The Healthy Kids Bus Stop visited Yass from 7-9 November, offering free health and developmental check-ups for children in the Yass area. This award-winning program was delivered through a partnership of the Southern New South Wales Local Health District, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Royal Far West, supported by many community members and organisations, including the NSW Parliamentary Lions Club who generously provided funding for the project.
Over the three days, 70 children between the ages of three and five attended the Bus Stop with parents or carers, and had checks for general health, hearing, dental, food and nutrition and speech, and for fine and gross motor skill development.
A total of 313 assessments were undertaken, with 53 of the children given referrals in one or more areas. Thirty-three children required referrals for their hearing, and 13 children needed speech therapy referrals.
The Healthy Kids Bus Stop was held at the Soldiers Memorial Hall, access to which was kindly provided by the Yass Valley Council. In addition, the local preschools, schools and community organisations all supported with registrations and assisting families to attend, ensuring that it was a most successful event.
The Healthy Kids Bus Stop is an integrated ‘whole of child’ health and developmental assessment and pathway to care program which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of children living in rural and remote communities through early detection of lifestyle risk factors, delayed development and/or illness. Over the four years it has been operating it has screened more than 1,800 children.
The assessments are undertaken by a team of nursing and allied health staff who, after the screening, determine which children need further assessment or intervention, and provide a referral pathway for each child to receive the ongoing support they need, through collaborative partnerships with local service providers and Royal Far West.
Southern NSW Local Health District acting Northern Cluster General Manager Jeremy Gilchrist commented, “The Healthy Kids Bus Stop was a new initiative for the SNSWLHD. The Bus Stop enabled us to carry out health screens and provide health advice to preschool aged children and their families in the Yass area. This was a joint initiative with Royal Far West which has run Bus Stops in many regions across NSW. I would like to thank Royal Far West for partnering with us and instigating the event. I would also like to thank the Yass and Goulburn health staff who made this event a great success.”
Manager, Redesign and Innovation, Clinical Governance and Organisation Effectiveness Southern NSW Local Health District’s Judith Hallam says, “On many levels this was a wonderful achievement. I observed the staff and families interact, and was struck by both the professionalism of the clinicians and their thoughtful kindness to all. Together we made a great team. We entered this venture unsure and a little apprehensive and we emerged satisfied that the effort was every bit worthwhile”.
Royal Far West, in partnership with the Yass and Goulburn Community Health teams in the Southern New South Wales Local Health District, the Yass Valley Council, and Ronald McDonald House Charities, were proud to bring the service to Yass. A special thank you to the NSW Parliamentary Lions Club for providing much-needed funding and Yass Valley Council for generously providing the Soldiers Memorial Hall to host the event.
Twins Jordan (left) and Wayne
Flynn holds his HKBS passport and backpack of goodies
Yass and Goulburn Health Services and RFW forged a wonderful partnership
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