordination to assist member organisations in implementing the range of close the gap chronic disease package measures relevant to the community controlled sector.

    Aboriginal Program Coordinator (Integrated Chronic Care) (NSW)
    NSW Health is has a vacancy for an Aboriginal Program Coordinator to join their Hunter New England Local Health District team. The position will provide strategic leadership for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of culturally appropriate integrated chronic disease management initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Worker (Vic)

    A community controlled organisation based in Albury Wodonga and Murray is seeking to employ a suitably qualified Outreach Worker to assist in reducing chronic disease morbidity and mortality in the Indigenous community. The position will provide assistance in preventative social marketing activities, expansion of the Indigenous health sector and building the capacity of health care services.

    Chronic Disease Manager (Qld)
    This position will assist in the day to day running of a unit within a health centre based in Mt Isa. The main role will be to manage a team of staff and assist them in providing primary health care to patients who have chronic disease.

    Project Officer Aboriginal Health (WA)
    The Heart Foundation is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Project Officer Aboriginal Health. This position will plan, implement and evaluate programs and assist with policies that will positively influence the cardiovascular health status of Aboriginal people.

    Publications and Resources

    RHD Australia e-learning clinician modules (2014)
    This education package provides the clinical workforce with a suite of online e-learning modules, designed by clinicians for clinicians, to improve the prevention, control and management of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). There are 15 modules that cover a range of topics. On completion of the modules, you are eligible for a certificate for evidence of continual professional development hours for national registration with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and the Australian College of Nursing.

    Shared medical appointments: an adjunct for chronic disease management in Australia? (2014)
    This article aims to examine the potential acceptability of shared medical appointments (SMA) for the management of chronic diseases in the Australian context. SMAs or group consultations are ‘a series of individual office visits sequentially attending to each patient’s unique medical needs individually, but in a supportive group setting where all can listen, interact and learn.’ It is hoped that a trial of SMAs in Australia will be further considered, in light of their reported gains in time efficiency, patient numbers managed and patient satisfaction.

    Group B Streptococcal infection in the first 90 days of life in North Queensland (2014)
    This article aimed to describe the incidence and risk factors for invasive group B streptococcus (GBS) for infants under 90 days of age in North Queensland from January 2002 to December 2011. Patients were identified with positive blood and cerebrospinal fluid cultures to obtain incidence figures. Results showed that GBS continues to occur in North Queensland at higher than expected rates, and a new approach to its prevention should be considered.

    A review of valve surgery for rheumatic heart disease in Australia (2014)
    The aim of this study was to examine the Australian patient population having valve surgery for rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and review the pre-operative factors associated with the choice of surgical management of RHD in Australia. Surgical management of 1384 RHD and 14843 non-RHD valve procedures were analysed. The article concludes that RHD valve surgery is more common in young, female and Indigenous patients, and the use of bioprosthetic valves in RHD is increasing. Given that many patients are female, and younger, the choice of valve surgery and need for anticoagulation has implications for future management of RHD and related morbidity, pregnancy and lifestyle plans.

    Venous thromboembolism in tropical Australia and in Indigenous Australians (2014)
    This study conducted a retrospective review of all cases of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism over a 24 month period in two major hospitals of the Northern Territory (NT). The article recommends adding venous thromboembolism (VTE) to the list of adverse outcomes of poor health and chronic diseases, which cause disproportional high rates of hospitalisation amongst Indigenous Australians.

    Better health outcomes at lower costs: the benefits of primary care utilisation for chronic disease management in remote Indigenous communities in Australia’s Northern Territory (2014)
    This study compared health outcomes and costs at different levels of primary care utilisation to determine if primary care represents an efficient use of resources for Indigenous patients with common chronic diseases, namely hypertension, diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and renal disease. The article concludes that primary care in remote Indigenous communities was shown to be associated with cost-savings to public hospitals and health benefits to individual patients, and that investing in primary care could save money in hospital costs.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences and events

    Cardiovascular disease and diabetes – a whole of life approach – an educational symposium: Alice Springs, NT, 23-24 October 2014
    This educational symposium is run by the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, and is designed for health professionals working with the impact of chronic disease in Indigenous communities. The main focus will be on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related complications, with a perspective of prevention, diagnosis and management. The symposium will feature a combination of plenary presentations from renowned scientists and clinicians as well as a rotation of smaller group sessions aimed at practical skills building.

