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Message from the CEO
Bridging the gap in health inequity in rural and remote South Australia requires innovative solutions. These solutions also need a great deal of collaboration to provide increased access to quality primary health services for country South Australians.

This innovation and collaboration is brilliantly exemplified in two of our current youth telehealth programs:
Providing telepsychiatry access, secondary consultations to our commissioned workforce of rural mental health clinicians working with young people with severe and complex mental illness under our Youth Clinical Coordinated Care Program (YCCC) 
Providing access to headspace mental health consults for young people in country schools in the South East via telehealth.
Country SA PHN (CSAPHN) Mental Health and AOD Manager, Chez Curnow said the need for greater access to mental health clinicians for young country people was identified and together with headspace Mount Gambier we discussed and developed  the idea of using digital health in partnership with  school spaces to make mental health consults accessible for students in rural locations. Both YCCC and the headspace clinicians now use digital technology for students at eight schools in the South East to have consults using a video link from headspace Mount Gambier directly to schools. In the last six months the program has provided 25 sessions for young people access to mental health clinicians that they would not previously have had.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the exceptional work of CSAPHN Digital Health Officer, Keiran Mether who worked to find innovative technological solutions whilst collaborating with Chez Curnow, headspace Mount Gambier, the Department of Education, software companies and each school’s IT teams to ensure the successful application of the digital technology. I commend Keiran Mether, Chez Curnow, Tasja Barelds Centre Manager at headspace Mount Gambier and all involved in their innovative and collaborative approach to providing increased mental health support for young people in the South East. We’re now hoping to extend this successful program to provide young country people with even greater access to mental health clinicians.

Telehealth is also being used to support country South Australia’s rural mental health workforce. Since July last year the Telepsychiatry program has offered our commissioned rural mental health clinicians with ongoing professional support. This assistance is, in turn, helping them provide their clients with the best quality service. CSAPHN’s Chez Curnow and headspace National’s telehealth practice manager Deb Hopwood have worked on this innovative workforce capacity building  program, which has increased clinicians resources and confidence in working with more complex cases. I again acknowledge the wonderful work our CSAPHN team and headspace National are doing to bridge this gap in health inequity for the rural South Australian health workforce and hence the patient journey and primary health outcomes for country South Australians.

Country SA Services Directory
Are you a local country South Australian service provider interested in advertising your service for free? 
Do you want to promote your service to your local community?
Country SA Services Directory is an invaluable tool for service providers to facilitate partnerships, conduct cross referrals and assist service mapping.
To list your service on the directory go to the Country SA Services Directory website.

Updated Novel Coronavirus Information
Australia is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. 

The latest health alert from SA Health CDCB is available here.
Up-to-date information regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found at: 
P2 Masks for General Practice
In recognition that some general practices may wish to collect specimens in their surgery, the Commonwealth Department of Health has made P2 masks (P2 8210 Respirator) available from the national stockpile for distribution to general practices via PHNs across Australia.

**NOTE** - The P2 masks are only for distribution to general practices who have indicated that they are undertaking the specimen collection in their surgeries. Surgical masks are available to both general practice and pharmacy please see below.

To request P2 masks for your general practice, please click here.

As there is a very limited supply, a default allocation of 20 masks will be sent per request. If a larger allocation is required, please provide additional information to support the request in the comments section of the form.

Any queries regarding P2 masks are to be directed to Courtney Thorpe via or 08 8821 6721.

Surgical Masks for General Practice and Pharmacy
The Commonwealth Department of Health has made surgical masks (ProShield Soft - Ultra Soft Liner, Submicron Filtration (As4381-2002) available from the national stockpile for distribution to general practices and pharmacies via PHNs across Australia.
The masks are intended for general practices and pharmacies in areas where there are shortages and stocks are unavailable commercially. 
Information on the use of surgical masks - fact sheet

Country SA PHN general practices and pharmacies can request masks via the Mask Request Form.
As there is a limited supply, a default allocation of 50 masks will be sent per request. If a larger allocation is required, please provide additional information to support the request in the comments section of the form.

Any queries regarding surgical masks are to be directed to Courtney Thorpe via or 08 8821 6721.

