Conference presentations (published elsewhere)

14th Annual NT Chronic Diseases Network conference

Posted on: 10 January, 2011
Issue: Vol 11 No 1, January 2011 – March 2011
Related to Cancer Cardiovascular health Diabetes Kidney health

The 14th Annual Chronic Diseases Network conference was held 9-10 September 2010 in Darwin, NT. The theme of the conference  ‘Health literacy – opening doors to health and wellbeing’  focused on discussing the role and impact of health literacy on the prevention and management of chronic conditions and its importance in achieving positive health outcomes. Health literacy is seen as more than being able to read a label or follow an instruction. It underlies people’s ability to access, understand and use health information to make decisions that promote and maintain health and wellbeing. This conference saw for the first time a formalised Aboriginal reference group.

The program for the conference included:

  • key note presentations
  • concurrent sessions including an Aboriginal perspective
  • plenary sessions and interactive workshops
  • panel discussions
  • pre-conference field trip to Danila Dilba, Barbara James accommodation, Nightcliff renal unit, Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre and the Palmerston super clinic
  • pre-conference workshop for Aboriginal Health Workers
  • after conference workshop; Health literacy – a practical approach presented by Dr Nikos Thomacos

The key messages from the conference were:

  • there are already existing efforts to enhance peoples understanding of health and health messages however, there are areas that need further development
  • understanding health is more than communication, it also involves education, social change, technology and economic change to support improvements in health
  • A two way learning process is needed between health professionals and clients
  • health concepts need to consider cultural, age and gender issues

The key note presentations were:

  • Professor Ian Anderson, Director Research and Innovation, Lowitja Institute, Director, Murrup Barak Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development, Director Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, University of Melbourne, Health literacy and Aboriginal chronic disease: an emerging agenda.
  • Dr Anne Johnson, Community Engagement Consultant, Improving health literacy of health consumers – challenges for health professionals and health services.
  • Professor Richard Osborne, Professor of Public Health and Director, Public Health Innovation Population Health Strategic Research Centre, Deakin University, Health literacy – a complex concept and key component of patient-centred care that will drive quality improvement.
  • Dr Della Yarnold, NT Indigenous Transition Pathways Director, NT Clinical School, Flinders University, Medical education for Indigenous health in the NT.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

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