    Remote cardiac care course: Darwin, NT, 10-12 November 2014
    This short course aims to provide health professionals with the skills to undertake a comprehensive systematic approach to the prevention, management and treatment of cardiac conditions in the community setting. Health care professionals working within the community setting in the Northern Territory (NT) are encouraged to attend.

    Courses and training opportunities

    Chronic disease storyboard
    This short course provides the knowledge and practical skills to effectively share chronic disease stories with groups and individuals and groups in the community setting using a storyboard as a visual aid. The Chronic disease storyboard is accessible to Northern Territory Government staff and external participants. Topics covered include an introduction to a range of chronic diseases affecting the lives of Indigenous people, and how to use the storyboard as a health promotional resource to assist communication with clients when discussing chronic condition risk factors. On completion of the course, participants receive an online certificate of completion and can access the training course again under their own login to deliver onsite training.


    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our CVD Twitter page!

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  • 24 September 2014

    Hi mob members,

    If you haven't already heard, we have new staff manning the CVD portal! It is now being staffed by Kathy Ride, a research team leader, and myself, Millie Harford-Mills, a research assistant. If you have any queries or concerns about this please don't hesitate to contact us.

    Here are your two previous monthly digests, happy reading!

    Best wishes,

    Millie Harford-Mills
    Research Assistant
    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

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    August

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    News

    Skin sores research to improve health of children
    A Northern Territory (NT) based research project investigating alternative and more practical treatments for skin sores (impetigo) is set to benefit the millions of children worldwide who suffer from this infection, as well as Australian Indigenous children, who are disproportionately affected by impetigo. The sores are due to an infection with a bacteria called group A streptococcus, which has been linked to chronic kidney and rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

    Indigenous patients face too many barriers to seeing specialists, say doctors
    Access to government-subsidised medical specialists for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is piecemeal and rife with barriers, according to the leading organisation representing physicians and paediatricians in Australia. Indigenous Australians used specialists 178 times less per 1000 people compared to the general community, says the president of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Professor Nicholas Talley.

    RHDAustralia to launch new e-learning modules targeting rheumatic heart disease
    RHDAustralia has recently launched 15 new clinician e-learning modules as part of Australia’s Rheumatic fever strategy that aims to tackle the world’s highest recorded rate of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Developed by RHD experts from around Australia, the modules are designed for clinicians and senior health staff to improve the prevention, control and management of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

    Update on the qualitative study of RHD in pregnancy in the Northern Territory
    The Australasian Maternity Outcomes Surveillance System (AMOSS) is conducting a study into rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in pregnancy in the Northern Territory (NT). The study aims to explore experiences of pregnancy that are complicated by RHD.

    Doctors urged to spot rheumatic fever
    Doctors across Australia are being urged to be on the lookout for the preventable illness, acute rheumatic fever (ARF), which leads to rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Australia has one of the highest rates of RHD in the word, with Indigenous people 64 times more likely to contract it than non-Indigenous people. Many Australian medical professionals have never seen a case of ARF because it has largely been eradicated in urban settings.

    Health improvement follows better service access in Napranum

    A clinical audit undertaken by Apunipima Cape York Health Council’s Dr Fiona Purcell has shown that people who have greater access to health services markedly improve their blood pressure and diabetes control. The audit revealed that people who attended the clinic regularly over five years had an average of 15 mm Hg drop in blood pressure, which for all age groups was below the 140 mm Hg threshold for significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Apunipima to highlight Deadly choices message at Mapoon community day
    Apunipima Cape York Health Council recently held a Deadly choices community day with the people of Mapoon, Queensland (Qld), encouraging healthy lifestyle choices in the areas of nutrition, smoking and physical activity. The event aimed to increase awareness about chronic disease to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, and to increase access to the local health service.

    Job vacancies

    Director of Health (SA)
    The Heart Foundation is seeking suitable applicants for the position of Director of Health, to join their team at an executive level. This position will work with the Chief Executive and Directors to continue leading the improvements for heart health and prevention across the state, as well as working at the national level. The position will advocate for improvements in evidence-based heart care, development of public policy, research, as well as work on a range of national projects, and translate national strategic goals into tangible programs at the state level. This vacancy closes today!