HealthPathways SA COVID-19 Information Page

To support South Australian health professionals HealthPathways SA is maintaining a current COVID-19 information page that provides connection to alerts and further information. 

Bushfire Recovery Community Grants

Country SA PHN is providing small grants to support communities that have suffered as a result of the bushfires. These small grants are for activities to strengthen social connections, community healing & recovery and build capacity of community. A limited number of grants are available for up to $10,000 excluding GST.

Applications will be accepted from community organisations based in the bushfire affected regions, namely Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island.

Interested organisations can access the guidelines and application form by registering for TenderLink. To allow a broader range of community organisations to apply we are allowing applications to be submitted via as well as through TenderLink.
Applications close Friday 13 March 2020.

Diabetes Pathways Under Development!
Are you a clinician (GP, practice nurse or allied health professional just to name a few!) interested in getting involved with the development of our draft Diabetes Pathways? 
Prior to being published, clinical pathways go through a broad consultation process and HealthPathways SA are seeking clinicians to review the suite of draft Diabetes pathways being developed.*

Type 2 Diabetes pathways currently being developed include: 
1. Foot Complications in Diabetes (out for consultation until 28 February 2020)
2. Diabetic Eye Disease Screening (consultation out soon)
3. Screening and Diagnosis of Diabetes
4. Prediabetes
5. Diabetes Dietary Information
6. Glycaemic Control
7. Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes & Resource Page Diabetes Dietary Information
8. Hypoglycaemic Control
9. Insulin Therapy in Type 2 Diabetes
10. Ongoing Management of Type 2 Diabetes

Please contact the team today to express your interest, email or To find out more about HealthPathways or to register for a login: Register Here

*Note reviewing a pathway can be used as CPD activity and a ‘Certificate of participation’ can be issued on request. 

Practice Support

The Practice Support team conducted tailored training session covering the use of all PenCS Suite of products, analysis of practice data and implementing the Model for Improvement using the Plan Do Study Act cycles.

PDSA cycles are a tried and tested approach to achieving successful change. It offers the following benefits: 
• a simple approach that anyone can apply 
• it reduces risk by starting small 
• it can be used to help plan, develop and implement change that is highly effective. 

The Model for Improvement helps you break down your change into manageable pieces, which are then tested to ensure that the change results in measurable improvements, and that minimal effort is wasted.

The below practices have taken up the tailored sessions and have voiced these session have been extremely beneficial.

To book a session with a member of the Practice Support Team either on site or remotely please email
Waikerie Medical Centre – 2IC Leanne Lawne, Judy Sparrow Practice Nurse and CSAPHN Practice Support Officer Nabil Rashid
Littlehampton Medical Centre – Practice Nurses, Sara Godden, Valerie Schuber and Sarah Payne 

Update on Topbar User Interface Refresh:

Apps are now grouped by ‘Patient Apps’ or ‘Practice Apps’
Patient apps sit on the right side of Topbar, next to the patient name, showing notifications relevant to that patient only. Practice apps sit on the left side of Topbar, providing access to applications that are not directly related to the patient currently open in the clinical system. Apps include Health Pathways, Waiting Room and the CPD App. Read more...

Custom themes
The background colour of Topbar may be customised. Choose your preferred theme via the settings on the right side of Topbar. Read more...

Topbar Apps
The following Topbar Apps have been updated for increased ease-of-use with a new, fresh look:
o Waiting Room App
o Data Cleansing App
o MBS Items App
o Topbar Settings Page
Coronavirus National Guidance App
This App was launched to provide practitioners with guidance, key links and resources surrounding COVID-19, including from the Australian Government Department of Health, World Health Organisation, RACGP, State/Territories Departments of Health and Primary Health Networks.  

SA Healthy Towns Challenge - Round 3
Do you live in a rural town? Do you work in preventive health programs? Do you help to prevent illness and injury? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be eligible to apply for a SA Healthy Towns Challenge grant worth up to $50,000.
The SA Healthy Towns Challenge is a grants program for rural towns to develop and implement preventive health programs in their community. The Challenge will award grants of up to $50,000 to at least five rural towns.
For more information or to apply go the SA Health website. Applications close on Thursday 9 April 2020 

Calling all nurses in country South Australia - Are you ready to take the next step with your career and build your nurse clinic skills?