    Aboriginal Health Worker (chronic disease) (SA)
    SA Health has a vacancy for an Aboriginal Health Worker (chronic disease). The core focus of this role will involve the promotion of health, especially that relating to chronic disease in Indigenous people, and will assisting in development, implementation and evaluation of programs to meet the needs of patients. This vacancy closes today!

    Care Coordinator CSS – Aboriginal Partnerships (NSW)
    Central Coast NSW Medicare Local is seeking suitable applicants for the position of Care Coordinator – Care Coordinator and Supplementary Services. This position will be responsible for working collaboratively with patients, general practitioners, practice staff and Aboriginal health services to provide appropriate multidisciplinary care and services for Indigenous people with a chronic condition.

    Aboriginal Care Coordinators (x2) (WA)
    Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council (KAMSC) has two vacancies for Aboriginal Care Coordinators to join their remote renal team based in either Broome or Kununurra. These roles will be responsible for establishing and implementing effective care coordination services within the region, supporting Aboriginal patients in seeking more proactive chronic disease management and care.

    Chronic Disease Manager (NSW)
    There is a vacancy open for a Chronic Disease Manager to join a community funded Indigenous organisation in Tamworth and North West NSW. This position will assist in the day to day running of the local practice, as well as managing a team of nine staff, preparing them to go out into the community, helping them to provide health care to patients living in the community who have chronic disease.

    Aboriginal Health Worker – Outreach Worker (NSW)
    Galambila Aboriginal Health service has a vacancy for an Aboriginal Health Worker to join their team providing primary health care and related services to the Indigenous communities in Coffs Harbour, Urunga, Bellingen and Woolgoolga. This position will provide culturally appropriate health care services including health information and education in relation to prevention and treatment of chronic conditions.

    Publications and Resources

    RHD Australia education package (2014)
    This education package provides the health workforce with a basic understanding of best-practice approaches to the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). There are five modules in the package that cover topics such as management of ARF and long term management with secondary prophylaxis, and management of RHD and the organisational approach to RHD control. On completion of the education models, you can order a certificate for evidence of continual professional development hours for national registration.

    Tasmanian Aborigines step up to health: evaluation of a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and secondary prevention program (2014)
    This article evaluated the uptake and effectiveness of a cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation program designed and provided for the Indigenous community by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, for people diagnosed with chronic heart or respiratory disease and at high risk of developing such conditions. The program showed generally clinically significant improvements in generic quality of life domains, dyspnoea and fatigue. Analysis of qualitative data identified three factors that facilitated participation: support from peers and health workers, provision of transport, and program structure. Participant’s awareness of improvements in their health contributed to ongoing participation and positive health outcomes.

    Lifetime risk of hospital diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in remote Aboriginal people: a cohort study (2014)
    This study aimed to estimate the lifetime risk of developing hospital-diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Indigenous people living in remote areas, using a modified technique of survival analysis. A total of 1,374 participants in a remote community were followed up to 20 years, and individuals with hospital-diagnosed COPD were identified through hospital records. Findings from the study showed that of the 1,374 participants, 164 were identified as having incident hospital-diagnosed COPD during 21,614 person years of follow-up, after adjustment for the presence of competing risk of death from non-COPD causes, the lifetime risk of COPD was 53% percent for the overall population. The article concludes that the high risk of COPD in Indigenous people warrants further efforts and resources to combat this disease.

    Overview of Australian Indigenous health status, 2013 (2014)
    The Overview of Australian Indigenous health status 2013 by the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet provides a comprehensive summary of the most recent indicators of the health of Indigenous people. The Overview contains information about the context of Indigenous health, births and pregnancy outcomes, mortality, hospitalisation, selected health conditions and health risk and protective factors. The Overview is accompanied by PowerPoint presentations of tables, figures and key facts.

    Cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention in Australia and New Zealand (2014)
    This blueprint aims to examine cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention in Australia and New Zealand, with a particular focus on challenging groups such as significant rural, remote and Indigenous populations. The blueprint looks at a number of areas, including the evolution of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention in Australia and New Zealand, the burden of coronary heart disease (CHD) and its impact on at-risk communities, coordination of secondary prevention of CHD for all in need, and the blueprint for the reform of secondary prevention. The article argues that a concerted effort is needed to produce a coherent, integrated, sustainable system that is individualised, innovative and responsive, and which empowers patients and their families.

    Mortality attributable to rheumatic heart disease in the Kimberley: a data linkage approach (2014)
    This article aimed to determine the mortality burden attributable to acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in the Kimberley using linked hospitalisation and death registry data. A retrospective cohort study was undertaken, comprising all Kimberley residents with a Western Australian (WA) hospital admission for ARF or RHD between 1970-2010, linked with the WA Death Register. RHD-attributable deaths were manually classified to determine mortality burden. Results showed there were 35 RHD-attributable deaths in the Kimberley between 1990-2010, with 94% occurring in Indigenous people. The age-standardised RHS annual death rate was 15.6 per 100,000 with a total of 1110 premature years of life lost before age 75 within this group. The article concludes that RHD remains a significant cause of premature mortality for Aboriginal people in the Kimberley, and efforts to reduce progression of this disease through RHD register and control programs are crucial, alongside action to address underlying socioeconomic and environmental inequalities.

    Incidence of first heart failure hospitalisation and mortality in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal patients in Western Australia (2014)
    This article aimed to compare the incidence of first heart failure (HF) hospitalisation, antecedent risk factors and 1-year mortality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in Western Australia (WA). A population based cohort aged 20-84 years comprising Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients with first HF hospitalisation was evaluated, and regression models were used to examine 30-day and 10year mortality. Results showed that Indigenous patients were younger, more likely to reside in rural/remote areas and to be women. Indigenous HF rates were 11 times higher in men and 23 times higher in women ages 20-39 years, declining to about 2 times in patients aged 70-84 years. The article highlights the urgent need for enhanced primary and secondary prevention of HF in the Indigenous population, especially for those at a younger age.

    Conferences and events

    The Australian Disease Management Association (ADMA) 10th annual national conference: Melbourne, Vic, 11-12 September 2014
    This is the 10th annual conference of the Australian Disease Management Association, a not-for-profit organisation that provides a forum and advocacy for the disease management industry. The theme for 2014 is CDM the 2020 vision – managing the rising tide of chronic conditions. The conference will showcase the many disease management initiatives underway across Australia.

    Cardiovascular disease and diabetes – a whole of life approach – an educational symposium: Alice Springs, NT, 23-24 October 2014
    This educational symposium is run by the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, and is designed for health professionals working with the impact of chronic disease in Indigenous communities, in particular cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related complications, with a perspective of prevention, diagnosis and management. The symposium will feature a combination of plenary presentations from renowned scientists and clinicians as well as a rotation of smaller group sessions aimed at practical skills building.

    Remote cardiac care course: Darwin, NT, 10-12 November 2014
    This short course aims to provide health professionals with the skills to undertake a comprehensive systematic approach to the prevention, management and treatment of cardiac conditions in the community setting. Health care professionals working within the community setting in the Northern Territory (NT) are encouraged to attend.

    Funding opportunities

    Heart Foundation focus grants
    The Heart Foundation focus grants provide funding for research projects that specifically address research questions identified by the Heart Foundation, and deliver information that can inform the future work of the organisation. There are four research projects that have been proposed for funding in 2014, such as What is the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in hospital following an acute cardiac event, and Recalibrating the cardiovascular risk assessment tool pertinent to the Australian population. Entries close 1 October 2014.

    Courses and training opportunities

    Chronic disease storyboard
    This short course provides the knowledge and practical skills to effectively share chronic disease stories with groups and individuals and groups in the community setting using a storyboard as a visual aid. The Chronic disease storyboard is accessible to Northern Territory Government staff and external participants. Topics covered include: introduction to a range of chronic diseases affecting the lives of Indigenous people, and how to use the storyboard as a health promotional resource to assist communication with clients when discussing chronic condition risk factors. On completion of the course, participants receive an online certificate of completion and can access the training course again under their own login to deliver onsite training.


    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our CVD Twitter page!

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    September

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    News

    Collaboration aims for rheumatic fever vaccine
    Australian and New Zealand researchers are teaming up to tackle the challenge of developing a vaccine for rheumatic fever. The Coalition to Advance New Vaccines for Group A Streptococcus (CANVAS), announced last week, is a new initiative funded by the governments of Australia and New Zealand, and aims to develop a vaccine against group A streptococcus.