APNA’s Nurse Clinic Education Program incorporates a one-day (face to face) workshop and ongoing access for 12 months to an online learning package, designed to complement and consolidate the Nurse Clinic workshop education. 
What are the key aspects of this Program?
  • A one day face to face Nurse Clinic workshop, including all the elements that are required to effectively work towards a nurse clinic model within your general practice.
  • A self-assessment (knowledge, skills and confidence levels around Nurse Clinics), which will help with prioritisation and selection of education activities.
  • APNA's online learning activities - with access to over 30 hours of CPD (more than required to meet the NMBA registration requirements).
  • Assistance with understanding your local HealthPathways online portal. 
This program is supported by Country SA PHN and is FREE for nurses in country SA! Applications close Friday 6 March 2020 so get in NOW. 
For further information or to apply go to APNA website or please contact APNA at 1300 303 184 or

Are infographics more effective than e-learning in learning about CKD risk factors and screening procedures? 
Are you a practice nurse looking for a free CPD opportunity and want to make a difference in health outcomes for the 1 in 3 Australians at increased risk of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)? We are looking for general practice nurses to participate in a randomised controlled trial evaluating an infographic poster compared to a e-learning program to improve knowledge related to CKD risk factors and screening practices. Depending which group you are randomised to, we expect that this will take no longer than 30 minutes to complete. A CPD certificate will be awarded upon completion for your professional portfolio.

If you are interested in participating, please click on this link to access the participant information statement and study registration page. All of the surveys are anonymous, however you will be required to provide your name and email address so we can register you for the trial and send you your CPD certificate on completion. If you have any questions about this research, you can contact the researcher at  

This project is endorsed by Kidney Health Australia and considers evidenced based screening practices and practical real world solutions to initiating CKD screening in the general practice 

Job Vacancies - Nil

The Blood Service Mobile Blood Donor Centre will be in Nuriootpa on Monday 2 March to Friday 6 March, in Berri on Monday 16 March to Tuesday 17 March, in Bordertown on Tuesday 17 March to Wednesday 18 March, in Renmark on Wednesday 18 March to Thursday 19 March, and in Strathalbyn on Thursday 19 March to Friday 20 March 2020.
Aged care content on the department’s new website, aged care content has been moved to the department’s new website
The new content is primarily directed at service providers assessors and peak groups.
New CALD resource developed by End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) has tips that can assist in creating supportive care sensitive to cultural considerations. Find out more about how to best support all older adults in aged care and palliative care, go to
Healing Factsheets, The Healing Foundation has launched a series of fact sheets 'Working with the Stolen Generations: understanding trauma' for GPs, dentists and aged care staff. The facts sheets are available on the website 
The Safer Sex – Use a Condom campaign has been produced to raise awareness of safer sex and STI prevention through condom use. For more information go to
Syphilis symptoms and treatment, SHINE SA have released two new short videos that provide advice for clinicians on syphilis symptoms and treatment. To view the videos go to
Get Healthy is a free service offering telephone-based expert advice and confidential health coaching designed to assist people in making long term lifestyle changes. 
Participants can be referred by a GP or health care professional or they are able to self-refer. For more information go to
Vitamin C Deficiency Fact Sheet explains the symptoms and health outcomes associated with vitamin C deficiency, and explores the Australian populations most at risk. The resource contains tips for GPs to recognise and diagnose deficiency and nutrition tips to achieve optimal vitamin C levels. For more information see the Vitamin C Deficiency Fact Sheet.