    CSU researcher looking to address high rates of heart disease in Indigenous men
    Charles Sturt University PhD researcher and lecturer, Brett Biles, is researching why Indigenous men are being diagnosed with heart disease much younger than non-Indigenous men, and hopes to develop and implement a tailored cardiovascular exercise and education program for Indigenous men in regional areas.

    Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey: biomedical results, 2012-13 released
    The Australian Bureau of Statistics have released the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey: biomedical results, 2012, 13, the largest biomedical survey ever conducted for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Around 3,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults across Australia took part in the survey and voluntarily provided blood and/or urine samples, which were tested for a range of chronic disease and nutrient biomarkers.

    Cardiovascular disease will remain a major contributor to gap in life expectancy
    The Heart Foundation has said that cardiovascular disease will remain a major contributor to the gap in life expectancy, after the release of a landmark biomedical health survey showed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have high rates of risk factors for heart disease, including diabetes, kidney disease and high cholesterol.

    National stroke week
    It was recently National stroke week, which aims to raise awareness about the occurrence of strokes, risk factors and stroke prevention in Australia. Organised by the Stroke Foundation, the theme of this year is ‘taking the challenge’ of being healthy, being aware or being your best. The week aimed to promote reducing lifestyle risk factors for stroke, such as diet and physical activity, and taking control of your health by having a healthy check and finding out your stroke risk.

    NSW knockout health challenge boosts fitness
    A health promotion program organised by New South Wales (NSW) Health in conjunction with NSW Rugby League has seen participants make positive changes to both their health and lifestyles. The program, NSW knockout weight loss challenge, was developed in 2012 to reduce the prevalence of chronic disease in Indigenous communities by eating healthy food, being active and having regular health checks.

    Australia’s 7 up: the revealing study tracking babies to adults
    Australia’s 7 up study is following the progress of 686 Indigenous babies into adulthood. The research, started 27 years ago, has become the largest, longest running and most significant study of the lives of Indigenous babies in Australia, providing vital clues to help better predict, prevent and treat chronic diseases that are common killers of Indigenous Australians.

    Job vacancies

    Aboriginal Chronic Care Project Officer (NSW)
    The Agency for Clinical Innovation has a vacancy for an Aboriginal Chronic Care Project Officer to join their team providing quality chronic health care services for Indigenous people across NSW. The role will promote, develop and implement strategic change management initiatives that will improve the level of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

    Nurse Manager (Chronic Disease) (NSW)
    This position will see the successful applicant working in an Aboriginal health clinic in Western New South Wales (NSW), working as the manager of two nursing teams and offering front line primary health services to local communities. Aboriginal health checks and providing chronic disease education and check-ups will be a key element of this position.

    Aboriginal Health Worker (WA) (Recruitment Pool – Various Locations)
    WA Health is seeking suitable applicants for the role of Aboriginal Health Worker. Suitable applicants will be placed in a pool from which appointments may be made when similar vacancies occur. This role will provide culturally appropriate health care for the local Aboriginal community, and promote the development of self-care and personal responsibility for health.

    Rural Medical Practitioners (FIFO) (NT)
    Based in Alice Springs, this position will provide fly in/fly out health care services to remote communities. This position will focus on the management of chronic disease patients (CVD, diabetes and renal).

    Chronic Care Coordinator (Aboriginal Identified) (NSW)
    Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation is seeking suitable applicants to fill the role of Chronic Care Coordinator.

    Publications and Resources

    Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in the Kimberley: using hospitalisation data to find cases and describe trends (2014)
    The study aimed to describe the epidemiology of hospitalisations due to acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in the Kimberley region of Western Australia (WA) and use this data to improve completeness of the WA RHD register. The study found that using hospitalisation data is an effective method of identifying ARF/RHD cases not currently on the register.

    Chronic conditions, financial burden and pharmaceutical pricing: insights from Australian consumers (2014)
    This study explored the perceptions of Australian consumers and carers about the financial burden associated with medicines used for the treatment of chronic conditions. Results showed that the financial burden associated with medicines used for the management of chronic conditions is substantial, and compounded by the ongoing need for multiple medicines and indirect effects associated with chronic conditions, such as the impact on employment.

    Hydrotherapy for chronic conditions (2014)
    This resource, produced by the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association, aims to raise awareness of the benefits of hydrotherapy for the treatment of symptoms associated with chronic conditions.

    Social determinants, drinking and chronic disease: the role of social determinants of health in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related chronic disease in Victoria (2014)
    The primary aim of this project was to explore Victorian alcohol consumption and alcohol-related chronic disease trends in the context of social determinants of health for the purpose of informing policy and formulation, resource allocation and service planning and monitoring. This research was conducted by the Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, and funded by VicHealth.

    Northern Territory Heart Failure Initiative Clinical Audit (NTHFI-CA) – a prospective database on the quality of care and outcomes for acute decompensated heart failure admission in the Northern Territory: study design and rationale (2014)
    This study aimed to look at congestive heart failure and optimal care in remote and urban settings. The article concludes that achieving optimal care in the remote setting is no different from an urban setting, but that the significant difference is that remote care revolves around the interaction of service infrastructure, personnel, disease burden and cultural sensitivities.

    Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey: biomedical results, 2012-13 (2014)
    This publication presents information from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health measures survey (NATSIHMS). This study involved the collection of blood and urine samples from around 3,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults across Australia, which were then tested for various chronic disease and nutrient bio-markers. Key findings are presented in the report.

    CARPA standard treatment manual [6th ed.] (2014)
    This treatment manual assists practitioners to manage a range of health, social and work conditions when they arrive in central and northern Australia without specific training in remote primary health care. The manual is grounded in both the evidence and the practicalities of remote practice and aims to be easy to access, in plain English, current and evidence based, culturally appropriate and relevant to remote practice. It is revised with the greatest possible input from remote practitioners.

    Large and forgotten in rural Australia: assessment, attitudes and possible approaches to losing weight in young adult males (2014)
    This study aimed to investigate young adult males (YAMs) in rural Australia with respect to overweight and obesity. The study found that motivation was a significant issue for weight loss, and that text messages, which were used frequently within this age group, could be utilised as a means of encouraging them to adopt healthy lifestyles if they were individually tailored.

    Susceptibility to acute rheumatic fever based on differential expression of genes involved in cytoxicity, chemotaxis, and apoptosis (2014)
    This study aimed to investigate whether there are differences in the immune response, detectable by gene expression, between individuals who are susceptible to acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and those who are not. The high proportion of differentially expressed apoptopic and immune response genes supports the current model of autoimmune and cytokine dysregulation in ARF. The study also raises the possibility that a ‘failed’ immune response, involving decreased expression of cytotoxic and apoptotic genes, contributes to the immunopathogenesis of ARF.

    To find other recent publications about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health then check out the HealthBulletin – our peer reviewed electronic journal.

    Conferences and events

    Chronic care network workshop: Parramatta, NSW, 13 October 2014
    The Agency for Clinical Innovation is hosting a free workshop for health professionals, carers and consumers from across New South Wales with an interest in improving chronic illness outcomes. The workshop will provide the latest information on the impact of social determinants on health outcomes, and the steps that can be taken to address health inequity.

    Cardiovascular disease and diabetes – a whole of life approach – an educational symposium: Alice Springs, NT, 23-24 October 2014
    This educational symposium is run by the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, and is designed for health professionals working with the impact of chronic disease in Indigenous communities. The main focus will be on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related complications, with a perspective of prevention, diagnosis and management. The symposium will feature a combination of plenary presentations from renowned scientists and clinicians as well as a rotation of smaller group sessions aimed at practical skills building.

    Remote cardiac care course: Darwin, NT, 10-12 November 2014
    This short course aims to provide health professionals with the skills to undertake a comprehensive systematic approach to the prevention, management and treatment of cardiac conditions in the community setting. Health care professionals working within the community setting in the Northern Territory (NT) are encouraged to attend.

    Funding opportunities

    Heart Foundation focus grants
    The Heart Foundation focus grants provide funding for research projects that specifically address research questions identified by the Heart Foundation, and deliver information that can inform the future work of the organisation. There are four research projects that have been proposed for funding in 2014, such as What is the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in hospital following an acute cardiac event, and Recalibrating the cardiovascular risk assessment tool pertinent to the Australian population. Entries close 1 October 2014.