For more professional development opportunities go to
North & West Region
Healthy Doctors Program - Port Augusta
Thursday 5 March 2020, 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Medication Management: An Update on Diabetes Management for Practice Nurses - Port Lincoln
Thursday 26 March 2020, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Building your skills in acute suicide management - Port Augusta
Tuesday 17 March 2020, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Rural Practice Team Workshop - Port Lincoln
Saturday 4 April 2020, 9.00am - 4.00pm
Syphilis Update in Rural SA - Ceduna
Wednesday 18 March 2020, 6.30pm - 9.30pm 
Mental Health Medical Professional Development Workshop - Port Lincoln
Friday 29 May 2020, from 7.00pm
Deepen Your Understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Health Training for General Practice - Port Augusta
Friday 20 March 2020, 9.00am - 4.30pm
Medication Management: An Update on Diabetes Management for Practice Nurses - Ceduna
Thursday 4 June 2020, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Central Region
Success Factors for a Mentally Healthy Workplace - Mount Barker
Thursday 5 March 2020, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Cardiology Medical Professional Development Workshop - Barossa
Wednesday 22 April 2020, from 7.00pm
Aged Care – Cognition, Consent and Care of the Older Patient - Victor Harbor
Thursday 26 March 2020, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Medication Management: An Update on Diabetes Management for Practice Nurses - Jamestown
Tuesday 12 May 2020, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Yorke & North Region
Healthy Doctors Program - Wallaroo
Thursday 12 March 2020, 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Mental Health Medical Professional Development Workshop - Clare
Friday 17 April 2020, from 7.00pm
Management of Skin Cancer in General Practice – Wallaroo
Tuesday 24 March 2020, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Mental Health Medical Professional Development Workshop - Wallaroo
Friday 22 May 2020, from 7.00pm
South & East Region
Cardiology Medical Professional Development Workshop - Mount Gambier
Tuesday 10 March 2020, from 7.00pm
Dermatology Medical Professional Development Workshop - Mount Gambier
Friday 17 April 2020, from 7.00pm
Register Here
PenCS Workshop - PIP QI in General Practice - Naracoorte
Thursday 19 March 2020, 10.30am - 12.30pm
Immunisation Practice in Primary Healthcare - Mount Gambier
Wednesday 13 May 2020, 8.45am - 1.00pm
Cardiology Medical Professional Development Workshop - Berri
Tuesday 31 March 2020, from 7.00pm
Metro Region
Introduction to Sexual & Reproductive Health Workshop - Woodville
Tuesday 17 March 2020, 9.00am - 5.00pm
Advanced Training in Suicide Prevention - McLaren Vale
Saturday 2 May 2020, 9.00am - 5.00pm
Contraceptive Implant (Implanon NXT) Training for Rural and Remote Doctors - Woodville
Saturday 28 March 2020
Country Practice Retreat 2020 - Glenelg
Saturday 2 May to Sunday 3 May 2020, 
Flinders Chronic Condition Management (CCM) Program - Bedford Park
Monday 30 March to Tuesday 31 March 2020
Annual RDWA Conference - Adelaide
Friday 8 May to Saturday 9 May 2020
AICG Patient Safety & Quality Care Symposium - Victoria
'Connecting Clinicians' is the central theme of the 2020 Symposium.
Thursday 26 March 2020 Register Here
Health is Wealth: Mobilise the workforce to unleash a healthy nation - Canberra
Tuesday 19 May 2020, 9.00am - 3.30pm
2020 Australian Pain Society 40th Annual Scientific Meeting - Hobart
Sunday 5 April 2020 to Wednesday 8 April 2020
APNA 2020 National Conference - Sydney
Thursday 21 May to Saturday 23 May 2020, 9.00am - 5.00pm
5th Women in Healthcare Leadership Summit - Sydney
Monday 27 April to Thursday 30 April 2020, 9.00am - 4.30pm
7th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium - Alice Springs
Monday 25 May to Tuesday 26 May 2020
Update on new aged care assessment arrangements - Webinar
Wednesday 11 March 2020, 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Wound Management: Foundations and Principles - Online
Develop foundational knowledge and skills required to assess, manage and prevent wounds in primary healthcare.

Online Surveys - Nil
Beckwith Park, 30 Tanunda Road, Nuriootpa SA 5355
PO Box 868, Nuriootpa SA 5355
T  08 8565 8900    F  08 8311 1723
SA Rural Health Network trading as Country SA PHN.
Country SA PHN gratefully acknowledge the financial and other
support from the Australian Government Department of Health.
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