    Courses and training opportunities

    Chronic disease storyboard
    This short course provides the knowledge and practical skills to effectively share chronic disease stories with groups and individuals and groups in the community setting using a storyboard as a visual aid. The Chronic disease storyboard is accessible to Northern Territory Government staff and external participants. Topics covered include: introduction to a range of chronic diseases affecting the lives of Indigenous people, and how to use the storyboard as a health promotional resource to assist communication with clients when discussing chronic condition risk factors. On completion of the course, participants receive an online certificate of completion and can access the training course again under their own login to deliver onsite training.


    Tweets
    Click here to read the Tweets on our CVD Twitter page!

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  • 25 February 2014

    Hi there, Yarning place members,

    Here is your quarterly update of new additions to the Cardiovascular health (HeartInfoNetwork) web section of the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet between December 2013 and February 2014. There has been many new additions to all parts of your web resource including programs and projects, resources, publications, funding and job opportunities.
    I hope you have a chance to check out some of the new additions, and when you have time please take a look at the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Cardiovascular Health (HeartInfoNetwork) news page.

    Some of the new additions are:

    Publications

    Increased cardiovascular risk in patients with severe mental illness (2013) Gladigau, E. Fazio, T. Hannam, J. Dawson, L. Jones, S.
    Cardiometabolic risk and disease in Indigenous Australians: the heart of the heart study (2013) Brown, A. Carrington, M. McGrady, M. Lee, G. Zeitz, C. Krum, H. Rowley, K. Stewart, S.
    Role of care co-ordination and case conferencing in managing pre and post operative challenges in the NT remote Indigenous patients with severe rheumatic heart disease (2014) Kangaharan, N. Ilton, M. Farquharson, C. Iyngkaran, M.
    Evidence-based prescribing of drugs for secondary prevention of acute coronary syndrome in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal patients admitted to Western Australian hospitals (2014) Gausia, K. Katzenellenbogen, J. Sanfilippo, F. Knuiman, M. Thompson, P. Hobbs, M. Thompson, S.
    Do we need a wider therapeutic paradigm for heart failure with comorbidities? A remote Australian perspective (2013) Lyngkaran, P. Thomas, M. Sanders, P. Majoni, W. Brady, S. Nadarajan, K. Ilton, M. Brown, A.
    (To see more publications related to cardiovascular health among Indigenous Australians please click here. Remember to look under the year tabs at the top or use the search facility.)

    Programs and projects

    Care coordination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders - Northern Adelaide Medicare Local
    Living strong – deadly TV - National Indigenous Television
    Australian primary care collaboratives program - Medicare Local Country South SA
    (To see more programs and projects related to cardiovascular health among Indigenous Australians please here)

    Funding opportunities

    PhD scholarship - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health - expressions of interest - Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
    Aboriginal postgraduate nursing scholarships - NSW Ministry of Health
    (To see more funding opportunities related to cardiovascular health among Indigenous Australians please click here)

    Jobs

    Project Coordinator - Menzies School of Health Research - Darwin NT - applications close Sunday 2 March 2014
    Registered Nurse (Healthy for Life) - Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service - Walgett NSW - applications close Wednesday 5 March 2014
    Aboriginal Health Worker (Aboriginal Chronic Care Outreach Service) - NSW Health - Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District - Lemongrove NSW - applications close Sunday 9 March 2014
    Senior Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Advisor - National Heart Foundation Qld - Brisbane Qld - applications close Monday 17 March 2014.
    (To see more jobs related to Indigenous health please click here)

    Resources

    Managing heart disease for life (2014) - audiovisual resource from the George Institute for Global Health.
    Cardiovascular risk profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (2012) - fact sheet from the National Heart Foundation of Australia.
    Information about rheumatic heart disease (2009) - audiovisual resource from RHD Australia.
    Keeping up with the Joneses or, don’t forget acute rheumatic fever (2013) - audiovisual resource from RHD Australia.
    The cardiac patient journey (2012) - health promotion poster from the Lowitja Institute.
    (To see more resources related to cardiovascular health among Indigenous Australians please click here)

    Do you follow us on twitter? You can find us at @aihheart and @HealthInfoNet.

    We encourage you to send in any information you may have about anything you think should be added to the pages. Feedback and contributions from you, our users, enhances and improves the overall product that we are able to provide for you.

    Kind regards,
    Renee Lynch
    Information Officer

  • 25 November 2013

    Hi Yarning place members,

    Here is your quarterly update of new additions to the Cardiovascular health (HeartInfoNet) web section of the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet between September and November 2013. There has been many new additions to all parts of your web resource including programs and projects, resources, publications, funding and job opportunities.
    I hope you have a chance to check out some of the new additions, and when you have time please take a look at the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Cardiovascular health (HeartInfoNet) news page.

    Some of the new additions are:

    Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet publications

    Review of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease among Indigenous Australians (2013) Gray, C. Thomson, N.
    Overview of the health of Indigenous people in Western Australia (2013) Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
    (To see more HealthInfoNet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health topic reviews and summaries click here)

    Publications

    Identifying culturally appropriate strategies for coronary heart disease secondary prevention in a regional Aboriginal Medical Service (2013) Govil, D. Lin, I. Dodd, T. Cox, R. Moss, P. Thompson, S. Maiorana, A.
    Chronic condition management and self-management in Aboriginal communities in South Australia: outcomes of a longitudinal study (2013) Harvey, P.W. Petkov, J. Kowanko, I. Helps, Y. Battersby, M.
    Screening for rheumatic heart disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (2013) Rémond, M.G. Wark, E.K. Maguire, G.P.
    Hospital management and outcomes of stroke in Indigenous Australians: evidence from the 2009 Acute Care National Stroke Audit (2013) Kilkenny, M.F. Harris, D.M. Ritchie, E.A. Price, C. Cadilhac, D.A.
    Improving outcomes after coronary artery bypass surgery: lessons from Indigenous Australians (2013) Jeremy, R.W. Kritharides, L. Brown, A.
    (To see more publications related to Cardiovascular health among Indigenous Australians please click here. Remember to look under the year tabs at the top or use the search facility.)

    Programs and projects

    Central Australian heart protection study (CAHPS) - Baker IDI
    Town camp chronic disease project - Baker IDI
    Practice incentives program (PIP) - Indigenous health incentive - Commonwealth Government
    Impact of a price discount on food spending and cardiovascular health in remote Aboriginal Australia - Menzies School of Health Research
    Identifying a unique inflammatory signature in acute rheumatic fever - a pilot study - Menzies School of Health Research
    The global burden of disease study 2010 - rheumatic heart disease (RHD) writing group - Menzies School of Health Research
    (To see more programs and projects related to Cardiovascular health among Indigenous Australians please click here)

    Funding opportunities

    Aboriginal birth cohort study: wave 4 scholarship - for applicants intending to commence a PhD in this area commencing 2014.
    Swap it don’t stop it - Community healthy eating and physical activity grants - recurrent grants of up to $5000 for eligible organisations.
    (To see more funding opportunities related to Cardiovascular health among Indigenous Australians please click here)

    Jobs

    Clinical Nurse Consultant - Cardiac Indigenous Health (Identified) - Townsville - Queensland Health - applications close 27 November 2013.
    Advanced Health Worker (Chronic Disease) - Bundaberg & Wide Bay Burnett - Queensland Health - applications close 28 November 2013.
    Public Health Advisor - Darwin or Alice Springs - Medicare Local Northern Territory - applications close 2 December 2013.
    (To see more jobs related to Indigenous health please click here)

    Resources

    Walk your way to healthier, happier communities: taking a walk together is as much about talking as it is about walking (2009) - poster from the Heart Foundation Walking program.
    Take the first step to heart health today (2010) - poster from the Heart Foundation walking program.
    Living well: information on chronic disease in Aboriginal people (2012) – brochure from the Awabakal Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd.
    (To see more resources related to Cardiovascular health among Indigenous Australians please click here)

    Do you follow us on twitter? You can find us at @aihheart and @HealthInfoNet.

    We encourage you to send in any information you may have about anything you think should be added to the pages. Feedback and contributions from you, our users, enhances and improves the overall product that we are able to provide for you.

    Kind regards,
    Renee Lynch
    Information Officer

  • 25 November 2013

    Here you will find quarterly updates on any additions made to the Cardiovascular health (HeartInfoNet) pages of the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet. Additions include programs and projects, publications, resources, funding and jobs.